Bill Longstaff: Why Canadians must resort to the courts for democracy

Federal Conservatives have been complaining lately about the courts being used, in the words of MP Dan Albas, “to do an end-run around our democratic process.” My immediate reaction to Albas’s remarks was, what democratic process? If he is referring to our current governance, describing it as democratic is overly generous. To begin with, our ...

Bill Longstaff: Stephen Harper’s private army

It is known as the Canadian Special Forces Command, or CANSOFCOM. It commands a secret army, comprised of four units: the Joint Task Force-2 (JTF2), the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR), the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit—Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CJIRU-CBRN), and the 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS) which provides support to ...

Bill Longstaff: Would 42 months in prison make Harper a better Prime Minister?

I assure you that the title of this post is purely tongue-in-cheek. Heaven forbid I would want to see Stephen Harper behind bars. Nonetheless, another prominent conservative just spent 42 months in the slammer and he emerged a better man with a better sense of what prison can and cannot do for society. Conrad Black, ...

Bill Longstaff: Dumbing down Canadians

It started, perhaps, with the Economic Council of Canada. The Council, a Crown Corporation whose role was to conduct a wide range of economic and policy research for the federal government, provided Canadians with an objective analysis of economic affairs. In 1992, Brian Mulroney, furious over a Council report that said Quebec separation might not ...