Archive for February 2012

Stephen Harper Said…

24 February 2012

“When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it’s starting to lose its moral authority to govern.”
Stephen Harper, Canadian Press – April 18, 2005

Which is frankly very close to…
“When a government starts labelling its own citizens ‘enemies’, it has lost its moral authority to govern.”
Andrew Frank, whistle-blower and former Senior Communications Manager for ForestEthics, Marketwire – Jan. 24, 2012

I saw Andrew Frank’s statement and his open letter to Canadians the day he made it. At the time I wasn’t aware of Stephen Harper’s statement.

Stephen Harper says some smart things from time to time. Such as “Although we like to think of ourselves as living in a mature democracy, we live, instead,in something little better than a benign dictatorship, not under a strict one-party rule,but under a one-party-plus system beset by the factionalism, regionalism and cronyism that accompany any such system.”Our Benign Dictatorship, co-authored with Tom Flanagan.

In that essay Harper and Flanagan wrote of the benefits of electoral reform toward some sort of proportional system.

I trust that now that Harper has a majority of seats in Parliament and the Senate he will bring about such electoral reform and free Canada from its dictatorship.

Building and Clarifying our New Canada

14 February 2012

 

 

I heard the news of the exchange between Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia about online surveillance and how the opposition favour child pornography over all that is good and right in the world. (What would you expect from someone who is a critic of public safety?)

The Harper government is really building a new Canada, what with sabotaging global climate conferences, deals with China on uranium and bitumen, shooting at intruders the other day and now spying on our on-line activities without need of warrants. I thought, if we’re building a new Canada, I should get my 2 cents in on how it might move forward. So I wrote Minister Toews and my MP.

Public Safety Minister Toews

I am writing in response to news of an exchange between yourself and Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia on Monday regarding online surveillance.

If debate and questions regarding bills is tantamount to engaging in child pornography then we certainly don’t want that, even if it is cloaked in speech about democracy, civil rights or privacy. It occurs to me that we could remove supporters of child pornography and save considerable money by eliminating opposition seats from parliament entirely. A win-win in these perilous times.

We could have elections, have the party forming government get down to business, and have the rest go home. That system would have resulted in 166 MPs in the house now rather than 308. A significant savings.

Perhaps you could put forward a bill to get that done, or should I write my MP? He’s a good Conservative. I’ll CC him on this.

Another good idea I would like to offer, if it is not too late to add to bill C-30, is to install cameras in Canadian’s homes. That way we would all be able to demonstrate that we are not child pornographers (at least not at home). And the data captured from these cameras would be handy to police if they suspected wrong-doing of whatever kind.

Oh, and while I’m writing perhaps you could ask Justice Minister Rob Nicholson for me whether shooting at people on my property would extend to annoyances like people selling magazine subscriptions. Or does one have to wait for an intruder to actually commit a crime before firing warning shots. Just want to get the rules straight in this new Canada of ours.

Best Regards,
Ian Stephen

The reader might guess that I wrote to Toews in a mood of frustration. I could have put forward some well reasoned argument instead about how these new online surveillance laws invite abuse and are an unnecessary erosion of civil rights in Canada. However, the Conservatives have made it abundantly clear that they have no interest or regard for ideas other than their own and that ‘reason’ doesn’t have to be part of the equation at all. A well reasoned letter would have taken longer to write and just slammed up against a closed mind. At least with this I got to vent a bit and while Toews might think I’m serious, my own MP Mark Strahl who I CC’ed the email (or his minion who handles these things anyway) might know better and get a chuckle out of it.

I suppose if I’ve made someone laugh, even an evil laugh, my karma should be a bit better for it.

Update! 15 Feb : With Cons ranks showing cracks, King Harper is allowing the online surveillance bill to go to committee before second reading. This may mean an opportunity for substantive change. Apparently my letter and blog post hit a nerve. Well, maybe. In any case I encourage anyone who reads this to learn more and write Harper, the Justice and Public Safety Ministers and your MP.

More Update! 18 Feb : Minister Toews admits he does not know what is in the bill! You’d think I was making this up, but it’s too outrageous. I’d never expect people to believe it.

From CBC News
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says he is surprised to learn that a section of the government’s online surveillance bill provides for “exceptional circumstances” under which “any police officer” can request customer information from a telecommunications service provider.

A dereliction of duty as offensive as Minister Oda’s ‘Not’ document. Oda should have resigned, or been fired. Toews should too. Won’t happen of course. Perhaps every debate should begin with the question “Has the Minister read the bill?” If not, set it aside for another day.

Old Style Justice comes to Canada

10 February 2012

frontier justice minister NicholsonJustice Minister Rob Nicholson figures it’s OK to shoot warning shots over the heads of “thugs and thieves” and apparently if you’re worried about that endangering innocent people down the street you just “cannot figure out who the real victims are”.

So, if you happen to fire any warning shots and happen to hit some innocent by-stander, call Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and he’ll come to your defense.

And yes, this is Canada.

And yes, that’s “Justice Minister” not some random flake.

See for yourself! http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/61424-new-law-would-allow-residents-fire-warning-shots-suspected-intruders

Rich Coleman gaming again

9 February 2012

A post by Laila Rich Coleman & GamingYuile lead me to a story in The Province about a BC justice system review. The story also contained this bit of news;

“Liquor and gaming, which also were under the eye of the solicitor general, are now the responsibility of the Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines.”

Sure, that makes sense. The gambles around mining and energy in this country will probably drive a lot of people to drink. Perfect sense.

Coleman was in charge of gaming as Housing Minister and as Solicitor General in the past, during periods when there were concerns raised over money laundering and privacy breaches. Now as Minister of Energy and Mines he’s handed gaming again. I guess he knows the players.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Christy%20Clark%20announces%20review%20justice%20system%20break%20courts%20logjam/6122223/story.html

Birth of the Ministry of Truth

2 February 2012

This isn’t Orwellian at all…

“The next time you post an opinion in an online forum or a Facebook group message board, don’t be surprised if you get a rebuttal from a federal employee.”

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/QPeriod/20100523/government-online-forums-100523/#ixzz1lHvb7ldZ