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Defeating ISIL Will Be A Hollow Victory Indeed, If The Price To Be Paid Is The Loss Of Canada’s Democracy Or Worse At Its Own Hand


me.jpg2In Canada being ignorant of the law is no excuse for breaking it.  This rule applies to all Canadians including the government.  This means that if you break a law that you do not know about this will not stop you from being arrested for said crime, because it your duty as a Canadian citizen to keep reasonably informed and up to date about the laws that you live under. If you are planning to do something in business for example and you are not sure of the laws governing the legality of you are considering, you are required to seek out professional legal advice to ensure that you are not in violation of any laws of Canada before you begin whatever venture you are considering getting involved in. So I would ask what is up Canada with this strong, stable majority Conservative government’s inability to understand either Canadian or international law, or their out right refusal to adhere to either one?

I ask this  because in my opinion the Conservative Party of Canada which has a majority government and holds a majority in the senate believes that neither body of laws applies to them.  They have repeatedly forced through laws that will not pass constitutional mustard, because they violate the both the international safe guarded rights of all citizens of the world as well as the constitutional rights of  all Canadians. These court battles not only represent billions of wasted tax payer wasted dollars that could be avoided if the government first sought out and then took some legal advice before ramming legislation through parliament and into law, but also highlights their view that their majority status puts them above the laws of Canada and in fact entitles them to disregard it totally and change it according to their whim. Of course this attitude and method of creating policy has seen a record number of their new laws and changes to Canada’s old laws  stricken down on appeal to the Supreme court of Canada and also in the courts below it. Since there are a staggering amount of cases in which this has happened to this majority Conservative Party of Canada government, I will just offer these few examples of the latest in a string of key legal defeats for the government:

  1. The Federal Court of Canada ruled that cuts to health care for rejected refugee claimants were “cruel and unusual.” and gave the government four months to reverse the changes introduced in 2012.
  2. June: Supreme Court upholds privacy rights, ruling that internet service providers must not disclose names, addresses and phone numbers of their customers to law enforcement officials without a warrant. This expected to force the government to change bills on cyber bullying (C-13) and digital privacy (S-4) currently before Parliament.
  3. April: In a unanimous ruling, the high court affirmed that offenders can receive extra credit for time spent in custody before they are sentenced, a blow against the government’s Truth in Sentencing Act, which attempted to curb the practice by allowing it only in “exceptional” circumstances. The ruling, which was precedent-setting but did not strike down the law, gave judges the right to apply the extra credit for time served but did not reject the government’s limit of a 1.5 credit.
  4. March: March:  The Supreme Court strikes down section 10(1) of the Abolition of Early Parole Act, which tried to retroactively abolish accelerated parole for offenders who had already been sentenced as a violation of the offenders’ charter rights.
  5. September 2011: The Supreme Court ordered the federal minister of health to grant a Vancouver supervised injection clinic an exemption under Canada’s drug laws so it can remain open. The ruling gave the minister discretion to approve or deny future requests for exemptions, but required the government to balance public safety and charter rights when making the decision.

Is it so hard to believe that Canadians who used to believe that the idea of “democracy” and the phrase, “rule of law” really meant something are now becoming cynical of both and see neither really applying to the governance they are receiving from this government of Canada? Unfortunately in today’s Canada it would seem that the present government feels that the rules, principles and spirit of democracy can be sidestepped, ignored and rendered moot simply by their creation of new legislation. I believe that when a government continually rams through legislation that is constantly in violation of its citizens constitution and charter rights as this government is constantly trying to do that  it is guilty of leading its country away from it being able to lay claim to being  a democratically governed and a law-abiding country, because it is not enough to simply declare to be, a nation must also demonstrate their democracy and rule of law through its actions and treatment of every citizen equally and without prejudice. These are a few of the things that concern me and have me beginning to wonder if  Canada’s boast of being a supporter of democracy, human, civil and religious rights are still true:

  1. This government’s chipping and stripping away of more and more of our rights and freedoms that are the corner stones of Canadian democracy.
  2. This government’s mocking of  our democratic processes with its altering of the Canadian law with its creation of its “ministry of democratic reform.” I believe that this ministry was created by this party to change existing Canadian law that made the governments  continued violations of Canada’s election laws (which were  landing them in hot water). Instead of seeking all party consensus this government did as it has done on so many other occasions and simply rammed the legislation into law, by virtue of the majority they hold in all committees. (senate and parliamentary) The Canada Election Act of old was put in place to ensure fair elections for all political parties; this is not the case with the changes the Conservative Party of Canada has forced into law with their strop, stable majority government.
  3. This Conservative Party of Canada majority  government uses its majority  to force closure and shut down debate using time allocation at least 75 times in this parliament alone.
  4. I see this Conservative Party of Canada majority government refuse to consider and adopt even one amendment from any opposition party into any of their legislation.
  5. I see this Conservative Party of Canada use its majority to make irrelevant and fire the heads of parliamentary oversight agencies like, the head of Elections Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, The Privacy Commissioner, the Auditor General of Canada, just to name a few for doing their jobs.
  6. I see this government refuse to be transparent on anything that it is trying to accomplish, even withholding the cost of the war to degrade and eventually defeat ISIL which we as Canadians are paying for and have a right to know, but something that our allies freely given to their citizens and I great detail.
  7. I see the government passing laws that ask judges who are supposed to uphold the constitutional rights of all Canadians to ignore them if they are to by the police  the RCMP or CSIS

Some would argue that in  order to protect ourselves from terrorist attacks and the loss our, values, religion as well rights and freedoms that we must we must be willing to pay the price for this protection, namely:

  • Some loss of our right to privacy.
  • Some loss of legal rights for example (a)the right of an accused to face one’s accuser, (b)the right to have a judge examine all of the evidence of a case before him or her and decide on its merit and its legality and (c)the right to know that the judge has not allowed for the violation of you civil, human, Canadian Charter or constitutional rights.

I would suggest however that if the price of victory over ISIS is the loss of our rights and freedoms guaranteed us under the Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and all international act and treaties that Canada is supposed to be a willing participant in, then the price tag is too high. What good is there for Canadians if in saving Iraq from ISIL for instance and bringing democracy of a sort to that region for another we have to violate and ignore the fundamental principles of our own democracy? These principles that this majority Conservative government of Canada are doing an end run around  are the core values that comprise the very bedrock that supports and allows for our way of life for any governing party in Canada to try to do away with any of this core is to make us the same as any other people governed by a dictatorship, or authoritarian regime.

Canadians are allowing the Conservative Party of Canada to capitalize on the fear they are guilty of inciting in this country.  I believe that the Conservative Party of Canada has nothing against Muslims and could careless about the plight of Jews or Israelis whether in Canada, Israel or anywhere else in the world; both of these groups are just a means to a political end for the Conservative Party of Canada. I believe that the Conservative Party of Canada has and is still exploiting those fears to such a dangerous level. Canadians are suspicious  and leery of other Canadians and  so divided that the majority of Canadians are willingly being led down the slippery slope of  going along with things that we know are racist, non democratic and in fact have a lot in common with those of Adolf Hitler’s Germany and Joseph Stalin’s Russia.

Since the war on terror began after 9/11 I feel that it is us who call ourselves the civilised nations who have become more like the terrorist we claim we are fighting rather than they becoming more like us.  We are more like them than they have been made to be like us, for instance:

  • The RCMP,CSIS and the police will soon be able to  legally pick up a Canadian citizen and hold said person in a secret location for 7 days without charge, on the suspicion that they may be going to commit a terrorist act at sometime not known and somewhere not known against some one or some thing, again unknown. Does this not sound like what happens in those regimes that we are supposed to be trying to change and the others as strong or stronger than us militarily that we very vocally criticize?
  • The RCMP, CSIS and the police will now be able to spy on Canadian citizens, take down whatever they believe not posted in the best interest of the country without the knowledge of said citizen.  This to me smacks of anti freedom of speech and expression the, like we see in China and Russia for example where the state controls what is seen publicly and what is okay to express publicly.

ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and all the other organizations referred to as barbaric terrorist organisations do commit atrocities against women like kidnapping them and forcing them into marriages and the like, but these atrocities that I agree are despicable and need to be stopped unfortunately are all that separates them from the America led coalition, including Canada, this is what I mean:

  1. Both sides do violent, deplorable things to their captives  in order to extract information, or for some other advantage from them and both side have killed their captives.  ISIL out in the open and bragging and the American led coalition in secret and denying everything like in Guantanamo Bay.
  2. Both side knowingly target innocent civilians and consider their deaths and suffering as collateral damage again one side openly acknowledging and even bragging about and the other denying they do it at all.
  3. Both side say that they are right and are being threatened by the other and are only defending themselves and their very existence.
  4. Both sides now believe that it is okay to enter and cause war in a sovereign country without legal grounds. Although the prime minister and Jason Kenney  seem to believe that it is unlikely that Canada will be taken to court over violating international laws and that it is okay to do because the USA has been ding it for months without legally being  challenge by any international body where crossing over into to Syria to wage war on ISIL is concerned, does not make what Canada is doing legal, it simply puts them in the same illegal place as the terrorists they seek to degrade and defeat.(defiantly refusing to abide international law that gets in their way of accomplishing the political agenda)

What a hollow victory we Canadians will have won if we must lose all of what makes us Canadians to win the mission to degrade and hopefully defeat ISIL.