Thursday, April 30, 2015

No-Fly Lists

It appears that Liberal Wayne Easter is going to ask about No-Fly Lists and C-51:
     Mr. Easter.

    Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you, Ministers and officials, for coming.
    Minister Blaney, before I get to the more substantive issue, I have a minor but important issue. You mentioned the appeals process for the no-fly list. Most of us as members of Parliament have had some experience with trying to get people off the no-fly list. You talked about the appeals.
    In the legislation, it says, “If the Minister does not make a decision in respect of the application within 90 days”—then there's a little wording—“the Minister is deemed to have decided not to remove the applicant's name from the list.”
    That's really not much of an appeals process, Minister. You do not even have to respond. I think you need to consider an amendment in that regard and go the other way, that the minister must respond within 90 days.

Yeah. That sounds like a good point.

    To the more substantive issue, you said in your remarks that you're dramatically increasing judicial oversight and review. In response to Mr. Garrison's remarks, you said a warrant is required every time there's legal authorization. I submit that a judicial submission to carry out a certain act is not, in any sense of the word, oversight. It's authorization before the action happens.

    Maybe you could explain that process. Where's the oversight after the warrant is granted?
Hon. Steven Blaney:
     I thank you for your question. Once again, I think it's another opportunity to clarify oversight versus review.
     We would be, in terms of threat diminishment, the only country that is involving this warrant issued by a judge when conducting activities that could have an impact on the rights of Canadians or their privacy. The fact that the judge is involved.... In the warrant, the activity that would be conducted will be described. The judge could even ask for a third party to bring some different views. We are actually the only country.... All the others are strictly keeping only—what could I say?—administrative oversight. So this is oversight.

Aside from the fact that I'm not even sure if Blaney is telling the truth here, ... it's pretty weak reasoning to say that increased powers for CSIS are unproblematic because other countries have even less control over their secret police.

    Then, as you know, we have a review mechanism, but once again, we have a warrant. There's a judge who has to be consulted and who has to authorize. The judge can also modify the mandate if he has any concerns. He can refuse or modify. He can ask a third party. He can also ask for third party reviews.

    Minister, that is not oversight, and your colleague, Minister MacKay, knows that's not oversight.
     He and I sat on a committee together. We did a lot of travelling together. I will admit, Minister MacKay, that at the time you were probably one of the most enthusiastic people for parliamentary oversight similar to our Five Eyes partners.
    Minister Blaney, you can say that no other country provides the judicial warrants, but your explanation confirms what I claim, that it's only authorization to do a, b, c, or d. You also know that Judge Mosley's decision indicated that CSIS was not quite as upfront with Judge Mosley as they had indicated, and he corrected them on that. He came out quite angrily about their having gone further than they were authorized to do. These things happen. It makes the point that judicial authorization is not oversight. It's not adequate. Canadians want to see oversight.

Right. All excellent points.

     I have to ask Minister MacKay, who sat on that committee with me in 2004, which ended up with Bill C-81.... We went to the U.K., Washington, etc. We called for that. Why were you so supportive then, Minister? Now you think with all these additional powers for CSIS, the RCMP, the Criminal Code, etc., that we don't need oversight in this country for all of our national security agencies. We need it. We need it more than we ever did before.

    Let me begin by stating, Mr. Easter, I well recall being part of that committee as an opposition member. You, of course, were a member of the government and didn't take the opportunity to act on those recommendations.

    Yes, we did. We introduced Bill C-81.

    In fact, you were in government for, I believe, 14 years and as a government never enacted those oversight recommendations that you so enthusiastically embrace today.

    In 2004....

    However, in 2004 you were a member of the government, so you had a mandate to do something about it, and you didn't. You failed.

Well, that was a highly unedifying spectacle wasn't it? This is what makes politics such a sordid topic. MacKay doesn't dispute Easter's criticisms that he's now backing off judicial oversight guarantees that he championed while in opposition. He's just pointing out that Easter is as full of shit as he was. C-81 never got past first reading. The Liberals stayed in power until 2006, so I can't say that there wasn't enough time to have implemented that legislation.
"Liberal, Tory, same old story?" Both parties are beholden to the ridiculous premises that are behind the Anti-Terrorism Act. Corporate capitalism wants the rights of the citizenry to resist corporate plundering to be eviscerated. BOTH of these parties are eager accomplices. (Fucking leading Liberal John Manley going on to head the Canadian Council of Chief Executives is evidence enough of that!) One party is just more wedded to actually imbecilic social policies and thuggery. (Hint: It's the "Conservatives.") But they all insist on going through this trite political theatre. Sigh. 

    The truth of the matter is, looking at those examples around the world today, the real oversight comes.... I think you as a former solicitor general would be quick to agree that the real oversight comes from those with expertise in the area of security—I think you would agree with that—those who have had experience in the field, those who have had legal experience, training, or judicial experience.

What meaningless twaddle!

     I would suggest to you that when you examine some of those examples, including in the U.K.... I was recently in London, and you're seeing now their parliamentary oversight committee coming under a fair degree of criticism, because they've been subject to political interference, scandal in fact, that has undermined that parliamentary committee's objectivity, perhaps, and the ability to do the actual job that was asked of them.
    I also note, on the area of expertise, that you, yourself, were quoted in the paper, in the context of this examination of the bill, as saying, “We’re not the experts, we’re there to listen and learn”.

No question you're a shit-head Peter MacKay. But you've just basically denigrated the entire principle of democracy right there. (BTW: The only references to a scandal involving a UK parliamentary intelligence committee scandal that I can find refer to INSUFFICIENT oversight of government spying. It wouldn't surprise me if that's what MacKay is referring to. Because he's a shameless, not-too-bright bull-shitter.)
     I think, on balance, if we want to have true oversight, we need not only to have a mandate but also to have people in those oversight positions, such as SIRC, that have the ability to ask the proper questions, to delve into the detail that's necessary, and are able to report—

     Former politicians on SIRC, Minister? Come on; former politicians on SIRC?

    The Chair: Mr. Easter, we're over time.
    Hon. Wayne Easter: Yes, we need expertise. You have it—

    Thank you very much

Whether his concerns are genuine or not, Easter is referring to criticisms of SIRC that I've mentioned in a recent post. "Ex-Spy Watchdog Plunkett Calls CSIS Civilian Review 'A Joke":
With the IG gone, that left SIRC as the only agency that occasionally takes a glance over the shoulders of our spies. But, as Plunkett rightly points out, SIRC’s mandate does not include oversight of CSIS — nor is it much of a review agency.
SIRC is a limp, ineffectual body that, from time to time, administers complaints about CSIS it receives from the public. Its five-member part-time executive committee — the current committee has been short one member for ages — meets a few times every other month, and tends to be comprised of ex-politicians looking for something to do with their spare time.
SIRC’s acting chair is Deborah Grey, the former Reform Party MP who — ironically — once agreed with her ex-boss, Preston Manning, when he denounced SIRC in the House of Commons as a useless dumping ground for surplus government hacks.
For her part, Plunkett’s current assessment of SIRC is simple, clear and absolutely bang-on.
“This government, even though they go on and on about security, they have no interest in accountability so they put their political hacks in that joke of a committee called SIRC,” Plunkett told me.
“It really is a complaints body … They have a small office who they present their reports to, are all political appointees who come to Ottawa for a day and half every two months. So where is the oversight there?
“You know, no one is going to present a report in those offices that is going to ruffle feathers.”
So, ... at the end of the day, whatever his defects, Easter had some valid complaints about this legislation.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

C-51 Hearing: Question About Info-Sharing

harpercon MP Rick Norlock finishes his questioning by asking RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson a question about information sharing between his agency and Citizenship and Immigration: 
    For my next question, Commissioner Paulson can comment. On Friday we heard Commissioner Paulson, who came before the committee, and we viewed the tape, of course, of the murderer of Corporal Nathan Cirillo. During the question and answer period, he indicated that he was able to receive passport information and that in this particular case the information sharing was sufficient.

    Could you tell us through which mechanism that would have occurred and some of the gaps that this legislation closes with regard to information sharing?

    Mr. Chair, going back to Friday, I would want to claim the discussion on that was around Mr. Garrison's suggestion that the collection of evidence that would have led to this imaginary charge that I put forward in my comments around had Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau not been killed, we would have charged him, was in the post-event collection of information and not in the real exchange of information. Once the act took place, of course, everybody was happy to share information and the information was flowing rather well. I think that, hopefully, clarifies. 

It doesn't clarify for me how Citizenship & Immigration is already able to deny passports to people seeking to join the fundamentalist rebels in Syria at the present without this legislation.

But I did realize that our federal police service is run by a guy named Bob (Robert) Paulson. That's kind of a hoot.
"He has a name. His name is Robert Paulson."

Well, that's all the blogging you fuckers are gonna get outta me today! I'm off to jail. (Maybe.) I'll leave you with some musical entertainment ...


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CON MP Norlock asks MacKay to Blabber About New Censorship Laws

And we're right back in the shit again. With some harpercon-stolen-majority MP Rick Norlock getting his turn to question anti-democratic thug/"justice minister" Peter Mackay. He'll be asking for the harpercon rationalizations for the new powers C-51 gives the government to fight ideas that the government chooses to equate with "terrorism" (well on its way to becoming the most nebulous word in the English language).*
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and through you, to the witnesses, thank you for appearing today.
     My first question will be for Minister MacKay.

    Could you explain the gap in the legislation you're trying to fill? I'm referring mainly to the promotion and takedown thresholds with regard to Internet sites. We've heard some folks say that this portion of the legislation is an attack on our freedom of speech. I don't believe it is. I do not believe that promoting the commission of terrorist acts is acceptable.
What a stupid fucking weasel! Self-evident idiocy. As if people with concerns about the extent of the powers of this bill are actually calling for the right to promote genuine terrorism. (Or will right-wing anti-Arab racists cheering on the slaughter of Palestinians also have their websites expunged or removed from the internet?)

    Could you explain the legislation and how it is different from the current hate speech laws that are focused on certain groups

    Thank you very much for the question, Mr. Norlock.

    As you'll be aware, there are current sections of the Criminal Code, and you've alluded to them, where certain types of material, certain statements, and certain speech are deemed to run up against other charter rights. What we're attempting to do here, through the criminal law, is to balance out those freedom of speech and privacy provisions versus material, words, that can be in fact very harmful. The examples of hate propaganda advocating genocide and of course the area of child pornography, pornography, are well understood.
Is it just me, or is MacKay babbling? Did Norlock "allude" to anything in that softball question? Do certain kinds of speech run up against the right to privacy? Because that's what he said. But then eventually he goes on to say he's trying to balance freedom of speech with public safety. It seems more and more that MacKay is a career bullshitter of the merely semi-talented kind.

    With respect to the advocating for or the promotion of terrorism, we believe that the current Criminal Code as drafted is insufficient in allowing us to protect the public from the very real and I would say corrosive effects of terrorism and the promotion of same. What we are doing through this legislation is enabling our criminal justice system to respond appropriately to ensure that that material, when deemed to fall into that category, is subject to removal. To meet that test, we know that there is a requirement to make application before a judge to weigh that material appropriately against other rights, and then make a determination. The wording is drafted in a way that any offences that would be laid, any charges that would be laid, take into consideration things such as recklessness, which is another legal standard to be applied, and the proposed offence is not focused, as I said in my remarks, on what has been somewhat controversial in other countries, and that is the subject of glorification. 
OMFG. The jist of that word soup is that C-51 will allow the government to be able to have the power to take down internet sites that "glorify" terrorism. It would seem apropos then, if MacKay would tell us what "terrorism" and "glorification of terrorism" mean. (Perhaps he will. I'm posting my commentary as I read.)

    The standard to be applied here is the promotion or the advocacy, the encouraging, the efforts to actually draw a person into committing acts of terrorism. These terms of “advocate” or “promote”, some have said are quite vague. There was case law in this area already. There was existing jurisprudence that is instructive in that regard. There are a number of Canadian cases that I could cite for you. Keegstra in 1990 is a well-known Supreme Court case that goes into the area of promotion and speaks of active support or instigation. A 2001 Supreme Court case of the Queen and Sharpe, involving possession of child pornography talks about advocating. This bill, Bill C-51, reflects the Supreme Court's definition that already exists when it comes to terms such as “advocacy” and “promotion” for offences. It's the idea of counselling or inciting and that material then to be viewed leads to that type of encouraging or incitement of terrorism.

I think I'm starting to understand why MacKay decided that neo-Nazi white kids plotting to shoot-up a mall food court wasn't "terrorism." Calling Nazis "terrorists" would bring down the wrath of the state against all the fascist harpercon fan-boys, at home and abroad, which would be so inconvenient for them. Remember people, these harpercon scum voted AGAINST a UN measure to suppress the "glorification of Nazism" on "free speech" grounds. Keep that thought in mind as you read through MacKay's slithering that he pretends was a heart-felt attempt to balance freedom of speech with public safety.

It's funny that MacKay mentions Keegstra. He was the Holocaust denier who taught anti-Semitic hatred as an Alberta high school teacher who was successfully prosecuted for "promoting" hatred by the Supreme Court. Recently, the harpercons voted for the (eventually successful) C-304 An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (Protecting Freedom), which:

The new law doesn’t make hate speech legal on the web or by phone -- hate speech remains illegal under the Criminal Code. But by removing it from the Canadian Human Rights Act, it takes away the authority of the country’s human rights commissions to investigate online hate speech and request that violating websites be taken down.
So, in the crazy land of Kanadian Konservatism, Israel is one of Canada's dearest friends, it's wanton slaughter of the Palestinians is beyond reproach, but right-wing anti-Semitism is still protected speech and neo-Nazis planning to shoot-up their fellow Canadians isn't "terrorism." I don't even want to try to reconcile such fevered delusions.

Queen v Sharpe and "advocacy" refers to the Supreme Court decision that said that works that advocate sexual acts with minors are illegal. The words "sex acts with minors" aren't confusing though. We know what that means. The tricky word is "advocates." The problem for Canada is that parents taking pictures of their kids playing in the tub have gotten into trouble. Sane, intelligent people aren't as quick as Peter MacKay and his moronic supporters to say: "I know what 'x' is when I see it! Lock 'em up! Ban 'em!" With the word "terrorism" it's even worse. Unlike "sex with minors" the concept "terrorism" is deliberately left vague, which gives the state even more leeway to decide who is advocating it or not. 

I suspect MacKay knows this. He isn't particularly smart, and he's deluded, but he's also possessed of a low cunning and has been empowered by his corporate masters to pursue their very definite agenda.

     Thank you very much.

WTF??? Norlock considers that convoluted non-answer to be an answer? What a farce!

    My next question will be for Minister Blaney.

    Mr. Blaney wished to comment on that, I believe.

     Mr. Norlock, I want to salute the measures that Minister MacKay just explained, because as you know, our government has tabled a counterterrorism strategy that has four pillars: prevent, detect, deny, and respond. 

I'm sure this will be VERY illuminating and VERY important! 

    The fact is that as a government, as a society, we will be able to shut down those websites that are promoting hatred and violence. 

Unless, of course, they're the forms of hatred and violence that you're cool with.

It's a tool helping us with the first pillar dealing with the prevention of radicalization, because as we know, and we've heard it, the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chamber; it began with words, so we have to be careful. That's why I feel this measure is so important. 

Oh! This was the issue that caused such a big stink before. Stated here, in the context of a party that voted AGAINST the state having the power to take down websites that post hateful views against minorities, and voted AGAINST a UN resolution to combat the glorification of Nazism on free-speech grounds, it's really more appallingly cynical than before.

    I am also committed as the Minister of Public Safety to work with my partners such as Minister Bernard Cazeneuve of France, and our European and American partners, so that websites that could be hosted in another country could also be shut down if they are promoting hatred, extremist ideology, and violence.

    I believe this measure in Bill C-51 is helping the four pillars of our counterterrorism strategy.

It's already been established that the primary cause of radicalization is our policy of interventions in Muslim-majority countries. Second is the deliberate stirring-up of Islamophobia and the subsequent harassment of all brown people. But an insane scum-bag like Blaney isn't going to do anything about those things except to double-down on them. 

* From the Greenwald/Salon link: "All of this underscores, yet again, that Terrorism is simultaneously the single most meaningless and most manipulated word in the American political lexicon.  The term now has virtually nothing to do with the act itself and everything to do with the identity of the actor, especially his or her religious identity.  It has really come to mean:  'a Muslim who fights against or even expresses hostility towards the United States, Israel and their allies.'  That’s why all of this confusion and doubt arose yesterday over whether a person who perpetrated a classic act of Terrorism should, in fact, be called a Terrorist:  he’s not a Muslim and isn’t acting on behalf of standard Muslim grievances against the U.S. or Israel, and thus does not fit the 'definition.'”

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Randall Garrison (NDP) Questions for Blaney, MacKay at C-51 Hearings

Today I'm going to look at the questions for minister's Blaney and MacKay provided by the NDP's Randall Garrison.
    Thanks to all the witnesses who are here today. I know for the Minister of Justice it's relatively rare to appear in this committee, so I give particular thanks to him for being here today. I want to start with a question for him.

    There has a been a lot of public concern expressed by legal experts, including former judges, about the broad nature of the new offence in the Criminal Code, about the lower threshold for detention and peace bonds, and about fundamental changes to information sharing that might affect privacy rights.
    My assumption is that the minister would not bring this legislation before Parliament if he did not believe it was constitutional and that he must have received advice from his officials on the constitutionality of this bill and its provisions. 
If I could interrupt here. It seems to me most likely that Mr. Garrison is being sarcastic. The harpercons have a long history of deliberately ramming-through unconstitutional legislation. They do this because they hate the Charter and because they imagine it makes the Supreme Court look bad in the eyes of the harpercons' deluded followers. Things have, if anything, gotten more extreme since 2012 when Justice Department senior lawyer Edgar Schmidt sued them for ordering him and his fellow lawyers to deliberately violate their obligations. [In December 2012, Edgar Schmidt sued the federal government for failing to take adequate steps to verify whether proposed bills violate the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. According to Schmidt, the Department of Justice “had its lawyers apply only a flawed and minimal screening test. It does not identify and report on legislation that the department itself considers almost certainly to be illegal and unconstitutional.” After the court case was launched, Schmidt was suspended without pay for “violating his duties as a lawyer and public servant.” ] I assume Garrison knows this.

    Would the minister be prepared to table the advice he received on the constitutionality of this bill? It would be very useful for this committee, to avoid further legal entanglements down the road, if we could have that advice tabled for us so that we could use it before we reach the amendment stage of this bill.
Can't wait to read MacKay's reply ...

     Thank you very much for the question, Mr. Garrison.

    Colleagues, while it may be rare that I appear before this committee, this is my 52nd appearance before a committee as a minister.
    The member is absolutely right in suggesting that we would not have introduced a bill, and certainly from a justice perspective no bill is introduced in Parliament unless it has been drafted and presented to Parliament in a way that is consistent with the charter and the Constitution. Every bill receives that vetting, that lens, from the Department of Justice prior to its introduction. 

Koff! Bullshit! Koff!

Officials with the Department of Justice, of course, have expertise in that area. In fact, some members of our department go back to the drafting of the charter itself. We have tremendous legal advice, which is available to all departments. So, yes, the member is correct. I would have met with and worked with my department to ensure charter compliance. The Supreme Court of Canada, of course, has recognized that the prevention of terrorist acts is a valid state objective given the grave damage that can result, and that was the quote I presented to you at the close of my remarks.

This could have been a simple "Yes" or "No" reply.  Can you table the advice you got from your lawyers or not?

This is not to say that legislation—all legislation—presented to this committee or any committee is not subject to charter challenge. We anticipate and look at various aspects, including privacy, to come back to the member's question, and we do so to ensure that ultimately the courts will pronounce favourably on the charter compliance. With regard to presenting that advice to this committee or any committee, I'm not able to do so as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General as solicitor-client privilege exists between the Department of Justice and the Department of Public Safety in this case.

So, after all that bullshit, to run out the clock, MacKay answers that he just can't share his department's legal advice with the people's representatives. Supposedly he, as justice minister, and Blaney, as public safety minister, can never get together and agree to provide the Public Safety and National Security Committee with the legal reasoning that shows how this bill conforms with the Charter.
Typical slimy cowardice from MacKay. 

    Of course, as the beneficiary of that solicitor-client privilege, you could waive that and table it before this committee.

    We're not going to do that, and of course the privilege rests not solely with me but with the entire government.
Say no more. If there's anyone more cowardly and secretive than MacKay, it's stephen "captain closet" harper.
    Thank you very much. I still believe we would benefit from having that information before us.
    I want to turn to Mr. Blaney, who said he would welcome the opportunity to clarify things today. I have two questions about the new powers given to CSIS in this bill. The minister has said many times in public and in the House that the new disruptive powers of CSIS would require a warrant from a judge. I would like him to clarify, because according to my reading of the bill, as well as that of many others, it does not say that. It says that disruptive activities may be conducted and will require a warrant only in certain circumstances. I'd like him to clarify that part.
    The second thing he said was that very often this amounts to judicial oversight. Since the warrant being sought is for activities conducted in secret and not for those leading to a criminal charge, how will the judge ever see what happened with that warrant again? How would that warrant ever end up back before the courts so they could exercise oversight? I don't see any provision there, once the warrant is granted, that would allow a judge to examine what had happened with that warrant.

    I have to say, just briefly, that when Mr. Blaney says that the NDP is attacking police and CSIS members, we're not. We're saying that occasionally agencies make errors and they end up before the courts. We have the Mosley case, which clearly said that CSIS had, in some cases, made errors that constituted a violation of the law.
    My question is very specific. Does disruptive activity always require a warrant, and how will that warrant ever get back in front of a judge?
I wouldn't have defended myself against Blaney's whining accusations. The more we coddle thugs, the more thuggish they become. Some members of CSIS and the RCMP are incompetent, racist, sexist, authoritarian, murderous goons. To even go through the motions of defending oneself against "anti-cop" bias only encourages them in their foulness. When they are racist, call them on it. When they murder someone, call them on it. When they ship people off to be tortured, call them on it. Pussy-footing around with your criticisms only puts off the day when reality will be squarely confronted.

    Thank you for your question. You certainly heard me again this morning clearly say that a warrant is required every time there is a legal consideration. I'll just refer to what I said earlier this morning.

    My remarks were as follows: “With this new mandate, Bill C-51 sets rigorous limits and establishes a warrant mechanism...If the measures proposed might contravene a right guaranteed by the charter or another Canadian law, a Federal Court judge would have to authorize them in advance.”
    Simply put, a warrant is indeed required under Bill C-51 every time the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is concerned.

    I hope I provided a clear answer to your first question.
     No, you haven't clarified that because you just proved my point. You said it's required only if there's going to be breaking of the law of the charter. Other disruptive activities then are clearly authorized without a warrant.

    Yes, dear colleague, some activities will not require a warrant. However, threat reduction activities must follow a rigorous process depending on their impact. As the Minister of Public Safety, I will be able to—just like my successors—authorize warrants at some point. To do so, I will rely on the opinion of the Department of Public Safety.

    Let me give you an example of a case where a warrant would not be required. For instance, CSIS officers could engage in conversation with the parents of a child who is being radicalized. In that case, a warrant would not be required. 

    Thank you very much. The time is up.
    We will go to Mr. Norlock, please, sir.
Well, that was pretty much a waste of time. No answer to the question of subsequent judicial oversight, when the boys in Red Serge have a documented history of lying to judges about what they're going to do with the warrants they receive.
We shouldn't have tolerated the stolen 2011 federal election, or the Elections Canada cover-up. But we did. And this is the price we pay for our laziness, cowardice and delusion. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Back to C-51 Committee Testimony

And, we're back, for (perhaps) a brief look at the testimony of Steve "the perv" Blaney, and Peter "Zorro" MacKay, as both these idiots lied to us about their fascist surveillance legislation, C-51.

I skimmed this a few days ago, and I'm pretty sure the stuff you're going to look at today is sycophantic drivel from their fellow sleaze-bag "Conservatives." But, still, it's important to see how debased our political culture is. So without further ado ...
    Thank you very much, Minister MacKay.

    Colleagues, we will now go to our rounds of questioning with a first round of seven minutes. We will start with the parliamentary secretary, Mrs. James.

    Thank you, Ministers, for appearing, and thank you as well to the officials who are here.
    Canadians would expect, Minister Blaney, when one branch of government comes across information pertinent to national security and the protection of Canadians, that agency would be able to communicate that information freely to another agency, such as the RCMP or CSIS. However, that is clearly not the case today. 

Well, clearly, you haven't been listening today or paying attention for the past 15 years! The National Security Minister communicates with the Minister of Transport, and, clearly, Citizenship and Immigration must be communicating with SOMEONE in order to deny the passports to so many people. Furthermore, CSIS and the RCMP are obviously sharing information with the National Security Agency in the USA, because as Wikileaks and Edward Snowden showed us, we're being spied upon all dee fooking time! But go on ...

I have to tell you that I was probably one of those Canadians who thought this was already being done, so with regard to information sharing, I find this legislation to be absolutely critical.

I don't. Because I think the terrorist threat is really the GBWT. But even if it weren't, ... why should it be easier for Health Canada to share information with CSIS? This from a government that took the psychiatric counseling records for a veterans' ombudsman to try to use it to discredit him. (It's amazing how selective the memories of these right-wing monsters are, isn't it?)

    Minister Blaney and Minister MacKay, in your opening remarks, both of you talked about identifying gaps that were brought forward by our national security agencies.

     Minister Blaney, could you expand on some of these gaps, focusing on information sharing, and why this part of the legislation is so important?

    Maybe I could begin with two examples of what is the current situation now.
    As we heard recently, in Montreal two young girls allegedly said that they left the country to commit terrorist attacks abroad. They showed up at the passport office and they asked for an accelerated process within 48 hours. They said that they had lost their passports. They said that they wanted to go to the Middle East, to a region, as you are well aware, where there are many conflicts. This information should raise some concerns in terms of national security. Canada is not and does not want to become an exporter of terrorism. As we speak, this information cannot be shared with relevant authorities such as the RCMP or the security agency, CSIS. This bill would enact the department to undertake this kind of action.
Well, I suppose that makes a little bit of sense. I suppose it's better that we fight the terrorists here, instead of over there. (Wait a minnit!) But, as long as it doesn't gum-up the anti-terrorist works, ... you know, every time somebody from the Middle East, or Venezuela, or wherever they decide our official enemies are, asks for a replacement passport, it goes to a CSIS or RCMP officer (already overworked with reports of the torture sessions of Canadians citizens at some black-site overseas, or cajoling some crackhead to blow-up a bomb somewhere) to sit in the files. I can, in all seriousness, see the value of communication between Citizenship and Immigration and Public Safety and National Security, ... except it should be pretty clear such cooperation already exists.
    The other example is on the other side. Take a wounded person who goes to a consulate in the Middle East, is willing to come back, and is seeking some information. Being obviously wounded or having spent some weeks out there in the desert, this may raise some reasonable doubts, but again, this information may not be shared with the police officers or the Canada Border Services Agency, nor with our intelligence. An individual, a potential high-terrorist traveller who has had combat experience, could come back into our country, and we could hardly prevent it.
Okay. That isn't stupid on the face of it.
    These two examples demonstrate clearly the need to make sure that the left hand of government knows what the right hand is doing, but in doing so, let me assure you that there are many mechanisms to protect privacy and also the Constitution.
Do, go on ...
     First, I think I've stated clearly that it has to be information that would undermine the security of Canada. Before the information is transferred, there has to be a risk, and it has to be transferred to an organization that is relevant. Again, this is not new information. This is information that is already being collected by the government but is not being shared.
Why does this idiot keep saying this? Is he saying that if a Canadian showed up at the Canadian embassy in Beirut with gunshot wounds, that the embassy wouldn't and couldn't (under C-51) alert CSIS? Leaving that aside, ... he keeps saying that only information about genuine security risks would be shared, but we've already got plenty of evidence of innocent Canadians being harassed, spied upon and even tortured by their own government's "security" services.

     Are we to let silos be used by terrorists to harm Canadians? Frankly, I think this is totally irresponsible. That's why when I speak to people in my riding or elsewhere, people are asking me why we have not done this before and why we are not sharing the information in a respectful and lawful process.
     Well, this is what we do. Also, it is important to specify—and it's in the bill—that the information has to be done in respect of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and also the protection of privacy. This is actually in the enactment of the act. We already have much legislation, but we felt it was important to specify this in the bill.
    I can comment further, but I think you want to ask more questions.
Just remember that all his weeping and wailing there is for a bullshit threat. We can't learn shit about oil spills, freight rail deregulation, allowing armed US Customs agents into Canada with extraterritoriality, but they can learn everything about us.

    There has been some concern from the opposition and from the Green Party with respect to a proposed section in the information sharing act that clearly states that the information sharing would not relate to lawful advocacy, protest, dissent, and artistic expression. The concern seems to be surrounding the word “lawful”.

    I just have to ask a very simple question. How bizarre would it be for a government to legislate this type of bill and include the ability for unlawful advocacy? I have to ask that question because obviously, between “lawful” and “unlawful” there is a big difference.

    Thank you for the opportunity you are giving me to clarify what is in the bill and what is not.
    Once again, there is the security of Canada information sharing act, whereby information that could undermine the security of Canada could be transferred. This has nothing to do with the other parts of the act, such as the threat diminishment part, which relies on the current definition of terrorist activities. It has no impact at all on this aspect. The only thing the legislator is doing in crafting this bill is mandating that any information that could undermine the security of Canada has to be sent to the recipient institution.
    Of course, there is another safeguard here, because if the information is received, it has to be relevant to that specific department. That is another safeguard, if I can put it that way.
    Once again, to get back to your definition, there are lawful activities and there are unlawful activities. This morning I gave the example of a protest that did not have a municipal permit. That is not, I would argue, included in this bill, which deals with undermining the security of Canada. Once again, it could be an illegal activity, but the information would not necessarily be shared, because it does not undermine the security of Canada.

    I think we clearly see this morning that there are lawful activities, that there could be illegal activity that does not undermine the security of Canada, and that there are those activities that we feel are important to share or to specify in the bill. There are some examples in the bill, such as espionage, sabotage—

    Minister Blaney, we'll have to cut you off. You'll have an opportunity to go further a little later, but we're over the time.
    We'll go now to Mr. Garrison, for seven minutes, please.
And that wraps up what I'll deal with today.
And by "deal" I mean go to someone else besides the self-serving liar, Steve Blaney. So, by "unlawful" Blaney claims not to mean protests held without a municipal permit. (Smashing those things is being nicely handled by the provinces!) He also says that things can be illegal and not undermine the security of Canada. Any counter-arguments Mr. Forcese?
Violating regulatory or muncipal rules is bad.  People should be fined, and possibly prosecuted.  That is why we have police, and open, transparent courts, with due process and appeal rights.
But the question before Parliament now is whether peaceful democratic protest movements should be a security issue, handled covertly, when, e.g., they don't have the right muncipal permits for their protests.  And specifically, should such a movement fall within the ambit of the new "undermine" definition, or the expanded CSIS powers under the existing "threat" definition. 
Given the experience in 2001 and the legal views expressed by the government of the day, we have to conclude that if the government continues to include the qualifier "lawful" in its exceptions, it does so with eyes wide open.  It really does mean to include, e.g., "illegal strike[s] that takes as part of its form a demonstration in the streets—and this is an example that has been used by some in the trade union movement" within its "undermine the security of Canada" concept in the information sharing rules. 
And it is comfortable with the idea that, if other elements of the "threat" definition are met (e.g., as with the Keystone hypothetical above), democratic protest movements with tactics that do not square in every way with even municipal law may properly be the subject of CSIS investigation and possibly even disruption.
I take no view on whether CSIS would ever have the resources or the complete lack of internal governance checks and balances to actually proceed in this manner.  That is not my point.  My point is this: when we craft national security law, we craft it to deter bad judgment.  We do not craft it to be so sweeping and ambiguous that it must depend for its proper exercise in a democracy on perfect government judgment.  Very few governments are perfect.  And even if you think this one is, what about the next one?
I'll let Mr. Forcese have the last word because he's not an authoritarian liar who owes his Minister-status to election fraud.