Harper On Citizenship and The Potential Consequences for Cases like Khadr’s

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper sounded an unrepentant note Friday about his Conservative government’s failed efforts to keep former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr behind bars.

Harper not backing down on Omar Khadr: He ‘pled guilty to very grave crimes, including murder’

Harper’s desire to revoke citizenship for “convicted” terrorists appears to come from a reluctance to defend and rescue Canadians abroad like Omar Khadr, Maher Arar, and others, simply in order to avoid political snafus. This selfish, unloving, and reckless abandonment of responsibility for our own citizens is reprehensible. If Harper had his way, Khadr would have been lost with little chance of reform in the American military justice system. “Khadr, now 28, pleaded guilty in October 2010 before a widely discredited military commission to five war crimes — including murder in the death of Speer, a U.S. special forces soldier. He was 15 at the time of the incident…and human rights groups have long considered him a child soldier whose treatment violated international law.”

omarkhadr2_1280You can see what kind of person Omar Khadr is now and discover the man who has been fighting for his freedom for years in the CBC documentary “Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows“.


maher-ararAnd we should never forget Maher Arar, and others, who were tortured in foreign nations and we, in part, were the ones who sent them there.

Copyright Lobby Zombies On

Michael Geist, as always, has our back on the comings and goings of those undead copyright lobby groups that just won’t die,

More than ten years of contentious debate over Canadian copyright law appeared to come to a conclusion in late June when Bill C-11 passed its final legislative hurdle and received royal assent. Yet despite characterizing the bill as a “vital building block”, the copyright lobby that pressured the government to impose restrictive rules on digital locks and tougher penalties for copyright infringement is already demanding further reforms that include rolling back many key aspects of the original bill.

Read Geist’s article for more details.

Motion 312 – Defining the fetus as human

Check out Pass 312.org, the central website for information about an MP Motion in Canada for changing the criminal code to identify an unborn child as human (contrary to what the law currently says). Here’s a little bit of info from the site,

1. Canada’s Criminal code defines unborn children as non human beings!

2. One brave MP Stephen Woodworth has brought forward Motion 312 in an attempt to evaluate that law and possibly change it.

3. Every political party in Canada is opposing Motion 312. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it clear that he will vote against it.

4. An estimated 100,000 plus letters and emails have been sent to our MPs this summer urging them to support Motion 312. And yet the word from MPs is that it will not pass unless they hear more from Canadians in support of it.

5. There are over 4,000,000 evangelical Christians in Canada. That means 4 million people who have no excuse for ignoring the abuse of our unborn children (Psalm82:2-4). Nearly 4 million people, however, who have no idea what Motion 312 is and have not yet contacted their MP in favor of it.

Not sure if a fetus is a human? Check out this article.

Contact your MP. Who’s your MP?

For more third party information about the motion check this article.

Illegitimate Conservative Government?

Firm with Tory links traced to election day ‘robocalls’ that tried to discourage voters:

Elections Canada has traced fraudulent phone calls made during the federal election to an Edmonton voice-broadcast company that worked for the Conservative Party across the country.

While the agency investigates, aided by the RCMP, the Conservatives are conducting an internal probe. A party lawyer is interviewing campaign workers to find who was behind the deceptive “robocalls.”

Elections Canada launched its investigation after it was inundated with complaints about election day calls in Guelph, Ont., one of 18 ridings across the country where voters were targeted by harassing or deceptive phone messages in an apparent effort to discourage Liberal supporters from voting.

Undead ACTA Still Thrashing

Check out Michael Geist’s latest update The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is at Stake and What You Can Do. Here’s an excerpt:

The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. (excellent analysis from Benkler and Downes) and elsewhere (mounting Canadian concern that Bill C-11 could be amended to adopt SOPA-like rules), but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week. Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed the agreement, most European Union countries formally signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia).

This has generated a flurry of furious protest: thousands have taken to the streets in protest in Poland, nearly 250,000 people have signed a petition against the agreement, and a Member of the European Parliament has resigned his position as rapporteur to scrutinize the agreement, concluding that the entire review process is a “charade.”

It’s a democracy folks. Let’s make our voice known.

PMO Issues The Order: Canadian DMCA Bill Within Six Weeks

PMO Issues The Order: Canadian DMCA Bill Within Six Weeks

PMO Issues The Order: Canadian DMCA Bill Within Six Weeks

Months of public debate over the future of Canadian copyright law were quietly decided earlier this week, when sources say the Prime Minister’s Office reached a verdict over the direction of the next copyright bill.  The PMO was forced to make the call after Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement were unable to reach consensus on the broad framework of a new bill.  As I reported last week, Moore has argued for a virtual repeat of Bill C-61, with strong digital locks provisions similar to those found in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act and a rejection of a flexible fair dealing approach. Consistent with earlier comments on the need for a forward-looking, flexible approach, Clement argued for changes from C-61.

Join the Facebook group, Fair Copyright for Canada, and write your MP a letter!

Harper is not listening!

Harper is using dictatorship tactics to strong-arm in American DMCA style copyright legislation. Don’t let him get away with it!

A quick google for “dmca controversy” will get you all you need to know about why the American DMCA is bad for everyone involved.

National Security: An Excuse That Has No Place In A Democracy

If the government wants to get out of something, they need only utter “national security” and all concerns are nullified. This excuse is abhorrent and has no place in a democracy.

If the government wants to get out of something, they need only utter “national security” and all concerns are nullified.

This excuse is abhorrent and has no place in a democracy.

Authorities should be demanding better explanations. If a source is at risk of exposure, fine, say that. If it’s another case, say that.

If you can’t come up with anything more palatable than “national security” then it’s a clear sign you have no ground to stand on.

Shame on you people who use the excuse of “national security”. You are not worthy of the democracy you enjoy.

Buy Canadian or Buy American: Just do it right

Kudos to the city of Toronto for purchasing $60 million of tunnel boring equipment from a local company. You will reap more benefits than if you had purchased outside of the city or outside of the country.

Just recently the city of Toronto spent $60million on four boring machines for tunneling. Kudos to them for giving the contract to a Toronto company. That $60million of tax payer’s money is actually a lot less when you take into consideration the positive side-effects of buying local.

Now, I’m all for fair and transparent bidding processes to avoid impropriety, but the problem is not everything just comes down to dollars. I bet the company mentioned above wouldn’t have won the contract if it was just bid dollars being considered. As we find out with most things in life, things are rarely black and white.

So I suggest a sane Buy Canadian or Buy Local system. You tender bids. You initially favour local companies until it becomes evident they do not meet certain criteria. For example, perhaps the local company doesn’t provide exactly what we want, or they have a very bad reputation, or they are unable to scale, or they don’t have sufficient financial backing, etc., etc., etc. This is pretty straight-forward stuff. Just keep removing bidders as they fail to meet criteria. As local companies fall off the list, you start getting into foreign companies. Everyone’s happy (or should be because this is sane and fair).

In the 90s, my father worked for the government and he often recommended Corel over Microsoft. At that point in time, Corel’s office products were arguably better than Microsoft’s. In certain fields, such as law, I’ve been told Corel WordPerfect maintained dominant marketshare right up until recent years. The icing on the cake is, of course, that Corel is/was a Canadian company and an icon on the markets, at that.

So, instead we bought Microsoft. Imagine how the US government would look if they chose Corel over Microsoft? They’d look ridiculous. And so does our government for buying Microsoft. Corel is now a sad, niche player where it used to be a darling of the technology software industry.

So, congratulations to the city of Toronto for buying local. You will gain more back buying local than you ever would’ve seen buying outside the city or outside the country.

It’s pretty simple. Just start doing it Canada.

Give the Government of Canada a Piece of Your Mind on Copyright Reform

The Canadian government has been on the warpath of copyright reform for some years now and every time they get it wrong.

Apparently they still don’t get it.

So give them a piece of your mind.

Fortunately, people like Michael Geist have been in your corner through this whole ordeal. Check out his website to keep up-to-date on this and other issues that affect your rights.