Freedom of expression includes not saying what you don’t want to. So these updates which may give some insight to ‘truth management’ in Canada start out with the journalist’s right to protect his/her sources. Refusing to reveal a source to the court in both the U.S. and Canada can place a journalist in jail. The extremes of countering an individual’s wishes not to reveal information have become the state’s domain due to current policies on torture. U.S. officials who have approved torture are allowed to enter Canada although torture is clearly against Canadian law. And the law is further compromised by government agencies accepting from other countries information which is obtained by torture.
1. The House of Commons has unanimously passed Bill S-231, allowing journalists to not reveal confidential sources unless required by a Superior Court judge. Superior Court judge approval will also be required for the police investigation of a journalist or search of his/her premises. While this seems to protect the journalist’s rights by taking such decisions out of the hands of lesser court judges, it still officially grants the state the right to criminalize a journalist for protecting his/her sources. Decency and professional standards stand in contradiction.
2. The Supreme Court has decided unanimously, that the records concerned with the abuse of native Americans at Canada’s residential schools, 38,000- accounts, will be destroyed. Individuals will have fifteen years to retrieve the records of their abuse. The destruction of records deprives the future of the truth. Without history the lessons may have to be learned all over again. Canada’s government wanted to archive the documents for historical record: analysis of church and government’s roles in the abuse of First Peoples remains incomplete.
3. In Ottawa a plaque at Canada’s new Holocaust Memorial Monument has been removed in response to protests that the text didn’t specifically deal with Jews. The text read:
“The National Holocaust Monument commemorates the millions of men, women and children murdered during the Holocaust and honours the survivors who persevered and were able to make their way to Canada after one of the darkest chapters in history. The monument recognizes the contribution these survivors have made to Canada and serves as a reminder that we must be vigilant in standing guard against hate, intolerance and discrimination.”
However the monument is shaped as a Star of David, during the Holocaust an emblem which applied only to the Jewish people. The monument also specifies the experience of Europe’s Jewish communities on the interior walls. Text of the replacement plaque has not been released. In addition to Jewish peoples and depending on the region of Europe, millions of people who weren’t Jews were rounded up and killed, Roma, Poles, Russians, Serbs, Non-Aryans, communists, nationalists, dissidents, homosexuals, handicapped, old people, sick people, prisoners, prisoners of war, resistance fighters died in labour camps, concentration camps, by injection, gas chanbers, on scaffolds, in the fields of resistance, at mass graves or through starvation and disease. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inaugurated the monument on Sept. 27th, 2017, but was publicly chided for not specifying Jews in his speech, and for the lack of specific reference in this particular plaque.
Historical note: Edwin Black in his War against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s attempt to create a master race, (New York/London: Four walls Eight Windows, 2003), relies less on the concept of the Holocaust as a war against the Jews, than on the Nazi’s attempt to create a genetically ‘superior’ race. Since the early 1920’s German eugenics research and resulting programs were heavily funded by the U.S.’s Rockefeller Foundation. Nazi programs of “racial hygiene” paralleled the rising anti-Semitism of the laws. In 1933 Reich Statute Part I, No 86, the Law for the Prevention of Defective Progeny was a mass sterilization law for those considered feebleminded, schizophrenic, manic depressive, and those with chorea, epilepsy, physical deformities, deafness, inherited blindness (War against the Weak, p.299). While the Rockefeller Foundation didn’t officially approve of the Reich’s policies in eugenics it continued to fund German eugenics mightily. If one considers the Holocaust a war on the Jews rather than a war of racial hygiene for the purity of a Nordic master race, then one needn’t investigate the wealthy and powerful sources of the crime or reject the human sacrifices of eugenics.
4. As an alternative to re-writing history the perception managers have the option of not letting history occur – if it counters business interests. And Canadian courts have the option of placing publication bans or gag orders on what the public is allowed to know about what happens in legal proceedings. In Vancouver under the Conservative Harper government, environmental groups mobilizing to understand and counter the claims of large corporations to place pipelines across native lands were infiltrated by government/police agencies. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is taking the government to court for allegedly spying on environmentalists of Lead Now, Stand Earth, the Dogwood Initiative and Sierra Club of B.C.; government spying criminalizes groups and people attempting to contribute to National Energy Board hearings on pipeline approval. Objections were initially raised before the Security Intelligence Review Committee (the watchdog committee for the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency) which rejected the case and forbid the environmentalists from publicly revealing evidence about the review. The environmentalists’ lawyer sees the gag order as a violation of freedom of expression. The Review Committee has used its authority as a tool of oppression. The gag order doesn’t benefit the people but CSIS protected corporate interests, and currently these are under some pressure. In what the Mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre finds a victory for the people, TransCanada has cancelled the 15.7 billion dollar Energy East pipeline. Its destruction of the environment will simply not occur. An estimated 236 million tons of carbon will not pollute the atmosphere. TransCanada also cancelled its Eastern Mainline pipeline. Reliant on freedom of expression and information sharing, grassroots mobilization across Canada has won an initial victory.
5. Information on the case of Alexandre Bissonnette remains tightly controlled and slightly…awry (“At the suspect’s court appearance on February 21, 2017, the judge ordered a publication ban”). There’s restricted release of any police evidence or the results and extent of any investigations into Quebec City’s Mosque murder of six Muslim worshippers this past January 29th. On October 2nd another charge was laid against the single suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, for an additional attempted murder so there are now six charges of “attempted murder with a restricted weapon” and the six charges of first-degree murder remain. To avoid time limits before the case is nullified, with the judge’s warning the CBC assures us the Crown is passing over holding a preliminary inquiry, to simply proceed with the indictment. The CBC reports that the Mosque’s Muslim community still wants to know why Alexandre Bissonnette hasn’t, logically, incurred terrorism charges. The Crown Prosecutor has replied that murder is the most serious crime in Canadian law. This doesn’t really address a public understanding that charges of terrorism increase the terms of prison time at sentencing. So Canadians are denied the privilege of understanding the prosecutor’s compassion for this only suspect in a rather complicated and thorough murder of six Muslims at worship. The case goes to trial in court, Dec. 11th.
6. The Huffington Post notes that Canada leads the United States in the number of corrupt companies blacklisted by the World Bank. We remember that this is the same World Bank which forced “austerity” on Greece in an attempt to sway the country to a more profitable fascism. The World Bank is not considered morally or ethically “fussy.” But #1 in the world Canada has 117 companies (mostly SNC-Lavalin related) which the World Bank considers too corrupt for even them to do business with, while 2nd in the world U.S. has only 46 companies which are actually named. A difficulty with economic corruption is that it translates into the infrastructures of entire populations. For instance, one of Canada’s SNC-Lavalin companies is Candu Energy, famous for designing nuclear reactors.
7. An article by Tony Seed reveals that Canada’s Defence Cooperation Agreement with the Ukraine, not only allows expanded arms sales to a fascist government of the Ukraine but allows increased sales to Saudi Arabia by Canadian companies, ie. Pratt & Whitney Canada, Esterline GMC Electronics. Saudi Arabia is currently bombing a poverty stricken Yemen where a million cases of cholera are expected before November. According to Democracy Now! (“Yemen: ICRC Warns of New Outbreaks as Cholera Cases Near 1 Million,” October 03, 2017): “The ongoing U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign has destroyed Yemen’s health, water and sanitation systems…”. An ongoing but ignored genocide warning continues for the people of Yemen. See 2015, 2016, 2017, 2017, 2017. Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and former International Minister of Trade, Chrystia Freeland, currently negotiating the NAFTA agreement for Canada, has found it difficult to resist Canada’s anti-Russian, pro-U.S. policy in the Ukraine which blends easily with her own beginnings as a journalist for a Canadian Ukrainian nationalist newspaper (See “The Tactical Use of the Ukraine”). Supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons at this point should be considered a crime against humanity of major proportions and not concern simply the Canadian weapons suppliers but their government facilitators. Which leads us to the purpose of lies, of perception management, of suppressing news, of hiding the truth from the people. If capable of perceiving the damages they cause, surely the people would object.
“Ottawa passes legislation to protect journalists’ anonymous sources from police,” Gloria Galloway, Oct. 4, 2017 The Globe and Mail;
“Indigenous residential school records can be destroyed, Supreme Court rules,” Kathleen Harris, Oct 06, 2017, CBC News;
“National Holocaust Monument plaque pulled after panel omits mention of Jews,” Bruce Campion-Smith, Oct. 5, 2017, The Toronto Star;
“Holocaust Memorial plaque that didn’t mention Jews to be replaced,” The Canadian Press, Oct. 6, 2017, CBC News;
” Trudeau government taken to court over alleged spying during Harper years,” Mike De Souza & Carl Meyer, October 4th 2017, National Observer;
“Crown charges Quebec City mosque shooter with attempted murder of attack witnesses,” Catou MacKinnon, Oct. 2, 2017, CBC News;
“Families of mosque shooting victims ‘sick and tired’ of waiting for trial of Alexandre Bissonnette,” Sept. 8, 2017, CBC News;
“Huge ‘People Over Pipeline’ Victory as TransCanada Forced to Kill Energy East,” Jake Johnson, Oct. 5, 2017, Common Dreams;
“TransCanada cancels $15.7B Energy East pipeline project,” The Canadian Press, Oct. 5, 2017, Calgary Herald;
“World Bank’s Corrupt Companies Blacklist Dominated By Canada,” Sept. 18, 2013, The Huffington Post;
“Background on Canada-Ukraine defence agreement: A ‘rich, mutually beneficial’ arms trade,” Tony Seed, June 11, 2017, Tony Seed’s Weblog.
This article was originally published by nightslantern.ca.
Featured image is from Julie Maas.