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Peter Van Loan looks like he wants to declare martial law

Seriously, what a petulant statement this is from our Public Safety Minister:

Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan says he fears for the government’s ability to fight terrorism in light of “an increasingly complex legal environment” in which judges are no longer deferring to the government in its efforts to deport foreign suspects. His comments followed a disastrous week in the courts for the Conservative federal government as it watched one of its key tools for fighting terrorism — the power to detain non-Canadian suspects without charge or without knowing the case against them — suffer critical blows that have left the regime in tatters… Van Loan says he is puzzled about the crash of the previously successful regime. “It held up quite well until 2006,”he said. “We started getting different court decisions in the exact same facts.” It was in 2006 that the Conservatives formed the government, replacing the Liberals.

So shorter Peter Van Loan here: The courts are too liberal, are biased against the Conservatives, and are endangering Canada by not allowing the federal government to do whatever it wants to do in overriding constitutional law and due process in the name of fighting terrorism. A classic example of “the ends justifies the means” Machiavellian theory.

The article did present balance however against this paranoid view of Van Loan’s:

Mike Larsen, a security analyst at York University’s Centre for International and Security Studies..scoffed at complaints, raised not only by Van Loan but also by former CSIS director Jim Judd, that overzealous judicial scrutiny of anti-terrorism intelligence is threatening national security. Rather, court oversight is serving the purpose of revealing shoddy CSIS practices in the post 9/11 era rather than state secrets, Larsen said.

..Lorne Waldman…lawyer and vocal security-certificate opponent..noted that the Federal Court, which decides in secret hearings whether the security certificates should stand, is demanding more federal accountability than it did in the early years following the 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. “We have seen the pendulum swing to a more balanced approach where you can’t sacrifice the rights of individuals on the altar of national security,” Waldman said.

I expect to see this type of statement questioning Canada’s judicial process and objectivity from some of the shrill conservative blogs out there, or maybe from a back-bencher Conservative MP, not from a Federal Cabinet Minister. I’m sure Van Loan and this Conservative government would love to suspend as many rights of terrorism suspects as they possibly can in order to tilt the court system against them, but the Canadian justice system is having none of that, and they’re engaging in a bunch of this:

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All I can say is; thank goodness we have a strong judiciary here, preventing Canada’s government from turning this country into the worst excesses of the prior George Bush regime in the US, which basically treated their Constitution and all their rights as being nothing more then a piece of paper to try and ignore and stomp over.

(H/T Skdadl over at POGGE and James Morton.)

UPDATE @ 3:25 pm: James Morton, who also happens to be a lawyer, expands his thoughts on this apparent conflict the government is claiming between the courts and the government over anti-terrorism actions.

11 comments to Peter Van Loan looks like he wants to declare martial law

  • Andy Y

    This is only the tip of the iceberg folks.

    If Bills C-61 and ISP21C are enacted we’ll have Yankee policies in our own backyard. Which is why I find it intensely amusing when Con supporters talk about Iggy as being “american”, when their own party’s policies are lifted from the RNC playbook…

    ISP21C is the Canadian version of the US Patriot act, where the authorities would have broad powers to spy on Canadian citizens without court oversight. Didn’t George Orwell warn us about this in one of his books?

    @ Roll Tide and Kwittet, you folks need to read and ponder the quotes from this link:

    http://www.ozarkpeace.net/civil_liberties_favorite_quotes.htm

    Some very powerful stuff!

    By the way Kwittet, any legitimate sources for your figures? Are they from the Western Standard or just made up for our benefit?

    Canadians were not fooled by Bush into going into Iraq and judging by the latest EKOS poll results they are not fooled by Harper into believing the CPC government is what they are trying to present themselves to be – a Centrist party in any measure.

    • Roll Tide

      @kwittet,

      kwittet; Its too embarrassing. Grits eating Grits, total incompetence. The NDP will save Ignatieff from an election.

      • kwittet

        @Roll Tide, I didn’t know they were cannibals? Its funny how Scott can dig up every tiny little bit of dirt on the PC party and post it here in National Enquirer style. The sad thing is that no one that writes here as a liberal supporter shouts out about how their party or leader can do it better! I dont think Harper is doing such a great job myself but according to the LEGER POLL i put a link up to here are the numbers

        PC 36%
        Lib 30%

        leads in all of Canada except for Maritimes and Quebec

        48% think Canada is heading in the right direction

        46% don’t want a change in govt

        48% satisfied with Harper s govt

        Best Prime Minister: Harper 32%, Ignatieff 21%

        36% Perceive Harper as Best Equipped to
        Lead Canada through Recession and Recovery

        Harper is the Most Trusted Political Party Leader
        Among Canadians

        45% of Canadians Believe that Minority Parliaments Have
        Been More Negative Than Positive for the Country and the
        Democracy

        Its stunning the lack of liberals posting to this. Kinda speaks volumes. Get a real leader who has some great ideas that can pull this party out of the muck and offer a real alternative.

        I SAY..COME ON IGGY…call an election..then when Canadians speak again you could quietly sneak back to your job in the US and everyone will forget that you even existed like before.

  • Roll Tide

    Not a good idea to go back to a pre-911 mindset.

  • Liam

    What’s frightening is that about 33% of voting Canadians believe that it’s OK to elect lawmakers that have no respect for the law.

    This is the same kind of BS that’s spread amongst the radical-theocratic-right in Canada, the US and elsewhere to browbeat judges into making decisions that are not healthy for our democracy.

    When will it end? I suppose when racism and xenophobia ends, for starters.

    In the interim, be prepared for more frustration.

    Final thoughts: I no longer respect Jack Layton for propping up this band of fascists.

  • “It held up quite well until 2006,”he said. “We started getting different court decisions in the exact same facts.” It was in 2006 that the Conservatives formed the government, replacing the Liberals.

    Van Loan is a filthy liar.

    It held up before 2006 because it was never used. And Security Certificates were not challenged until after then, even though the cases were started BEFORE the Cons came to power.

    If fear a government that want to detain people without charge or trail, without due process of law or evidence FAR more than a bunch of buffoons in a cave in Afghanistan or a bunch of entrapped GI-Joe wanna-be morons in Toronto.

    And, dear Miranda, Security Certificates weren’t used because they weren’t needed and because people with more than two brain cells knew they minute they were, they would not survive a Charter Challenge. And they were right.

    Van Loan merely makes the case for the creeping fascism that is the Conservative Party.

  • Joseph

    . . . and so much for the argument that the courts are “keeping” them from doing so. Doesn’t that “point” reinforce the fact that Van Loan seems to be out to score cheap political points by attacking the courts rather than actually ensuring the security of Canadians?

  • Miranda

    ..except the power to issue security certificates has been around since 1989. And the government hasn’t issued one in six years, according to this article. So much for the government trying to rampantly abuse the rights of Canadians.

  • Big Winnie

    More REFCON (Reform/CON) scare tactics. Do they really think Canadians are stupid? Man, I can’t wait to see the likes of Van Loan et al selling used cars!!

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