Friday, June 19, 2015

UPDATE-2: Response to 'Bill C-51 & Justin Trudeau'

I've been very pleased to see Canadians responding to Justin Trudeau's support of C51. In the polls the Liberals are once again sinking, and on Twitter no matter what Trudeau tweets about the responses are peppered with Canadians angry at his lame (non-existent) opposition to a bill that attacks what's left of the diminished "freedom" we all have in the name of supposed "safety" and "security".

A week or so ago a Trudeau supporter responded to my own tweet critical of Trudeau's support of C51 with a blog post providing what he views as a sufficient argument to extol the Liberal support of C51. It's very well written and I can see how easily it would be for a post like this to sway public opinion back towards general apathy or even support of Trudeau, and C51, and other encroaching "anti-terror" laws and as such I feel compelled to at least attempt to provide an equally thorough counter-point.

First we will go through his post, then I'll provide some additional thoughts. He provides a lot of source material and due to the the fact I'd like to actually publish this post relatively quickly before the relevance is completely gone I won't have time to thoroughly debunk each individual one but I will provide umbrella arguments that should apply to many sources at once that all revolve around the same basis.
You’re here reading this because you’re wondering how or why Justin Trudeau could have possibly voted for the anti-terrorism legislation Bill C-51. 
I am not a Conservative. In fact, I lean quite left. After much research on both sides of this issue, it is clear that this bill and Mr. Trudeau’s response to it has been very misunderstood. I plan to use third-party sources and evidence as much as possible to show that the balanced stand taken by the Liberal Party is the best possible stand. If you believe in evidence and facts like I do, I hope you’ll read through these links thoroughly to make sure you’re informed on this issue.


1. Firstly, this:
As the author makes no additional comments on this article and the contents links into points I'll be making later on we will get back to this relevant link later, but read it now and take special note of the phrasing and straw-man arguments the author uses to quickly implant a suggestion (such as the no-fly list not working, provide an example (of it working), then misdirect you to a copious claim it doesn't work and needs to be improved even though it already limits freedom and liberty in it's current form before C51's "improvements".
2. Former NDP Premier of Ontario Bob Rae wrote this piece that shows that some kind of update, reform, and new powers for CSIS to combat terrorism are needed: He does say that oversight is needed, but there has not been oversight in 10 years – despite the Conservatives promising to bring it in – and there will be no opportunity to bring in such oversight until their majority is replaced.
Interesting the author chooses to invoke the NDP "past" of Bob Rae rather than the more prominent position he held as interim leader of the Liberal party of Canada. This is an attempt to say look: "NDPers support it too", but party affiliation means nothing as readers of this blog should know and as we will discuss a little bit later in this post when it comes to the Liberal's new "star" Bill Blair. Bob Rae provides the same tired narrative being pushed by the system about oversight and yadda yadda which I've written about before here. We will also come back to the "oversight" issue and the real need for bills like this later.
3. VIDEO: Justin gives most comprehensive answer on C-51 yet: 
Correction: he gives the "most comprehensive answer on the politics of C51 ever". The actual parts about C51 he likes, or has issues with, are glossed over as "protecting Canadians" and "protecting their rights". And how will he protect their rights? By getting elected and then supposedly"amending bill C51" so that it will protect their rights (sort of, but not really) when he gets in power by adding more "oversight". Despite the bullshit politics he plays in this video I want you to keep one thing in mind: He supported the taking away of your rights, on the off chance he "gets into power" (more on this later), to protect you from something that has a 20,000,000:1 chance of happening to you and which Canada already has many freedom encroaching laws on the books to deal with already and which are regularly abused as the Snowden leaks have shown.
4. Liberals and Conservatives have a fundamentally different approaches to anti-terrorism. Read this National Post Op-Ed: 
The "appearance of difference", anyway. Here is what I got out of this article written by members of the Liberal party themselves:
In both process and substance, the Conservatives’ approach stands in sharp contrast to that of the Liberals following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. In considering Bill C-36, the first comprehensive Canadian legislation to address the threat of international terrorism, Liberals listened respectfully to substantive arguments by expert witnesses and opposition MPs, while engaging in spirited discussion and debate within our caucus. Consequently, the Liberal government altered course in significant respects, seeking to protect both Canadians’ security and civil liberties. 
After Bill C-36 was enacted, it became clear that another element in the struggle against terrorism was required: robust and transparent oversight. By October 2004, an all-party group of parliamentarians — including the current Minister of Justice — presented Anne McClellan and Irwin Cotler, the ministers of Public Safety and Justice respectively, with a report recommending the establishment of a parliamentary committee with the authority to oversee and review the conduct of Canada’s intelligence-gathering agencies. This recommendation was based on an examination of similar bodies in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, and led to the introduction of Bill C-81 in 2005. Bill C-81 died with the election of the Harper government in 2006.
So were the Liberals looking to "protect the rights of Canadians" before, or after? Because what I'm reading here is that despite all of the so called "discourse" at the time (that you'll remember was largely fueled on unsubstantiated bullshit being put out by the Bush government) somehow all of these "experts" forgot the "oversight" clause and so just like this time the Liberals supported and then passed the "security" portion first and decided only then to address the "rights" portion later. You will remember the author mentioned earlier: "but there has not been oversight in 10 years – despite the Conservatives promising to bring it in – and there will be no opportunity to bring in such oversight until their majority is replaced.".

Now you know why.
5. This on the case of Patrice Vincent and how Bill C-51 could have played a tangible role in preventing this:
This is the worst argument and slippery slope for promoting and enacting a police state. It is completely arbitrary in it's basis and essentially claims that "collecting evidence is too hard to do". This argument turns a society supposedly based on "justice" on it's head.

First of all it is worth noting that this "terrorist attack" can itself be debated considering that the targets were two officers of a state that has essentially "declared war". This isn't to say these two ceremonial officers deserved to die, or that Canada deserved to be attacked but as the old adage goes "if you play with fire you're likely to get burnt" and Canada's war footing is surely playing with fire.

Second, of course there is always some new law they could pass that will supposedly "make us safer" using an event which as pointed out earlier there is a 1 in 20,000,000 chance you will ever encounter. Just imagine how many drug cookhouses, grow houses, and gang houses could be busted if police simply had a weekly house inspection. Think how hard it would be to avoid paying your taxes if the government imposed electronic credit on everyone. Imagine how many drunk drivers we could catch if we had permanent checkpoints on all the roads. This is the slippery slope.

If we follow through logically with the fact that every one-off media hyped tragedy comes with a new set of laws designed to "prevent it" and there are always going to be holes and vulnerabilities to "attack" which no set of civil right respecting laws can ever hope to address and as such one by one each and every right will be taken until they are gone.

From the article the author sources:
Police knew the 25-year-old as a Muslim convert who made increasingly radical statements on social media and had arrested him in July before he could board a plane to Turkey, only to be told they had to let him go. 
"We interviewed him and [with] the information we had and the statement he provided to us, we [did] not have enough evidence to charge him and to detain him," RCMP Supt. Martine Fontaine told CBC News. 
Couture-Rouleau was released after RCMP seized his passport and added him to the 90 or so individuals on their watch list. 
Now, CBC News has learned officers tried several weeks later to place Couture-Rouleau under a peace bond, which would have forced him to agree to meet certain conditions or go to jail. 
Once again, prosecutors told police they didn't have enough evidence under the law, which says there must be evidence that a person will commit a terrorism offence.
Here is one glaring fact the author has chosen not to source:
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who acted alone and may have had Libyan-Canadian citizenship, had been in Ottawa since at least Oct. 2 and was here to “deal with a passport issue.” Commissioner Paulson told reporters Thursday that Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, who was killed in Centre Block’s hallway outside the Library of Parliament, was not one of the 93 “high-risk travellers” currently being investigated and tracked by Canadian authorities.
Yes, thats right, the entire reason this man was in Ottawa in the first place was to "deal with a passport issue". A "passport issue" the Canadian authorities themselves created due to other anti-terror laws. Isn't it how in every terror-plot or foiled terror-plot you don't have to look very far to see prior state involvement?

There is something else to note here, the idea that "C51 could have prevented" this attack is based on the premise they could have detained him without evidence, but evidence of what? The reason they were looking to detain him was because it was believed he was going to syria, not because they believed an attack was imminent here. If his detention would have prevented this attack it would have been dumb luck, and no one would have ever known it. The argument that C51 could have absolutely prevented this attack is conjecture being made in hindsight and presumptions of the intent of intelligence agencies to actually prevent said attacks, instead of creating the conditions needed for them to happen, be hyped up, and then used as justification for even more freedom killing laws.

If it can be argued C51 could have prevented this attack due to the dumb luck of detaining someone for completely different reasons then it can also be argued that had other anti-terror laws not took away his passport he would have never been in Ottawa and by shear dumb-luck the attacks wouldn't have happened. Using the exact same "what-if" logic as is being used in this case for C51 I've now shown that anti-terror laws and the loopholes they use to do an end-run around criminal law and due process actually make the chances of a terrorist attack more likely, not less.

There is no concrete evidence anything the RCMP has said about this man is true and I'd say their involvement with him and the way they've sporadically released selective evidence to build their case of popular opinion of the imminent threat of radical Islam is highly suspicious at the very least. We will come back to this topic of government involvement in terror plots a little bit later.
6. For those acting surprised about the Liberals vote for this bill and asking for answers on why he took this position, here are links back to February 2015 saying that Caucus would vote for C-51 and why: There were 3 votes in the Commons on this, people (see: civics 101 - how a bill becomes a law). After he voted for it once, he wasn’t about to flip-flop for no reason just to join the prevailing political wind.
I for one am certainly not surprised and have been saying since before Justin Trudeau was anointed leader that he was clearly the status-quo's choice to form the next government, that he is a puppet of the bankers (who founded and run the intelligence agencies) that want these laws brought in so that the system can deal with up and coming economic turmoil (which countries in the EU provide a preview of). It is no surprise to me he (and the Liberals) supported C51 and as I've stated before I believe that all of the pawns of the top echelon felt this bill required a united front to attempt to build popular support where there would clearly be none and so the controlled opposition narrative of "more oversight" was born.
7. Read a bit of this debate on the bill from the House of Commons. It’s very two-sided, although the Conservatives’ fear rhetoric in favour of the bill is equally bad and shallow to the fear rhetoric by the NDP. The Liberals take an evidenced stand, despite the other two parties’ approaches: 
The points contained in this link are being address all throughout this post and doesn't provide the proper context for an argument itself. We wil be looking at some "additional" evidence on terrorism later.
8. IMPORTANT: This Op-Ed is the a recent link from the Liberals and it answers critics’ reactions to the passing of this bill in the House of Commons. It shows how the extremes in this debate have only sold fear, and not allowed a real debate on security and freedoms: 
To begin with the very premise of the Liberals article is incorrect:
It is important to challenge both the facts and the political tactics being used. First, there is a real threat of terrorism in this country and Canadian military personnel were targets. Two men were killed last year and since then, members of the Canadian Armed Forces have spent months on high alert. I know this because, as members of the Naval Reserve, we were under orders not to wear our uniforms in public so we would not stand out as targets.
Exactly, Canadian military personnel were targeted, not civilians. They're not targets of terrorism, they're targets of war.
His use of the word "war" is important because it carries specific, legal connotations and the government generally avoided using it during the long campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The word does not appear in the parliamentary motion which authorized the mission in Iraq.
Can you imagine if during World War II British, American, and Canadian soldiers were told not to wear their uniforms because they "might be targeted for attack"? Continuing with the "important" Liberal propaganda masquerading as an Op-ED:
Second, far from ignoring the risk to civil liberties that comes when security is threatened, Liberals have called for all-party oversight and secured a number of amendments that addressed some of the public’s earlier concerns. 
But it is important to remember: there has been some form of anti-terror legislation in place in Canada since 2001. Since that time, an investigative hearing was used only once – in the Air India case, which was the worst terror attack ever on Canadian soil. Also, the preventive arrest measures have never been used – even once – in 14 years. Not once. It takes ten times as much effort to correct a false idea than it does to get it right in the first place.
 See that folks, the "preventative arrest" measures have never been used! Not once! So you can trust your government to continue not using them. Now, why haven't they been used? Well we covered that a little bit earlier didn't we:
The head of the RCMP told a Senate committee in the fall that police are being asked for too much evidence in their efforts to protect the public. 
"Generally speaking, I'm of the view we need to be able to lower the threshold," RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told a meeting of the Senate's national security committee on Oct. 27. 
He later told reporters, "I think it's a reasonable sort of area where we can examine on these peace bonds and other assistance orders." 
Peace bonds have only been used eight times since 2001 for terrorism suspects — six of them related to members of the 2006 Toronto 18 plot, and two others. 
Critics claim that's proof police aren't using the tools they already have. But government sources insist the current legal requirements put the tools too far out of reach.
If the logic being presented here seems a little circular then you're paying attention because it is: The laws already in place aren't being abused because of the strong requirement for evidence needed, which is then argued is too much evidence to "protect the public" and thus the bar needs to be lowered which implicitly counters the first suggestion that those in charge are majorly concerned about "getting it wrong". They haven't been used because police haven't been able to gather the evidence needed, but they've *tried* to use them many times. The very thing preventing their abuse is what C51 seeks to remove.
9. NEW: Marc Garneau with an emotional, and thorough explanation of being a legislator and why voting for C-51 was the right plan: 
This link recycles the same tired arguments of balance which we will be addressing a bit later in this post.
10. Hear it from the Leader himself that he stands for a secure and free Canada – and that it’s a false dichotomy we must choose between the two: (4:53 in) 
The "false dichtomy" is the idea that without bills like C51 Canada is not "secure". Most of what else is said in this video is the same old rehashed bullshit though he does mention the "amendments" which we will be getting to a little bit later. It should also be noted that the growing focus on "anti-terrorism" has resulted in the RCMP taking resources away from at least 300 real criminal probes which hardly speaks to any sort of enhancement on your "safety" or "security" and demonstrates that increasingly the system is moving away from a somewhat fair "criminal justice system" where due process and the rule of law is followed to one more centered on "anti-terror" where it's claimed that due process and the rule of law is a hindrance.
11. More video. Trudeau addresses number of issues, including C-51: 
I don't need 3 videos of Justin Trudeau repeating terms like "safety" and "freedom" over and over again without quantifying them.
12. Marc Garneau on the specifics of the Liberal amendments. This is what a better approach to the policy looks like in specifics: 
This is mostly about the amendments which we will get to later.
13. Justin Trudeau tells VICE News about C-51, taking a more positive tone to this debate – one not based on fear: 
Again, more rehashes of the same old political (and not fact based) reasoning.
14. Most recently, a couple dozen protesters stood outside a Liberal rally in Edmonton. What did Trudeau and local candidates do? They didn’t hide inside. They came out and engaged with the protesters, tried to answer their questions, and heard their concerns. They got the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada to come out and talk to them, unlike Mulcair/Harper would ever do. What did they do though?… They didn’t let him speak. They shouted in his face. They chanted over him. They didn’t listen, didn’t engage, and ensured no one could hear what he said. They weren’t interested in answers or changing his mind:
(The most pitiful moment being a protester at the end standing inches from a candidate trying to speak to someone, and repeatedly saying, “Why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate freedom”… And that, my friends, is where intelligent debate goes to die… moments like that. I don’t know how any critic of the debate who uses “same as Harper” and other catch-phrases from that rally can feel proud after seeing that…) 
This is political posturing and has nothing to do with the issue at hand, I don't care what supporters or protesters are doing - this point is clearly here to show that Justin Trudeau listens and those opposed to the bill are obvious wack-jobs. However this isn't about whether or not he "listens", this about the facts and likely consequences of C51 and Trudeau's support of it. There's plenty of idiots at protests doing stupid things, Ezra Levant uses them as "evidence" in his propaganda all the time and this point is no different than that.
15. Carolyn Bennett has a well-written piece here too on why she voted FOR the bill: 
This is again the same rehashed points as all of the other links sourced from While it initially looks like the author provides a lot of material supporting his point and forces the reader to do a lot of work to comb through his sources it ultimately is just the same unsubstantiated points repeated over and over and over again being presented as "evidence".
Anyway, done with the links. Now onto the FAQ portion:

Why didn’t the Liberals make their vote for the bill conditional on their amendments passing?
If you like an omnibus-type bill more than you dislike it and if overall more good than bad – you vote for. If more is bad than good – you vote against. The 50% divide is pretty sensible when you’re making a decision that requires compromise. I think, after reading the links above, you can see there is a need for security and concerns for security at the same time. Therefore, you can see how someone may vote for something, but oppose ‘aspects’.
No, after reading the links above I do not see there is a "need" for additional security. Only one supposed terrorist attack was cited, that isn't even a terrorist attack as it targeted officers of the state and was possibly in part motivated or subsequently caused by the government's own "anti-terror" actions.
If someone opposed an omnibus bill that said both that it would “fund cancer research” and “give a tax cut to the richest few”, the bill proposer could accuse their opponent of not wanting to fund cancer research and of being heartless. On the other hand, if they vote for it – their members and supporters can say, “You gave a tax cut to the richest!?” In a majority scenario, there is no control over amendments for the third party – there is simply making the best of the legislation before you. You have to vote on the principle of sending a message, one way or the other. And progressive conservative voters for too long have doubted the Liberal Party would support security and be able to deal with domestic ISIL threats. I will outline shortly why those are not to be dismissed using bravado or denial.
The comparison between "fund cancer research" and "lowering taxes on the rich" as the positive and negative with clear substantive popular opinion and weight towards the desire to "cure cancer" in contrast to the relatively benign effect of lowering taxes on the rich (compared to cancer which has a 1 in 7 chance of killing you) is a false comparison to what we are dealing with in C51. Clearly  collectively working to help prevent something that has a 1 in 7 chance of killing you far outweighs whatever financial damage would be inflicted with lowering taxes on the rich. This is a far cry from the 1 in 20,000,000 chance you have of becoming a victim of terrorism and the sanctity of your privacy and freedom and liberty isn't even in the same ballpark as taxes on the rich. These two situations are not analogous to each other.
And moreover it’s about the principle of being for security. Canadians are, poll-after-poll, concerned about security and terrorism. No one could stop the Conservative majority and the result of the vote wasn’t contingent or dependent on the Opposition members. Not saying “no” off the bat meant taking a stand that security still matters enough to support measures that forwards it in these turbulent global times. Saying “no” admittedly allows the Conservatives to say no one would fight terrorists other than them. Informed Canadians know that is ridiculous. Canadians who tune in right before the election and have succumb to the Conservatives’ lies in ‘08 and ‘11 may be spooked by it though. That’s a factor, as Justin admitted, but it’s not the whole argument.
Yes, poll after poll, and day after day Canadians are bombarded with propaganda designed to make them irrationally fear something so strongly that they will roll over and allow the state to take their rights even though the odds of this thing actually affecting them are 1 in 20,000,000.
When you don’t have the control over whether your amendments will pass or not, due to the Conservative majority, you make the best of the situation. I think saying “yes” to the Bill from the onset also allowed the Conservatives to perhaps see that Liberal amendments were in good faith, and not poison pills of any sort. That, as you’ll see in a few paragraphs, actually got stuff done. It’s about the principle or symbolism of the bill more than its contents when you say that you’ll vote for it despite what games the Conservatives want to play. It meant putting a united face by the major parties on display for Canadians. For me, that’s putting Canadians first, instead of playing the games of the Ottawa bubble.
We will address the "Canadian first" and "actually getting stuff done" when we get to the portion on the amendments.
Why does a bill like this require compromise? Why couldn’t they just say no? 
In times like these, after Patrice Vincent’s death on October 20th, the death of Nathan Cirillo on October 22nd, Charlie Hebdo in France (a Western country), and cases in other countries similar to Canada’s, Canadians should see their political leaders united on domestic security. Anti-terrorism never has been or should be a political football. You cannot declare that Canada is a peaceful country that has never seen tragedy when that flies in the face of facts, such as Air India and dozens of radicals who have flown off recently to join ISIL. Look up the cases e.g. Damian Clairmont. Some of these kids were not even born in these countries and don’t have roots in ISIL territories, but they are trained and recruited by sophisticated online operations of ISIL trainers. They say the recruitment and training videos are passionate, emotional appeals that captivate those who may be socially outcast, disenfranchised, or loners. This kind of stuff is on the news nightly, not that anyone watches TV news much anymore. It’s a real concern. It’s something that is a growing trend. It’s something we need to do something about and most Canadians, when polled, want new security measures to curb this trend as soon as possible.
I've already demonstrated several times how the information or the entire polls themselves have been fabricated. Canadians are not calling for more security measures, or more spying. Nobody in your local coffee shop is fretting over a terror attack; the idea that "security" is front of mind for most Canadians is a narrative being pushed by the system and reinforced with over-hyped news and cherry picked examples in an attempt to generate a reaction and popular support. We will be reviewing the "threat" presented by ISIS/ISIL and Canada's hand in creating them in the first place for the purpose of NATO regime change and promoting bills like C51 a little later in this post. notice how the author had to reference a terror attack in France (a western country - also on the other side of this thing called the ocean) to populate his list and make the danger seem more menacing and dangerous to Canada than it really is. All cited attacks on Canadian soil have been against officers of the state during a time of "war".
But the experts criticized the bill!

The experts criticized it BEFORE it was amended. Yes, the bill WAS amended already. People seem to skip over that part. Liberals proposed amendments, which the NDP joined the Conservatives in shooting down. Then, the Conservatives re-brought up and passed a bunch of the Liberal amendments themselves just to take the credit. Read about these amendments that clarify things like “protests and dissent do not qualify as national security threats” :
So any rhetoric you now see about environmental protesters being hauled off to jail is nonsense. If they are, then they’re breaking their own law.
Actually it is not non-sense. Renaming these terms does nothing to address the arbitrary definitions of terrorists, threats, and terrorist groups. "Protests" are declared illegal as often as possible. Let's take a hypothetical situation: Let's say someone "known" to be part of a terrorist group takes part in a protest. Considering that we are now pushing to have the bar lowered in terms of the evidence required for detention will the protesters he's affiliated with now also be affiliated with the "terror group"? Considering the government has specifically labelled the "anti-petroleum" movement a threat would pipeline blockades be considered "dissent", or would they be considered "a security threat"? Rewording the bill still requires that people trust the government will honestly use the terms "protest", "dissent", and "terrorism" which we have already seen throughout this post they simply do not do and there is ample evidence from official statements, and even actions, that the government will use the "terrorism" excuse for it's own means and economic agenda.

Simply being "hauled off to jail" isn't the only concern for activists either. Disruptive measures could easily mean stopping chartered buses that deliver activists to major events, or interfering with the travel of prominent activists, on the way to protests (as the Canadian authorities enacted during the G20) and otherwise interfering in a persons daily affairs. changing this language doesn't change that activists will still be watched and caught up in data collection which the government can then build a "profile" out of to either discredit or disrupt interesting targets.
CSIS won’t follow this law. They already don’t. They can’t be trusted. 
Then you just don’t trust the system in general, and government. And then you’re in a catch 22 of not being able to trust any law. And how do you know they break those laws? If they do, they can be sued and there would be a big public outcry/scandal. If you get hauled off for protesting and are charged under this law, sue and you’ll win a whole bunch of money.
No, you're right I don't trust the system, or the government, or any law. However with standard laws and due process you are given the opportunity to defend yourself and the prosecution must provide ample evidence to the contrary. It is this system of due process which would make it possible to "sue and win a bunch of money" and it is this very system of due process C51 looks to circumvent. As the authors "evidence" of how C51 could have prevented a "terrorist attack" goes to show what the author really wishes is that the suspect's appeal to have his passport returned would be denied (which it was) and that he would have been taken into preventative arrest with no means to appeal that arrest and no charge laid for him to fight then the author's reasoning here directly contradicts his reasoning for believing this bill is "good".

The system has demonstrated countless times over the past 14 years of the "war on terror" that it is not to be trusted. Whether it's the numerous "terror-plots" that are foiled and always have state involvement, whether it's the G20 where the full surveillance and police state being built in Canada was put on display for all to see and clearly targeted at activists and Canadian citizens, or whether it's the very creation of ISIS itself originating with the Libyan "rebels" (who were al-Qaeda of Iraq and the Levant, now known as ISIS) that Canada supported along with NATO to overthrow Gadaffi and plunge the Middle East into a massive proxy war and provide the current pretext for this round of "anti-terror" legislation, it's been lie after lie and in every case clearly the "safety and security" of Canadians isn't even on the radar.
BCCLA criticized it though! 
Of course they did. They’re the BC Civil Liberties Association. It’s their job to stand up for risks to civil liberties. You know what’s not their job? Writing or studying CSIS’ security measures and what kind of cases they’re investigating under wraps. The BCCLA’s only concern is civil liberties – not security. That’s listening to only one side of the debate and not listening to security experts who would tell you that C-51 is needed as is. It is clear they’re both right in part, and a balanced approach that meets the needs of both is needed. And unsurprisingly, if you’ve been reading my piece thoroughly, that’s the crux of the Liberal position.
"Security experts" who all happen to benefit from the introduction of legislation like this, again, more rehashing of the supposed "need" and "balanced approach" which as I've shown in my piece is founded on hearsay and rhetoric.
The Canadian Bar Association said it was unnecessary and bad! 
Well, no. They said it was “ill-considered.” I find there is a lot of colourful language people will claim these experts or groups said, which they didn’t. 
To their criticisms: 
Liberals agree the language is a bit “vague and overly broad”, so they’ll fix that as has been committed to in many of the links above. They, just like the NDP, can’t do this until Conservatives are decimated in October. Please note that the NDP has NOT proposed any clear plan about what amendments they’d made, if they’d replace it with anything, and if so what that would be. They have no plan for this, except to have flip-flopped three times on it. They can’t be trusted not to do it again, in my opinion.
And as I've shown the Liberals have a history of passing "ill-considered" legislation with the protection of rights as an after-thought.
“The association wants a sunset clause that would see the bill expire and trigger a parliamentary review no more than five years after its passage.” 
Ok. Liberals want Parliamentary review after three years.
Patriot Act in the U.S. was supposed to "sunset" long ago, it hasn't. Sunset clauses are public relations bullshit to gain popular opinion. They are meaningless and can easily be worked around with the law reinstated once it's implemented in the first place. The "terrorist threat" is the perfect threat for a system that wants to curtail rights and implement an authoritarian regime which is happening in all western nations in preparation for the financial shit show in the making. They can keep the "threat" going as long as they want, as they've shown back in 2011 when they nearly wiped out al-Qaeda only to then cease their operations against them, refocus on regime change and help them rebuild.
It challenges judge’s role as protectors of the Charter? How so? Isn’t a judges burden of proof the best protection ordinary Canadians can have?

If CSIS cannot prove to a judge that someone is a reasonable or foreseeable terrorist threat worth proactively stopping, then of course they shouldn’t be able to be disrupted, have property confiscated or forced to do anything. The legal standards of proof are why CSIS will not be willy-nilly taking information from all Canadians. Most everything in this bill requires judge approval, ergo no judge in the country would allow something that surveils all Canadians. This already significantly limits the scope compared to what critics claim.
The "legal standards of proof" are exactly what you're arguing are the problem as evidenced by your claim that C51 could have prevented the attack by "lowering the legal standards of proof required". This circular reasoning of using current laws to justify C51 is getting old.
Of course the Bill did not have enough Parliamentary debate. Liberals demanded and fought for more days to debate this in the House of Commons and at Committee, and also fought to allow experts like the Privacy Commissioner and Maher Arar to be able to speak at committee. However, the Conservatives would not allow it, and that’s unfortunately what Canadians get for electing a majority government led by Stephen Harper. Is that fascism? No. It’s democracy. It’s the really messy downside to a democracy sometimes. You get what you ask, er, vote for.
No, that's not fascism, but this is and it's not difficult to see how bills like C51 and other "anti-terror" legislation designed to reduce or remove due process can be used for fascist purposes.
The privacy commissioner though…

The Liberals tried to get the Privacy Commissioner to come to committee as a witness on this bill & to speak on it. The Conservatives blocked their list submission of witnesses.

Note: The Privacy Commissioner spoke against it BEFORE It was amended by the Conservatives. He hasn’t made comments since. The information sharing aspect has been limited to 17 domestic security agencies/departments that collect this information separately already.

This reduces duplication and lack of cohesion among parts of our government. Of course the privacy commissioner opposes more information sharing. That’s basically his job. That’s one side of the debate.
It is this information sharing which provides the tools for the threat coming from government to be distributed among it's agencies. Maybe CSIS can't arrest you directly, but the RCMP sure can, and it is the separation between agencies and domestic and national security interests which prevents the Canadian security apparatus as acting as one giant entity. This duplication while perhaps not "efficient" and redundant also implicitly introduces duplicate checks on the information and keeps each agencies mandate separate from one another.
Does he work for CSIS or understand what threats we face always? No. Listening to only one side of the debate is what got us into this mess of too blindly abiding the bill in the first place, and now having a national backlash that will end up with no reasonable measures to update CSIS being enacted.
Do you work for CSIS and understand what threats we face? Or are you taking the politicized propagandized "threats" at face value and running with the system's narrative, arguments, and hype being pumped into Canadians minds on a daily basis? We don't need to update CSIS, it was just updated several times and it's not like the existing anti-terror laws are all that "old". The only reason you think we need to update CSIS is you have been told by "experts" (who all benefit from CSIS's new powers) that it needs to be updated and if they hadn't told you that I'd bet dollars to donuts the thought would have never crossed your mind.
But the OSCE!

Ok. This is a sensational headline to say the least. They basically say that CBC journalists will be rounded up for reporting ON terrorism because it could be seen to promote it… I’m pretty sure Conservatives want Canadians to know there is terrorism out there because it benefits their fear narrative. They say all kinds of things that promote terrorism curb expression. In Canada, we don’t have unlimited free speech or expression because hate speech laws exist. And our Charter starts with the reasonable limits clause. This, as David Akin and others point out, goes along with the UN’s past stance that our Charter is not consistent with their Charter. So we should just get rid of our Charter for them? Or maybe a one-sized fits all world rights regime is something we’re not ready for? Back to my point… curbing promotion of terrorism should be something we do. Many have been calling for this for a long time so that people can be proactively dealt with before they have to actually commit a terrorist act first. Generally the criticisms they make are that these changes are expression is not ‘absolute’, but that goes with our history since 1982 of none of our Charter being absolute. This article being shared around is all bark and no bite.
No comment on this as Ive never made that argument, nor is this issue with C51 what I have a problem with.
Does C-51 create a “police state” or “fascism”? 
No. And that kind of rhetoric with no evidence in the actual bill makes for a wrongheaded debate.
No, C51 does not "create" a police state, or fascism. No one is saying it "creates" these things. We've been living in a "soft" police state for quite some time and Canada (as has been discussed previously on this blog) has been fascist for quite some time. C51 is just one more incremental step down the slippery slope towards an implementation of a "hard" police state and overt fascism.
Journalists report the facts. They cannot say something is a real fear if there is proof it’s not. This is how they report criticisms of the bill:

“Neither the new disruptive powers nor the information-sharing provisions apply to “lawful” advocacy, protest or dissent, but many critics fear the bill could be used against activists who demonstrate without an official permit or despite a court order.” - Huffington Post
Considering it's been reported on significantly since Edward Snowden that Canada's intelligence agency views activism as a threat and that they are already avtively spying on and sharing information, whether legally or not, would say to me this is a reasonable concern regardless what language is used.
“Critics fear” something will happen vs. “something will happen” = a big difference.
This creates a “secret police”?
Is this not the same justification being used to pass the bill, that "proponents fear something will happen" and so they want everyone to give up more rights?
No. It doesn’t. CSIS has been around for decades. Why do people act like having a spy agency in Canada is new? It’s not. And, simply, CSIS cannot arrest people under the current bill.
No, but the RCMP can and has, and the information sharing makes this separation arbitrary and practically non-existent.
Why shouldn’t Trudeau change his stance? The bill is very unpopular and he may lose the election because of it.

He shouldn’t change it for several reasons.

1. Populism isn’t about being right. Doing the popular thing isn’t always the right thing. If we did, we’d still have the death penalty.
Protecting liberty above all else would be doing the right thing though, especially when the "threat" itself has been hyped, and manufactured.
2. Politically, Liberals have to stand firm on security and not cede the ground to the Conservatives. Liberals have been strong on domestic security since the FLQ crisis in 1970 (that’s where “Just Watch Me” comes from, people) and they brought in the anti-terrorism legislation post-9/11. They’ve always been a Party to keep Canadians safe, and (formerly PC) Canadians who formerly voted Harper should know Liberals would take threats seriously as they always have.
Ahh, I see, so it's not really about doing "the right thing", what Liberal supporters really believe is this is the "right" position to take for a political position so as not cede ground to the Conservatives. There is an awful lot of "politics" in the Liberals reasoning for supporting this bill despite the claims that it's about the "principle of security" and "putting people first".
3. The bill started out very popular from a shallow Conservative perspective. The bill is admittedly now unpopular among Canadians who have grown increasingly aware of the criticisms of the bill. In the end, Canadians who have actually studied the issue from both perspectives find themselves in a middle territory, likely with still a sour taste for the Conservative attempt to hoodwink them with the initial draft of the bill. Political junkies must remember that most Canadians aren’t even paying attention to politics yet before election time, and less informed or last minute voters are most likely to support more security measures (as they remain in first stage of awareness about this bill). They like feeling safer. They like Canada’s government fighting back against terrorism. They don’t want to pretend Canada is a place that can be isolationist, pacifist or complacent about global or domestic terrorism. Hopefully, they don’t all join the reactionary responders on the left by Election Day who have lumped this in with their other stands the 2003 Iraq war, the history of the middle east, and their general feeling that “war is bad.” Of course it is, but it doesn’t mean we should:
a) apologize for terrorists’ actions because of their motives’ sociological and historical root causes
b) accept that we’ve earned any terrorist attacks on our soil
c) stop tweaking our anti-terrorism measures to reflect the times.
Actually, we were *told* it started out popular but as I showed back then this so-called popularity was 100% manufactured by the system in the first place and never actually existed.
4. Mr. Trudeau said he’d vote for it. He said why for months. And he shouldn’t bend to people who haven’t done as much research on a complicated, nuanced Ottawa-bubble debate about the powers of CSIS in targeting suspected terrorists while models of oversight committees are decided upon. This bill won’t affect 99.9% of Canadians now that it is law. Let’s be serious. Do you do a lot of promotion of terrorism on your websites, in instructional terrorism DVDs or write online content that could be mistaken for plotting terrorism worthy of CSIS intervention?
The bigger issue with the law is that Canadians it does affect have no way of knowing whether or not they've been affected. The figure of 99.9% is also presumptive, the author has no data or knowledge on how this law will be used, who it will effect, or how. The 99.9% figure should be read as "the author is 99.9% confident the system will not abuse the trust he  claims you should implicitly give it".
5. Some polls show the bill being unpopular and some show it still being popular. It all depends on how the question is asked. Polls are polls. They go up and down. This election won’t be staked on security. It will be staked on the economy. It always is.
Polls are bullshit, used to influence and sway popular opinion via a methodology of using people's tribal group-think weakness and desire to fit in by portraying an idea as more (or less) popular than it truly is. By doing so the system can make someone who opposes the bill feel isolated in their belief even if everyone around them doesn't agree with them either but creating an illusion of a "silent majority" who support it.
Please read the bill and come back to the table for a real debate about anti-terrorism, and how it mayaffect the rights of a few Canadians mistakenly caught up in CSIS suspicions. 
Then we can talk about safeguards and procedures for that. Otherwise, accept that maybe Trudeau made a stand based on nuance, evidence, and didn’t take the easy way out of being on one extreme or the other.

National security shouldn’t be a political question for getting votes – it should be a policy one about the best bill. Do we have the best bill as is? No. It should be amended further than it has been. And that won’t happen until the Harper Government are replaced on October 19th. It’s easy for the NDP to make a clear “No” and it’s easy for the Conservatives to say “Yes” when it comes to a bill like C-51. They have no voters to lose. Liberals have thinking voters that fall on both extremes of issues, but most that fall in the middle and see both sides when presented with evidence. I hope that’s what my piece has done. In court, this would be called “reasonable doubt” of your former certitude about this issue. It’s a challenging one to get right, but one that can’t be left to people pandering to the extremes to solve.

If security is your issue, pick a responsible, reasonable option and vote Liberal on October 19th. And if you’re not going to vote Liberal, don’t make your vote against the Liberals be based on a wrong understanding of Bill C-51 please. Make an informed stand.
The "national security" and intelligence industrial complex isn't about "getting votes". It is a highly advanced systemic and incremental agenda that uses over-hyped rarely occurring crisis as a posterchild to gain popular support for bills that would otherwise be flatly rejected. The arguments were being told about C51 are the same ones weve been hearing about all of the previous "anti-terror" legislation that's been passed, that was supposed to make us safer, and apparently hasn't.

I have two words for anyone who believes in Justin Trudeau: Bill Blair.
And Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who has joined the Liberals as a star candidate, offers a glimpse of the Liberal balance: He said he supports the new powers for police and spy agencies, and doesn’t think they go too far – they just need to be balanced with more oversight and scrutiny, including bi-partisan parliamentary review. 
“At the same time, I also know the expectation of Canadians to ensure that our rights and freedoms are protected. And they have every right to be assured that there is effective – not partisan, but bi-partisan – and independent oversight.”“I think the powers are necessary. I’ve worked with the RCMP and I’ve worked with CSIS. I think that the job that they do on behalf of Canadians is critically important to our safety. And I know from experience the threat is real,” Mr. Blair, now the Liberal candidate in Scarborough Southwest, said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. 
Most Canadians believe more oversight is necessary, according to several opinion polls. But vocal opponents of Bill C-51 have also called for repeal of some of the new police and spy powers, like easier-to-obtain “peace bonds,” longer terms for preventive arrest without charge, and the new mandate for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to use unspecified measures to disrupt threats – including the ability to obtain warrants that allow agents to break the law or violate someone’s Charter rights.
You all remember Bill Blair, right?

Chief admits 5-metre G20 security rule didn't exist
Toronto's police chief is admitting there never was a five-metre rule that had people fearing arrest if they strayed too close to the G20 security perimeter. 
Civil libertarians were fuming after hearing Friday that the Ontario cabinet gave police the power to stop and search anyone coming within five metres of the G20 fences in Toronto for a one-week period.
However, the Ministry of Community Safety says all the cabinet did was update the law that governs entry to such places as court houses to include specific areas inside the G20 fences — not outside.
A ministry spokeswoman says the change was about property, not police powers, and did not include any mention of a zone five metres outside the G20 security perimeter. 
When asked Tuesday if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry's clarification, Chief Bill Blair smiled and said, "No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out."
Toronto Police staged a display of weaponry to demonstrate "the extent of the criminal conspiracy" among hard-line G20 protesters, but several of the items had nothing to do with the summit. 
Facing criticism for their tactics, police invited journalists on Tuesday to view a range of weapons, from a machete and baseball bat to bear spray and crowbars. 
Chief Bill Blair, who told reporters the items were evidence of the protesters' intent, singled out arrows covered in sports socks, which he said were designed to be dipped in a flammable liquid and set ablaze.

However, the arrows belong to Brian Barrett, a 25-year-old landscaper who was heading to a role-playing fantasy game when he was stopped at Union Station on Saturday morning. Police took his jousting gear but let Mr. Barrett go, saying it was a case of bad timing. 
In addition to the arrows - which Mr. Barrett made safe for live-action role playing by cutting off the pointy ends and attaching a bit of pool noodle covered in socks - police displayed his metal body armour, foam shields and several clubs made of plastic tubing covered with foam and fabric.
Is it really such a stretch of the imagination for CSIS to manufacture evidence that could indicate people involved in a "grand terrorist conspiracy", like the "grand criminal conspiracy" Bill Blair was never able to prove about the G20, and which has in fact been proven patently false?

Is it really such a stretch to think that the new information gathering, and capacity to profile could be abused to either plant or manufacture evidence against those deemed a political opponent?

Is it really such a stretch of the imagination to think laws that are on the books will very likely be abused when there is historical hard evidence that civil rights were massively violated on the basis of a law that didn't even exist by the person who is now Justin Trudeau's right-hand man on this issue?

Both the Conservatives, and the Liberals, wanted Bill Blair. If that doesn't show that party affiliation means nothing and that the Liberals and Conservatives are a 2 party/1 agenda type deal I don't know what will.


In the history of governments the reduction of freedom is never reversed, it's a one way road toward an incremental implementation of authoritarian control. Justin Trudeau is a snake-oil salesman that is being setup by the status-quo to form the next government. He is Canada's Obama, and while I admit having Harper as prime minister is horrible those expecting any sort of course change under Trudeau are going to be sorely disappointed.

(check back over the next few days as I add more examples and sources, I had limited time to write this up)

A reminder what happened at G20, and the lies told by Bill Blair, Trudeau's new "star candidate":

There'll be no shelter here, the front line is everywhere.


I've just noticed I actually sourced the wrong article regarding the passport issue, hopefully you'll forgive me as it can be awfully confusing to quickly gather sources especially when both Ottawa "terrorists" had "passport issues".
Couture-Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau also tangled with authorities over their passport. Couture-Rouleau's passport was seized after he was arrested at the airport in July while on his way to Turkey. Zehaf-Bibeau was apparently frustrated over the time it was taking to obtain a Canadian passport and the time it would take to get a Libyan passport. The RCMP said passport issues likely played a role in both the attacks.
Next, an interview with Justin Trudeau on CBC's "The House":

First observe how he really focuses and hammers home on a "transparent and open" government for the first 7 minutes. Particularly entertaining is how he talks about how governments should be answering questions of which he promptly destroys the notion he represents such a change for the astute listener with his avoidance of answering questions on C51 beginning at the 7:25 mark.

Trudeau when asked about MPs and "shared values embodied in the charter of Rights and Freedoms":

"What we mean by that is that a Liberal MP is someone who believes and upholds the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that's at the core of what we are."

If believing and upholding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is at their "core" than I find it really interesting that Bill Blair, now a "Liberal member", was personally responsible for the largest single violation of Charter Rights in Canada and he lied about a "vast criminal conspiracy" to justify it. Don't you?

Continue listening to this interview and notice how regarding C51 (and only C51) Trudeau's go to excuse is "not playing the politics of attack and fear". Also observe how when asked about what he would repeal he starts talking about amendments, he has to be asked several times what he would repeal and when he finally does answer it quickly rolls off his tongue not as a primary position but more as an after-thought (that would never be implemented even if he did get elected).

Quite simply Trudeau majorly agrees with this bill and wants it. He majorly agrees with nearly every aspect of it and the oversight as I've said is a controlled opposition argument (which gives the system what they want and allows the people to believe they "won" when in fact they haven't). If Trudeau truly had an issue with this bill and truly believed in the Charter of Rights than repealing warrant-less surveillance would be his primary talking point, not something he has to be asked 3 times before he thinks up an answer.


It's important to provide some more context to NATO's involvement in the creation and aid of what is now ISIS today. Back in 2012 I caught eye of an article put out by the Council on Foreign Relations about al-Qaeda's significant presence in the Syrian rebels prior to ISIS. This was before the time that NATO, particularly the U.S. was attempting to convince the world that Assad was bombing innocents and "his own people" to create the pretext for launching strikes on Syria (which now with the excuse of ISIS NATO has managed to gain public support for).

CFR: The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks
Al-Qaeda is not sacrificing its "martyrs" in Syria merely to overthrow Assad. Liberation of the Syrian people is a bonus, but the main aim is to create an Islamist state in all or part of the country. Failing that, they hope to at least establish a strategic base for the organization's remnants across the border in Iraq, and create a regional headquarters where mujahideen can enjoy a safe haven. If al-Qaeda continues to play an increasingly important role in the rebellion, then a post-Assad government will be indebted to the tribes and regions allied to the Jabhat. Failing to honor the Jabhat's future requests, assuming Assad falls, could see a continuation of conflict in Syria. 
Thus far, Washington seems reluctant to weigh heavily into this issue. In May 2012, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta publicly accepted al-Qaeda's presence in Syria (Guardian). And in July, the State Department's counterterrorism chief, Daniel Benjamin, rather incredulously suggested that the United States will simply ask the FSA to reject al-Qaeda. The unspoken political calculation among policymakers is to get rid of Assad first—weakening Iran's position in the region—and then deal with al-Qaeda later.
They knew. THEY FUCKING KNEW! Ok folks? They knew about this threat BEFORE they discarded it as an inconvenient truth to their geopolitical strategy. Which has FAILED! Your security, and safety, isn't on the radar. Seriously. NATO has created the entire context and threat by aiding the "rebels", the same ones that were in Libya. In the case of Libya NATO was able to mostly hide the fact they were actually helping al-Qaeda overthrow governments. In Syria this truth got in the way of doing what they did to Libya, it was why NATO countries like Canada couldn't get popular support because we would have been aiding al-Qaeda. The U.S. of course was aiding them anyway.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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