Does the Canadian Charter guarantee "equality before the law"?
In days past this question would never have even been asked, let alone raised in polite Canadian conversation. That’s all changed now that our own government finds itself embroiled in allegations of political interference in the case of a high-flying, too-big-to-fail Canadian company. The allegations take on a particularly shady hue when the company in question, SNC-Lavalin, is on record as having illegally funnelled more than $100,000 into the coffers of the Liberal Party of Canada. Even more than this, the same Liberal Party surreptitiously used the omnibus Budget Bill of 2018 to legislate in favour of SNC. All this subterfuge to save the company from serious penalties for corrupt behaviours in the international business scene. So, one law for the well heeled and connected and one for you and me? Could such an apparent divergence from Charter intent have been anticipated from a Trudeau government?
Should the SNC-Lavalin scandal be a surprise?
Was it not clear from the start that a Trudeau government was intent on taking Canada on a new and radical tack? A direction that would seek to instate post-modern narratives into the real world. Narratives that included such new and counter-intuitive projects as diversity and gender identity even as they tipped the hat to ascendant global pieties like “climate change”. Looking back, it is easy to see that the Trudeau government would have a penchant for the implementation of politically correct notions in an “end-justifies-the-means” fashion. After all, even before his 2015-win future PM Trudeau made the pronouncement that all Liberals would have to knuckle under to his views on abortion and commit to a pro-choice stance. No commitment, no Liberal seat in Parliament. How did he rule once established as Prime Minister?
Creation of the new "post-national" Canada
In December 2015, a few short months after his election win, the new Prime Minister announced to the world, through the New York Times no less, that Canada had “no core identity” and was the first “post-national” state. This state would dedicate itself to the “search for equality and justice” and pursue leadership roles in a multi-lateral arena populated by initiatives like “global warming”. There was no time to lose in the creation of this new Canada and the Paris Agreement was signed in the same month - even as the Liberal government assumed a leadership role in the U.N. Agenda 2030-mandated Global Compact on Migration.
Similarly but on the domestic front, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly was “mandated” to throw the government’s “strong and clear support” behind MP Iqra Khalid’s Motion M-103. This motion was dedicated to realizing “equality and justice” by fighting “Islamophobia” in a Canada characterized by a “rising tide of hate and fear”. It was this motion that spurred the formation of C3RF. C3RF was the first to see the need for a national debate in the face of the real and present danger that “Islamophobia” presented to Canadian free speech rights. With the table set for the institution of a “post-national” Canada on both the global and domestic fronts, would the government pursue change through reasoned debate or through no-holds-barred fisticuffs?
Free speech and incontestable "climate change"
There would be no reasoned debate underpinning the progression of Liberal government objectives. The signing of the Paris Agreement came first with no national discussion of the underlying science or proposed remedies. Indeed, the signing ceremony was attended by a circus of over three hundred politicians, environmentalists and bureaucrats – all true and jubilant believers. Facts and faulty climate models be damned, there was no need for reflection on an Agreement that proposed to make a frigid and expansive Canada a fossil fuel-free state. Even now, if one is brave enough to pop his head up above the trench line and question the theory behind “global warming” he will be pilloried as a “denier”. Indeed, some will even threaten him with imprisonment. So much for free speech!
Free speech and incontestable "M-103"
The whole Motion M-103 process, from its inception with Petition “E-411” to its Parliamentary approval through to the follow-on “study period,” can be seen as a rigged enterprise dedicated to arriving at a pre-determined conclusion. How else to explain the deep-sixing of numerous expert witness testimonies that identified “Islamophobia” as a dangerous term capable of diminishing free speech rights? How else to explain the quick and ready use of the omnibus Budget Bill of 2018 to appropriate some $23 million for Islamophobia initiatives – the same Bill that afforded SNC-Lavalin its special protections against international corruption charges? It might not have been a “bill” but M-103 certainly had the power to act like one as it accessed public funds while ignoring the debate against doing so. So much for respecting the dissenting speech of millions of Canadians. How could M-103 be seen, at the end of the day, as anything but a cynical expression of political power?
Free speech and incontestable "Global Compact on Migration"
Whereas free speech was curtailed in the “climate change” instance through insults and epithets, it was impacted directly in the case of the Global Compact on Migration. This was accomplished by the Compact’s direct calls for signatory nations to legislate against discrimination of both migration policies and the migrants themselves. After all, migration had now become an international “human right”. More than this, the Compact mandates media outlets to undergo “education” programs with non-compliant communicators being denied public funds. Can’t get much more draconian than this when it comes to coercing a so-called free media into compliancy.
Free speech in an election year
When it came to free speech, the Global Compact on Migration was proven to be a “M-103 on steroids”. This was evidenced by its direct measures to “educate” host communities and apply financial incentives aimed at coaxing favourable media reportage. It is these types of control measures that we now see the Government of Canada using throughout its considerable span of control. It is interesting to note that such measures appear to be happening in lockstep with those being propagated by the European Union as it approaches its own spring election period. For example, the EU has made plans to combat “fake news” by co-opting Google and Facebook participation and providing a “rapid alert” function to warn governments of untoward internet activity. For Canada’s part, it has cranked up a similar entity in the form of a “Critical Election Incident Public Protocol”. It will be overseen by five Liberal government heavy weights charged with warning the public regards cyber threats and disinformation campaigns – impartial you think? Not to be outdone by our European comrades, the Liberal government has also introduced an initiative that sees the appropriation of $595 million to bolster the financial prospects of “qualified news organizations”. A move that will “irrevocably politicize the press”.
Two years ago, C3RF engaged in the battle against the free speech-crushing Motion M-103. At the time, M-103 was deemed to be an isolated issue that was underpinned by false narratives and assumptions. Looking back over those two years, it now appears that M-103 was just the beginning of a pattern that would replicate itself over and over as the current Government of Canada exercised its mandate. The perceived pattern is simple enough; reward friends, punish enemies and stay in power.
Reward friends, punish enemies and stay in power
With this pattern in mind, M-103 can be seen to be about rewarding a voting bloc that came through in the 2015 election. This bloc was instrumental in delivering highly prized GTA ridings. In a similar fashion, the “climate change” and Compact on Migration issues are projects of mutual benefit to both the Government of Canada and the United Nations. The former stands to gain by realizing hordes of new citizens and potential voters while the latter assumes new, global rulemaking responsibilities. In all cases, it is readily apparent that being a friend means sharing the right, politically correct narrative and helping with the delivery of votes. As for dealing with enemies, the Summer Jobs “attestation” program tells the tale – not to mention the invective afforded to the “bad actors”, “non-Canadians” and “Islamophobes” that oppose the government’s policies.
Ongoing operations and trends
It’s easy to see that the pattern noted above cannot be sustained without severely and adversely impacting the individual Charter Rights of everyday Canadians. It's not just free speech that will suffer. The provision of protected status to preferred, counter-intuitive narratives will also see your right to “equality before the law” suffer. If the pattern runs true to form, you will suffer if you are perceived to be an enemy of the State rather than its friend.
C3RF will continue to advocate, educate and act against such attempts to diminish your rights and keep Canada the strong and free nation it is meant to be – not the new, “post-national” global entity that our elites would like to see it become in spite of your reservations. If one projects this raging battle between the ruled and their rulers on a global scale, is it any wonder that folks like you have delivered “populist” victories in the case of Brexit and Trump? Come to think of it, what about Ontario and Quebec on the domestic front? It all begs the question, is it “populism” or love of freedom that is in play against the globalist project. Anyway, it is becoming clear that your Canada-centric opinions are not on the “fringe” of the debate. Rather, it is those of the elites that, for now, rule over you.
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Major Russ Cooper (Ret'd)