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Peace, order and good government, eh?: A group effort

A year ago last March, I took Vic Toews to task for granting CSIS the authority to trade in information derived from torture. In that post, I described a scenario in which the torture of one, possibily innocent, person of interest could easily lead to the torture of additional, possibly innocent, persons of interest. And . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: A group effort

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Is that the sound of goalposts moving?

Canada needs sealed video footage of Khadr interviews before he can return: Toews

TORONTO – Omar Khadr won’t be coming home to Canada any time soon.

The Canadian government has balked at the return of the convicted war criminal and murderer until U.S. authorities turn over allegedly-damning video footage of psychiatrists’ interviews with the Guantanamo . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Is that the sound of goalposts moving?

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Stakeholders cry foul as feds cut funding for emergency preparedness

Complaints from provinces, municipalities and fire departments across the country are mounting, as are concerns for public safety, after the federal government ended a 30-year funding program designed to help cover the costs of emergency preparedness.

Among the cuts in the omnibus budget bill, the . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Your move, Vic.

Omar Khadr formally requests transfer home from Guantanamo

Ottawa has received an application from convicted war criminal Omar Khadr to transfer from Guantanamo Bay to Canada.

A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the federal government is now making a decision “in accordance with Canadian law.”

I’d be willing to bet that the . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Your move, Vic.

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Work-arounds

Before Justice Dennis O’Connor had even finished his final report on the Maher Arar case, officials in Paul Martin’s government were meeting with their American counterparts to determine how they could make a key portion of O’Connor’s recommendations irrelevant. Writing at Prism, Jeff Sallot has an article based on an American diplomatic cable that was . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Work-arounds

Peace, order and good government, eh?: I wonder if Justice McDonald would be pleased

CSIS is back in the news, this time defending a policy of paying surprise visits to people at their places of employment. The particular case described in the current news item involves a woman who had previously been visited by agents at her home on three different occasions. At the end of the third visit, . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: I wonder if Justice McDonald would be pleased

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Monsters

A bit less than a month ago we learned that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews had loosened the rules governing the ability of CSIS to trade in information derived from torture. That was bad enough but it gets worse.

The federal government has given Canada’s spy service the go-ahead to provide information to foreign agencies . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Monsters

Skynet : Connecting the surveillance dots

So remember how the Cons withdrew their just-tabled internet surveillance bill, the Lawful Access Act, on Feb 14 and replaced it an hour and 15 minutes later with the identical but renamed Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, a bill which mentions neither children nor predators?

Coincidentally, the US Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act . . . → Read More: Skynet : Connecting the surveillance dots

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Indulge me for a moment while I become hysterical

Much of the establishment media coverage of the public reaction to Bill C-30 — and Vic Toews initial comment on it in Question Period — has been annoying, to say the least. Did you know it’s naive of us to be outraged at Toews claim that opposing the bill is the equivalent of supporting child . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Indulge me for a moment while I become hysterical

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

How can tabling legislation in the House of Commons without knowing what it actually says be considered competence?

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says he is surprised to learn that a section of the government’s online surveillance bill provides for “exceptional circumstances” under which “any police officer” can request customer information from a telecommunications service . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Leave Vic Toews alooooooone!

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews wants an investigation.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is calling for an investigation into how his divorce records ended up on Twitter.

Toews has been targeted in an online campaign related to the introduction of a surveillance bill which gives authorities easier access to people’s Internet lives.

An investigation by . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Leave Vic Toews alooooooone!

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Today in Gutter Politics

The Harper Government™ introduced the latest version of what is colloquially known as the Lawful Access bill today. This is the legislation that would force Internet Service Providers to equip themselves to be able to track the surfing habits of their customers and turn the information over to law enforcement on demand.

Many critics, including . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Today in Gutter Politics

Peace, order and good government, eh?: I wish I could say I’m surprised but I’m not

CSIS may use intelligence derived from torture, Toews says

The federal government has directed Canada’s spy agency to use information that may have been extracted through torture in cases where public safety is at stake.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has quietly told CSIS the government now expects the spy service to “make . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: I wish I could say I’m surprised but I’m not

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Perhaps the best place to start with this Globe and Mail article is half a dozen paragraphs in, where a part of the process followed when someone is to be deported from Canada is described.

Bureaucrats routinely conduct what is known as a “pre-removal risk assessment” to determine whether rights abuses are likely to follow . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Today in Gutter Politics

This could be the start of a whole new series. Wouldn’t that be fun? I don’t think this has been reported in the traditional media channels (yet), but courtesy of the press corps observing the serious and sober debate in the House of Commons today and tweeting their observations… Glen McGregor: Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says NDP MP Joe Comartin had a "long career defending criminals." (Comartin was a defence lawyer). Wow. Kady O’Malley, in a couple of tweets: …is Vic Toews suggesting that there’s something somehow untoward about being a defence attorney? That sounds like the start of a bold reimagining of the basic tenets of the justice system! And finally, Colin Horgan of iPolitics: Just when I thought today was better, Toews stood up. You’re either with the Conservatives or you’re with the terrorists criminals, I guess…. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Today in Gutter Politics

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has changed his tune. He had previously indicated that the reason for zapping all the gun registry data was to help make it more difficult for any future government to start up a new registry. But when the Quebec government spoke up and requested a copy so it could start its own registry, Toews suddenly had a new excuse: sharing the data with one or more provinces would violate the Privacy Act. Enter Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart: …Ms. Stoddart said the Privacy Act "permits the disclosure of personal information" through federal-provincial agreements. "Therefore, in appropriate circumstances, an information sharing agreement or arrangement put in place for the purpose of administering or enforcing any law [including provincial law] could assist to ensure any transfer of personal information was in conformity with the Privacy Act." So if we’re to give Minister Toews the benefit of the doubt and asssume he was responding out of genuine concern for the law and for the privacy of gun owners, we have to conclude that when it comes to the Privacy Act, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about…. . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Mostly competent government

Peace, order and good government, eh?: "I haven’t seen that statistic"

Howard Sapers is Canada’s Correctional Investigator. If you want to know what’s happening in Canada’s prisons, he’d probably be a good place to start. Unless you’re Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. Sapers is concerned about the increasingly crowded conditions in our prisons and says its leading to more violence and more deaths. He’s particularly concerned since the current government’s policies are pretty much guaranteed to increase the prison population even more. "The indicators that we look at in terms of getting a measure of institutional violence are all going in the same direction," Mr. Sapers said. "And they’re all going up." Vic Toews disagrees. "I haven’t seen that statistic," he said. "There isn’t as much prisoner-on-prisoner violence that used to exist eight or nine years ago, before we put in policies that restricted some of the movement of prisoners." If you’re inclined to read the rest of the article to learn what evidence Toews is relying on when he disputes Sapers’ comments, you’ll search in vain. He doesn’t offer any. His position is that his government implemented a policy that should have improved the situation, therefore the situation must have improved. Evidence to the contrary is waved away by saying… . . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: "I haven’t seen that statistic"