Thursday, May 7, 2015

Back to C-51 Hearings

So, trying to save time, I'd copied and pasted the entirety of the remaining evidence of the first Public Safety and National Security Committee meeting on C-51. But all that stuff in the composing window caused blogger to slow right the fuck down.

I never expected my summaries of these committee hearings to be instrumental in defeating this legislation. So, the fact that the harpercon majority, and the seriously deranged Liberals, have passed C-51 from the House of Commons, isn't really going to change my desire to actually read and reflect upon this ghastly business.

I'll deal with it in dribs and drabs so as not to upset blogger.

    Thank you very much.


    Ms. DorĂ© Lefebvre, the floor is yours.

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    My thanks to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Minister of Justice, as well as all the other witnesses for being here today to speak to Bill C-51. We greatly appreciate it.
    As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I went over Bill C-51 and, in my view, the key element that is missing is a national strategy to counter radicalization. The U.S. government is working hard with communities to set up an effective strategy to counter radicalization. The mayor of Montreal has started to work on a strategy against radicalization with stakeholders on the ground, including the police services and community leaders.
    Mr. Blaney or Mr. MacKay, perhaps you can answer my question. My question is actually more for the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
    Could you tell me what you are actually doing to combat radicalization? You gave some examples, but could you give me an overview of what the government is doing in practical terms to combat radicalization? Are you working with community leaders and police services? What resources are assigned to that?

Okay. This is a little interesting. I read this exchange a couple of days ago, and Blaney's going to talk about all sorts of initiatives, but just yesterday, I heard Charlie Angus say that the feds haven't put any money into combating "radicalization." 

So, I'm interested to read Blaney again here:

    Thank you for your question, which is very relevant.

    I am a little disappointed that we have not received the support of your political party. With all due respect, let me say that the New Democrats are behind with the news. Our strategy to combat terrorism has been in place for more than two years and we have not received your party's support. I find it surprising that a New Democrat is waking up two years later and asking us what we are doing in terms of prevention.

Okay. Two years of programs. Let's hear about it.

    We must keep working on prevention. 

Pointless statement.

Minister MacKay and I are participating in cross-cultural round tables.

That's kinda vague. In fact, politically speaking, it's incredibly vague. Were these round-tables even about terrorism? It's not stated.

 It is important to work on prevention. 

Is this how a cretin stalls for time?

That is the first pillar of our strategy. When I appeared before you last fall, before the Ottawa attack, I had the opportunity to describe our anti-terrorism strategy.

The question, before it gets lost in the misty recesses of time, was what resources they've used to combat radicalization.

    Commissioner Paulson is making remarkable efforts. 

 What does that mean?

I have a document here on our strategy to combat youth radicalization. You can download it from the Internet. The document is more than 20 pages long and was published a while ago. It describes the strategies we are implementing and the meetings we are holding across the country with communities and leaders in this area.

Okay. He actually said something there. But in searching for that 20 page document, I found stories such as this CBC one, from October, 2014, saying we haven't been doing anything:

"Other countries – Denmark, Saudi Arabia, the U.K. – have such programs, so it’s odd that we’ve let this simmer," says Paul Bramadat, director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria.

That's from 2014, which isn't two years before Blaney's testimony. 

Is this the RCMP strategy paper? If so, it doesn't look like much. It's more of a study of the problem, and the existing programs it points to don't sound like anything focused on dealing with a "radicalized" Canadian.

    Clearly, training is provided to agents and officers. Our prevention approach has three pillars: commitment to communities, training, and a counter-narrative message.

To be fair to Blaney, it sounds like he's trying to mention a lot of things in a short amount of time, rather than going on at length about absolutely nothing. So, maybe there's more to his words than empty generalities. On the other hand, Blaney is a harpercon and he's been demonstrably dishonest in this hearing, so ...

    I was in Washington a few weeks ago. We are also working with our British partners, who have taken some very interesting initiatives, as well as the municipal police forces. Last week, I met with Toronto police representatives. They have created emergency response teams to prevent radicalization. We are working on prevention at all levels of society. 

Okay. Meetings in American and British cops AREN'T serious policy. Also, anything the Toronto Police Service is doing on its own has, by definition, nothing to do with Blaney's department. The TPS is under the authority of the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety.

    The commissioner can provide you with information on that. I know that you don't have a lot of time, but the commissioner can outline what the RCMP is doing to prevent radicalization.

Okay!!! That was fucking useless really. My conclusion is that Blaney wasn't trying to get a lot of real information across in a short amount of time. He was trying to list a series of irrelevant facts and make them sound like genuine policies with real money and resources behind them.

I've said before that "de-radicalization" efforts implemented by Islamophobic imperialists is a non-starter, so far as potential effectiveness goes. But let's hope that Commissioner Robert Paulson does a better job of showing whether or not Blaney's department is living up to its own rhetoric and values.

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