Categories for Feature

My latest: the constitutional abomination that is C-10

Pro tip, Trudeau Liberals: When you have a Constitution, heed it.

And if you have legal experts to check out your legislation, use ’em. They’ll help keep you out of trouble.

And in recent days, on the free speech front, Justin Trudeau and one of his ministers have had plenty of trouble. All self-made.

We tender as evidence Bill C-10. The bill updates the Broadcasting Act, which hasn’t changed in two decades. That’s arguably good.

But the changes contained in Bill C-10 could give unelected federal bureaucrats the power to censor the content you, Dear Reader, upload to the internet. That’s inarguably bad.

Now, during the pandemic, it’s pretty hard for anything to get noticed (ask Erin O’Toole). But C-10 did. There was a huge hue and cry, hither and yon. Canadians, on all sides of the ideological spectrum, were livid.

So the Trudeau party hastily reversed itself, and sent their censorship bill off for a Charter review. Could it still come back as bad as before? It could.

Since the establishment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, Canadian courts have developed tried-and-true approaches to determining whether a law is constitutional. So let’s do a quick review of C-10, shall we?

First off, we need to determine if C-10 violates a section of the Charter. Simply put, it does: Section 2(b).

Here’s what Section 2(b) says: “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”

“Everyone” means everyone. That’s you. A “fundamental freedom” is the most basic right — and, some would say, the most important in a democracy. Because they’re the things that make us a democracy.

Does the “expression” referred to in Section 2(b) cover the stuff you post on social media, or your blog, or whatever? It surely does. In one of the earliest Charter Section 2 cases, the Supreme Court of Canada said that expression is “any activity or communication that conveys or attempts to convey meaning.”

“Any.” That covers your granny’s cat pictures, but also your 2,000-word critique of Trudeau’s vaccine rollout (which, as your granny would agree, has been pitiful). So Bill C-10 is caught by the Charter’s free speech provision. And it fails.

But is it therefore dead? Not yet, folks. The Trudeau government, which has thousands of justice department lawyers to do its bidding, can argue that the breach of Section 2(b) is “reasonable.”

That’s Section 1: To be reasonable, a limit on a Charter right needs to be “prescribed by law” and “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

So, is Bill C-10 prescribed by law? Well, it will be, if the Trudeau cabal get their way. They have the power to pass the law, and they’ll do so with the gutless acquiescence of the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois.

But is it “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society?” No. No way.

No other country in the world is proposing to regulate the internet in this way — save and except China or Iran. Nor is the bill what lawyers call “proportional” — no other country is using a sledgehammer to kill a flea, as C-10 does. Is the impairment of basic rights minimal, here? No, sir. C-10 would throttle the principal way in which we all communicate with each other during this endless pandemic.

On every front, in every way, Bill C-10 is wildly unconstitutional. It violates our most sacred law — the Constitution of our country.

So here’s more free legal advice, Trudeau Liberals: With C-10, you are in a deep, deep hole.

And when in a hole, stop digging.

— Warren Kinsella is a lawyer and an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law

Bernier bros

The flag of the neo-Nazi, white supremacist Canadian Nationalist Party is raised at Maxime Bernier’s anti-lockdown rally in Saskatchewan on the weekend. Bernier and the leader of the CNP spoke in September 2018 about immigration and political cooperation.

Bernier is suing me for saying he is a racist.

My latest: C-10 must be stopped. But who will stop it?

It’s not censorship.

It’s not censorship to want to use the law to prohibit, and punish, those who make and distribute child pornography.

It’s not censorship to object to hate propaganda, or to sanction those who promote genocide against those they hate.

It’s not censorship to believe that we shouldn’t make it easy for lunatics to access detailed instructions online about how to make bombs or chemical weapons.

It’s not censorship, it’s showing good judgment. In a civil society, it’s the obligation we owe each other. It keeps us safe, among other things.

But Justin Trudeau’s Bill C-10 isn’t about censoring things that we all agree are harmful, it’s about censoring you, and what you say online — in a tweet, a Facebook post, on a blog. It’s about limiting your ability to express yourself in a democracy.

It’s a constitutional abomination. It needs to be stopped.

So why haven’t the Opposition parties stopped it?

The Opposition, as on most days during the pandemic, are completely irrelevant. They didn’t see the political opportunity presented by C-10 until a few days ago.

The Bloc Quebecois are all for the Bill, naturally. No surprise there. They come from a province that has a long history of controlling political speech. It’s in their DNA.

The NDP, meanwhile, is for it too. The New Democrats like to persuade themselves that C-10 will control “hate speech,” but that’s just a lie they tell themselves to justify their ongoing role as Trudeau’s Parliamentary eunuchs. They’re irrelevant, numerically and philosophically.

The Conservatives, naturally, never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They didn’t see the outrage that is C-10 until their grassroots demanded that they wake up.

That’s the Opposition. They don’t matter, much. Not yet. But what about the government? That’s what this writer doesn’t get.

Now, as readers of this newspaper know, Justin Trudeau is a deeply dishonest man. He is the most inauthentic politician in generations, and that’s saying something.


But he knows he lacks his father’s intellectual depth — or Stephen Harper or Jean Chretien’s strategic skill. What he does possess, in abundance however, is a finely-honed sense of self-preservation. He’d kill his dog to win. (Anyone seen the dog, recently, BTW?)

So why would he do something like C-10 on the eve of an election — likely if not in June then in October? Why would he do that? Why would he risk losing over this? Because he could.

It’s not a piece of legislation. It’s a political suicide note. It’s self-immolating madness.

That’s what some of us just don’t get: you could run an entire national election campaign on C-10 because the Internet is the only thing that connects pandemic-bound people to the world right now.

The Internet – and its bastard children Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok – are the only way many of us can connect with each other during this pandemic without end.

And Trudeau wants to be seen as censoring that? Has he lost his mind?

Now, never discount the possibility that powerful people make powerfully stupid choices, I always say. But this? This is historically stupid. It is epically stupid.

It is stupid on steroids.

The Conservatives, who have been on a downward trajectory in the Erin O’Toole era, have been handed a way to actually win the election. Personally, I doubt they’re intelligent enough to recognize it. And the Liberal Party, as it turns out, isn’t intelligent enough to figure that out, either.

But – improbably and unexpectedly, things just got interesting.

Because this is really, truly censorship.

— Warren Kinsella is a lawyer and adjunct professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law

Daisy Group is 15 years old!

15 years ago right now, I was arriving in Yorkville in Toronto to open the doors of the Daisy Group for the very first time. I hadn’t slept all night.

I was simultaneously terrified and exhilarated. Terrified, because a group of young people were counting on me to make the business a success. Exhilarated, because I would finally become my own boss.

Fifteen years later, we’re still here. I’ve employed dozens and dozens of amazing people over the years – people who have gone on to everything from running for public office to winning a full scholarship at Oxford University.

We’ve advised Premiers and Prime Ministers and governments and unions and businesses and associations and individuals. We’ve helped people through crises and lawsuits and every conceivable type of challenge. And we have had some amazing clients – and many we have represented pro bono, because we believed in their cause.

The best thing that ever happened to me is becoming a Dad – and growing up with the family I had. But the next best thing was arriving in Yorkville, early one morning in May 2006, to unlock the doors to the Daisy Group.

Happy birthday, Daisy. I wouldn’t be here without you.

My latest: Joe versus Justin

One hundred days.

As of this week, that’s how long Joe Biden has been President of the United States.

Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, has been Prime Minister of Canada for 2,000 days.

One hundred days versus two thousand days: who is doing better?  Who is the better leader?

Now, this writer worked on the Biden campaign for many months.  And you might say I haven’t exactly been the head of the Trudeau fan club.  But by any reasonable standard – by any objective measure – Joe Biden is doing much, much better than Justin Trudeau.

Take the pandemic, for example (please).  People have been bombarded by lots of statistics over the past year and a bit.  Lots of partisans have played games with pandemic and vaccine-related statistics, contributing to no shortage of cynicism and disbelief.

So, let’s just look at the pandemic facts.  No spin, no adjectives.

Biden came into the office of the president promising to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days.  But he didn’t do that, at all.  Not even close.

No, he more than doubled that.  Biden’s administration blasted past the 200 million figure a couple weeks ago, and it did so well before the 100-day mark.  So, the Democratic leader’s vaccinated more than 60 per cent of Americans.

Over a longer period of time, Justin Trudeau has procured enough vaccines to give at least one shot to more than twelve million Canadians.  Just over 30 per cent.

So, Biden is doubling what Trudeau has done in vaccinations, in a much shorter time frame.  But only one vaccine dose gives you only partial protection.  What about the figure that really counts, those who have been fully vaccinated?  It’s here that Biden crushes Trudeau.

In Biden’s America, nearly 100 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.  That’s 30 per cent of the population of the United States.

In Trudeau’s Canada, only slightly more than a million people have been fully vaccinated.  That’s about three per cent of our population.

That’s the pandemic.  What about the other key indicator in our lives, the economy?  Here, too, Biden’s 100 days easily eclipses Trudeau’s 2,000 days.

In his first 100 days, Biden has approved legislation that cuts child poverty by more than half.  He has expanded Obamacare – and he has injected the U.S. economy with $1.9 trillion in stimulus spending.  That’s more than twice the size of what Barack Obama’s Congress passed a decade ago.

Economic growth in Biden’s America is expected to exceed seven per cent in 2021 – which is the best that nation has experienced since 1984, when Ronald Reagan was in office.  Under Biden, more than a million jobs were created last month alone.

In Canada, Trudeau oversaw mixed economic performance.  While 2020 ended with double-digit growth in Canada, corporate and personal bankruptcies grew here, too. Bankruptcies were up nine per cent from the previous year, with retailers being hit the hardest.

Trudeau’s latest budget, meanwhile, took two years to see the light of day – and then mostly disappeared.  While Trudeau has amassed the biggest budgetary deficit in Canadian history, his 2021 budget mostly unimpressed.  As the National Post’s Kelly McParland memorably (and accurately) put it: Trudeau’s budget “held the public’s attention for maybe 12 hours.”

Joe Biden, meanwhile, continues to hold everyone’s attention.  Far from being “Sleepy Joe,” as his political adversaries called him, Biden has been an animated and activist president.  In just 100 days, he has already achieved much.

Justin Trudeau, over 2,000 days?

Not so much.

[Kinsella was Special Assistant to Jean Chretien.]


My latest: the budget speech Freeland should have given

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table the 2021-22 budget of the Government of Canada. The real one.

I rise to give the budget speech I should have given yesterday, but didn’t. Yesterday, I read out the speech that had been dictated to me by the children in the Prime Minister’s Office — privileged, solipsistic, white children who have a guaranteed paycheque, and who accordingly don’t care or understand what is happening to Canada.

So, I stayed up last night, and remembered that I was once a journalist, and I once cared for the truth. This budget, this speech, is the truth.

Mr. Speaker, we — the former Liberal Party of Canada, which has devolved into a personality cult — have failed Canadians. At the moment of the greatest need, at the time of our greatest peril, we have failed those we had sworn to serve.

Our sins are myriad and undeniable. We entered into a vaccine deal with the Chinese government — a government that has unlawfully imprisoned and is torturing two of our citizens — and pretended to be shocked when that deal fell apart.

When the immensity of our mistake became clear, too late, we stole vaccine doses from Covax, a program that was designed to provide vaccines to the poor of the world. We, a G7 nation, did that.

We permitted international flights into Canada bearing people who we knew — we knew — were infected with the deadly coronavirus. As I stand here today before you, Mr. Speaker, 14 such flights are landing at Pearson airport alone.

Most seriously, Mr. Speaker, we as a government failed to provide the one thing that could save lives, and save businesses, and save families. We failed to obtain enough vaccines.

Tabling a dishonest budget, as I did yesterday, made a bad situation worse. That document was an act of fraud.

How can we claim to be funding affordable child care, after so many decades of making the same promise, and then never delivering on it? How can we, in good conscience, urge Canadians to place their children in places where the virus and its variants, we know now, can flourish and infect?

How can we claim to be concerned with the plight of Indigenous people when we have broken our solemn platform promise to deliver clean water to them, the most basic human necessity?

How can we claim to be levying greater taxation on the wealthiest when our leader, and most of us on this side of the House, have never had to worry about defaulting on a rent or mortgage payment, or worrying about being unable to pay a utilities bill, or simply worrying about having enough left over to feed our children a healthy, sustaining meal?

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to be known as the one who fiddles while Canada burns. I will leave that legacy to the prime minister.

Instead, my new budget has one single and single-minded focus: Vaccines.

With more vaccines, we will have far less sickness and death. With more vaccines, we will have far fewer bankruptcies. With more vaccines, we will have a health-care system that is not overburdened and collapsing across Canada. With more vaccines, we will have fewer ruined lives.

We are blessed with low interest rates. That is the single reason why we have not had a total financial collapse before now. I therefore intend to use the financial might of the treasury — which is still considerable — to aggressively and relentlessly purchase vaccines, and build a vaccine capability in Canada.

Getting vaccines isn’t health policy, Mr. Speaker. It is the best economic policy.

And that is the policy I intend to pursue, whether the children in Langevin Block approve or not.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.”

— Warren Kinsella was Special Assistant to Jean Chretien