Guest Post by Connie Fournier: Why Conservatives Should Oppose Bill C-51

Connie Fournier wrote an excellent analysis of Bill C-51.  I agree with every word she says – and more!  Let’s not loose sight of the admission that our security forces are already treating anti-Jihad bloggers exactly the same way as actual Jihadi terrorists…

Xanthippa’s first law of Human Dynamics says:  Any and every law passed will be misused in its hyperbolic absurdity…eventually.  Please do keep in mind while evaluating the proposed law, Bill C-51!

Right now, we have perfectly good laws we could use to reign in the terrorists:  but, we don’t.  There is absolutely no reason to believe that since existing laws are not used against terrorists, the proposed Bill C-51 would be, if enacted: rather, it seems more likely that it would be just as abused as existing laws are!

Connie Fournier gave me permission to publish this as a guest-post by her.  I agree with every single word she wrote!!!

Much has been said recently about the “anti-terrorism” Bill C-51 that is currently being debated in the House of Commons.

I have been quite vocal about the fact that I oppose this Bill, but I haven’t gone into a lot of detail as to why. I think it is important for my fellow conservatives to understand that this is not a partisan issue. Just because it is mainly the NDP and the Green Party who have spoken out against it doesn’t mean that conservatives shouldn’t have grave concerns as well. My concerns are well-founded, and they are based on personal experience.

Many of the critics of this Bill have referred to cases where environmental and First Nations activists have discovered that they were targeted and spied upon by government agencies, and the point has been made that Bill C-51 would only make it easier for the government to spy on and “disrupt” non-criminal, non-terrorist Canadian citizens.

Now, I’m going to be perfectly forthright here and talk to my fellow conservatives who, perhaps, take these allegations with a grain of salt, or feel that there might be some justification in having the government keep on eye on the “lefties”, anyway. This Bill is so open-ended that it can be used by any future government to spy on and “disrupt” any citizen for virtually any reason.

Even if it were true that our government agencies have only been targeting the people you disagree with (and I will be demonstrating shortly that that is not the case), we have to realize that it will not always be a Conservative government that calls the shots. I think it is extremely important that you read the scholarly reviews done by people like Michael Geist and Professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach, then take that information and imagine what your opinion on this Bill would be if Justin Trudeau or Thomas Mulcair were Prime Minister and they had this power at their disposal.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the Bill is the section on information sharing. Michael Geist points out at the link above that it lists 17 government departments, including the CRA, CSIS, CSE, RCMP and the Department of National Defence, and it allows them to freely share our personal information. This would include information that is obtained by CSIS and the CSE by hacking our websites and email or tapping our cellphones…and they are allowed to disclose it “in accordance with the law…to any person, for any purpose.” This is in Section 6.

Imagine for a moment if you are an opposition MP and the government has the power to collect and freely distribute all of the private information they can obtain about you. Do you think it would be used against you? Or do you think that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear?

The part of the Bill that concerns me most is that provides CSIS with the power to “disrupt” groups of Canadian citizens. This word sets off alarm bells for a couple of reasons.

First, it is a word that was used in a “Five Eyes” powerpoint presentation that was released some time ago by Edward Snowden. The “Five Eyes” countries include Canada, the USA, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. This presentation was given to the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group and it was entitled, “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations”.

This powerpoint presentation talks about how government agents can go about sabotaging online groups that they want to be silenced. These groups need not be criminals or terrorists, they simply describe them as “hacktivists”. These documents call this activity “Online Covert Action”, and say it consists of the “3 D’s” – Deny, Disrupt, Degrade, Deceive. One of the documents outright declares that they are “pushing the boundaries” when they speak of deliberately destroying their targets’ reputations, infiltrating groups and using psychology to “disrupt” them, and in manipulating and controlling the information that is posted online.

Secondly, this is where it becomes personal. Beginning in the Spring of 2006, government operatives began signing up on our discussion forum, Free Dominion. We have since identified operatives from the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), the Department of Defence, at least one Police Department, and many, many posters using proxies who posted divisive or racist comments in our forum. In 2007 we received a Section 13 complaint with regard to a link that was posted on our site. We reacted strongly and publicly to the complaint and it was later dropped.

There were many attempts made to discredit us personally:

– People (many of them anonymous) accused us of being racists/Nazis.
– Someone created a youtube account in my name and added a bunch of Nazi videos to it so it would appear I endorsed those views.
– Someone signed me up for “teen porn”, and when the IP address of the person responsible was investigated by the police, Bell told the police that there was a “gap” in their log files for the time period in question so they could not provide subscriber information.

On one occasion, a woman showed up at my husband Mark’s work pretending to be his aunt, and asking about our assets, and an Access to Information Request showed that the Department of Justice and the CHRC were circulating emails about us and articles about our court cases.

We don’t believe that it is any coincidence that the self-described strategy of the government employee who sued us four times and ultimately caused the forum to be closed, is called “Maximum Disruption”. The fact that that same word shows up in the “Five Eyes” powerpoint, and that it also shows up in Bill C-51 is, to say the least, chilling.

In 2006 we had the most active conservative political forum in Canada. After nine years of various kinds of “disruption”, we have had to close the forum, and thousands of Canadian conservatives have lost their online voice. Even if you believe that the Conservative government had nothing to do with what happened to us and that it is just a coincidence that the Five Eyes documents encourage exactly this kind of activity, I urge you to ask yourself this:

1) Do you trust government operatives to handle their open-ended freedom to “disrupt” us in a responsible way?

2) Do you think that you can trust every future Prime Minister to use these new powers in a way that is not abusive?

3) Are you comfortable with government agencies having the right to share your private information with anyone they please for any reason? And, lastly,

4) are you comfortable with the fact that the power to disrupt us is so broad that the writers of this bill felt is was necessary to stipulate that agents aren’t allowed to rape or kill us?

Many of us fought hard against the intrusiveness of the gun registry, and against the ambiguous wording and undemocratic usage of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. We were right in fighting those things. Now let’s not forget the principles that motivated us in those fights and allow fear or partisan politics to blind us to the even more dangerous provisions in Bill C-51. Just because it is a Conservative government that is proposing this legislation does not mean that we can relenquish our civic duty to examine what they are doing, to hold them accountable, and to protect the freedoms that were fought and earned with the blood of our parents and grandparents.

I am not willing to completely give up my inheritance of liberty and privacy out of fear of potential terrorists. If we give it all up, the terrorists have won.

14 Responses to “Guest Post by Connie Fournier: Why Conservatives Should Oppose Bill C-51”

  1. Voice of Reason Says:

    >>>>>>many, many posters using proxies who posted divisive or racist comments in our forum.

    You also had many long time and valued members of your forum posting horribly racist crap.

    It is telling that you are most concerned with fake racist posters instead of the real ones.

    • Voice of Reason Says:

      Other than that unpleasantness. You are right on about c-51. You have come to the good side.

      • Maikeru Says:

        “many long time and valued members of your forum posting horribly racist crap.”
        I call road apples.

        Any reasonable member of FreeDominion clearly understood/stands that their opinions were/are being hosted by generous people with strong convictions of a conservative nature.

        What you refer to as ‘real ones [racists]’ have yet to subject their hosts or fellow members to the utter insanity of claiming ‘cyber-defamation’ – eg. against 35 fellow members of an online discussion forum – or elevating an online cat fight to a legal dog fight which bit all participants in the right-ass pocket.

        Time and again, and over long duration, Connie Fournier has lived up to her commitment to freedom of speech/expression .

    • peterodonnell Says:

      If by horribly racist crap you mean Edward Kennedy saying that blacks in Toronto were prone to gun violence, it’s more like saying that Captain Obvious is irritating for stating the obvious. The only real question about that is why, not whether. Otherwise, I never found FD to be very receptive to racist ideas. Concerns about Islam are not racist by definition, Islam is a religion and any criticism of it involves a theological not racial construct. Ezra Levant’s concerns about the Roma might come to mind also but surely there is at least some rather evident fact-based foundation for that concern, it’s not just racist but perhaps more of a reasonable possibility given widespread concern. Not every race meets the same standards. Otherwise Germany wouldn’t keep winning the World Cup. Russia wouldn’t keep producing great writers. Britain … well their problem is maintaining the standards they once had. As for Canada, it’s a land of illusions and conceits, most of them so shallow that when you see your reflection in them, you can still see the frozen mud underneath. I don’t waste my time with them. Canada will be the greatest country on earth perhaps when it becomes the first to rebel openly against political correctness. Until then, it will be a rather tedious and shallow backwater dominated by mediocrities and poseurs. Which leads me to a prediction of a Justin Trudeau landslide electoral triumph.

      • Voice of Reason Says:

        Yes, suggesting “blacks in Toronto” are prone to gun violence is racist. There is plenty of gun violence by people of all races and it is not fair to suggest it is the skin colour determining if they are “prone” gun violence.

        Besides, that is minor when compared to all the racist crap posted on that website and not deleted by the moderators.

    • Maikeru Says:

      Those who love to hate Edward Kennedy commentaries on FreeDominion, but who currently lack access there due to ongoing ‘cyber-defamation’ litigation, can readily find/enjoy them here.

      FreeDominion will soon re-open for public commentary on Bill C-51, although ongoing ‘cyber-defamation’ litigation will constrain the posts accepted for posting therein.

  2. peterodonnell Says:

    I think we have to accept, sadly, that this “Conservative” government is hardly any different from the globalist centre-left alternatives and just as obsessed with big government and imposition of a set of values that are by no means universally accepted or wanted.

    In my own case, while all that disruption was taking place, I received phone calls insisting that I had to give an interview to a government survey taker on the subject of mental health “opinions” and access was sought to my home in this persistent and unwanted advance. It was even suggested that I “had to participate” (long form census style). Given the timing I suspected that it could be a CSIS operation to gain information and perhaps to plant surveillance in my home.

    I am under no illusions about this regime and also don’t imagine that anything would improve under any other alternative than perhaps the smaller or so-called fringe opposition parties. Mulcair to his credit has offered a critique of C-51 although it seems to go no further than saying that it might be problematic for his own voter base. I suppose we can expect no better and you really want to say to critical New Democrats in this instance, “first they came for the conservative bloggers …” Guess who you won’t be seeing at those anti-C51 rallies, poindexters.

    But one suspects that any future NDP government would be quite happy to disrupt the likes of climate realists or opponents of carbon taxes. Putting these tools at the disposal of any modern political parties with their lack of respect for our heritage of personal liberty and freedom is inviting big trouble and we will see it — some of us already have, most others will just find out when it’s too late that they applauded for the Trojan Horse.

    To see the likes of Ezra Levant and Brian Lilley supporting this bill staggers the imagination. Are they so naive as to suppose that the government will never lose an election and magically confine the powers of C-51 to Muslim and leftist targets? Dream on. This is already a disproven hypothesis and the price of getting a bit of patronage is not worth selling one’s soul. The Conservatives have become the Liberals reincarnate, every loathsome and detestable practice of the old red machine has been reborn in the blue machine and the jargon is increasingly similar (vacuous and essentially deceptive in nature).

  3. peterodonnell Says:

    Not sure how it equates to being the “voice of reason” to deny obvious facts about racial differences. If it was really racism to think that gun violence was disproportionately committed by blacks (in North America in general) then it would beg the question, why don’t said “racists” also assert that gun violence is more prevalent among Asians? After all, if the concern is artificially manufactured by racism, why would it select one target over another? Isn’t the actual truth of the matter that everyone knows this is true but political correctness forbids any mention of it? How is that reason? Sounds more like religion to me — the religion of political correctness.

    Anyway, if you want to experience real racism, just hang out with non-whites and see what they think about us.

  4. peterodonnell Says:

    Connie was present at the Committee hearings today (March 23rd) and was given one minute (really) to present the FD perspective as part of the coalition created by Open Media and the CCLA (Protect Our Privacy). The committee chair finessed her out of even that one minute by claiming that the first two speakers (who had five and four minutes) went over. But she was able to speak eventually when an MP questioned Open Media’s Steve Anderson and he turned it over to Connie to answer.

    Other witnesses got considerably longer and scared the living daylights out of libertarians from coast to coast with their drone-like dissertations.

    One in particular creeped me out with his talk of disruption, preventing Canadians from harming themselves, and a general slavish adherence to Big Government that would have earned a swift promotion in the Stasi.

    What a seriously fooked up country this is, to give such oddball creeps unlimited time to harangue us like children, and to try to limit Connie to under one minute. Scoundrels.

  5. John Baglow Says:

    “We don’t believe that it is any coincidence that the self-described strategy of the government employee who sued us four times and ultimately caused the forum to be closed, is called “Maximum Disruption”. The fact that that same word shows up in the “Five Eyes” powerpoint, and that it also shows up in Bill C-51 is, to say the least, chilling.”

    And with that, we’re at peak tinfoil.

  6. Maikeru Says:

    Sing along with Maikeru:
    I gotta get drunk…

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