Tuesday, June 16, 2015

C-51 Meeting Two - Back to the Shit

So, last time, Megan Leslie of the NDP got to have an adult conversation with the spokespersons from the BCCLA and Greenpeace. Now we're back to a harpercon, so things will probably descend into madness and stupidity ...

    Thank you, Mr. Chair, and I thank the witnesses for coming to talk about this very important bill.

    I will be sharing my time with Ms. James and I'd like to let her go ahead of me, before I finish up.

    Thank you, LaVar.
    And thank you, Mr. Chair, and thanks to our witnesses.
    I just want to correct some of the misconceptions I've heard so far in this committee. I'll start with information sharing.
    There seems to be an implied belief that someone who is protesting lawfully, or perhaps unlawfully because they don't necessarily have a municipal permit, would somehow come under the scrutiny of being spied on. That is absolutely not the case. 
Aside from the fact that protesters are already being spied on, harassed and attacked, Ms. James has a good point. However, not putting those facts aside, and acknowledging them, shows that Ms. James is completely full of shit and either a total ignoramus or a shameless liar.
    The aspect of this bill has five different parts. The first one is information sharing. It has absolutely nothing to do with law enforcement, the RCMP, or CSIS. It's the ability for agencies to be able to share information from one branch of the government to another. 
For the purposes of law enforcement you imbecile!
    It's also a two-pronged approach, if you read the bill. On page 3, it specifically states:

     For greater certainty, it does not include lawful advocacy, protest, dissent and artistic expression.
    Now, some of the concerns I've heard have been about cases in which it's unlawful or there is no municipal permit. If you look clearly at the bill, the fact of the matter is that the same proposed section talks about the purpose of the Information Sharing Act. It has to do with “activity that undermines the security of Canada”, including activities that undermine “the sovereignty, security, territorial integrity of Canada or the lives or the security of the people of Canada”. So, unless your unlawful protest is somehow going to include blowing up infrastructure, I think you're misinterpreting this proposed section in the bill.
Ms. James, given the fact that your government claims that parliamentary democracy undermines the economy of Canada and is therefore almost tantamount to terrorism, I suggest you take another look at the broad wording of this stupid bill and remember just how much of a paranoid authoritarian you are. You and your whole party.
    The second thing I want to clarify before I pass it over to my colleague, Mr. Payne, has to do with preventative arrest, detention, and the extension of the 24-hour period to up to seven days. It seems to have been implied that someone is going to be simply thrown in jail and that the police officer or the investigator who initiated that is somehow going to leave on vacation. 
Again, this idiot isn't asking questions, but giving testimony. Like her colleagues, she has no faith in her ability to debate the witnesses, so she simply dispels their time by engaging in a self-serving monologue.
    That's simply not the case. They actually must have the consent of the Attorney General; it has to go before a judge; the judge has to review all of the evidence that would warrant someone's being detained for 24 hours; then there is a review period every 48 hours after that, up to the maximum of seven days.
     In that period, the person who has brought this before the judge to seek this type of detention has to prove that there is an ongoing investigation, that they are accumulating information, and give the reasons for there being a delay. This is all necessary. This has clearly been identified by our security and national security agencies. In fact, at Tuesday's meeting we heard that these types of measures are absolutely critical to the RCMP to carry out their investigations.
Right. So, what Canadians must hope for is that there are enough judges who would refuse to engage in this sort of behaviour so as to render Bill C-51 null and void. In which case, why go through the bother of passing the stupid thing in the first place. And, finally, notice again how yet another harpercon sleaze is incapable of describing that narrow legal category wherein an individual is not  innocent, but cannot be criminally charged, but can be detained on secret evidence for up to a week.
     I just wanted to clear up those two things that I've heard so far as misconceptions of the bill.
     I now will pass my remaining time over to Mr. Payne.
Obviously, Mr. Payne was even less capable than Ms. James, or else he would have read the same prepared remarks himself.
     Thank you, Ms. James.
    Certainly Ms. James touched on some of the areas that I want to touch on, but I guess what I want to say is that this information sharing power enables for national security purposes. It doesn't compel any government or any one arm to share with another one if they don't want to. Also, for your information, I don't need to repeat it twice, but it's subject to the Privacy Commissioner's review. There is another pillar there that certainly protects individuals.
There's so much nonsense in that quote that I can't ... IF you have a government that is united in a policy and that sees protests against that policy as treason, and if this government sees the widespread powers of Bill C-51 as useful tools to attack dissent, and not as frightening tools of state power, then of course they'll "want" to share information of Canadians with one another. And, furthermore, while people are being picked-up willy-nilly and their assets seized and searched, knowing that there might be a slap on the wrist for the government from a possible review by the Privacy Commissioner, isn't going to do much to mitigate the chill on public protest that this Bill will create.
    Anyway, the purpose of the act is sharing for national security threats, so it makes me wonder if your organization is a national security threat. I see that your organization is protesting pipelines and forestry projects, but I didn't hear anything to indicate to me that you were planning to bomb any Canadian infrastructure or sabotage electrical grids, so I wonder if you consider yourself to be a national security threat and if you understand the definition: that it won't apply to you as long as you don't commit any of these terrorist activities. That seems to be fairly clear to me. 
This stupid asshole should read the news more closely. THEY'RE ALREADY BEING TARGETED FUCK-FACE!!!!
    I think Minister Blaney was also clear on Tuesday that lawful and unlawful protest will not meet the threshold for information sharing. I'm sure you are aware that there are two tests to make sure that the information sharing can take place. First, I'll point out that the information is not the collection of new information; it is the sharing of current information and has nothing to do with the arrest or prosecution. Even if your protest is interfering with critical infrastructure, that is only one test. A very important and pertinent second test is whether or not the protest is undermining “the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada or the lives or the security of the people of Canada”.
I see that, actually, Mr. Payne is giving his own monologue. If he'd actually let the witnesses testify, they might be able to tell him (AGAIN) that the wording of the legislation actually does capture peaceful civil disobedience and that it should therefore be re-written. 
    Mr. Payne, I'm sorry, but we are out of time, sir. I'm sorry. You're just getting started, I realize, but our first hour of testimony has expired. Certainly, I'd like to express regrets that we all haven't had an opportunity—
    Point of order, Mr. Easter.
    Yes, Mr. Chair, one of the parties in this lineup hasn't had the opportunity to question the witnesses. That's really problematic.
     I understand that we're out of the first hour, but if the hearing process is going to eliminate the ability of one of the parties to raise questions, then we have a severe problem.
    Thank you very much.
    Do you have another point of order, Ms. James, or are you speaking to the same point of order?  
    Thank you. I was just going to suggest that we limit the opening remarks, and instead of having them up to a maximum of 10 minutes, we perhaps reduce them to 7 or 8 minutes in order to accommodate the third party.
    Okay. I understand Mr. Easter's point, and it is a valid point. No one wants to be excluded from having an opportunity to question.
     There were two problems. One, of course, was that we had the point of order first by Mr. Easter, which took some significant time away from the opportunity. However, that aside, I think that in all fairness what the chair is prepared to do at this particular point is to suggest that when our next witnesses come forward, I will encourage them to keep it as short as possible, then take a look at the time that is left after that and spread it equally among the four parties, the four original first-round people.
    That is the chair's decision as to where he is going to go on this issue. The questioners might get seven minutes and the questioners might get five minutes, depending on the time that is left, but at least our first full rounds of questioners will be available so that each party will certainly have their opportunity.
    I would like to move on to our next witnesses. If you have a point of order, state it prior to that, but right now the chair would like to suspend. Is it on this point?
    Mr. Randall Garrison: Yes.
    The Chair: Okay. Go ahead, Mr. Garrison.
    This is exactly the concern we raised with the government when we were setting the number of witnesses. We objected very strongly to having three witnesses per panel because of exactly this problem.
     When we've invited people here to give their testimony, we're now going to cut them short, and we're going to cut the questioning short. I want it very clear on the record that this is a result of the government's insistence on having three witnesses per panel instead of two witnesses per panel, as we thought would be appropriate.
    Thank you very much. The chair will just simply not respond accordingly, other than the fact that it has been the practice of this committee on most occasions to have up to three witnesses...so this is certainly not an exception. It has been normally the rule.
    The chair would like to move on. We have other witnesses to hear. Unless there is a point of order on the same point, the chair is willing to rule.
    Yes, Ms. James.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    The guidelines that are set out for this committee, which the entire committee as a whole agreed upon, basically scheduled the time for questions to be the first round at seven minutes for the Conservatives, seven minutes for the NDP, seven minutes for the Conservatives, and so forth. It goes in that rotation.
     I would like to request that we stick to those original guidelines, as we've done in the past when we've had three witnesses, which is the standard practice of this committee. It's to have three witnesses per hour. That's nothing new. It's what was agreed upon. That we just reduce the length of the opening remarks to seven or eight minutes would certainly accommodate the ability for the third party, the lone Liberal individual, to have a chance to ask some questions.  
     The chair will do what he can do to try to provide some balance here.
    We will now suspend to bring in our next witnesses and thank our witnesses for coming here. Your appearance is very much appreciated.
    Thank you very much.
I think the thing to remember about that whole exchange is that the Conservative Party of Canada has been documented as wanting to make parliamentary committees dysfunctional. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they'll take a contentious bill such as this and make the hearings a useless farce, using their time for questioning to provide self-serving speeches about how wonderful their legislation is.
These people are the scum of the earth and the people who vote for them are either ignorant, stupid, greedy or some combination of the three.


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