February 19, 2005

Security: Real Risks and Government Responses -- Note Failure to Act -- and Weasel Words

House of Commons -- A Reasonable CPC Question, The Deputy PM, & the Knight of the Damsel in Distress

First, check this House of Commons exchange, and then read what follows it, only a portion of the report detailing Chapters 2 and 3, Border Security and Coast recommendations, government (in)action, and high priorities for action NOW. That's means in this budget.

It is almost as if the Speaker were in collusion, all talk--no action--no resources--no manpower.

Border Security
(1155) to (1200)

Mr. Russ Hiebert (South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, CPC): Mr. Speaker, at the founding meeting of the border caucus last week, MPs from border ridings across the country expressed concern about the safety of border service employees and about our national security. We have all heard stories in recent weeks of people running the border in cars. I have heard directly from border workers in my own riding of people simply walking across the line.

The border service appears to be lacking the resources to deal effectively with this problem. Could the Deputy Prime Minister please share with the House the plans she has to deal with this critical issue?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, there are actually two components to the question, first of course deals with the situation of the safety of our CBSA officers on the front lines. In fact, we have completed risk assessments in relation to all customs locations. We are ensuring that our front line officers have both the training and the tools they need, whether that includes batons, vests, pepper spray, and so on. I want to reassure the hon. member that we are very committed to the safety of our front line officers.

In terms of resources, quite--

Mr. Speaker, are you going to cut me off?

The Speaker: Yes. I am sure all hon. members were enjoying the answer, but we do have time limits.

[Translation] [Ed's emphasis]

I kid you not! This is the way the Speaker got Anne MacLellan, Minister of Insecurity out of that question. Since when does the Speaker get the right to do this? To end what might have been a real, honest answer? Ah, he probably knew what was coming -- or what could not be allowed to surface.

Now for what our Deputy Prime Minister--Minister of Insecurity and Speaking for PM on Touchy Issues--does not want to admit into the light of Parliament.

A portion of a 300 page report on Security


Border Crossings

Problem 1: Poor Threat Identification at the Border

Officials from the Canada Border Services Agency—formerly part of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada—do not have adequate tools or training to identify persons who constitute a threat to Canada.

The potential damage to the Canadian economy and other consequences that would come with allowing a terrorist to infiltrate the U.S. through Canada are massive. The Government has acknowledged this in its April 2004 National Security Policy.


That by June 30, 2003, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Immigration Canada offer substantive evidence that they have addressed the Auditor General’s recommendations to improve training to help airport personnel identify persons “likely to engage in criminal activities or endanger the safety of Canadians.”

. . . police databanks . . . provide their employees with the training and technology required to take advantage of these databanks. (Report: The Myth of Security at Canada’s Airports, January 2003, #I. 2)


Accessing Databanks
The government introduced Integrated Primary Inspection Line (IPIL) technology to airports. The system is an automated support tool used by border officials to scrutinize entrants by scanning both Canada Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada enforcement databanks.

[. . . . ] The Auditor General’s March 2004 report was heavily critical of the “watch lists” the inspection line is supposed to query. The Auditor General cited numerous examples of duplication, missing names, classification errors, and even names appearing that should have been removed. [21] . . . .


Auditor General . . . “slow” progress. . . had concerns with regards to the adequacy and effectiveness of training, especially with regards to student workers. [24]

[. . . . ] Canada Border Services Agency has yet to announce that all customs officers – including part-timers – will receive the full amount of training that the Agency obviously believes that full-time officers need to perform their duties.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Judy Sgro wrote to one Committee member that “All officers working at airports and land borders are trained to access police databanks in Canada (CPIC) and the United States (NCIC).” [26] [This is contradicted; search "Customs Excise Union" and "Rainbow Bridge in Ontario" below]

[. . . . ] The Auditor General reported in March 2004 that the primary inspection line was not linked to the RCMP’s database of outstanding Canada-wide arrest warrants. [27] It should be.

[. . . . ]Problem 2: Long Canadian Security Intelligence Service Processing Times

Refugee and immigration claims are delayed for up to two years because the Canadian Security Intelligence Service does not have the resources to quickly process the files it receives from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Because Canada does not keep close tabs on refugee claimants or applicants for immigration, a person who poses a threat to Canada could disappear into the country long before anyone knew.


The Committee recommended that sufficient resources be allocated to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to deal with them. (Report: Canadian Security and Military Preparedness, February 2002, #17 A)

[. . . . ] Canadian Security Intelligence Service reported . . . . The determinant factors are case type (Refugee Front End Screening Program or Application for Permanent Residence), where the case originated (inside or outside Canada), in what form it was first received (hard copy or electronic) and whether CSIS had an objection to the application.

[. . . . ] The median turnaround time for cases that raised no security concern was 31 days. Where there were security concerns, the median turnaround time took approximately 7 to 10 times longer (depending on the type of concern raised). [31]

[. . . . ] Electronic applications take about a third as long to process as hard copy applications

[. . . . ] However, there has been no significant improvement in the turnaround time for screening permanent residency requests where there is a security concern. In 2004, the review committee reported that the median turnaround time was 14 to 20 months, [33] compared to the 15-month turnaround time it had reported in 2003. [34]


* Increase staff

More personnel are needed, not only in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service but also at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. [. . . . ]

* Go Electronic . . . much quicker . . .

* Implement the Safe Third Country Agreement and report on its effects [. . . . ]

Problem 3: Undertrained Part-Time Customs Staff


Frontline border agents are clearly key components in our border security system. The judgments they make on behalf of several departments, from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to Agriculture Canada to Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, are critical to Canada’s national security.

Students and other temporary workers do not now receive adequate training and are not required to pass the same tests as full-time officers.


The Committee recommended that all personnel on the primary inspection line be trained to the highest standard, without exceptions for short-term staff. (Report: Canadian Security and Military Preparedness, February 2002, #15. A)


In September 2003, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency told the Committee that “ALL Customs officers, including students, receive the training and the tools that they require to perform their duties effectively and efficiently.” [37]

The Customs Excise Union (CEU) disagrees. According to CEU National President Ron Moran, “Students are not at all fully trained…They don’t have to pass rigorous testing like professional officers, and are therefore not supposed to do the full job…but they often do.” [38]

[Pause here and re-read that. Students without full training are manning our borders and the CUSTOMS EXCISE UNION revealed this. Now, put that in context with the fact that whistleblower protection is being denied one of our Quebec RCMP officers who criticized the closing down of detachments in PQ -- termed "redeployment" by the Deputy PM. He has been ordered not to attend union meetings, I believe. The reference will be on this site today or tomorrow. Now, to continue.]

The Canada Border Services Agency has yet to demonstrate that it has enough customs officers to assure consistent, year-round, professional staffing.

Claims that students don’t need as much training because they do different jobs and are supervised by full-time officers are simply not credible. For example, during one 24 hour period at the Rainbow Bridge in Ontario this summer, the border crossing staff consisted of 16 full-time officers and 39 students. [39] Students served on the primary inspection line as well as the secondary line.


[. . . . ] Either more full-time officers must be hired, or part-time officers must receive identical training.

Problem 4: Unsafe Border Posts

Border posts are understaffed. Too many posts are staffed by one person, who has little or no hope of getting quick support from police or other border officers when there is an emergency or a surge in traffic. [40] The practice of leaving customs officials alone is risky for the officials and risky for Canadian security.


ensure that no customs officers work alone at posts. (Report: Canadian Security and Military Preparedness, February 2002, #15. B)


Border officials still work alone at most border crossings. According to a Border Services Agency document leaked to the National Post in November 2004, after the on-the-job death of a border official working was alone, 103 of Canada’s 160 land and maritime border crossings are classified as “work-alone sites.” [41]

[. . . . ] risk . . . . The Committee has not been made aware of the contents of the job hazard analysis.


* Release the job hazard analysis [. . . . ]

* Deploy more officers, ensure no officials work alone

[. . . . ] By this time it should be apparent whether there is some new technology available that would make a lone customs officers both safe and effective. If there isn’t, hire more people. More customs officers should be hired.

Problem 5: Arm Customs Officials?

[. . . . ] to back up their designated authority. The union argues that customs officers need weapons for their self-protection.

[. . . . No] The Committee would welcome any further evidence
the government or others might be able to provide on the pros and cons of arming customs officers. It will address this issue further if it receives new evidence. [. . . . ]

[How much more evidence is necessary? Common sense should prevail. NJC]



Problem 1: Canada’s Vulnerable Coasts
Canada has thousands of kilometres of coastline and hundreds of harbours that go unwatched. Limited patrols, such as Aurora maritime patrol aircraft over-flights, occur on an infrequent, ad hoc basis. This lack of maritime domain awareness makes it easier for organized crime to traffic contraband, harder for officials to separate commercial and pleasure vessels from legitimate threats, and especially difficult for Canada to assert its sovereignty claims over remote areas, like the arctic.


[. . . . ] (Report: Canadian Security and Military Preparedness, February 2002, #10)

. . . outlines a six-point plan. . . . While short on specifics, deliverables and cost projections, the goals it sets out are good ones. They include: . . . .


[. . . . ] But the recommendation was made in 2002, and it is now almost 2005. . . . . The government needs to translate goals into action faster.

Problem 2: Coastal Radar - Off the Government’s radar?

Surveillance of the waters off Canada’s coasts is patchy—most of the time the government does not have a good idea of what is going in Canada’s territorial waters. The lack of a real time electronic picture makes it difficult for officials to distinguish between legitimate vessels and those that are potential threats.


The Committee recommended at least eight and possibly more High Frequency Surface Wave Radar (HFSWR) sites be installed to monitor areas of heavy traffic on Canada’s coasts, plus other coastal sites that terrorists might target as alternates to high-traffic ports. [44] (Report: Canada's Coastlines: The Longest Under-Defended Borders in the World, October 2003, #2.1)


. . . . will complete . . . . are expected . . . . are planned . . . . will provide


Life in the Senate seems positively electric compared to the pace at which Canada is moving to upgrade its coastal surveillance. . . .

Problem 3: Inadequate Short-Range Coastal Patrols

Canada has thousands of kilometres of coastline that are not adequately patrolled from the sky. The Canadian Forces has been forced to reduce the number of flying hours of its Aurora patrol aircraft. Neither the Navy nor the Canadian Coast Guard have adequate resources to maintain an effective surveillance framework on our maritime approaches.

[. . . . ] Tactical drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – UAVs) should be introduced as surveillance aids on both coasts. (Report: Canada's Coastlines: The Longest Under-Defended Borders in the World, October 2003, #2.2)


No tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been deployed to monitor Canada’s coasts, and there are no plans to deploy them.


[. . . . ] For a relatively small price tag, they could fill in the gaps in our surveillance framework by our overburdened and carry some of the load that Aurora patrol aircraft are not.

Problem 4: Inadequate Long-Range Coastal Patrols

[. . . . ] The government has been studying the use of strategic drones for a number of years.


[. . . . ] If the tests prove to be effective, as expected, the government should make money available immediately.

Problem 5: Canada’s Toothless Coast Guard


The Coast Guard cannot contribute to Canada’s national security in a significant way because it lacks the mandate, the experience, the equipment, and the institutional focus to do so.

Security is but one among several of the Canadian Coast Guard’s priorities, along with protection of the environment, support of scientific research, facilitation of trade and commerce, navigation safety and emergency response.

[The Coast Guard is obviously suffering from a surfeit of priorities -- something like the PM's speech.]

The Coast Guard does not have a constabulary function, it is not armed, and it reports to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, all of which contribute to a focus away from coastal security.

Despite its name, the Coast Guard doesn’t play a serious role in guarding our coasts.


[. . . ] an independent agency responsible to Parliament. It should continue to carry out its duties – search and rescue, ice-breaking, navigational aids, buoy tending, boat safety, fisheries and environment protection – and take on new responsibilities for national security. On security assignments, the Coast Guard would come under the direction of Department of National Defence coastal operations centres (Trinity and Athena). (Report: Canada's Coastlines: The Longest Under-Defended Borders in the World, October 2003, #4.1)


[. . . . ] The government failed to make the Coast Guard an independent agency.


* Properly fund on-water patrols and demonstrate that the pace of patrols has increased

The government must turn its promises into action and provide the funds and personnel to increase on-water patrols.

* Move the Coast Guard into the Deputy Prime Minister’s Portfolio

. . . the Coast Guard should report to Parliament through the Deputy Prime Minister.

* Refocus the Coast Guard’s Mandate Toward Security.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s central role with regards to security and borders would assist in refocussing the Coast Guard on security-related responsibilities.

February 16, 2005

Bud Talkinghorn: Kyoto Accord Shell Games & Question Period on Daycare & Deliberate Caterwauling to Drown Out Pro-Family MP's Question, Etc.

Question Period Caterwauling

I have just listened to a female CPC MP from Alberta try to ask a question. She seemed to be trying to make the case that families need choice in daycare, not government social engineering and direction -- government refusing to include funding stay-at-home parents so that children might be cared for at home by their own parents or by those the parent designates and trusts such as relatives or neighbours.

The caterwauling by the Liberals MP's in the House of Commons appeared to have been planned to drown out the above-mentioned MP. It was terrible!

Again, lack of decorum is allowed to continue. When will the Speaker simply close down everything, turf out those who behave in this manner, and allow the rest of us to hear questions and meaningful answers not bafflegab. NJC

The Kyoto Accord kicks in today--Let the great shell games begin

You have got to love the Liberals for their chutzpah. They self-rigtheously signed up "in principle" back in the late 90's. Canada was then committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 6% when 2012 rolled around and this reduction is not from now, but from our 1990 levels. However, even Stephane Dion, the Environment Minister, cannot muster enough bafflegab to explain how, since then, we have actually increased emissions about 20 to 30% from that time. The background music to his huffing and puffing in Question Period could have been JJ Cale's Trouble in the City, as Toronto has already had two rare smog alerts this winter--an ominous warning of what is to come this summer.

It was Russia's signing on to Kyoto that really got everybody excited. It was going to sell its amazing reduction credits to countries that couldn't (wouldn't) reduce their own emissions. Russia got to this state through the accident of economic collapse. They had to close thousands of their massively polluting plants. The poor countries, like China and India, both soon to become industrial giants, are exempt from any compliance with Kyoto. Through some byzantine arrangement we can buy "emission, or "hot air" credits from them. This transfer of Western wealth to heavily polluting "poor" countries is what opponents claim is the real reason for this charade. Even Dion has stated that this will allow Canada to boost its foreign aid to the Third World. Every time I think of this shell game, I remember a weather satellite image of a toxic cloud of smog stretching from India to China, or the image of a lit-up India, produced by tens of millions of wood fires across India. All you cat lovers, say goodbye to the last lions of India, as their last Gar forest habitate is being relentlessly stripped of its woodland protection.

Thankfully, the Liberals are not so suicidal as to actually enact any of the measures necessary to meet their commitment. The Canadian Federation of Taxpayers--our true heroes--have estimated that to enact fully the Kyoto accord would cost us $3,000 each a year by 2010. That is not counting the hundreds of thousands of newly unemployed that would be a collateral cost. Besides, "The hot air" credits are already being seen on the floor of the House of Commons--thanks to the Liberals. They have painted themselves into a corner. They must continue mouthing the Kyoto pieties, while avoiding any real damage to the Canadian economy. The Liberals' sorry record so far will not be chastized by the rest of the signers, as they too have no intention of following through. Spain, one of the signatories, has increased its emission levels 40% since 1997. Its privatization of public companies has nixed any state responsibility for saddling the taxpayers with the bill for compliance. Blame the mess on Daddy Warbucks. Shareholders simply don't buy the parboiled polar bear stories. If the Gulf Stream changes direction and Europe begins to enter an ice age, then they will buy thermal underwear stocks. They will, in short, wait for more conclusive indications of global disaster. As for a dictatorship like China, the death of millions from pollution-related diseases is simply an up-date of Mao's "Great Stumble Forward".

I must sound conflicted about the eco-problem. Well, I am. There is irrefutable evidence that we are entering a global warming era, with all its attendant dangers. That the majority of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last fifteen years has to be a bad portent. If this keeps up, the palm trees will soon be sprouting in Kitsilano. Huge chunks of the Antarctic shelf have broken off. The frequency of hurricanes and tornadoes is another sign. What does that forementioned thousands-of-kilometer-long smog cloud do to warming up the countries and oceans of Asia? Yes, there is a danger, but this bogus, spread-the-wealth Kyoto proposal is not going to solve it. That China and India, two of the largest polluters can go about business as usual is not going to be off-set by Finland--nor Canada--beggaring itself. America, the world's largest gas emissions country, didn't even sign the accord. They feel they have given enough to the useless UN and the basketcase countries already. They see the entire thing as a socialist plot to transfer more money to reckless and kleptocratic states.

Surely, the only answer is for each country to devise a rational plan to reduce emissions. The Brazilians have been using a gas/ethanol mixture for years to power their cars. Apparently, they have lots of speed. Meanwhile I look out my front window and see a vast parade of gas-guzzling SUVs chug past. Most are driven by single occupant drivers. They are not going to ford a wadi in the desert; they are going to the mall. The government could renew its house insulation grants. If we are going to put up windmill power turbines, then put them in the Nfld. Wreckhouse areas, where there are numerous 100 km winds. Get AECL off its butt, and let's start building cost-efficient nuclear plants here, not in rogue states like China and Romania. Stop packaging every miniscule article in industrial-strength plastic coating. Instead of spending endless billions in buying "hot air credits", use more expensive, less polluting technologies, and help citizens through tax cuts to employ them. There are various ways we could tackle this looming problem, without letting that quasi-commie Canadian, Maurice Strong, lead us down a garden path of fiscal ruination. Put your shoulder to the wheel in sensible ways.

© Bud Talkinghorn
--Just how complicated the price will be can be seen from a Spectator cartoon. It shows a father and his son looking out on a forest of wind turbines. "And to think", he says, "that this beautiful valley used to be hidden by mill smokestacks."

Media: CBC Three Won’t Slink Off; Hiring Lawyers

The CBS Three Won’t Slink Off; Hiring Lawyers Joe Hagan, Feb. 16, 05, New York Observer

CBS president Leslie Moonves issued a statement dwelling on the failures of the employees involved in producing the disputed segment. [. . . . ]

Whistleblower Legislation - Protection: Cutler & Hon. Diane Marleau-Include RCMP and Crowns

38th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION -- Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates -- Hon. Diane Marleau thinks RCMP and Crown Corporations should be included February 3, 2005

Hon. Diane Marleau: Of course, the protection in this bill didn't exist. But when you reported it, you reported it to people above you, and they took no action.

Mr. Allan Cutler: I reported to those above me, and I also went via a parallel chain of command, which is internal audit.

Hon. Diane Marleau: And they did it, and the rest is history.

In a piece of legislation like this what we want is to protect people like you and to make sure that in the end, because you have come forward and done the right thing, you're not penalized in any way, but quite the opposite. How can we do it with legislation? That's the problem we have. That's what we're trying to do here. Yes, we can have an independent body. How do we treat the complainant until it actually gets found out? As you say, a lot of it is very subtle; they won't report it. I've been around for a while and I know what happens, and it's sometimes extremely subtle and very difficult to prove.

Mr. Allan Cutler: I'll turn to Mr. Pieters in a second, but first I would say that what you have to do is change the culture at the top. The ethical standard of the civil service does not start at the bottom, it starts at the top, and that goes, quite honestly, right up to Parliament. You set the bar. The civil service will be no more ethical than the top levels. All the rules I've seen coming out lately say the normal civil servant has to be ethical. That's not where you have to start. You need to have the leadership, and then people will follow.

Hon. Diane Marleau: I also believe crown corporations and the RCMP should be included in this bill. They shouldn't be set aside. So I think you'll see things of that nature occur with this legislation.


Mr. Selwyn Pieters: I think there should be penalties, and Mr. Martin raised this. For example, in the Pelletier case, there was a firing when the Prime Minister learned that retaliation was being taken against a whistle-blower. The deputy head downwards should be responsible, and if the deputy head is tolerating retaliation against a whistle-blower, if the deputy head is complicit in wrongdoing in the workplace, quite frankly, they should be fired. The senior executives shouldn't even be moved to another organization, because those are the senior people who leave the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and go to another department and carry on the same way they did in the other department. So it's almost incestuous, almost an infestation in the public service, moving these managers around. If they're incompetent, fire them.

Hansard Feb. 15/05 -- ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

Auditor General's Report

Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General's report you just tabled indicates the government has learned nothing from the sponsorship scandal. That scandal happened because the Liberals stashed millions away from the watch of Parliament. Now, even after repeated warnings, billions of dollars continue to be hidden away in these unaccountable foundations.

When will the government learn and put foundation spending under the scrutiny of Parliament and the Auditor General?

Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the foundations are available to Parliament. The Canadian Foundation for Innovation, as an example, has appeared over 11 times in front of parliamentary committees.

[But, has the audit come to Parliament? No. Scroll down for links. NJC]

The fundamental point the hon. member seems to be raising is he is questioning the validity of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and other such foundations.

[The PM deliberately misunderstands the questions, then misdirects his answer and his ire. The Honourable Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition asked about the AUDIT, not a particular foundation but the PM knows that if he huffs and puffs the words 'Innovation' or 'Technology', the compliant media will pick up on that.

Is the man attempting to be evil-cunning? -- or simply incompetent? NJC

The Leader of the Opposition should go to the universities and the teaching hospitals in the country and ask them what they think about the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. He will find that they support it. They are supporting fundamental research in the country, and that is what is important.

Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am only quoting the Auditor General who says today, “Given the significant sums involved, I am concerned about the lack of adequate accountability to Parliament”. It is for $8 billion.

The Prime Minister has just finished appearing before the Gomery commission where he could not remember anything about finance in the last 10 years.

Will the Prime Minister promise the House that this time he will ensure in the upcoming budget that more taxpayer money is not hidden away in foundations?

Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, no money is hidden. Public reports are made. All the hon. member has to do is read them.

If the hon. member would like to call the members of any one of those foundations in front of a committee, he is certainly free to do so. In fact, I can tell the hon. member that those foundations would like to appear.

[Are the public reports AUDITS? Who audits these foundations? Not the Auditor General. AG Sheila Fraser has reported on this--see below. When and by whom are the audits carried out? To whom are reports made? Are these arms-length and therefore the money is hidden, as it is with crown corporations?

"The auditor general is barred from looking at Crown corporations." Stephanie Rubic, Toronto Sun, Feb. 16, 05

If an audit is done, how is the knowledge gained through the audit disseminated to the Canadian public? Have you seen a report on these audits? NJC

[PM:] If the hon. member is challenging what the foundations do, saying that the money is hidden, then why does he not go to the hospitals, go to the universities and go to those who benefit from what those foundations do and say that to them?


Canada's Federal Foundations Lack Oversight, Auditor Finds Bloomberg, Feb. 15, 05

[. . . . ] The foundations, with C$7.66 billion ($6.25 billion) at their disposal, were created to help further policy goals.

"Given the magnitude of these transfers, the public policy purposes involved, and the reduced opportunities for parliament scrutiny, the existing provisions for audit and evaluation in funding agreements with foundations are not adequate,'' according to the report released today. [. . . . ]

Government computers vulnerable, A-G warns -- Info accessible to hackers -- "last-minute cash transfers to private foundations " Andrew McIntosh, National Post, Feb. 15, 05

OTTAWA - Auditor-General Sheila Fraser blasted the federal government yesterday for failing to protect information in its computer systems from dangerous hackers, not filling key jobs at Crown corporations and for funelling more than $9-billion into foundations that remain unaccountable to Parliament.

[. . . . ] She complained that last-minute cash transfers to private foundations that don't spend the money for years "continue to place public money beyond the reach of effective scrutiny by Parliament."

Link and search: nuclear, CIDA, Crown corporations, airports.

An embarrassment of federal riches

An embarrassment of federal riches -- Fraser takes aim at foundations -- "laundering scheme" John Ivison, National Post, Feb. 16, 05

[. . . . ] By last April, the foundation had been awarded $1.2-billion, but had only provided $51-million in grants to third parties. It spent $30-million on administration but, on the bright side, it earned $83-million in interest payments, meaning the balance in its account was $1.202-billion -- more than it started with.

Search: technology, health, arm's-length, moribund, overlap, Industry Canada, Technology Partnerships Canada, sleight of hand, business case.

Grits hide $9B in slush funds -- "Paul Martin and his Liberal government for continuing to hide over $9 billion of taxpayers' money in a series of secretive foundations" Toronto Sun, Feb. 16, 05

[End of related articles and back to Hansard Feb. 15/05]


Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino said on the weekend that hard-core, gun-crazed gangsters were perpetrating a frenzy of violence and bloodshed in Toronto on the weekend. When the smoke cleared, two were dead and six were injured. Seventeen of these 18 crimes involved guns.

Alarmingly, Chief Fantino made a damning assessment that criminals have no fear of the justice system and that it neither deters nor rehabilitates.
He and many others are calling on the government to take action to crack down and restore safety on the streets. When will the government legislate mandatory minimum sentences for the criminal use of firearms and end this ineffective gun registry, putting the money into front line policing?

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, we care no less than the opposition about the safety and security of Canadians. We made safety and security a centrepiece of our meetings with federal, provincial and territorial ministers of justice and we will continue to promote and protect the security and safety of Canadians. [talk, talk, jaw, jaw]

* * *


Public Security

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the CBC is again reporting that the Liberals are not taking terrorist threats seriously. Our borders are like sieves, and our major dams are open to attack at any time. The Liberals are cutting back on the number of RCMP in Quebec and ignoring all the alarm signals.

The minister needs to wake up. She needs to tell us what steps she plans to take, without further delay, to protect Canadians.


Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have said before in this House, the redeployment of RCMP officers in Quebec is not reducing the complement in that province. In fact, what the force is doing is redeploying those officers to ensure they can provide better border protection; for example, through the creation of more integrated border enforcement teams. In fact, we are redeploying officers so they can work more effectively with the Sûreté du Québec in the fight against organized crime, drug trafficking, gun smuggling, people smuggling and so on.

We are redeploying to be more effective and more efficient in protecting the people of Quebec and Canada. [End: Hansard]


Quebec dams open to attack, probe suggests CBC, Feb. 16, 05

Quebec Minister of Natural Resources, Sam Hamad, said he's visited the Bourassa dam twice and doesn't believe there's anything to worry about.

Search: Anne McLellan

U.S. advised Ottawa on terror list -- Pettigrew -- Tamil Tigers Mike Blanchfield, CanWest News Service, February 16, 2005

More grow-ops in Toronto than U.S.

More grow-ops in Toronto than U.S. -- MPP: Ministers back Chief's demand for crackdown on guns -- the rent-a-gun crowd -- gun-crime penalties April Lindgren, CanWest News Service, February 16, 2005


The provincial Liberals are calling on their federal cousins to scrap conditional sentences and increase jail time for gun offences.

Government secrets lost, stolen, copied memos show Jim Bronskill, CP

See what he says about: Natural Resources, Justice Department, Treasury Board Secretariat -- and more.

Media: Hydro security -- "Manic and LG-2 installations near James Bay"

The media don't challenge Deputy PM Anne McLellan, minister responsible for public security, on her veracity. It simply doesn't add up. the government have only a knee jerk, band aid approach to security for Canadians and Deputy PM, Anne McLellan keeps pumping out the bilge. She claims that they are putting $8 billion into security and the media, like sheep, buy it.

How many RCMP and CSIS agents have been hired, beyond those retiring, with that $8 billion?
The Senate Report on National security pointed out all the gaps; yet the media sleep. The ports are undermanned, they are closing detachments in Quebec, every unit is undermanned, from white collar crime to drugs, to intelligence; yet, she says all is well and the media believe her? The RCMP have 2500 fewer officers today than there were 12 years ago but everything is under control? The crooks and terrorists are laughing themselves silly. The government keeps reorganizing, redeploying, with fewer officers and she says that less is more? Where's the media? Or is the security of Canadians not important?

Quebec court allows Radio-Canada to broadcast report on Hydro security -- "Manic and LG-2 installations near James Bay" Rollande Parent, Feb. 15, 05

MONTREAL (CP) - A Quebec judge refused on Tuesday to grant a Hydro-Quebec request to block Radio-Canada from broadcasting a report highlighting apparent security gaps at two of the utility's major power installations.

[. . . . ] Lawyers for Radio-Canada, the French-language network of the CBC, argued the public had a right to know that no guards, security cameras or other measures protected the installations, which provide power to a large part of the province and several American states. [. . . . ]

Corcoran on Kyoto

Kyoto begins and ends today Terence Corcoran, National Post, Feb. 16, 05

Also, don't miss Lawrence Solomon in the Financial Post editorial page today -- great on education. Also, Newstalk 11 -- Jim Carroll who was good today on inflated, empty praise for kids -- It's not working!


Bloggers and the Media

Cox and Forkum on LGF , Feb. 15, 05, then to Pajamas at the gates and thence to Comments

narley 2/15/2005

At Powerline , Hindrocket indicates that in the past couple of weeks the annointed of the MSM have directed a lot of verbal and written "hysteria" at bloggers. . . . they suspect that such unsupervised thinking should not be encouraged

Search: Eason Jordan, tortured, blogging is a force for good, mechanisms for self-correction -- in BlogTV

Tibet -- Canada Connection

Dalai Lama tells Canadian gold diggers in Tibet to hit It Judi McLeod, Canadafreepress.com, February 15, 2005

The high profile Dalai Lama may be able to do something for Canadian taxpayers that no one else is doing: force public attention to the bustling business deals springing up between China and Canada. [. . . . ]

Search: Continental Minerals, Inter-Citic -- and you will keep on reading.

New openness in China disaster

CHRONOLOGY-Snapshot of Chinese mining disasters

Audio: Worth Hearing!

Go to the website and check the many listed items; these are of interest.

Salma Abdula, an Arab muslim -- speaks out: "a first hand view of the Mideast crisis" Laurie Roth -- Audio Part 1 and Part 2

The money, honey! -- FINANCES CAN BE IN TURMOIL AFTER COUPLES OPT TO SPLIT UP Linda Leatherdale, Business Editor, Toronto Sun, Feb. 13, 05

D-I-V-O-R-C-E. It's the dreaded seven-letter word that leads to financial and emotional nightmares.

[. . . . ] SO YOU DIDN'T believe me when I suggested the perfect Valentine's Day gift was a spousal RRSP? [. . . . ]


"The range of sexual abuse includes " Prostitution, Rapes Run Rampant -- U.N. Sex Crimes in Congo Brian Ross, David Scott and Rhonda Schwartz, Feb. 10, 05

Russian News

Russian Offshore

Former CEO of Cable Giant Rogers, John Tory

John Tory wins byelection nomination, casts himself as voice for rural riding Greg Bonnell, Feb 12, 05

TORONTO (CP) - Conservative Leader John Tory cast himself as a voice for rural Ontario on Saturday and pledged to mend relations with doctors as his bid to capture a seat in provincial parliament began in earnest.

"I believe in rural Ontario," Tory told an audience of party faithful in Orangeville, Ont., after being nominated to represent them in a byelection. "I may not live here, but I want to work here and I will work hard for you if I am elected."

As the Toronto-based leader of the Conservatives, Tory will have to persuade the riding of small towns and farms that he's the one to back. [. . . . ]

PQ Labour and WalMart

Granby Wal-Mart receives bomb threat, third store in two days

This is very bad. I vaguely remember a Videotron outlet that was fire bombed twice, though the reason escapes me. Was this because of labour problems in Quebec also? It is one thing to have a labour dispute but not this.

Svend Robinson -- A modern medical miracle recovery? Or scamming the system? Anybody else would have gotten a few years in the slammer for theft over . . .

What theatre! I watched CBC and Svend -- and rolled my eyes -- No, Svend! Don't even think of it.

Svend may run again -- POLITICS IN BLOOD: TAINTED EX-MP Kathleen Harris, Ottawa, Feb. 14, 05

DISGRACED former NDP MP Svend Robinson is battling his own "demons" and pondering a possible political comeback. In his first media interview since he "snapped" and swiped an expensive diamond ring from an auction sale, the long-time British Columbia MP told CBC News Sunday that politics is in his "blood" and hinted he could stage a return to Parliament Hill. [. . . . ]

He's a product of the caring professions, no? He's got the jargon down pat. MP's work so hard. Canonization to come? Saint Svend sacrificed to . . .

Bud Talkinghorn: Weird Stories, Lebanon at the Abyss, Mike Weir

Weird stories

A woman who has amassed 125 parking tickets that she has refused to pay, was arrested. Her lawyer, according to that beacon of judicial wisdom, the CBC, thinks that she should not be jailed, but rather that the judge should apologize to her for any inconvenience she might have suffered.

Some kindly American girls offer free cookies to a woman, who later won a lawsuit agianst them for causing her an anxiety attack.

Twice today, the CBC has refused to use the "M***** " word when reporting terrorist bombing in Lebanon and the Philippines. They are unidentified "extremists". Maybe it was those nefarious cookie girls up to no good again.

A dead man, Ray Charles, is able to win the majority of the Grammy awards. What does that say about the morbidity rate of most modern music?

Another woman has tried to become a surrogate mother by excising a baby from a pregnant woman's womb. Fortunately, this one was excised from existence by the real mommy. Surely this is an issue for "the reluctant mother brigade" to consider championing. Why even go through that dreary bloated nine month period? Let somebody else do that drudge work; then exercise your rights. [ -- to choose? NJC insert here].

That's all, Folks -- © Bud Talkinghorn

Lebanon standing at the abyss

The assassination of ex-Prime Minister Hariri, could easily rekindle the bloodbath of Lebanon's 1974-1984 civil war period. All the former players in that conflict still sit behind their mountain redoubts, seething about past injustices and nursing revenge fantasies. The Sunnis hate the Shi'ites, who have usurped their power. Both sects hate the Druze, whom they consider apostates. And of course, the Maronite Christians hate all of them. [Hariri was mentioned in an article on CIDA grants; SNC Lavallin was involved and got out of what turned out to be a bad deal involving Hariri and a Lebanese post office scam. NJC]

Just when it looked as though Beirut was about to shake off its "The Sewer of the Middle East" designation and get back to its old reputation as "The Paris of the Middle East", this bombing scuttled that transformation. Some unknown nut job Islamic group has taken responsibility, claiming to oppose the "infidels and Saudis". Since Hariri had resigned his position over the continuing occupation of Lebanon by Syria, there is a widespread belief that Syria, or one of its proxies, was responsible. If there is to be violence stemming from this murder, let it be the entire Lebanese population rising as a united front and throwing out their Syrian invaders. Then they can stamp out that serpent in their midst, the Hezbollah. Here's hoping that something good comes out of this atrocity. Thoughts of Beirut and Lebanon before the civil war broke out generate warm feelings--now, the old Alcazar Hotel gone, the nearby St. George's, where the bomb was detonated, probably demolished too. Very sad.

© Bud Talkinghorn

Mike Weir has his eye on the ball again

It was a pleasure to watch Mike at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. With the exception of a poor putting third round, he showed that he still has the right stuff. He might have tied Mickelson, had his superb birdie putts made that one extra roll. There was always the fear that Weir might have been a two year wonder--that the dreaded "Duval choke" disease had settled in. However, if he can take his last game's performance to the Nissen this week, he may become the only three-peat winner of that tournament in golf history. As they say in the theatre, "Break a leg, Phil." Only this time literally.

© Bud Talkinghorn

February 15, 2005

Robert Read ex-RCMP: "Triads had infested Canada's immigration system" -- "a political silver bullet" -- NATIONAL SECURITY

Update and Continuation: Earlier today, there was a post on some of the report, but not this section.

Two Key Quotations:

1. In 1986 an intelligence report prepared by the immigration department said there were no triads in Canada. Quite soon afterwards the Commissioner of the RCMP also said there were no triads in Canada. However, from 1991 to 1993 I reported, in a series of more than 30 extensively detailed reports, that triads had infested Canada's immigration system. Leaders of the largest organized crime groups in the world had established themselves as entrepreneurs in Canada. This really wasn't anything new, but the bureaucrats panicked. -- Robert Read, ex-Corporal, RCMP

2. Mr. Pierre Poilievre: So as this scandal was brewing behind the scenes, there was an active campaign to batter down anyone who could have stepped forward and revealed what had actually been going on.

[. . . . ] As I understand all of your testimony, what you've told us today is that if this bill had been in effect when your cases were ongoing, when your challenges and problems were before you, it would not have helped you. Is that an accurate understanding of your testimony?

Mr. Allan Cutler: Yes, you have it right.

The Report:

38th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION -- Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates -- EVIDENCE: ex-RCMP Corporal Robert Read, ex-foreign service officer, the blunt ex-foreign service officer Brian Adams, Joanna Gualtieri, Canada's expert on whistle-blowing, civil servant Allan Cutler, et cetera, February 3, 2005 -- you may download it.

The Chinese triads are inextricably woven into the fabric of Chinese society. For the last two centuries, wherever the Chinese have emigrated, they have taken with them their secret groups. Triads are the world's largest criminal fraternity, and Hong Kong, with four major triad societies and numerous smaller ones, 55 in total, is the home to more ethnic Chinese gangsters than anywhere else on Earth. Today the triads operate an unrivalled criminal empire. Extortion, gambling, international prostitution, illegal immigration, smuggling, money laundering, fraud, corruption, arms, and narcotics dealing all fall within their remit.

[This is one paragraph that bears re-reading in view of what the present government is planning, facilitating, encouraging . . . NJC]

Triads have been coming to Canada since 1863. There have been two royal commissions probing Chinese illegal immigration and opium smuggling, the first one in 1885, the second in 1911. From 1923 to 1959 triads plied what would become the biggest fraud of the post-war era. Half the Chinese immigrants in Canada had entered illegally as impostors. A massive RCMP investigation, concluded in 1962, revealed the extensive control the triad societies had over the Chinese community in Canada.

Hong Kong was the world centre for heroin trafficking.
Only a few minor players were ever prosecuted, and everything else was quickly covered over again. At that time, one in six people in Hong Kong was a triad member. The Canadian mission was warned in the early sixties and seventies that many in the Royal Hong Kong Police were triad members. Those warnings were ignored, and Canada accepted many Hong Kong police, some joining the RCMP. However, in 1977 a scandal dubbed The Quiet Dragons was aired on the CBC. It revealed that at least 40 corrupt policemen who were also triad members were living comfortably in Canada, with tens of millions of dollars gained from bribery and drug trafficking. Requests for a royal commission were dismissed. [Ed's emphasis throughout]

In 1986 an intelligence report prepared by the immigration department said there were no triads in Canada. Quite soon afterwards the Commissioner of the RCMP also said there were no triads in Canada. However, from 1991 to 1993 I reported, in a series of more than 30 extensively detailed reports, that triads had infested Canada's immigration system. Leaders of the largest organized crime groups in the world had established themselves as entrepreneurs in Canada. This really wasn't anything new, but the bureaucrats panicked.

So for over a century Canadian government officials have for the most part denied that Chinese criminals, known as triads, were in Canada and posed a threat to the country. The big question is, why did they act as they did?

An Asian organized crime expert wrote that “Canada is rapidly becoming one of the world centres for Chinese organized crime and espionage”. So the problem of Chinese triads, heroin and people smuggling, and corruption that has been going on for over a hundred years has never been resolved. It has only grown larger, causing far greater damage to the country. The typical attitude of bureaucracies to bad news is that we do shoot the messenger: if it happened in my ministry or division, then it's a negative reflection on me, and no news is good news. A disclosure protection act should counter the above mindset.

The problem of corruption at Canadian missions abroad is systemic. Canada's foreign affairs department learned there were 197 cases of corruption by locally engaged staff from 1996 to 1999 at its missions abroad, and many more were discovered later. The Canadian government itself admits that 1.5% of its immigration employees are corrupt, or thieves, or taking bribes, or have other illegal problems.


The Auditor General highlighted in the 2001 report that, “A weak immigration service is putting Canada in danger because it isn't weeding out applicants presenting criminal, security, or health risks”. Last year, a high-ranking Canadian diplomat based in China left his post suddenly after he was suspected of accepting bribes to help Chinese nationals enter Canada illegally. He is thought to have made well over $1 million before he bolted a few days before his posting expired. [Search: "bolted" -- on this site]

The government continues to play down the problems and serious security implications. It destroys and sees as a threat anyone who tells the truth. Both RCMP Corporal Read and I have experienced this. So too have two CSIS officers whose careers were also destroyed working on the Sidewinder project, which examined Chinese espionage activities in Canada in alliance with the triads; I instigated that.

[. . . . ] Joanna Gualtieri, Canada's expert on whistle-blowing, wrote:

So flawed is the Bill that Louis Clark, founding member and President of the Government Accountability Project in Washington, D.C.--the world's leading authority on whistleblower protection and legislation--said:

The government has said that the goal of the legislation is to “protect employees and encourage them to come forward if they have reason to believe that wrongdoing has taken place.” I do not see how the proposed legislation could encourage any but the most uninformed to step forward. In fact, from my limited understanding of Canadian civil service law, I think some whistle blowers might well be better off with no new statutory protections.

Mr. Pat Martin, MP, said it was an act to protect ministers from whistle-blowers, not an act to protect whistle-blowers. I completely agree with him.

Bill C-11 should be tossed out in its entirety and replaced with a bill closer to Bill C-205, a private member's bill put forward by Gurmant Grewal, MP for North Delta, that has much more positive potential.

[. . . . ] First of all, reprisals: the core problem with being ethical is the reprisals that often follow. Bill C-11 only conceives of a few reprisals, like demotions or loss of promotions, but there are endless ways in which bureaucracies will cover up mistakes and destroy its black sheep. A whistle-blower can experience a vast range of retaliations. These may include verbal threats; verbal attacks; one is silenced; ostracization; isolation; hurtful gossip; stigmatization; they are given dangerous work tasks; others threaten or attack them physically; or they are sexually harassed in an active way, etc.

[. . . . ] According to the professor, mobbing means harassing, ganging up on someone, or psychologically terrorizing others at work.

[. . . . ] “corporate psychopaths” [. . . . ]

The exclusion of the RCMP and over 100 divisions and branches is most curious. One has to wonder why this bill excludes RCMP, CSIS, CSE, the military, etc., and, under clause 6, a total of about 63 divisions or branches of government and 49 corporations.

[. . . . ] This bill does not encourage whistle-blowers in any way, and neither does it value their contributions. In the U.S., whistle-blowers are rewarded and recognized as it should be. For example, according to statements by the government, my work saved the government $50 million, and in the long term prevented the entry of at least 2,000 organized crime figures. But I've never received any recognition--only scorn and abuse.

[ A digression more information on whistleblowing -- leads to other information Note: There is a link error. Wherever this is found at the end of a link--[ /br within <>]--remove it and the link will be all right. NJC ]

Most whistle-blowers are 40 years of age and over and are forced to retire early. Most will never be able to be employed again. [. . . . ]


Legal expenses [. . . . ]

Scott Newark, a highly respected lawyer and friend of mine, has assisted me and other whistle-blowers for more than 10 years. He suggests the following. There must be an office independent of the structure of the bureaucracy to which complainants' information from within the bureaucracy can be provided. Any other model is simply a facade. [. . . . ]

I'd like to conclude by saying that “All that is essential for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. This was written by a British political writer and statesman in the 1700s.

[. . . . ]Corporal Robert Read . . .

My name is Robert Read. I'm now retired, but I was a corporal in the RCMP. In 1996 I was assigned to Mr. McAdam's case and appointed to meet with him, listen to his complaint, and try to find what was actually happening with his complaint, what were the facts of the matter. Many parts of Mr. McAdam's complaint are detailed, and many were found to be true. I worked on Mr. McAdam's case until 1996, when I was ordered to desist, in September, I guess it was, 1997.

What I discovered was that when Mr. McAdam made his complaint in 1991 and it was investigated by the RCMP in 1992, the RCMP discovered that the computer in Hong Kong was entirely vulnerable, that the safeguards were not put into effect. Anyone and everyone who had access to the system could issue visas in Hong Kong, that is, anyone in the high commission in Hong Kong who had access to the computer, with a little bit of knowledge, could issue visas. It appeared that this had been happening for years, probably from 1986 until 1991. I compare Mr. McAdam to the sheriff in town, because various people in the high commission brought their suspicious pieces of evidence to him, and he gathered them and presented them to the RCMP when the RCMP arrived in 1992.

So after listening to various pieces of the story, I went to the RCMP central file room, got the 1992 files, and sat down and started to read them. After I had been reading them for several weeks, I came across a report called the Balser report, which, in obtuse language, said the computer is vulnerable and showed how it was possible to misuse it.

The thing to understand is that Mr. McAdam in 1992 was on station in Hong Kong. Mr. McAdam is a very frank person. He was kept out of the informed circle. The RCMP and his superiors told him everything was under control and in good hands. It was in their hands, but what they were in fact doing was covering up the facts from Mr. McAdam, because he had been in the service for 29 years and was not one to mince words. So through bureaucratic manoeuvring, they got Mr. McAdam back to Ottawa and isolated him. Finally, he took his retirement, because he was so entirely frustrated by his superiors' apparent lack of interest in the details of his findings.

The thing was that they knew before he did; they knew that the RCMP had found this. Their own technician, Mr. Balser, had found this and had told them they had a disaster here. It was a disaster beyond bureaucratic scope. It was actually a political silver bullet, which it would have been a disaster to report honestly. So they kept this from Mr. McAdam, because he was not someone who could be told to keep it under his hat.


It was just the fact that he came back to Ottawa and periodically came to the RCMP and demanded answers and demanded inquiry. My boss, of course, did not know of this cover-up that had been perpetrated in 1992—we were now in 1996—so he assigned me to delve into the case and I looked into it. It was only by an examination of these files from 1992 that I discovered the cover-up.

I also was not one to mince my words. I said to my boss, “This is what's happened”. My boss is a very nice gentleman, but he just wasn't responding to what I was telling him. As the months went on, it occurred to me that the RCMP were going to continue this cover-up, which I believed at that time was perpetrated by Immigration and Foreign Affairs.

Finally, I made a complaint against my boss for obstruction of justice. That was in 1997. I then went on sick leave when I perceived that, yes, this was really going ahead and the cover-up would continue no matter what I did. So I was off on stress leave, sick leave, for six months, during which time I reformulated my complaint, now against four superior officers who had direct knowledge, who I had evidence were part of the cover-up.

A few months later I went back to work. The RCMP gave me a job essentially shuffling paper—making photocopies, you might say—for a while. Finally, six months later they sent me to the personnel office to work as a personnel clerk.

What happened after that was that they cornered me in a bureaucratic way. It appeared that I was going to be stabbed in the back, so what I did was go public. This was now in September 1999, and I went public in a newspaper. I didn't really understand this at the time, but I believe now that this was in fact done expressly, that my bosses in fact had made a decision and put this pinch on me and made me go public.

[Re-read that; then ]

I did go public and made allegations in 1999 that there was a cover-up, that there was loss of control of the computer. I was subsequently suspended with pay, was charged with divulging confidential information, was put on trial, and was convicted of doing that, in fact, in 1992. It was at my trial in 1992, through listening to the testimony of various people who were called to my trial, that I realized the RCMP had to have been in the know from 1992, from the original investigation. I had suspected the original investigator from the RCMP was in fact on the take or corrupt or something else. From my trial, however, I can see that he was following orders when he covered up the whole affair in his files.


The reason the RCMP would do this, I think, was for fear of national security. This problem was big enough that it could be a real arrow through the heart of the government. To admit that our way of life is now so complex that we cannot control our own computers in the federal government is a very serious matter. It's a political problem as well as a bureaucratic problem. So this is my opinion of why it happened. It was a question of national security taking precedence over a criminal investigation. I believe this is why Mr. McAdam was frustrated for so long and that, in fact, the national security question was being addressed.

[. . . . ] Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): [. . . . ] Allan Cutler, . . . are you telling us that after the Auditor General revealed to the public the sponsorship scandal and both the Prime Minister and the Auditor General went public, calling on anyone in the government who had any knowledge to come and speak out, you were then told to be quiet?


[. . . . ] Mr. Pierre Poilievre: So as this scandal was brewing behind the scenes, there was an active campaign to batter down anyone who could have stepped forward and revealed what had actually been going on.

[. . . . ] As I understand all of your testimony, what you've told us today is that if this bill had been in effect when your cases were ongoing, when your challenges and problems were before you, it would not have helped you. Is that an accurate understanding of your testimony?

Mr. Allan Cutler: Yes, you have it right.

[. . . . ] Mr. Benoît Sauvageau: You don't want this job to be taken on by the Public Service Commission, but rather by an independent agency.

My question is for all of you. Let's say we propose an amendment to the bill whereby an independent agency with a staff of 10, 12 or 15 employees be created. If you could directly file a complaint with this agency, do you feel it would have more credibility than if you had complained to your supervisor, to the supervisor of your supervisor, and so on? Or would you prefer to have an agency affiliated to the Office of the Auditor General, as is the case of the Office of the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development? What I'm talking about is an autonomous agency affiliated with the Office of the Auditor General which has a lot of credibility and which is well known.

I'm wondering whether you would prefer to have a completely independent agency or one which is affiliated to an office which has a great deal of credibility and which is very well known. Back when you had to deal with all those problems, what type of agency would you have rather turned to?


Mr. Allan Cutler: I will answer first. It should be totally independent, in my view.

Mr. Brian McAdam: I agree completely. It has to be totally independent.


Mr. Benoît Sauvageau: There are two other examples. First, the Official Languages Commissioner, who is completely independent but rather isolated. For her part, Ms. Gélinas, who is the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development, is also completely independent, since she tables her reports before Parliament. However, she is affiliated with the Office of the Auditor General, which increases her profile.

In short, I would like to know whether you prefer an agency modelled on the Office of the Official Languages Commissioner or on the Office of the Environment Commissioner, or whether it does not matter as long as it is an independent entity.


Mr. Allan Cutler: It should be completely independent, on its own.


Mr. Benoît Sauvageau: Fine. That's clear.

Mr. Read, under sections 52 and 53 of Bill C-11, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is not covered by the bill. I would like to know what you think about that, although I can guess what your answer will be. Do you think the RCMP should be included in an improved version of Bill C-11?

Cpl Robert Reid: Yes and no. In my opinion, the bill as it now stands does not make any sense.
It's just not serious.

Mr. Benoît Sauvageau: But if an independent agency was created and this whole issue were taken seriously, would you want the RCMP to be covered by the bill?

Cpl Robert Reid: It's difficult to answer that question. In the case I mentioned, there are two aspects, namely the criminal aspect and the national security aspect. That's why there was such a battle within the RCMP.

Mr. Benoît Sauvageau: It's difficult.

Cpl Robert Reid: I represent the criminal investigation, and the principles which guide me don't include the national interest. If criminals are involved, it is my responsibility to go after them. I was never told anything, but I see what is going on. I concluded that people acted the way they did because of the national interest and because it would have been extremely damaging for the federal government.

Therefore, the RCMP should be covered by the bill as regards criminal activities, but not as regards national security.

[. . . . ] Cpl Robert Reid: I agree with Mr. McAdam. It's half-political, half-bureaucratic. The national interest was deemed more important for political reasons. In my view, Canada's political system is in a crisis. The political system will have to be changed radically because technology is evolving so quickly. Major changes have to be brought about.

Mr. Benoît Sauvageau: [. . . . ] I would like to ask Mr. McAdam to clarify something. I want to make sure I understood correctly. You said that there was corruption in every Canadian mission abroad. Is that correct?

Mr. Brian McAdam: In one form or another--not necessarily every mission abroad, but a great many of them.


Mr. Benoît Sauvageau: Are you saying that there is corruption in many Canadian missions abroad?


Mr. Brian McAdam: Yes, and there have been all kinds of public reports on that topic.


Mr. Benoît Sauvageau: Is it especially prevalent in the area of immigration?


Mr. Brian McAdam: Not necessarily. The last time I saw something like this was an accountant in Venezuela who may have extorted a couple of million dollars. Generally, the Department of Foreign Affairs never wants to sully its reputation, so they will go out of their way to keep things quiet and arrange things. So there should be prosecutions, but there are not. [. . . . ]

[ There is more. NJC ]

Bill C-11 Whistleblowers and Quotations: Cutler, Selwyn, Read (RCMP), McAdam (Foreign Service Officer)

Bill C-11 Whistleblowers, Introduction: Mr. Leon Benoit CPC -- EVIDENCE-Quotes from Mr. Allan Cutler, Mr. Selwyn Pieters, ex-foreign service officer in Hong Kong, Brian McAdam and ex-RCMP Corporal Read -- CHECK BACK LATER

Quick Quotes:

"In my case, it was clear that my immediate supervisors did not appreciate my raising concerns. In April 1996 I was told I would suffer the consequences and pay the price if I continued to refuse to sign the documents that were improper." -- Mr. Allan Cutler

"I was assaulted by the regional director in Toronto. I was subjected to a disciplinary hearing for seeking the advice and assistance of a lawyer. I was harassed by IRB managers when I was on sick leave. The IRB engaged in a cover-up sanctioned at the highest level of that organization. My health and dental benefits were cut off effective July 1, 2004, and I have not received any pay from the government since March 15, 2004." -- Mr. Selwyn Pieters

"My 30-year foreign service career ended, taking a huge toll on my health, reputation, and credibility. I wrote and spoke about the negligence and corruption at the Canadian consulate in Hong Kong and the threat that Chinese organized crime groups, known as triads, and the Chinese government posed to Canada. This was actually part of my job description, but I apparently was not supposed to do it. Telling the truth in the Canadian bureaucracy can be career suicide and dangerous. " -- Mr. Brian McAdam, ex-foreign service officer in Hong Kong

"What I discovered was that when Mr. McAdam made his complaint in 1991 and it was investigated by the RCMP in 1992, the RCMP discovered that the computer in Hong Kong was entirely vulnerable, that the safeguards were not put into effect. Anyone and everyone who had access to the system could issue visas in Hong Kong, that is, anyone in the high commission in Hong Kong who had access to the computer, with a little bit of knowledge, could issue visas. It appeared that this had been happening for years . . . . The RCMP and his superiors told him everything was under control and in good hands. It was in their hands, but what they were in fact doing was covering up the facts from Mr. McAdam

The thing was that they knew before he did; they knew that the RCMP had found this. Their own technician, Mr. Balser, had found this and had told them they had a disaster here. It was a disaster beyond bureaucratic scope. It was actually a political silver bullet, which it would have been a disaster to report honestly. So they kept this from Mr. McAdam, because he was not someone who could be told to keep it under his hat. . . . the RCMP were going to continue this cover-up, which I believed at that time was perpetrated by Immigration and Foreign Affairs. [. . . . ]

What happened after that was that they cornered me in a bureaucratic way. It appeared that I was going to be stabbed in the back, so what I did was go public. This was now in September 1999, and I went public in a newspaper. I didn't really understand this at the time, but I believe now that this was in fact done expressly, that my bosses in fact had made a decision and put this pinch on me and made me go public. . . .

The reason the RCMP would do this, I think, was for fear of national security. " -- Corporal Robert Read

The plot thickens.

Was it that the only way to get this information out and into the public forum was to "use" a decent officer?

I simply do not know yet. There is much more to read.

If that is not a reason to continue reading . . . . you deserve the government(s) you have had. All four of the individuals who have given evidence have suffered for their whistleblowing. There is more juicy stuff yet to come. All this comes from the document--see link--and as a citizen, you should know what is going on.

MORE WILL COME; MEANWHILE -- Download a copy of the .pdf file -- readable with the free Adobe Reader and find out for yourself.

38th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION -- Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates -- EVIDENCE from Allan Cutler and Selwyn Pieters; next, ex-RCMP Corporal Robert Read, ex-foreign service officer, the blunt ex-foreign service officer Brian Adams -- and more February 3, 2005, -- sections 1530 - 1550 only -- The excerpts above Read and McAdam are from further down in this file. Search their names if you are in a hurry.

Bill C-11 Introduction to EVIDENCE: The Chair (Mr. Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, CPC))

[]We're here today pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, October 18, Bill C-11, An Act to establish a procedure for the disclosure of wrongdoings in the public sector, including the protection of persons who disclose the wrongdoings. I deliberately wanted to read the formal name of the legislation that's being proposed because of course it applies in a very special way, I would suggest, to the four individuals who I welcome to our committee today.

We welcome four individuals whose testimony will remind us all of why we're studying this important piece of legislation. It is individuals like the four of you here today in fact who this legislation is intended to protect, and that's indeed why we are here today. I'd like to welcome Mr. Allan Cutler, Mr. Brian McAdam, and Mr. Selwyn Pieters. Corporal Read, I believe, will be here in the near future.

[. . . . Every ] one of you has been put in a very difficult situation as a result of the service you provided.

EVIDENCE: Mr. Allan Cutler

[. . . . ] Mr. Allan Cutler: Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the invitation to appear here. I hope my experience will shed some light on the issues you're dealing with in consideration of Bill C-11.

In the mid-1990s, I became aware of persistent irregularities in the procurement of advertising and related services within Mr. Guité's group at PWGSC. At first I didn't think of myself as a whistle-blower. I simply thought there was a serious abuse of the contracting rules that needed to be rectified.

What I observed going on was totally outside my experience as a long-time procurement officer at PWGSC. This relates to the first point I would like to make. Where there is a culture of integrity and ethical behaviour in an organization, employees will be prepared to come forward when they see wrongdoing, but if employees are cynical about the integrity of an organization where ethical standards at the top are lax, then employees will have little motivation to disclose wrongdoing. Only when there is confidence that abuses will actually be corrected will employees be prepared to come forward.

In my case, it was clear that my immediate supervisors did not appreciate my raising concerns. In April 1996 I was told I would suffer the consequences and pay the price if I continued to refuse to sign the documents that were improper.

Because there was no established procedure for reporting wrongdoing within the department, I approached my union, the Professional Institute of the Public Service, for advice. The union wrote to my ADM outlining my concerns about contracting irregularities. I was asked to go to the internal audit branch within PWGSC.

When I reported the situation to internal audit, I was promised protection from retaliation. I knew I would quickly be identified as the source of the disclosure; that went without saying. For that reason, I considered the promised protection from retaliation to be essential. Unfortunately, the promised protection wasn't there when I needed it. Shortly after I went to internal audit, Mr. Guité called me in and told me I would be declared surplus.

[. . . . filing a grievance] I received a letter of apology and a written assurance that the concerns I had raised about contracting practices in Mr. Guité's unit had been corrected. We know now that didn't happen.


One of the reasons it didn't happen was that others had seen what I went through. . . .

[. . . . ] I saw people who had turned a blind eye to what was happening getting promotions and a raise. Retirement income reflects promotions; therefore, rewards or penalties last a lifetime.

[. . . . reprisals against whistle-blowers will often be subtle. . . . duty of loyalty . . . ]

Bill C-11 restricts compensation for reprisals to loss of pay and direct out-of-pocket expenses. I feel that's too narrow. I realize that losses such as loss of reputation, mental distress, and loss of career advancement are harder to quantify, but those losses are very real.

[. . . the employee has the onus of proving there was a reprisal . . . . independent agency . . . . Auditor General. . . ]

When the Auditor General made her initial report public in 2002, she stressed that any public servant who had relevant information should come forward. In May 2002, I sent an e-mail to PWGSC requesting permission to go to the Auditor General and asking for confirmation that there would be no reprisals for doing so. The next day I was told that I would have to meet with the manager of internal disclosure at PWGSC. I was informed this authorization would not be granted for me to provide information to the Auditor General until managers in the department had an opportunity to vet the information. Nothing at all was said about protection from reprisals. [. . . . ]
(1540) [. . . . ]

EVIDENCE: Mr. Selwyn Pieters

"[C]hallenging unethical workplace conduct comes at a price. That price includes threats to one's physical, psychological, and financial integrity. The current system and the proposed system for dealing with these matters are inadequate"-- Bill C-11
Mr. Selwyn Pieters (As Individual): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I am employed as a refugee protection officer at the Immigration and Refugee Board, and I'm currently on a leave of absence for a year without pay. This leave of absence directly relates to my coming forward with allegations of wrongdoing in the reasons-writing and decision-making process at the Immigration and Refugee Board.

I should tell you that my complaints were investigated by the Public Service Integrity Office, and the office has found four of the five allegations to be substantiated. I say that from the inception, just to dispel any aspersions that the allegations had no merit.

When I came forward and blew the whistle on the refugee board, a number of negative reactions occurred. They included an anonymous note. . . . my access to the office should be denied, and my access card was deactivated. The executive director then wrote me a letter and said, well, we told you that your access card was deactivated and we also told you how you could access the building. In fact, no such directions were given, and through the Access to Information Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Privacy Act, I received that information.

I was assaulted by the regional director in Toronto. I was subjected to a disciplinary hearing for seeking the advice and assistance of a lawyer. I was harassed by IRB managers when I was on sick leave. The IRB engaged in a cover-up sanctioned at the highest level of that organization. My health and dental benefits were cut off effective July 1, 2004, and I have not received any pay from the government since March 15, 2004.

[. . . . ] Mr. Cutler, in his testimony, mentioned to you the inefficacy of having the Public Service Commission deal with these matters. He's right, because I can tell you, for example, that the executive director of the IRB and the chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board were both senior officials at the Public Service Commission, and that is the body to which I would have to complain. If I'm at the refugee board, these people have a direct link to the executives there because, of course, they probably were their bosses before.

[. . . . ] Where should a person go when they have to make a complaint of wrongdoing? My view is that an employee should be able to go directly to a neutral third-party entity . . . .


. . . I believe that public servants who reveal wrongdoing in the workplace and suffer financial loss should be compensated. This is something that is in the legislation and that should be strongly pushed forward.

There should also be provisions in the legislation for independent legal advice for public servants who are contemplating internal or external disclosure of wrongdoing, and legal assistance for public servants throughout the process. As an example, the departments have teams of lawyers who deal with these matters. In my case with the IRB there are about four or five lawyers who are almost working full-time dealing with these matters. I went to some lawyer who was helping me pro bono and they actually called a disciplinary hearing, . . . .

[. . . Who] should be responsible for investigations of complaints. . . . an independent integrity officer. . . . appeal mechanisms, I believe that a finding from an independent neutral body should be appealable directly to the Federal Court and not to the Public Service Staff Relations Board.

[. . . The] legislation as it is should not be passed.

The second one is that there should be protection of wages, salary, benefits, pensions, overtime and, most of all, protection from reprisals.

My third recommendation . . . independent legal advice for employees who wish to make a disclosure of wrongdoing and who have made a disclosure to assist them throughout what can be described as an unfair, biased, convoluted, and inaccessible system. This can be in the form of having a duty counsel available through a 1-800 number or through the establishment of an employee adviser office.

The fourth recommendation is that a truly independent body be legislated to handle claims of wrongdoing in the workplace. . . .

And the fifth is that the independent body should report directly to Parliament [. . . . ]


February 14, 2005

A Valentine Hiatus -- Love, Music, Poetry and 'Goong Kratiam'

Today is the day thoughts turn to love -- its many manifestations and how to celebrate and honour this . . . . . . what? -- this indefinable state -- quality? sense? feeling? need? ephemeral something we call love.

Never mind; today is not for definitions. It is a day for action.

I offer a suggestion: poetry, music and a delicious recipe (along with how to obtain the cookbook from which it came). The best of love, ranging from passionately sensual to idealistic or courtly love, may be celebrated over the dining table, while engaging as many senses as possible. I offer a few items for the setting; you do the rest.

The music is very personal; find your own or try:

Andre Rieu's Tour d'amour -- try Kleine cafe aan de haven -- Women love it and Rieu.

Cesaria Evora -- Cabo Verde -- Listen and you'll understand; for example, Tchinctchirote or Quem Bo E have a loping quality, an easy rhythm or a nostalgic note.

Ian Tyson and Sylvia Fricker -- old, but if you can find it, The Best of Ian and Sylvia -- Listen to Spanish is a Loving Tongue

Edith Piaf -- Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien -- To regret nothing - That is the point.

Classical Vivaldi -- Concerto in A for Guitar, Violin, Viola, Cello

Mozart -- Andres Segovia -- Classical Flamenco Guitar

Dvorak in Prague -- try Humoresque -- Boston Symphony -- very personal -- the first piece of music ever recorded for me

Verdi -- Chorus of Hebrew Slaves -- Va, Pensiero--from Nabucco, Act 111

Yo-Yo Ma -- Flight of the Bumblebee or any of the Appalachian CD -- or is it Yo-Yo Ma in Appalachia?

Nana Mouskouri -- The British Concert -- or try The Humming Chorus from Madame Butterfly -- or -- Habanera from Carmen

Mikis Theodorakis or various artists on The Story of Greece CD -- Dance of Zorba or the soundtrack from Zorba, the Greek -- You might just get up and dance.

Grateful Dead -- Friend of the Devil

Johnny Cash -- Ring of Fire

From the film, Deliverance -- Duelling Banjos

Hot Hot Hot! -- (by ? -- momentarily forgotten and no time to check)

I was getting carried away with the planning; see, it works. Enough.

After the music is on, it is time for poetry -- whether you create your own, read someone else's -- or simply skip the poetry and talk about what your love means -- why you celebrate it.

Just in case, two poems follow, one from Swinburne and one fromSpenser.


Before our lives divide for ever,
While time is with us and hands are free,
(Time, swift to fasten and swift to sever
Hand from hand, as we stand by the sea)
I will say no word that a man might say
Whose whole life's love goes down in a day;
For this could never have been; and never,
Though the gods and the years relent, shall be.

Is it worth a tear, is it worth an hour,
To think of things that are well outworn?
Of fruitless husk and fugitive flower,
The dream foregone and the deed forborne?
Though joy be done with and grief be vain,
Time shall not sever us wholly in twain;
Earth is not spoilt for a single shower;
But the rain has ruined the ungrown corn.

It will grow not again, this fruit of my heart,
Smitten with sunbeams, ruined with rain.
The singing seasons divide and depart,
Winter and summer depart in twain.
It will grow not again, it is ruined at root,
The bloodlike blossom, the dull red fruit;
Though the heart yet sickens, the lips yet smart,
With sullen savour of poisonous pain.

[. . . . ] Come life, come death, not a word be said;
Should I lose you living, and vex you dead?
I never shall tell you on earth; and in heaven,
If I cry to you then, will you hear or know?

You will have to link for what has been omitted.

Poems and Ballads, First Series

Source text: Swinburne, Algernon. Poems and Ballads, First Series. The Poems of Algernon Charles Swinburne. 6 vols. London: Chatto, 1904. 1: xxxi-296

The Swinburne Project

Nearly all Swinburne's major poems reveal the courtly influence through their radical emphasis on the interrelatedness not only of passion and politics but also of all actions, all ideals, all life. Ultimately, for him a great poem must not work to exclude any sphere of human perception or activity. The experience it describes must be amenable to extension. As Thomas Connolly explains, for Swinburne the greatest poetry always expresses a "moral passion" which "fills verse 'with divine force of meaning' . . . [and] enable[sl the poet to [12/13] transcend the material world to commune with the spiritual."

COURTLY LOVE Michael Delahoyde, Washington State University

Chivalry and Courtly Love -- What is Courtly Love?

One more:

One day I wrote her name upon the strand

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
Vain man, said she, that dost in vain assay
A mortal thing so to immortalize!
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eek my name be wiped out likewise.
Not so (quoth I), let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name;
Where, when as death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.

Edmund Spenser

Light the candles and bring your loved one nibblies on toothpicks -- or on your favourite toast or crackers. You might try this.

Goong Kratiam: Garlic Shrimp -- Thai

24 medium shrimp peeled -- Sometimes the smaller ones are tastier. You might even want to double the amount of the marinade/sauce in case you want more.
Cover with a mixture of the following and marinate 1 hour or more.

1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soya sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oil

1/2 teaspoon cilantro -- My variation: if you do not have fresh leaves, use dried cilantro. I cook on the assumption that ingredients are always replaceable -- like people. Most of us do not keep everything we need on hand all the time. Perhaps I am simply a slapdash cook.

Heat a cast iron fry pan over very high heat first.

Note: Use a spatter net cover for the oil -- to keep the sputtering oil in the pan.
Have a cover handy to cover the pan and get it off the heat -- only if necessary. Have good oven mittens handy, just in case.
Do not leave this dish while it is cooking because of the oil and high heat.

Add 3 tablespoons oil; it will spatter, so add the shrimp with the marinade and top it with the spatter net cover.

Toss with a slotted spoon occasionally while cooking for 3 minutes. Another addition to the recipe: remove the shrimp and toss into the frypan a tablespoon or two of sherry (cheap sherry works fine though no good chef would tell you that) Serve.

My apologies to the authors for playing fast and loose with their recipe.

Their recipe and the source follows: it works with fewer shrimp--tried with 16--so you might want to prepare a bit more sauce. At Amazon, the book rates 4.5 stars out of 5.

Simply Thai Cooking Wandee Young and Byron Ayanoglu. There are second-hand copies, too. For reviews of this book, link.

Don't forget the wine -- perhaps an Argentine, a Chileno or a Californian cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir or chardonnay -- and if money is tight, pour a glass of your homemade plonk, and enjoy.

Remember, it is the ceremony and the expression of love that matter, not the money spent.

For the rest of dinner and the evening, you're on your own.