02.04.2015 08:22 AM

Being Walkom, being dumb


“…the Liberals and NDP are running scared. They are so worried about Harper outmanoeuvring them in the public opinion polls that they are giving his fatally-flawed bill a pass. They think that will make us vote for them.”

Forget about the fact that lazily calling up a bunch of civil libertarians, and asking them about just about anything a government does, will always elicit a predictable response.  Forget about the fact that even a cursory review of Supreme Court decisions will strongly suggest that the anti-terror bill will pass constitutional muster.  Forget about the fact that public opinion – which, you know, Parliamentarians are asked to occasionally consider – is wholly supportive of measures to make civil society safer, and oppose genocide.

Forget about all that.  And consider that, on the very same day that Parliamentarians were starting to consider C-51, these things happened:

All. On. The. Same. Day.

I, for one, am happy to see that the Liberals and the New Democrats are starting the painful process of extracting their collective heads from their nether regions. I, for one, think the NDP and the LPC should be applauded for starting to consider that, you know, Harper may actually have had a point. Rhetorical bluster aside, (a) jihadist attacks really are becoming more frequent, (b) attacks are not confined any longer to the Middle East, and (c) sending over bags of rice, and nothing else, will never defeat ISIS/ISIL’s genocidal campaign.

Mr. Walkom is doing what columnists always accuse politicians of doing: he is fighting the last war.  He needs to pay attention to the current one.


  1. Mary says:

    The terror arrests in Ottawa yesterday, and the trial of two VIA bombers, are not grounds to support for the passage of the new terror bill. The arrests and prosecution are happening under existing laws!

    And the Jordanian pilot…is it shocking that ISIL violates the laws of war? How will passage of this terror bill address that!

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Here’s what you don’t know, Mary…

      You don’t know what the RCMP and/or CSIS uncovered prior to any of these incidents over the last several years, but were delayed or altogether locked out by process. And you very likely never will know.

      You don’t know what kind of filth and perversion investigations turns up almost every day, crap and horrors…some of it involving children…that ten minutes worth would give you nightmares for the rest of your life.

      You don’t know what it’s like to have this kind of knowledge, and be blocked at every turn by process, and to be reduced to the only option left of confronting perps to let them know that they are being closely watched in hopes they will retreat and change their ways.

      This legislation is an attempt to update our laws in order to catch up with the times and new realities, particularly with regard to the age of computers and Internet. To level a playing field that, arguably, is tilted heavily in favor of those who understand every weakness and loophole and roadblock the system provides. Those who know how to exploit all of it.

      Was the criminal who rampaged through our parliament building sophisticated enough to understand all of this? No. But those who influenced him enough to encourage him to such an act certainly were.

      For decades organized crime, particularly the Mafia, exploited the weaknesses of the American justice system, ruthlessly and relentlessly. Then came the RICO laws, the playing field was finally leveled, and organizations like these took a shit kicking.

      It’s far too easy to play armchair quarterback to what goes on inside a world about which 99 out of 100 have no GD clue.

      • ben burd says:

        The main point was Al, it obviously is beyond you to acknowledge in your public safety rant, which btw is a Harper talking point and should be taken with many grains of salt, is that the new laws are redundant overkill designed for political purposes. Why else did the CBC decide to change their policy about graphic images last night – coincidence I think not. These bad guys were apprehended under the old laws, what would have been done under the new ones?

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          Call it a rant if you will, but at least it was an informed one.

          As anyone knows, it’s not about the ones that get caught, but rather the ones that don’t.

          Read the article at the link I posted below. Clearly the powers of our intelligence services don’t come anywhere close to most western nations. I fail to see how this somehow makes Canada a better, safer nation.

  2. Paul says:

    Mary, in case you hadn’t noticed, the frequency of these events is increasing. Furthermore, the murder of WO Vincent could have been prevented, but a judge refused to allow the police to arrest the murderer before hand. That incident clearly indicated the limitations of the existing laws.

  3. Marg says:

    I wonder if the woman/mother vote will flock to the Harper Conservatives because of fear of terrorism and seeking security for themselves and their children. Could happen.

    • Peter says:

      That’s another conceit popular on the port side–that people support Harper on security out of some visceral sense of fear and panic and they will live to regret surrendering their critical faculties someday. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that many people have calmly, rationally concluded that his policies are the appropriate response to ISIS and terrorism.

  4. Mike Adamson says:

    The danger of giving into terrorism by changing our values is obvious but it’s hard to deny that the problem isn’t going away. I thought Bob Rae’s piece in the Globe is useful and reflects my concerns. I don’t mind trading a little privacy and even freedom for security but I don’t want the spooks to act as if they have carte blanche. Canada’s history of oversight of our spy agencies is poor and the new bill doesn’t help at all. Read Rae’s column, it’s good.

    • Domenico says:

      That was a good article by Bob Rae

      I particularly enjoyed the thought below:

      “When abuses of power became better known as a result of the Arar and other inquiries, it was a common conclusion, together with the Major Report, that robust powers of surveillance needed to be matched by robust accountability and review.”

  5. davie says:

    Perhaps because I am old and out of touch, I feel increasingly old and out of touch.
    I constantly come across info from science of climate, of oceans, and the measurements, and the alarm and despair expressed by scientists and groups of scientists.

    Yet in mainstream public discourse it’s war fare, scary, scary terrorists, and jobs for the middle class.

    I notice today the lawyer for a kid who looks like he helped someone or other go to Syria to join an anti Assad rebel group is in court for the something called ‘terrorist- related’ charges (surely we can make our laws more specific than that), said that the crown woul dnot tell the defense what specifics are of the charges. More and more this stuff looks to me like an re election propaganda campaign.
    And it all covers up what seems to me to be the real threat to all of us.

    Either I have my head up my arse, or the rest of you have yours up yours.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Our justice and security systems are not involved in election propaganda on anyone’s behalf.

      It’s not like we’re not living in Russia, or China, or N. Korea, or Venezuela, or Iran, or Egypt, or…

      And perhaps, if you don’t know the difference, then you are indeed out of touch.

  6. wsam says:

    Good old-fashioned Police work is what works. That is what stops the bad guys. That is what has worked to stop the bad guys and that not working explains when then the bad guys managed to succeed. We need more and better-trained cops. Professionals, fluent in Arabic and familiar with the Middle East.

    We don’t need solutions, like this anti-terrorism bill, to problems we don’t have. We need solutions aimed at our real, existing problems. Not solutions that are really some security service mandarin’s wish list.

    Of course. People are fallible.

    The security services don’t get involved in politics?

    How naive are you?

    During the Bush Administration, Teddy Kennedy somehow ended up on the no-fly list … here at home, most recently and concretely, the RCMP announced it was investigated Ralph Goodall whether or not he leaked government tax policies relating to income trust funds. Ralph was cleared. The Liberals lost the election (remember: this was only 2006). RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli was found by a judge to have acted inappropriately and somehow managed to land a cushy job at Interpol. Hmm … He tipped the balance to the Conservatives favour, with a tip from the NDP, and now lives comfortably in Brussels. Hmm …

  7. wsam says:

    Harper needs to explain to Canadians just what he and his government are so enthusiastic about us being involved in. Populism always backfires.

    What is going on now in Syria and Iraq is one of the most convoluted situations I have ever seen. It’s like Gangs of New York X6 in the modern Middle East. This conflict is at minimum 5-sided. It is a true shit-show and the Americans are doing the absolute minimum. The minimum. Kerry recently suggested the Syrian opposition groups attend a Peace Conference in Moscow?!!?!?! Moscow? Assad’s main sponsor, outside Iran, is Russia. It’s like Kerry doesn’t give a shit. At all.

    Remember: the Obama administration was pressured into intervening in this way. They do not have a plan. (If the Jordanians, or the Turks could muster the courage to intervene … that would be different).

    As the realization hits that we have no idea what we are doing, no power to affect any outcome, and our allies, the Americans, don’t have a plan and don’t really care, the Conservatives are going to look like a bunch of assholes for simply going-along, to get-along. Which is what Harper said he wouldn’t do. Going-along to get-along is what Liberals do.

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