Wednesday, April 15, 2015

C-51 Committee Evidence

This is what I'll do until I get bored I guess.

     We will call this meeting to order.

    I would ask the media present to slip out now with the cameras. Thank you very much.
    Welcome, colleagues, to meeting number 53 of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
    Today, under the orders of the day and pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, February 23, 2015, we are looking at Bill C-51, an act to enact the security of Canada information sharing act and the secure air travel act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.
    Appearing as witnesses today, we have the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
    We have from the Department of Justice, William F. Pentney, deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general of Canada, and Donald K. Piragoff, senior assistant deputy minister, policy sector.
    We also have from the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, François Guimont, deputy minister. From the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, we have Michel Coulombe, director. From the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, we have Bob Paulson, commissioner.
    On a point of order, Mr. Garrison.

And Garrison of the NDP has a good question:

    Mr. Chair, I appreciate the officials who are here, but we seem to be missing one official this morning, and that's the Privacy Commissioner, who is an officer of Parliament. I would ask for unanimous consent of the committee to move the following motion: That the clerk be directed to schedule one additional one-hour meeting of this committee to allow the Privacy Commissioner, Daniel Therrien, to appear before the committee.

Right. Because as I understand it, on this important bill detailing the increased powers to our domestic spying agency, the harpercons refused to allow the Privacy Commission to testify. Democratically-minded people of average intelligence could draw some conclusions from that.

    It is a point of order, sir, and you have the floor, but you generally cannot move a motion while you have the floor on a point of order.

    Mr. Chair, I think I could do so with the unanimous consent of the committee, so once again, I'll ask for unanimous consent of the committee to move the motion.
This is theatre of course. The harpercons stole a majority and they did it for a reason.
    Mr. Garrison has asked for unanimous consent. I'm looking around the room. Does Mr. Garrison have unanimous consent to move the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
What'd I tell you?

Now what?

 The Chair: We will now go to our witnesses. We will have our ministers speak briefly, which will give us an opportunity to discuss the bill.

    We will start off with Mr. Blaney.

    I will be giving my presentation in both official languages. I invite my colleagues to use the excellent service provided by our interpreters if they wish to do so.

    Mr. Easter, on a point of order.

    Mr. Chair, I am coming back to a point of order that I've raised a number of times. Commissioner Paulson was before this committee and he brought written text with him. The ministers have the full staff of all the departments. There is no reason in the world why, for an important bill like this, the ministers cannot provide this committee with their written remarks in both official languages. I see no reason why they cannot do it. I think it's unacceptable.

    Ms. Ablonczy.

    Mr. Chair, Mr. Easter was a minister of the crown. Mr. Easter appeared before committee in that capacity five times, once before a Senate committee. I believe the record will show that not once did he provide a written statement to committee. He's completely without credibility in raising this and I just wish he would stop it.

Well, I have no idea what that was about. It would have been nice if the MP's had written notes to work from. But was Wayne Easter the wrong guy to make the request? If so, he must have known his attempt would have been dismissed that way.

    Thank you very much. The points have been made by both sides. The chair considers them argumentative and at this point we're not going to discuss it further.

     Mr. Blaney, you have the floor again.

    Mr. Chair, as you know, I am very proud to speak French, which is my mother tongue. I will be pleased to do part of my speech in English.
    I am happy to be here this morning to set the record straight on certain points. 


I am very proud to be here with my colleague and friend, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, whom I respect deeply. 

I think I might puke. MacKay is another asshole. And a moron.

We prepared this bill with him. We are proud to be here to protect the rights of Canadians.

But that's not what this bill is about, is it?

Let me first address the video produced by the criminal who attacked this very Parliament building and murdered Corporal Nathan Cirillo, which you viewed this past Friday.

 The Petit Larousse definition is clear and it is used by Commissioner Paulson, the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, or even President François Hollande, who described the act committed here as “terrorist-inspired”. It was an act of violence, a dramatic gesture driven by ideology.
    Clearly, every time I appear here, I remember that I was here that day with Minister MacKay and several colleagues from the government caucus. We were witnesses to and victims of this attack. I had the opportunity to meet with all the members of the committee to tell them that we must remain vigilant and confident, and to take the necessary measures, while protecting the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and privacy to effectively fight the evolving terrorist threat. This is my primary duty as Minister of Public Safety.
That, ladies and gentlemen, appears to be the extent of Blaney's addressing of the video of Zehaf-Bibeau. Zehaf-Bibeau's case would have been better addressed by drug decriminalization, addiction treatment and mental health care. None of these options are going to be considered by the harpercons. In fact, they would be pointedly rejected and countered with their exact opposites; harsher drug laws, closing down of addiction treatment services and slashing of federal contributions to health care. 

And what are we talking about here? "Terrorism"? I repeat as long as it's necessary, that the worst terrorist atrocity in Canada occurred way back in 1985. We existed quite happily since 1985 up until the post-September 11th, 2001 terrorism began to afflict Canada. That's over 15 years of getting on quite well without legislation such as this. 

Since 2001, CSIS and/or the RCMP have broken the infamous "Toronto 18" (some of whom were teenaged boys who went to jail because the religious fitness camp they signed-up for was, unbeknownst to them, "associated" with terrorism, and all of whom would have had nothing to do with anything were it not for the coke-addicted RCMP informant who stirred them up), the "Canada Day Bombers" (two recovering heroin addicts who had recently converted to Islam so successfully that they were kicked out of their local mosque, and who, from the transcripts from their trial, appear unable to organize a piss-up in a brewery except with the coaching, encouragement and assistance from the RCMP officer posing as their mentor). 
They also got five (that I know of) Canadian citizens subjected to torture in Egypt, Syria and the Sudan. Supposedly all these men were suspected of being big-time terrorist operatives. But it's kind of hard to torture people for up to TWO YEARS and not extract ANYTHING from them if they really were terrorist operatives. (And, when you consider the fact that Omar Khadr was talked into stating that he'd seen Maher Arar at a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and Ezra Levant - a bigger terrorist than any of those tortured guys - crowed about that, only for surveillance evidence to show that Arar had been in Ottawa at the time, ... it seems inarguable that these fellow citizens of our country, Canada, are innocent.)

To be fair, over a decade after 2001, and after our occupation of Afghanistan, and after over a decade of rampaging Islamophobic bigotry, including state harassment of Muslims and Arabs, and after over a decade of US-American depredations in the Middle East, which then-president bush II referred to as "a crusade" and in which one US general bragged that the USA won because "my God was bigger than their God," and decades of western support for Israel's abuse of the Palestinians, ... a few individuals have begun to act-out in the name of Islam. 

We should add to the above contributors to "radicalization" of Muslims in Canada, the direct financial support to radical, fundamentalist Islam of US-ally Saudi Arabia. The direct political support to armed Sunni-fundamentalist groups by US-ally Saudi Arabia. And the opportunities for further expansion for these radical groups by the USA, using them as proxies in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. I mean, if we're going to talk about the great struggle of our time, ... isn't it fucking weird how they're so much the product of a major US ally, and a beneficiary of US foreign policy?

I'll make a post, wherein I'll explain that GBWT means "Great Bullshit War on Terror" and I'll just use the acronym from then on.

Anyhoo, ... yes, since 2001, besides uncovering two dubious conspiracies, subjecting (at least) five innocent Canadians to torture, employing security certificates against numerous immigrants with evidently no terrorist connections, there has also been what appears to be a genuine plot by two Muslim men to blow-up a VIA train, the crazed attack by a homeless former crack-head (that resulted in the tragic death of Nathan Cirillo), and a second tragedy when another recent convert to Islam used his car to strike-down and kill Patrice Vincent.

Now, what do all of these genuine plots and attacks have in common? The answer is Canadian government (especially harper government) support for interventions in Muslim countries.

"So he was really mad that Canada actually supported the American bombing of [ISIS] in Syria and Iraq so I think that was the main motive in killing that Canadian soldier."

Parliament Hill shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau tied his attack on Cpl. Nathan Cirillo to Canadian Forces missions in Afghanistan and Iraq in a cellphone video he recorded ahead of the fatal shooting on Oct. 22, 2014.

On the first day of the trial, Crown lawyer Croft Michaelson said the pair made up a terrorist group operating in Canada in 2012.
“Mr. Esseghaier and Mr. Jaser, motivated by Islamic extremism, agreed that they would murder persons to instil fear in the community,” Michaelson said in his opening remarks.
“They did this so that Canadians and Americans would remove their troops from Muslim lands.”
Esseghaier, a Tunisian national who was doing doctoral research on nanosensors in Quebec, travelled to Iran in early 2012 and met with people who were, in his words, “carrying out Jihad for the sake of Allah,” Michaelson said.
“Mr. Esseghaier returned to Canada intent on establishing a terrorist cell to facilitate and carry out terrorist acts in Canada,” he said.
Jaser, a permanent resident of Palestinian descent, got involved with Esseghaier and wanted to “conduct multiple missions so people in Canada would realize they would not be safe until they left the lands overseas,” Michaelson said.
Now, you can argue about the merits of our post-2001 interventions. You can argue about the Israel-Palestine conflict and Canada's position on that topic. You can argue as to whether we should allow our foreign policies to be partially based on terrorist responses to them. But what you CANNOT do, is argue that our recent foreign policies have not inspired these attacks. What you CANNOT do is do what our shit-for-brains, unelected scum-bag of a prime minister, stephen harper has done, which is to blither that Canada is being attacked for being Canada
Canadians, he said, "are targeted by these terrorists for no other reason than that we are Canadians. They want to harm us because they hate our society and the values it represents."
No harper. NO. That's FALSE. It is not true. It is a lie. You are lying. 
And my stating this simple fact does not meant that I'm caving-in to the terrorists. I am not running off to hide in a closet and abandoning everyone else LIKE YOU DID. 
If we are going to have a conversation about terrorism in Canada, then let it be an honest one. Let it be one based on the facts.
You'll notice, I've departed some ways from Steven Blaney's testimony to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. But in some ways, I haven't. I think that if we're going to listen to this man's stupid yammerings, it is important that we understand what we're talking about. The threat he claims he's responding to. The self-serving claims from himself, the idiot Peter MacKay and the whole harpercon gang of scuzz-balls, about how they're trying to "keep Canadians safe" with their STASI legislation. The fact of the matter is that the "thinking" behind Bill C-51 is so divorced from reality, so irrelevant with regards to the facts, that a restatement of what has really been going on is crucial. Hence this digression from Blaney's bullshit.


Filcher said...

I think Harper is partly right, the Terrorists do hate what our society has morphed into under Harper, a pariah state that supports never ending war and and corporate human rights abuse in the name of profit. Keep up the blog Thwap, you lighten the muddiness of the modern wrld, and I thank you.

thwap said...


Thanks for the comment. I certainly think they're opposed to harper's gleeful/mindless abuse of Muslims.