Wednesday, June 16, 2021

SPEAKER VOIDS AMENDMENTS OF C-10

The Liberal government’s push to speed controversial broadcasting bill C-10 through Parliament hit a road bump Tuesday, when the Speaker of the House voided dozens of amendments to the bill.

The amendments were made public Monday when the amended bill was tabled in the House of Commons. Conservative MP Blake Richards asked the Speaker of the House to strike those amendments, arguing the committee exceeded its authority, and on Tuesday the Speaker agreed.

Speaker Anthony Rota declared dozens of amendments added at committee after debate time ran out null and void, and ordered the bill to be reprinted without them.

 “In some ways it’s indicative of frankly how the Liberals have handled this bill, almost from the get go. You’ve had a minister unable to effectively communicate the contents of it, you’ve had a provision pulled back which clearly has sparked enormous amount of concern across the country,” Geist said Tuesday. “And now, in the rush to try to get this legislation through without any real debate, and it oversteps the very boundaries of committee. And especially for this government which came to power, arguing that it was going to give more power to committees and leave them more independent, to see them rebuked in this way by their own speaker is, I think quite telling.”

THE G7 HYPOCRITES

  Rex Murphy:  It was heartening to see Mr. Trudeau prancing about in various photos, he who has been in lockdown longer than medieval hermits, now wandering with the Queen in her garden, unmasked in one picture, masked in another. Something like Batman, he has a secret identity (that everyone knows). It was good, too, to see him finally socializing a bit, and nice of Stella McCartney not to insist on a mask when they met.

Their frolics and inconsistencies have not gone unnoticed. The guy who normally runs a now closed barbershop, the owner of the bankrupt shoe store, the waitress at the closed restaurant, these people and thousands like them are only too painfully alert that there are two types of people in this COVID era. Those who have no choice but to bear the weight of the rules; and those who made them, and then pick and choose what day or moment they themselves will abide by them.

No one thinks they shouldn’t meet. But why do they get to flip the rules when it suits them? In the COVID era must they meet in person? As Mr. Scrooge might say, “Is there no Zoom? Are there no cellphones?”


THE LAUGHABLE PM

 Apparently Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fancies himself the “dean” of the G7, based on his maturity, wisdom and … be quiet back there. This is a serious news story.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not exactly a grownup even if he has found time to father more children than he can count. And French President Emmanuel Macron is not exactly a grownup even if he and Trudeau found time to pledge to strengthen “security co-operation and strategic dialogue in the Sahel” while “on the margins of the G7.” (No really; it’s what their press release said.)

As well as “making new commitments on gender equality at the Generation Equality Forum, and advancing equality, diversity, inclusion and the fight against all forms of hatred, discrimination and violence; promoting, in both countries and internationally, ambitious objectives for the protection of biodiversity … and for the fight against climate change and for carbon neutrality by 2050 … developing their cultural exchanges and promoting the Francophonie as an expression of cultural diversity and as a space for prosperity and democracy,” blah blah blah.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

CHINA'S MIRACLE SURGE OF ORGAN DONORS

The Chinese Communist Party celebrated on Sunday that the current number of organ donation “volunteers” in the country is 100 times the size it was in 2015, shortly before China began building concentration camps for ethnic minorities.

China’s state-run Global Times in particular applauded an alleged increase in the number of organ donation volunteers since the first outbreak of Chinese coronavirus began in central Wuhan city in late 2019. Reports published last year indicated a potential rise in the live harvesting of organs from political prisoners in desperate attempts to perform lung transplants on coronavirus patients.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

LIBERALS SHRUG AT WE ETHICS REPORT

 Breaking with the hallowed tradition of government committees that putter along for years without producing any meaningful output, on Thursday the House ethics committee released a timely, pointed, and actually useful report.

Within its scathing 116 pages lies a list of 20 recommendations to reform Canada’s lobbying and conflict of interest laws, supported by all three major opposition parties. While they largely stem from the infamous WE Charity affair, they also touch upon other suspect pandemic funding decisions, including those for large ventilator contracts.

Unfortunately, the governing Trudeau Liberals aren’t on board. They attached a four-page dissenting opinion that rejects the committees’ 20 recommendations as either “unhelpful” or “outside the scope of this study.” They also include three recommendations of their own; ones that would be comical in their hollow inanity if the subject  weren’t of such importance to Canada’s democracy and national security.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

THE WORST FORM OF LAWMAKING

The House of Commons heritage committee has been accused of “secret law-making” as it rushes to pass the controversial C-10 broadcasting bill.

On Thursday, the Liberal, NDP and Bloc members of the committee agreed to vote on more amendments but without the opportunity to ask for explanations, or clarification about what the effect of those amendments would be.

“I find it shocking and deeply troubling that the committee is proceeding with clause-by-clause by voting on amendments that have not been made public, are not subject to debate, and there are no experts available to answer questions,” said University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist. Geist, a vocal critic of the bill, said that process amounts to secret law-making.

 Geist said in an email that voting on bills without experts in the room constitutes “the very worst form of lawmaking.” Geist, who obtained the text of some of the amendments, said one of the them uses language similar to net neutrality but may have the effect of harming net neutrality. “Were any experts consulted on this? Do MPs who voted on it understand the implications?” he asked.

JUST ANOTHER AMBITIOUS CYNIC

 One wonders what that idealistic young man would have made of the Liberal Party’s latest electoral manoeuvre – supporting a Bloc Québécois sponsored bill to make concessions on supply management in future trade deals illegal, while secretly working to frustrate the legislation’s passage into law? It is hardly the “real change” he sold voters on six years ago.

The Liberal plan appears to be to support the bill in the House, enabling Quebec Liberal MPs to boast of their supply management bona fides in an election, and then grind things to a halt in committee, so that the legislation dies on the order paper when Parliament rises.