Is "rule of law" still alive in Canada?
Now that Wilson-Raybould and Philpott have been unceremoniously booted from Liberal caucus we can begin papering over the fear that Canada had a “rule of law” crisis. After all, the threat that “political interference” posed to the independence of the nation’s prosecutorial system never actually occurred – as of yet! It matters not that such a fundamental breach of our constitution was barely avoided by the smallest of margins and only by the heroic efforts of one, principled Attorney General in the form of Jody Wilson-Raybould. It matters not that, without her courageous rebuff of frenzied, persistent and powerful calls to do the wrong thing, we barely missed taking our place alongside Venezuela and other such “banana republics”. Anyway, the real problem, as we are told now by the Liberal and media elite, was never about losing the “rule of law” but about dealing with nefarious politicians who had the temerity to record other politicians. That was the real threat that needed to be dealt with and dealt with it was by a long-suffering, compassionate leader in the form of Justin Trudeau. In this context the preservation of the “rule of law” is an added bonus. Isn’t it?
Are Canadian powers sufficiently separated?
There can be little doubt that the SNC-Lavalin scandal points to a serious lack of separation in Canadian executive and judicial powers. This shouldn’t be a surprise given the concentration of power in the executive branch that has proceeded pretty well unabated since the patriation of the Constitution in 1982. This power is heavily vested in the team made up of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Privy Council Office (PCO). This troika of Canadian power is responsible for appointments across the executive, legislative and judicial spectrums and is virtually unknown to the formal Constitution. Given a majority government and a compliant press, it is a juggernaut capable of matching the powers of any earthly dictatorship.
Canadians can be forgiven for thinking they have just witnessed a full court press on the judiciary by a determined executive. The fact that it was such a close-run thing is rightfully concerning and has sparked calls to review the wisdom of combining the Attorney General and Minister of Justice offices in one person. It is interesting to note, in the midst of all this, that judicial appointments by the executive have also been roiled into the mix. The case in point is that of Chief Justice of Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench, Glenn Joyal. Judge Joyal was recommended to take the Supreme Court Chief Justice position by AG Wilson-Raybould. This recommendation, apparently, was batted down in no uncertain terms by the Prime minister who didn’t like Joyal’s position on judicial activism. Joyal was of a mind that such activism had no part to play in Charter Rights issues. Joyal saw a need for the separation of powers. Trudeau, obviously, did not.
Where are rank and file Canadians in all of this?
It would appear that distributing the Attorney General and Minister of Justice roles amongst two separate individuals would fall far short of remedying a problem characterized by an imbalance of political power. There can be little doubt that such power disparities manifest themselves in “democratic deficits” that see “the people” being left out rather than served. How could it be otherwise when their elected representatives owe allegiance to the “troika” of political power in the form of the PM, the PMO and the PCO. This allows governments of the day, particularly majorities, the power to reward friends, punish enemies and manoeuvre to retain power unencumbered until the next election cycle. Perhaps the coming review of the AG and Minister of Justice positions needs to be expanded to create a separation of powers scheme that addresses this known “democratic deficit”.
Is the “democratic deficit” making for bad government?
The “democratic deficit” is nowhere plainer to see than in the case of the Government’s headstrong push to legislate the U.N.’s Agenda 2030. This Agenda calls for nations to share sovereignty to better address issues such as “climate change” and free flow migration aimed at reducing regional disparities. This stubbornness is clear in the manner in which Motion M-103, a precursor for the free flow migration initiative, was forced through Parliament regardless of cogent arguments against its passage and a public approval rating of only 14%. The passage of the Motion in March, 2017 was followed up by a 2018 omnibus budget that carved out some $23 million for related measures including the fight against Islamophobia. Now, it appears that this unpopular measure sits at the core of a controversy linking Canadian taxpayer dollars with the support of terrorist operations abroad. One wonders, would we be better off without a “democratic deficit”?
Defamation suit places Government of Canada in terror funding crosshairs
Could it be that a “democratic deficit” paved the way for an ensuing court case capable of either advancing or diminishing your Charter rights to free expression and equality before the law. One of these cases is in the process of breaking out into the open and spilling loads of information into the public square. This information, still to be debated and judged in a court setting, is worrisome as it speaks to the possibility that our own Government of Canada is tacitly funding terrorist operations abroad with taxpayer dollars. The case in question arises from a defamation suit levelled against seven entities including military veteran and intelligence expert, Tom Quiggin, and C3RF’s own co-founding member, Raheel Raza. The defamation suit is being levelled by the federally registered, charitable organization - Islamic Relief Canada (IRC). There will be much more on this as the suit progresses. Look for some explosive information in these pages but, in the meantime, have a look at this video. It discusses the book that underpins the RCMP complaint that Tom Quiggin and company are being sued over.
What can you do?
Motion M-103 and its unsubstantiated claim that Canadians are Islamophobes was given wings by a “democratic deficit”. How else to explain its ability to force its way onto the scene in spite of overwhelming public disapproval. The tail is wagging the dog and the “deficit” is creating follow-on travesties in the form of the questionable funding of questionable enterprises, like those identified by Tom Quiggin’s research and analysis that will soon come under court review. Given these linkages, why not move against one of the false narratives that are shielded by our “democratic deficit”? Why not act against the fake charge that Canadians are “Islamophobic”?
Case in point, Ontario is now very busy debating Bill 83 - “a Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia Act, 2019”. This legislation is coming hot on the heels of the Christchurch massacre and has gone through 1st reading. Just as was the case with the Quebec City mosque attack, conclusions are being jumped to in a cynical effort to paint all with the Islamophobia brush. By definition, an exercise in bigotry in and of itself. It matters not that Islamophobia did not play a part in the Quebec instance and it matters even less that the Christchurch murderer’s own manifesto revealed fascism to be more of a motivator than any animus towards Muslims. It doesn’t even matter that a national effort to declare a “day against Islamophobia”, one year ago, crashed on the shoals of 17% public support. Here’s the petition. Please consider, sign and distribute.
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Major Russ Cooper (Ret'd)