The Private Citizen 106: Concluding the Coronavirus Coverage, Part 2

Which kind of makes him the anti-fab? Sorry, man, I couldn’t resist. You know we love the show.

I fully agree with that statement. Singh has pledged his allegiance to Trudeau repeatedly. My concern here is that any NDP members that were eligible to vote normally would only have to consider their party line, but in this case also had to consider if they stood to be re elected if the government fell. With Singh having sided so heavily with Trudeau, it has rather blemished their reputation, as more than just you have pointed out their disappointment in some of their recent moves.

Oh, it is well understood that there will be back room favours going on. This is part of the problem with our current political system, and one of Fab’s episodes made me admire the German system in this area. The problem here being that we can have a minority government (a government formed by less that 51% of the vote). The nice part about what I understand of the German system is that they then form an official coalition, which would mean the people have a bit of an understanding on predictability. In Canada we do not have that, so for every voting instance in parliament that the minority government feels is important, back door deals are made to have members from other parties support them. As these are back door deals, most of our people will never know what was promised. This does not play well for a party that got their minority government position by running on the promise of “transparent government”.

Again, I fully agree. Whether it is a supreme court issue, or a special mandatory session of ALL parliament, the requirements need to be higher. The current requirement is “because I said so”, but I think in the case of a real emergency here at home, obtaining a 70% or higher in favour vote should be quite easy. Something like a special session of each provincial parliament saying yes or no, and then going with the results of that tally could even work. So many better options out there…

Actually, in Germany, we are relaxing things now and the case counts are higher than ever.

cases-germany

Ouch. That was harsh. :neutral_face:

:wink:

This is a really nice threat, BTW. I am planning to do an episode that includes talking about the Canadian account freezes and what stuff like this means for all of us, BTW. Should be one of the next few episodes I do.

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Well, I hate to breath new life into this particular thread, but it appears things may be heating up here in Canada again.

Our Prime Minister was a recent guest in Europe, where he received a less than welcoming string of speeches from the European leaders: European MPs blast Trudeau for COVID 'rights violation' | Toronto Sun

Upon return to Canada, a back door deal was created between his minority leadership party (Liberals) and one of the smaller minority parties (NDP). this is basically a pledged continuation of the NDP providing unconditional support to the Liberal party for the remainder of their time in office. Petite-Michel and I discussed this briefly above, in it’s application to some previous votes, but this will now be applied to all votes going forward. Canada's Liberals, NDP reach tentative deal to support government to 2025, CBC reports | Reuters

This brings us to the next issue. Government has now tabled a bill that will provide measures that were provided by the emergencies measures act, but without the need to have an emergency. This means that at any point in time, if a police officer or government official feels you are protesting, and that said felt protesting causes any concerns, they may take any of the actions that were previously in the emergencies act, and more. Previously, under the emergencies act, this could have resulted in the seizure of your vehicle or bank account, which will still be true, but now also your drivers license, insurance plates, and any personal property. There will be no innocent until proven guilty, in fact you will be guilty until proven innocent. There will also be no court hearings or warrants required. There is no sunset clause on this act, so these new powers will be available for use for ever. This next video seems to do a good job of breaking it down, and while I can not vouch for the person breaking it down, he is using actual video footage of our government discussing this bill. Ontario Bill 100 TYRANNY ENSHRINED IN LAW - YouTube

While this bill has not yet been passed, the bill has been tabled by our Liberal government, and now that they have the new deal with the NDP to support their votes, there is little chance that this will not be voted into law here.

And this is how democracy dies…

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I have to do my taxes, so am not watching the video yet, but as a correction it appears to be an Ontario bill introduced by Ontario’s Solicitor General, member of the Conservative Party and Premier Ford’s government:

The title is sleezy/revealing, eh? Maybe better than the original title. I mean, “the we ran out of budget for keeping U.S. trade commission officials flush in hookers and blow act” doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely.

But this isn’t the federal liberal government doing it as far as I can tell.

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You are correct, this will be an Ontario law, but since that is where our federal government sits, it will make it impossible to protest the government where they sit.

All we can do is stand by and shake our heads.

Update on this story. The Emergency Act requires an inquiry which has gotten underway this week in the form of the Rouleau Commission:

Here again we see some weakness in Canadian law, IMO, in that the prime minister has the power to choose who heads the commission and has chosen a judge who previously worked for the Liberal Party of Canada, and in a major way, helping choose John Turner’s (a past liberal prime minister) cabinet. Now sure, it’s not unusual for the executive to have as a power to play a part in selecting members of the judiciary, but that’s generally before any particular case. To have Trudeau choose the inquiry head, the guy who will write the final report summarizing testimony on whether Trudeau is at fault, this hardly seems serious.

Some links from wikipedia follow this angle. Unfortunately, the reporting I’m finding all looks either very thin (David Fraser of Canadian Press wire service, CBC and National Post coverage) or very amateurish and biased (Kanika Batra Arora of TFIGlobal): Paul Rouleau - Wikipedia
If anyone knows who’s doing substantive reporting in Canada right now I’d appreciate the reference.

(Sorry, update to my update. There was an earlier inquiry, not the “independent” Rouleau commission, one involving some members of parliament last spring. Here is a CSIS (the Canadian intelligence agency) report from it, which introduces a new to me acronym: IMVE – ideological motivated violent extremist: https://www.canada.ca/en/security-intelligence-service/corporate/publications/special-joint-committee-on-the-declaration-of-emergency-2022-04-26.html Always interesting to hear who intelligence agencies are monitoring.)

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Thanks for the update! I appreciate being kept in the loop!

We are up to day 25 of the inquiry, last I looked. You won’t be finding too much serious reporting on it, as all the big media companies in Canada actually get government grants, which means they have to be careful what they report. As Petit-Michel already pointed out, our government got to choose who will be leading the inquiry into their actions, but missing context is that no one actually knows what the outcome would be if the government was found to be in the wrong. Having seen our current Prime Minister being found guilty of several ethics breaches, without so much as a fine or apology, I rather suspect that we will see the same here. It appears that most public servants have rebranded themselves “world leaders”, and forgotten that they are elected by their people to represent their people. They are servants, not kings and queens.

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Testimony to the Rouleau Commission ended this week, with Trudeau himself being the last witness. Here is where things stand as I’ve been able to glean from south of the border:

  1. The text of the Public Order Emergency section of the Emergencies Act begins with these two definitions:

Public order emergency means an emergency that arises from threats to the security of Canada and that is so serious as to be a national emergency

Threats to the security of Canada has the meaning assigned by section 2 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act

  1. CSIS Director David Vigneault has testified that, “there did not exist a threat to the security of Canada, defined by the Service’s legal mandate.”

  2. The same also testified that he advised Trudeau on Feb. 13th that he should invoke the act. He stated that he gave that advice in the capacity of a national security advisor and not in his capacity as director of CSIS. In common with national security advisor Jody Thomas he expressed the view that the terms of the act are outdated and a broader interpretation is necessary today. He stated that he’d asked for and received a new, broader interpretation from the department of justice, giving that as justification for his views and advice to the PM.

  3. Clerk of the Privy Council Janice Charrette wrote a memo on Feb. 14th advising to invoke the Emergencies Act, which included the following words:

PCO notes that the disturbance and the public unrest is being felt across the country and beyond the Canadian borders, which may provide further momentum to the movement and lead to irremediable harms — including to social coercion, national unity and Canada’s international reputation,

In PCO’s view, this fits with the statutory parameters defining threats to the security of Canada, though this conclusion may be vulnerable to challenge.

  1. Trudeau claimed in testimony that the government had in its possession a legal argument that justified its invocation despite the apparent conflict with the basic definitions laid out in the act. The government has refused to make this argument public, citing attorney client privilege.

The head of the commission, Paul Rouleau, will release his report in early February, 2023.

Linkfest…

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Sorry, just one more link cause you have to love Rex Murphy’s way of expressing himself. Sample: “Consider Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s Churchillian resolve: “I will never support negotiating with those who hold our democracy hostage.” A sentence that reveals she’s a hero in her own movie.”

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I unfortunately watched many moments of the inquest. I find the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister’s ability to smirk while refusing to answer yes or no style questions rather strange. You have posted some great links, but I personally find it hard to believe anything the CBC or Global say, as they are both accepting money from our government. Please do not take that personally, having to admit that I have given up on news companies that I remember my father watching as some of my earliest memories is not something I am happy to admit. One of the things I hope that gets some light in the outcome is that the border crossings had both been opened and that the convoy in Ottawa was attempting to move when they decided to invoke this war measures act, effectively blocking the trucks into Ottawa. But as I said before, no matter what the outcome, our government will just smirk and continue on as if it never happened. I think it is safe to say that politics in Canada and America are at an all time low, based on our current situations.

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Re. the CBC, no problem there, I don’t take your doubt of them personally. I don’t have an emotional connection to the CBC (though I did once read a Knowlton Nash biography). I suspect they do have internal corruption of one sort or another, but whether it’s worse than private newsrooms I don’t know. I’d want to see it characterized, maybe with an insider view, before I’d take them out of my list of news sources. (In this case I’m only sourcing them for the Privy Council quotes – their problems I’m assuming wouldn’t include intentionally misquoting a source.)

Failing an insider view I make some crude observations:

  1. CBC (largely government funded but also serving lots ads, blah) and CTV (private, entirely ad funded) have very similar coverage, or that’s my impression.
  2. When the Conservative party takes power I don’t think CBC sways to the right at all. If they did I don’t suppose that cutting the CBC would be part of the current Conservative platform.
  3. Having lived half my life in Canada and half in the U.S. I can compare the media landscapes first hand. As bad as it is in Canada, the TV news landscape is horrendous in the U.S. It’s not a very good assumption maybe, but I’ve always supposed that having a mix of private ad driven newsrooms and publicly funded newsrooms prevents the private agencies from sinking too far down into the news as entertainment morass or largely becoming a platform for corporate interests. In general, the broader the set of journalism funding methods the better, and best to sample a bit of each I think.

No, my guess with the CBC is not that they’re the government’s mouthpiece. If it were that explicit and blatant you’d have whistleblowers. It’s one of those cases where a suspicion can’t hold against the need to have a large number of people who would all have to keep a secret. However, there might be a more subtle pressure from above, maybe with the thought that the Conservatives getting in means the end of their institution. And with Trudeau being in power god knows what attempts are made to influence from above.

But no, on the whole, my guess would be that the problems are more in line with the kinds of criticisms that Fab has raised against center left mainstream U.S. papers like the New York Times, the ones where he references Glen Greenwald and Matt Taibbi’s articles. Probably the reporters lean left and may even feel a certain responsibility to shape politics, who knows. My feeling with this story is that it’s actually very cut and dry and that most center left people (and apparently even the real left, if that’s still who the NDP represent) aren’t rising above their distaste for the views and, I dunno, image of these protesters to where they can admit it.

If a CBC reporter wrote stories that reported basic facts (ones that the Globe and Mail and the National Post have done a bit better reporting) like the definitions in the law, that the border blockade was over before the act was invoked, and that the gun seizure was prompted by protesters in Alberta not wanting guns be part of their protest and who immediately stopped to avoid any association of their movement with violence, well, I could see an editor saying no while making a claim about objectivity. This again is just a guess, but I’m suspecting sometimes editors will not allow a straight forward story to be reported in a straight forward way if the facts strongly support one side’s arguments. To do so would be to break with an obligation to offer the public a hazy kind of objectivity, the objectivity of know nothingness, so to speak.

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Petit-Michel, we seem to pretty much agree on most of this.

CBC has actually been caught deliberately misquoting several times in this past year, however mostly in regards to the convoy, which may only be because that is really the only time I paid any attention to them. I think this was the most obvious place because, thanks to social media, we had a steady flow of pictures, videos, and independent reporting from random people along the way. When the CBC did get called out on these instances, there was no public apology issued, they simply quietly removed the news stories. This was actually brought up in the inquiry, most notably for me when they were questioning the deputy prime minister about the articles having been removed and her refusing to reply to the question. I live in a very small city, and we were lucky enough to have several people attend the convoy. When you live in a city where everyone knows everyone else, you get looped in on that stuff pretty quick, even if you don’t want to be.

You are absolutely right that the media does not really change sides when the government does. I know there is differences in funding to them under a left or right government, but I think that is more to do with the historical action of our right leaning governments tightening purse strings across the board and not a reflection of their views on media. I also however feel that the media has not been as biased as it is now in previous years. In Canada the bias really started appearing when the Harper government was voted out. Even in small things like the media complaining that Harper called it “his government”, but they are trumpeting support when Trudeau calls it “his government”.

I think part of this problem comes back to what Fab has been saying. CBC does tend to get the news out there first, and does tend to put their slant on it, but then the rest of our media just takes those stories and runs with them. I would hope for a neutral or at least balanced approach, but that does not seem to happen. Support the left, cancel the right. Even in entertainment this can be seen, and your and my entertainment is greatly overlapped. Cancel Tim Allen for having a political statement, but the View and that red haired lady that was parading around with a fake severed Trump head are good to go.

CBC did actually have a whistleblower last year. Marianne Klowak was a reporter there that quit and went public about the woke culture being enforced. They could not get stories published if they did not follow the company line. It was in the news for a little bit, but has largely been swept under the carpet now.

Being from and in western Canada, I know that my bias is against the current government, but that is somewhat understandable if a person looks at a map of canada showing which party was elected in which riding. Our current government is very focused on Ontario and Quebec, where the Liberal party historically gets their votes from, while I do not think they got a single seat west of Ontario. I think the NDP got 3 or 5 seats west of Ontario. To me, that geographic and geopolitical divide cause issues, as they tend to paint the whole country with the same brush. But hey, the last time a Trudeau was in power, western Canadians threw rotting fruit at his train as he passed through, due to his alienation of the west, so I guess the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

But now my serious question: our last election here was O’Toole vs Trudeau, and yours there was Trump vs Biden, how is it that these are the best options to be presented for running countries? Biden and O’Toole clearly aren’t capable of coherent mental thoughts, Trump has the disease where he says every thought to enters his mind, and Trudeau’s grocery bill consists of mostly crayons. Heck, there was just a person that won either a congress or senate seat after having suffered a stroke and isn’t even capable of language. It’s hard to have hope for a great and strong future when we are not even fielding strong leaders.

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Okay, but that’s different from a whistleblower with evidence of government interference with the newsroom.

Here’s another reporter who quit. Taking quotes from Henley (the ex-CBC reporter) out of this editorial from the Western Standard, the criticism sounds much like that I see thrown against the New York Times lately:
“People want to know why, for example, non-binary Filipinos concerned about a lack of LGBT terms in Tagalog is an editorial priority for the CBC, when local issues of broad concern go unreported. Or why our pop culture radio show’s coverage of the Dave Chappelle Netflix special failed to include any of the legions of fans, or comics, that did not find it offensive. Or why, exactly, taxpayers should be funding articles that scold Canadians for using words such as ‘brainstorm’ and ‘lame.’”

“By the time I resigned last month, it embodied some of the worst trends in mainstream media. In a short period of time, the CBC went from being a trusted source of news to churning out clickbait that reads like a parody of the student press."

“Those of us on the inside know just how swiftly — and how dramatically — the politics of the public broadcaster have shifted.”

“To work at the CBC in the current climate is to embrace cognitive dissonance and to abandon journalistic integrity. It is to sign on, enthusiastically, to a radical political agenda that originated on Ivy League campuses in the United States and spread through American social media platforms that monetize outrage and stoke societal divisions.”

Distinctly missing here are complaints of pressure from government ministers.

Marianne Klowak’s last straw appears to be that her editor wouldn’t let her use the Canadian COVID Care Alliance as a source. I’m not interested in debating the merits of that organization so will only point out that she did not claim that her editor interfered with her in response from pressure from the government (or at least there’s no mention of such a claim in this article).

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Just reading through this thread for my producer feedback episode. However, there is such great material in here on several topics, that I have resolved to make it it’s own episode. Downside is that this will have to wait to the new year.

I am sorry I am so behind with things , guys. I do appreciate all the work that went into this very much, though!

Never worry about being behind or having a life. I have to admit that I had a backlog of 6 episodes coming into December, and got to listen to them all in one day thanks to an extremely long drive for work.

I had a couple links that I had been trying to find time to email to Fab, but given his previous post, and Petit-Michel’s crazy ability to find great articles, this might be the place to drop them. These are definitely not covid only, as I have come to the conclusion that covid is only a stepping stone in what is happening in government here.

First, we have the protesters. In this link we have Canadians protesting covid restrictions, and the enacting of the Emergencies Act (formerly known as the war measures act) in Canada: Federal government invokes Emergencies Act for first time ever in response to protests, blockades | CBC News note that this news source also gets around a billion dollars a year from our current government, as previously discussed. Next we have this link: Canada's Trudeau says people in China should be allowed to protest | Reuters where our Prime Minister says that he supports the citizens of China protesting their covid restrictions, after he squashed the protests in Canada. And finally, this link from a right leaning news platform pointing out the hypocrisy: Justin Trudeau blasted for condemning China after his own restrictive policies: ‘LOOK IN THE MIRROR TYRANT’ | Fox News

Next, we have the issue of gun control, which has become a hot topic in the North American countries. Here we have the original bill C-21 that was tabled by our Liberal government, C-21 (44-1) - LEGISinfo - Parliament of Canada that comes in at 50 pages. To state my bias, I have extensive training with firearms and I am licensed in Canada to own both unrestricted and restricted firearms. I do believe in a requirement of training and licensing. As I’ve mentioned in the forum previously, I frequently use firearms in performing my day to day work. The work trip I mentioned earlier in this very post took me 1 hour west on a major highway (to the settlement of Kitwanga in the province of BC), and then 2 hours North (to the area just west of Meziadin Junction). Now the significance of this is that in that 2 hours driving North, I might see 3 other vehicles, in the whole 2 hours. I will see lots of bear and moose, but 3 other vehicles. I sometimes travel 3 hours further North from there. If I was to have a medical emergency, the nearest hospital or doctor is 3 hours away, or 6 if I went further. In case people aren’t looking up Meziadin Junction, it is literally a junction in the highway, with a gas station, and a camp for road crews. There is no permanent population there. And for Fab, I use a model 1886 lever action 45-70 rifle when I work there, it would fit right in with your image for the podcast. Now, here is the interesting part, after bill C-21 finally passed the preliminary vote in parliament, it took a few tries, the Liberal government applied this amendment, https://firearmrights.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/the-list.pdf which is 309 pages. This amendment broadly prohibits entire classes of firearms, a pile of specified by name firearms, and many toys that have any similarity to firearms. Passing an amendment at that stage is not proper or common, but passing an amendment that is 500% more than the original bill is just sneaky. Every firearm that is listed or encompassed by this bill, if it is passed, will become prohibited in Canada. This means that anyone owning one will either become a criminal, or be required to submit their firearms for destruction. The average cost of a single firearm in Canada is between $1,000, and $2,000, with some being considerably more. There will be no compensation, either become a criminal, or destroy those investments.

And lastly, the government of my province has tabled a bill that will enable them to seize your assets if you can not provide them satisfactory evidence of where you got your finances from. There is no description of what “satisfactory” is, and you do not need to be charged or found guilty of any crime. The government only needs to state that they suspect you do not have satisfactory proof of how you came by your assets, and the burden is then on you to apply to court and hopefully get your assets back: B.C. to table legislation increasing ease of government to seize individuals’ assets without being charged - The Globe and Mail

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Man, that is a beautiful rifle. I love lever-action rifles.

The gun in the album art is an older German over-under shotgun that a friend owns, BTW. The picture is from a hunting trip up in the north of Germany.

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