Shooting Themselves in the Foot

by matttbastard

Taxi!

Yesterday, the office of Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan released the following statement, explaining why the Harpercons were blocking the release of a Canada Firearms Centre (CAFC) performance report on the Long Gun Registry:

“Canadians don’t need another report to know that the long-gun registry is very efficient at harassing law-abiding farmers and outdoors enthusiasts, while wasting billions of taxpayer dollars.”

Less than 24 hours later, veteran Parliamentary reporter Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star has linked to the report, which reveals the dirty little secret of Canada’s oh-so controversial Long Gun Registry:

It works.

Notes Delacourt:

[The registry is] spending less, attracting more registrants and police are using the registry  more — almost 4,000 times last year. Yep, that’s an argument to kill it.

Golf claps to the spineless, craven Liberal & New Democrat MPs who allowed the Harpercons to bully them into pissing on the graves of the 14 Montreal Massacre victims (and props to the Bloc for actually doing the right thing for Canada — shocking, I know).

A rundown of the twenty turncoat cowards who felt that pandering to low-information voters trumped public safety:

  1. Mr. Malcolm Allen
    (Welland) NDP
  2. Mr. Scott Andrews
    (Avalon) Liberal
  3. Mr. Charlie Angus
    (Timmins—James Bay) NDP
  4. Ms. Niki Ashton
    (Churchill) NDP
  5. Mr. Larry Bagnell
    (Yukon) Liberal
  6. Mr. Dennis Bevington
    (Western Arctic) NDP
  7. Mr. Nathan Cullen
    (Skeena—Bulkley Valley) NDP
  8. Mr. Jean-Claude D’Amours
    (Madawaska—Restigouche) Liberal
  9. Mr. Wayne Easter
    (Malpeque) Liberal
  10. Mr. Claude Gravelle
    (Nickel Belt) NDP
  11. Mrs. Carol Hughes
    (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing) NDP
  12. Mr. Bruce Hyer
    (Thunder Bay—Superior North) NDP
  13. Mr. Jim Maloway
    (Elmwood—Transcona) NDP
  14. Mr. Keith Martin
    (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca) Liberal
  15. Mr. John Rafferty
    (Thunder Bay—Rainy River) NDP
  16. Mr. Anthony Rota
    (Nipissing—Timiskaming) Liberal
  17. Mr. Todd Russell
    (Labrador) Liberal
  18. Mr. Scott Simms
    (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor) Liberal
  19. Mr. Peter Stoffer
    (Sackville—Eastern Shore) NDP
  20. Mr. Glenn Thibeault
    (Sudbury) NDP

And a handy-dandy directory of the MPs who comprise Canada’s 40th Parliament, including contact info — so you can either thank your local MP for standing up against gun violence, or politely tell them how you feel about them flipping the bird to the women of Canada.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Advertisements

The Return of ‘Lawful Access’

by matttbastard

Well, isn’t this lovely:

The Conservative government is preparing sweeping new eavesdropping legislation that will force Internet service providers to let police tap exchanges on their systems – but will likely reignite fear that Big Brother will be monitoring the private conversations of Canadians.

The goal of the move, which would require police to obtain court approval, is to close what has been described as digital “safe havens” for criminals, pedophiles and terrorists because current eavesdropping laws were written in a time before text messages, Facebook and voice-over-Internet phone lines.

The change is certain to please the RCMP and other police forces, who have sought it for some time. But it is expected to face resistance from industry players concerned about the cost and civil libertarians who warn the powers will effectively place Canadians under constant surveillance.

Constant surveillance–how so?

The concern of critics is that unlike a traditional wiretap that cannot commence without judicial approval, lawful-access legislation in other countries has forced Internet providers to routinely gather and store the electronic traffic of their clients. Those stored data can then be obtained by police via search warrant.

“That means we’re under surveillance, in some sense, all the time,” said Richard Rosenberg, president of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. “I think that changes the whole nature of how we view innocence in a democratic society.”

Um, yeah, just a li’l bit.

Oh, and, via Michael Geist, it seems our loyal opposition is also doing its part to represent the best interests of the nation by, um, once again proposing its own lawful access legislation–a bill even more odious than the government’s’:

…Liberal MP Marlene Jennings has reintroduced her lawful access private member’s bill, called the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act.  The Jennings bill is a virtual copy of a failed Liberal lawful access bill that died in 2005.

[…]

[T]he Jennings bill would require ISPs to disclose customer name and address information to law enforcement without court oversight.

The Magical ConservaLiberal Unity Pony drops yet another stinking, steaming load on our heads; I love the smell of bipartisan turdblossoms in the morning.

Cough.  Anyway.

From what I can tell, the only substantive difference between Van Loan’s proposed piece of legislation and the one then-Public Safety Minister Stockboy Day tried to surreptitiously impose in 2007 without any public input (before backpeddling quicker than you can say ‘Ogopogo’) is the apparent requirement of judicial approval (which, as noted, may not provide much in the way of protection for a citizen’s private online information–and  Jennings’ PMB offers, um, none).  Otherwise, the state will, in essence, be forcing ISPs to fulfill the darkest fantasies of the tinfoil-adorned black helicopter set.

And, as Impolitical (h/t) notes:

The dangers of such powers being placed with law enforcement and the potential for abuses have been made abundantly clear by the experience Americans have had with the Bush administration and the revelations from whistleblowers in the last year.

Two examples:

Am in full agreement with Geist here:

…Van Loan should commit to active consultations with the privacy community before introducing the legislation; renew the government’s pledge for full court oversight (including for customer name and address information); and there must be full hearings on the bill that place the burden on law enforcement to demonstrate that there is a problem with the law as it currently stands.

Bottom line: this is not a path any purportedly ‘free’ society should hastily embark upon.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Layton Sees Daylight?

by matttbastard

Via pogge, Dawg finally heard back from his MP, Paul Dewar. According to Dewar, the NDP hasn’t taken a final decision position on Bill C-6, the so-called ‘show-your-face bill’. Props to Dewar for allowing Dawg to get out the information prior to publication in the Globe; I will happily issue a ‘mea culpa’ and extract Smilin’ Jack’s shiny pate from his (purportedly) pert and tight posterior (assuming, as Dawg says, “a thorough, proper evisceration of C-6 at committee or an NDP “No” vote” occurs).

Whether it was the Globe that jumped the gun with yesterday’s incindiary article (complete with leaves-no-room-for-doubt headline: NDP supports show-your-face bill) or Yvon Godin, the NDP MP who (apparently) told Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan that the Dippers were going to support Bill C-6, is unknown at this time. Still, one would hope that the NDP’s communication apparatus was more expediant in countering apparently erroneous information–especially in this bloggy age where a story can grow legs and start running within minutes. One also hopes that the message actually has been received loud and clear by the Dipper leadership: this bill (as proposed) stinks and should not be allowed to pass.

Now to wait for the Globe to issue a correction…

Update: Just to further clarify: this retraction is entirely conditional on the NDP killing C-6–full stop. Dewar’s letter to the editor still leaves room for C-6 to pass in a different form. That’s not acceptable, no matter how many (at this point hypothetical) Muslims shrug their shoulders.

More later…

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Layton Gets Up-Close And Personal With His Colon

by matttbastard

head_up_ass.jpg

Way to play wingman while Uncle Steve flirts with nativism, Jack.

h/t pogge and Sinister Greg.

Update: Found the following delightful dispatch at a private forum; apparently it’s making the rounds as an email forward. Who knew Bryan Adam’s manager was a racist sack of shit – and that his unrepentant bigotry would strike a chord with ‘real’ citizens:

WE ARE CANADIANS

Bruce Allan [sic] is on the 2010 Olympic Committee and new Canadians (specifically Hindi’s / Indian’s) want him fired for his recent comments outlined below;
Our National Anthem: I am sorry, but after hearing they want to sing the National Anthem in Hindi – enough is enough. Nowhere or at no other time in our nation’s history, did they sing it in Italian, Japanese, Polish, Irish (Celtic), German, Portuguese, Greek, or any other language because of immigration.
It was written in English, adapted into co-founding French, and should be sung word for word the way it was written. The news broadcasts even gave the Hindi version translation which was not even close to our National Anthem. I am not sorry if this offends anyone, this is MY COUNTRY – IF IT IS YOUR COUNTRY SPEAK UP —- please pass this along.

I am not against immigration – just come through like everyone else. Get a sponsor; have a place to lay your head; have a job; pay your taxes, live by the rules AND LEARN THE LANGUAGE as all other immigrants have in the past and LONG LIVE CANADA!”

It’s time we all get behind Bruce Allen, and scrap this Political Correctness crap. His comments were anything but racist, but there are far too many overly sensitive ‘New Canadians’ that are trying to change everything we hold dear. ARE WE PART OF THE PROBLEM! Think about this: If you don’t want to forward this for fear of offending someone,will we still be the Country of Choice and still be CANADA if we continue to make the changes forced on us by the people from other countries who have come to live in CANADA because it is the Country of Choice? Think about it.

IMMIGRANTS, NOT CANADIAN’S, MUST ADAPT. It is Time for CANADA to speak up. If you agree – pass this along.

Is that the sort of dangerously exclusive sentiment our political elite wish to further cultivate in Canada by legitimizing othering and outright xenophobia? Because misguided sops to the lowest common denominator like the so-called ‘show-your-face’ bill only encourages the dubious celebration of cultural homogeneity. Like Greg says, “[i]f they think these kinds of actions will not have consequences for the health of our society, they are wrong.”

 Update 2: Dr Dawg has an ultimatum for the NDP: vote this bill down or forever lose his support.  Count me in–even though I haven’t been a member since 2003, I’ve never voted for any other party other than the Dippers. But I can’t in good conscience continue to support them if they allow this bill to pass.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers