Liberals’ defence of secret police powers, privilege and impunity does not bode well. Renewal Update
Just over one year ago on January 30, 2015 the Harper government introduced Bill C-51, legislation which sanctions black ops and state terror against Canadians as well as other peoples abroad. The bill was acknowledged by broad sections of Canadian society, from workers, Indigenous peoples, intellectuals and experts as being in contempt of the rule of law. It generated broad discussion among all sections of the people as to its meaning and what could be done. Continue reading
By CHRISTIAN LEGEAIS
One is forced to note that the violation of rights and the criminalization of dissent are notably absent and are not a subject of concern in the statements, announcements and speeches from all the parties that elected MPs October 19, 2015. Continue reading
Anniversary of October 22 Shooting in Ottawa
October 22 marked the first anniversary of the death of Corporal Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa and the subsequent lockdown of the city by security services following which the Harper government unleashed an unprecedented campaign of fear-mongering to justify depriving Canadians of their rights. Editorial of Renewal Update:
On this occasion Renewal Update sends its condolences to the family of Nathan Cirillo as well as warrant officer Patrice Vincent who was killed in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu on October 20, 2014. We also express condolences to Andrea Polko, Nathan Cirillo’s girlfriend, who had the courage to point out under the circumstances surrounding Nathan Cirillo’s killing that Canadians should use the occasion to reflect on the lack of adequate services for individuals with serious mental health issues Continue reading
Eleven months to the day Michael Zehaf-Bibeau went hunting for targets in Ottawa – killing ceremonial guard Nathan Cirillo at the national war monument – another lone gunman was on the loose in Eastern Ontario, murdering three women as Renfrew County was set to host its annual Take Back The Night march |MATTHEW BEHRENS Continue reading
Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled the Harper Government’s 10th federal budget in the House of Commons on April 21 where he presented the government’s view on the document. Dubbed the “Economic Action Plan 2015,” the budget has been named by the government “Strong Leadership: A Balanced-Budget, Low-Tax Plan for Jobs, Growth and Security.”
Announcing new funding for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), RCMP and Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), Oliver used the budget speech to repeat the government’s refrain. “The jihadist terrorists who proclaimed a so-called caliphate in the Middle East have declared war on Canada and Canadians by name. In response, we have taken up the fight both overseas and here at home,” he said. Continue reading
Discussion on Bill C-51, Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015
More than 60 CEOs, business owners and company presidents have signed an April 21 open letter calling on the government to scrap Bill C-51, the daily newsbulletin Renewal Update reports.
The letter points out, among other things, the history of U.S. intelligence agencies conducting espionage against foreign companies, with Canadian collusion and complicity. It points out that reports of Canadian intelligence’s predatory spying on trading partners has already had negative implications for business. Continue reading
Discussion on Bill C-51, Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015
The No Harbour For War newsletter V.4 No.1b was published in mid-April for the April 18th national day of action against Bill C-51. The page 1 statement, reprinted below, was also issued as a leaflet for this event.
Statement from the Editorial Committee of No Harbour For War*, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Haligonians rally against threats of war against Syria, September 7, 2013
Over the last month and a half, No Harbour For War has not failed to notice the massive outpouring popular condemnation of the Harper government’s Bill C-51. This opposition has itself emerged from all coasts and corners of Canada. Continue reading
Legitimate concerns about the criminalization of dissent
Canadian Labour Congress, April 13, 2015
Canada’s central labour body is calling on the government to stop trying to shut down legitimate and nonviolent criticism of human rights abuses by Israel. We are very disturbed to see our government attempting to criminalize legitimate and nonviolent dissent.
Tactics such as boycotts, divestment and sanctions, for example, can be effective for raising awareness about and discouraging human rights abuses by governments, and must not be characterized as criminal or as inciting hatred towards a people. Continue reading
Across the country the concern of Canadians with Bill C-51 is reflected in the serious work to organize the April 18 Day of Action. In spite of significant pressure to undermine the opposition to Bill C-51, ordinary people from all walks of life are exercising their social responsibility by recognizing that there is a need to continue and advance the movement according to its own aim. They have come forward to provide these concerns with a form in which they can be expressed. Continue reading
Indian Brook Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia
With only two days to go to the Saturday, April 18 Day of Action against Bill C-51, actions have been announced in no less than 31 Canadian cities. All this week actions are being held to educate and mobilize people for the Day of Action. Significant turnouts are expected based on the broad enthusiasm to keep up the fight.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
More than 100 organizations and individuals (including this journalist) have signed an open letter dated April 13 calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to scrap Bill C-51. The letter, drafted by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) calls for “the immediate and unconditional dismissal of Bill C-51: Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015” and points out that “amendments cannot repair such an extensive and dangerous piece of legislation.” Continue reading
People in action to defeat Bill C-51
CAUT members demonstrate against Bill C-51 on March 14
Renewal Update (April 8) – The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has published an analysis opposing the Harper government’s new anti-terror legislation and highlighting the dangers it poses to academic freedom and freedom of speech on campus.
The CAUT, which represents 68,000 teachers, librarians, researchers and other academic professionals notes that Bill C-51 “would establish criminal offences that infringe upon the right to free expression.” Continue reading
“No one at CSIS worries that much about SIRC,” writes Andrew Mitrovica in an April 3 article in iPolitics. “They treat it like a visit to the dentist: a necessary nuisance, rarely painful.”
SIRC is the body responsible for review of the activities of Canada’s intelligence agency, and has been promoted as an effective oversight mechanism by the Harper government in the context of the debate on Bill C-51. Mitrovica characterizes the idea that any meaningful oversight of CSIS currently exists as a myth. Continue reading
Renewal Update (April 10) – In the context of the debate on Bill C-51 demands have been raised by various political parties and officials for more oversight over national security agencies. What is absent from the discussion and renders these demands meaningless is the fact that these agencies were never established by the people or for their protection, but are the product of a ruling class to ensure its own security and are wielded in its service nationally and internationally.
DEFEAT BILL C-51 CALENDAR OF EVENTS Continue reading
Renewal Update (April 8) – At its final meeting to study Bill C-51 on March 31, the House of Commons Committee on Public Safety and National Security adopted four amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015. More than 100 proposed amendments by opposition committee members were defeated by the Conservative majority on the committee. Continue reading
Working people in action in Ontario and Quebec to defeat Harper government. “We must all be concerned and worried by the conservative government’s arrogant attitude towards Canadian workers, an attitude that will be accentuated if they are re-elected.”
Seafarers protests called for the defeat of the Harper government and its neo-liberal Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe in St. Catharines on April 1 and Montreal April 2 (pictured above).
Democratic Renewal (April 7) – Two articles in the March 2015 edition of The Canadian Sailor, publication of the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada, call for workers to be active in this year’s federal election for their own interests and to defeat the Harper government. Continue reading
Watch Zafar Bangash analyze the Hollywood war movie, “American Sniper.” Bangash uses the film as a platform from which to discuss a number other issues: Islamophobia, Harper’s proposed draconian new anti-terrorism legislation (Bill C-51), and Canada’s military mission in Iraq and Syria. Zafar Bangash is a world-renowned Muslim scholar, editor of Crescent International Magazine, author, and imam at the York Regional Islamic Centre in Markham, Ontario.
From Ottawa and Washington to Paris, governments and the media sympathetic to those in power take advantage of attacks to drum up support for military adventures abroad. In this context, it is important to take a look back and see how Canadian troops got wrangled into Washington’s ever-expanding “war on terror” in Iraq and Syria. MAHDI DARIUS NAZEMROAYA
How Harper leveraged the Parliament attack to mislead Canada into Iraq
(March 18) – Speaking on January 22, 2015 about the multinational insurgents that he deployed the Canadian military to fight in the Middle East, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper confidently declared to reporters in St. Catharines, Ontario, that, “If those guys [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants] fire at us, we’re going to fire back and we’re going to kill them.” Continue reading
‘Fight against terrorism’ – Cover to support U.S. aggression against Syria and Iraq
Harper stated in Mississauga, “The current authorization laid open the possibility of going into Syria, though we have not done that.” He will “address those issues” when the new proposal is revealed, he said. LOUIS LANG
(March 21) – In a speech in Mississauga on March 18, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would be presenting a motion to the House of Commons the following week to “extend and expand” the Canadian mission in Iraq. Continue reading
Prof. Pam Palmater speaks at Toronto Day of Action against Bill C-51, March 14, 2015 | OFL
Pam Palmater is a Mi’kmaq lawyer, professor and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University, a noted media commentator, activist and advocate for the rights of First Nations people, women and children. Ms. Palmater appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on the morning of March 24 as a witness to speak to her concerns about Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015. Her eloquent testimony reveals the extent to which people are already targeted by security forces for being political in Canada and how Bill C-51 aims to go further. Palmater also provides an example of the refusal to be intimidated by state forces and why it is necessary to stand up for rights.
Related: Harper government irrationalism at Bill C-51 committee
Calendar: Events across Canada to defeat Bill C-51 and defend the rights of all Continue reading
Pam Palmater speaking at the Toronto March 14 action against Bill C-51.
(MRCH 26) – The Harper government’s response to the testimony of Mi’kmaq activist, lawyer and professor Pam Palmater on Bill C-51 was an example of crude irrationalism and diversion from substantive issues. Dr. Palmater explained in her submission to the committee that, despite having never been arrested or charged with a crime, or having advocated violence, freedom of information requests show that she is being actively monitored and investigated by CSIS, the RCMP and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Continue reading
Day of Action against Bill C-51, March 14, 2015 (Click to enlarge)
(March 21) – In reviewing the examples of rampant criminality among the police, intelligence service and state agencies reported since the government introduced Bill C-51 on January 30, it is apparent that private interests are dictating state policy on matters of security. TML Weekly thinks that this is an important aspect for people to investigate as they continue to oppose the bill and the government’s agenda. The neo-liberal restructuring of the state brought monopoly right to the fore and the old mechanisms of a public authority have been smashed.
Arson attack on BC headquarters of CPC(M-L), August 12, 1983.
By PULINE EASTON and ANNA DI CARLO
Aftermath of a police raid on a CPC(M-L) research institute in 1973
According to official and media accounts of crimes committed against Canadians, Quebeckers and Indigenous peoples by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), some crimes never took place and others were unacceptable aberrations. They say that, in any event, the door for such things to be repeated was closed in 1984, when the Canadian Security Intelligence Review Service (CSIS) was created to collect intelligence but not pass to action. In this context, concern is expressed about Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 extending powers to CSIS to allow it to conduct activities that resemble those of the RCMP prior to 1984. Of course, it is not true that after 1984 the security services stopped violating the rights of the people. Continue reading
Defend the Rights of All! Criminalization of Dissent Must Not Pass!
Calendar of Events
A National Day of Action against Bill C-51, Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 has been called for March 14. Demonstrations will take place in cities across Canada with more being organize by the day. The Day of Action is spearheaded by the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) with events sponsored by various organizations concerned about the criminalization of dissent, the creation of a police state and attacks on civil liberties. Continue reading
Discussion on Bill C-51, Anti-terrorism Act, 2015
On January 29, one day before the Harper government introduced its new anti-terror act in the parliament an article appeared in the Globe and Mail entitled “Canadians support increased security powers, poll suggests.” It is worth asking why such a dramatic headline would be used before the contents of the bill were revealed. Continue reading
Polling firm Angus-Reid released a story on February 19 which claims overwhelming support among Canadians for the government’s new anti-terror legislation.
It goes so far as to say “Canadians are firmly supportive of Bill C-51” and that “ [n]early half of Canadians say [the] draft law ‘strikes right balance,’” while “fully one-third say it doesn’t go far enough.” It says that “less than one in five (19 per cent) worried that it (the legislation) goes too far, compromising freedom and privacy.” Continue reading