Sunday, August 6, 2017

Are There Cracks In The Liberal Fortress?

Justin Trudeau and his band of sunny men and women have had, up to this point at least, a pretty easy ride with the Canadian electorate. After years of darkness under the Harper regime, the liberating promise of an open government bent upon truly representing citizens had an allure and cachet too strong to resist. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly apparent that the swap we made at the last election was more cosmetic than substantive, as I have observed many times in this blog.

No fortress is truly impermeable, and cracks are beginning to form in the Liberal one, thanks to some solid journalism and critical thinking. The latest breach in the walls comes via a story on the CBC website.
The Prime Minister's Office received a flood of emails opposing the government's bill to implement new pre-clearance measures at Canadian airports and other departure points following a CBC News story on concerns about the powers the bill grants to U.S. border agents, documents show.

It's been eight months since the U.S. Congress passed its version of a law to implement the latest cross-border agreement with Canada.

The U.S. law authorizes its Customs and Border Protection officials to set up pre-clearance locations at more Canadian locations, allowing Canadian travellers to bypass immigration and customs procedures on arrival at their U.S. destination.
Despite the convenience such a law would seem to promise, there is also something quite disquieting about the Canadian version that was passed by the House but is being held up by the Senate, and Canadians are making known their displeasure:
CBC News has obtained a trove of public communications, mostly emails, sent over a 10-day period following the a CBC News story on controversial aspects of C-23, particularly the new powers it would grant to U.S. border agents working on Canadian soil.
Most of the letter writers express concern about parts of the bill that grant new powers to U.S. border agents working in Canada. Those include the right to bear arms and, most controversially, the discretionary power to detain Canadians for further questioning if the U.S. agent is unhappy with their answers.

Until now, Canadians passing through U.S. Customs pre-clearance in a Canadian airport have had the right to simply withdraw their request to enter the U.S. if the encounter goes badly, and leave the pre-clearance area.

Section 31 of Canada's legislation takes away that right.

Government insiders say the volume of mail received was "unprecedented" and took officials at Public Safety by surprise.
And it is not just the usual suspects who are expressing their discontent:
The documents show the negative feedback included many missives from people who described themselves as Liberal supporters.

"I have been a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal, but you lose my support if you pass this bill," wrote one person from Burlington, Ont., on Feb. 12.

The same morning, a Coquitlam, B.C., resident warned that after reading about the bill, they now "regretted any financial or political support I've ever given the federal Liberal Party in the past, and have resolved, until I see this one modified to prevent detentions of Canadians or permanent residents, never to support your party again."

"I have voted Liberal all my life but will do evering (sic) to bring this government down if this bill is passed or any version of it," wrote another.
You can read some of the specific comments made about the bill by clicking on the first link above, but the one of the strongest objections seems to be that the bill entails an infringement upon our rights as Canadian citizens "by allowing a U.S. authority to detain Canadians while on Canadian soil."

Mr. Trudeau has said that we live in a post-national age. Clearly, there are many Canadians who refuse to accept his facile assessment.


  1. Maybe the border initiative will finally lift Canadians out of their lethargic complacency. I'm not sure an engaged public would be to any party's liking.

    1. An engaged public always gets in the way of a carefully-crafted narrative, eh Mound?

  2. Trudeau says stupid things all the time, I filter it Out at this point.

    I honestly believe the best way to end the rein of this facade of a Prime Minister is Guy Caron of the NDP, only true substance can beat someone who is all style and no substance.

    1. Given the debased nature of politics today, Gyor, I hope people are still able to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  3. .. Without question, the border security & customs issue is a travesty.. a sovereign nation travesty that ties into secretive spying and monitoring & that whole ball of wax. What Harper put in motion is now amplified by a fake president, Trump and a hysterical disturbed GOP cesspool.

    I will return to this theme again and again in the future.. but put what I say in context to the recent success of Sleeping Giant.

    I believe the only path to cleaning up 'politics' is by forcing Mainstream Media to clean itself up & pressure cook dishonest political parties, politicians, partisans, lobbyists, partisan self interest 'charities', and malignant corporate entities.

    Right now we are at the nadir of politics 'wearing' media to camouflage their naked self interests & collusion to sell out ordinary citizens in North America. We need to refuse to accept or support Media that are an intrinsic part of the problem. Strip or rend their efforts and capability and dishonest or captured politicians are stark naked & blowing in the wind.

    To think this is a monumental task is an understatement! It is revolutionary to think we can out and punish 'dirty' or sellout media. But it may be the only practical solution. Social Media is also infected with parasitic or partisan deceit delusion & deception, from the head of the fish to the tail.

    As I say, more about this later.. but the situation requires an extremely aggressive & sustained & inspired offensive.. not polite defensive criticisms. I could in a heartbeat name 10 Mainstream Media sellouts who should be chased from their privileged pulpits.. and there are hundred & hundreds of these in Canada alone.

    1. I look forward to you expanding on this theme, Salamander. As I think you know, I always welcome guest posts, especially from informed commentators like you.