Sunday, February 1, 2015

Herr Harper Is At It Again, But The Media Revolt


H/t Kat McNamara

The Harper-led assault on our rights as Canadians continues, this time under the guise of Bill C-51, the new Anti-Terrorism Act. And finally, the media showed some resistance.
Reporters in Ottawa became surly quickly Friday when it was discovered the government lock-up they attended for a briefing on proposed anti-terror legislation was light on information and heavy on restrictions.

The federal government was tabling Bill C-51, Canada's new ''Anti-Terrorism Act'' meant to bolster authorities' powers to prevent and dismantle terrorist activity.
Forced to agree to an embargo on information until a set time, the reporters were dismayed to find that they were not given the actual bill to peruse.
President of the Parliamentary Press Gallery Laura Payton took up the cause and at the back of the room argued with government staffers, questioning the point of having reporters sign an undertaking when they weren't even being given sensitive information, just backgrounders. The backgrounders detailed little information the reporters didn't already suspect would be in the new legislation.
As discontent grew, an Orwellian intimidation tactic was launched:
Public Safety Canada and Department of Justice employees around the room began nervous attempts to calm reporters.

''Are you filming us?'' a CBC reporter asked in disbelief to a staffer who appeared to be using a phone to record the discontent. The undertaking signed by media specifically said there was to be no filming in the room.
When things calmed down, questions were asked based on information given on background:
The bulk of reporters' questions were on how the bill makes it an indictable offense to knowingly advocate or promote terrorism offences ''in general,'' which could mean people who post propaganda on social media are subject to arrest.

During the question-and-answer period, reporters asked how the government would decide who is supporting terrorism. Stephen Maher from Postmedia asked if someone would be breaking the law if they posted material encouraging attacks by Ukrainian militants on Russian targets in Crimea.

The row of bureaucrats at the front of the room said they wouldn't speculate on hypothetical situations. Many answers seemed scripted to the point where one reporter asked if they were just reading parts of the backgrounder as their answers. The staffer replied that they weren't.
And so the charade continued.

And will continue, of course, until the Canadian electorate grows a backbone and gets rid of the dictator and his entire apparatus.

10 comments:

  1. Everyone -- Parliament, the press, voters themselves -- is treated with contempt, Lorne. How much longer will Canadians put up with this kind of tyranny?

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    1. Until all of us rediscover the importance of self-respect and cast off our bovine passivity, I suspect, Owen.

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  2. So why did it take an 'indie' paper to report this shame on the MSM!

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    1. Indeed, Ben, indeed. And despite the fact that Laura Payton, who works at the CBC, made a fuss, to my knowledge the CBC did not report on this incident.

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    2. Radio Canada did mention it on their morning show. I only heard it once though. Unbelievable.

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    3. Thanks for the information, Margo.

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  3. I don't like the sound of these here boncentration bamps.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqJQ8RD7-Nw

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    1. Yet another apt choice, Anon. Thanks!

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  4. At one stage, the journalists were told it was not a lock up. So why did they not just get up and leave? Did they really believe they were actually going to get any useful information when it was obvious at that point that they had been duped?

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    1. Likely they stayed because even if there was even a remote chance of getting anything resembling substance from the regime, they would have suffered consequences from their employers if they simply left, Anon.

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