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Billythreefeathers
08-09-2015, 05:46 PM
Michael Den Tandt: Harper pandering with plan to make it illegal to travel to terror-stricken zones

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/michael-den-tandt-harper-conservatives-terrorism

Until Sunday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives had a sure grip on the anti-terrorist file by virtue of a policy to fight violent Islamist zealotry that is both tailored to the country’s military means and supported by most Canadians. Given the cruelty and barbarism of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, on display daily, the opposition arguments against our modest contribution to the war effort in Iraq and Syria have had little political traction.

But then, as is its wont, the Conservative party took a posture that had appeared more-or-less reasonable, and torqued it for sensational effect into something entirely different, which will and should alarm principled conservatives and civil libertarians alike.

Should the Tories be re-elected in October, the prime minister announced, they will make it a crime for Canadians to travel to as-yet undesignated “declared areas,” where terrorism is judged to be rife. The stated objective is to dissuade home-grown, wannabe Islamist Jihadists from travelling from, say, Montreal or Toronto, to, say, Aleppo, Syria, there to join ISIL and make war on the local population, Canada and her allies, and afterwards potentially return to this country to stage attacks like the one that terrorized Ottawa last Oct. 22. All of which sounds sensible enough, at first blush.

The kicker: Once the fact of travel to a banned area has been established to the authorities’ satisfaction, the onus will be on the traveller to prove his or her business abroad was legitimate and inoffensive, according to criteria that have yet to be established, to be judged by security agencies as yet unnamed. If the traveller will not or cannot offer such proof, they will be criminally prosecuted and levied with penalties as yet undefined. In other words, the fact of travel to a “declared area” alone will be enough to have the presumption of innocence overturned. Travellers will be deemed guilty until proven innocent.


“There are very few legitimate reasons to go to places like these,” Harper asserted at a campaign stop in Ottawa. “And those who go without such legitimate reasons will face the full force of the law.”

In an accompanying news release, the Conservatives sought to allay civil libertarian concerns, saying “there may be limited legitimate reasons that a Canadian may travel to declared areas such as providing humanitarian aid or professional journalism. Canadians who can demonstrate they have travelled to declared areas for defined legitimate purposes would not be prosecuted under the new legislation.”

Cue the alarm klaxons. There “may” be “limited” legitimate reasons? Who, pray, will decide what is legitimate? According to what set of standards? Who will determine those standards? Who will decide whether a journalist is a “professional” or a garden-variety malcontent, hack and propagandist? To whom will journalists, diplomats, academics and humanitarian workers – to name four categories of people who might have what most would consider “legitimate” reasons to travel to terrorism-stricken zones – be required to report upon their return? Will such reporting be public and transparent, or done in secret? And what about cases in which a journalist, diplomat or other professional may have good reasons to not want to share information about their business with a government department or security agency?


This is, not to put too fine a point on it, reckless, dangerous and ill-judged. Why, given the debacle of the Maher Arar affair revealed by the public inquiry of the same name a decade ago, would Canadians even begin to believe federal bureaucrats and security officials can be trusted to fairly dispense justice in this way, likely behind closed doors due to “national security” concerns, in the absence of the presumption of innocence? And where has the case been made that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, charged with ferreting out threats to this country overseas, is so inadequate that such an extreme measure could be warranted?

Delivered in the heat of a campaign, this proposal looks like nothing so much as a gambit to ignite protests from the opposition and media, which can then be used to assert that only the Conservatives care about keeping Canadians safe. It is short-term electioneering and pandering, with the potential damage, obvious questions and evident pitfalls to be set aside and worried about another day.

Billythreefeathers
08-09-2015, 05:48 PM
PM Harper is framing the discussion,,

He'll probably come out every couple of days with a piece of policy that Justin and Tom will need to respond to,,


( and as stated previously Michael Den Tandt is an idiot ) not to be confused with BS den

Forbes/Hutton
08-09-2015, 05:49 PM
"Once the fact of travel to a banned area has been established to the authorities’ satisfaction, the onus will be on the traveller to prove his or her business abroad was legitimate and inoffensive, according to criteria that have yet to be established, to be judged by security agencies as yet unnamed. If the traveller will not or cannot offer such proof, they will be criminally prosecuted and levied with penalties as yet undefined. In other words, the fact of travel to a “declared area” alone will be enough to have the presumption of innocence overturned. Travellers will be deemed guilty until proven innocent."

This could be funny: CBC staff trying to claim/prove they're actually journalists. :popcorn:

Rory McCanuck
08-09-2015, 06:10 PM
That was my thought too, who's to say what is a valid reason?
Visiting relatives? Protecting the old family home?
Tourism, pilgrimage?
If you're reporting on events, does it have to be with a government broadcaster?
What if you're over there fighting jihadis, are you persona non grata because you aren't being sponsored by the Canadian gov't?

Drache
08-09-2015, 06:12 PM
Well there goes my summer vacation plans...

CaperJim
08-09-2015, 06:20 PM
I wanted to go meet this Allan fella who all the terrorists get worked up over

Swampdonkey
08-09-2015, 07:15 PM
Sounds like folks needing a defined legitimate reason to own a gun.

lone-wolf
08-09-2015, 07:20 PM
Whoever is his PR/Policy maker, needs a kick in the nuts.

blacksmithden
08-09-2015, 08:18 PM
Im beginning to think Harper has gone a little too tin foil hat on the whole terrorist thing. While his intentions might be good, subsequent governments AND IDIOT BUREAUCRATS, may, and probably will abuse these new laws hes proposing. A government having absolute power over its peoples every move is just asking for trouble. Who would have thought giving the cops power over gun owners would have turned into the s--t show it is today. No...I think you need to sit down and cool off for while Mr Harper.

kennymo
08-09-2015, 08:29 PM
I would've preferred if we find out you've gone abroad to aid or become a part of a terrorist organization on our watch list we'll tear up your Canadian passport and you can stay there. Watch list to be updated as required.

soulchaser
08-09-2015, 08:31 PM
Michael Den Tandt is terrified of this announcement, not because of any of the reasons he mentioned in the article, but because he knows his man crush Justin Trudeau is incredibly weak on the security/terrorism file, and because when he talks about security/terrorism publicly, he usually inserts both feet into his mouth.

Forbes/Hutton
08-09-2015, 08:37 PM
Michael Den Tandt is terrified of this announcement, not because of any of the reasons he mentioned in the article, but because he knows his man crush Justin Trudeau is incredibly weak on the security/terrorism file, and because when he talks about security/terrorism publicly, he usually inserts both feet into his mouth.

He'd feel a lot better about it if "delivering winter coats" were written into the legislation as a legitimate reason.

Swampdonkey
08-09-2015, 09:09 PM
Whoever is his PR/Policy maker, needs a kick in the nuts.

I keep wondering who comes up with these ideas and whom drafts the bills. C-51, C-13, and now this. Must be a fascist in the back pulling strings.

Mark-II
08-10-2015, 10:30 AM
I fail to see how this has any teeth when a fellow could travel to a proscribed country indirectly.

I don't like that Mr Harper is my only choice.

If they manage to win this election, they won't win the one after it.

blacksmithden
08-10-2015, 11:38 AM
I fail to see how this has any teeth when a fellow could travel to a proscribed country indirectly.

I don't like that Mr Harper is my only choice.

If they manage to win this election, they won't win the one after it.

Well thats just the thing. How many Americans did the Mexico to Cuba hop in the past 50 years ? When I went, there were tons of Americans there. Once again...just like our gun laws...this law would only punish honest people and they arent the ones you have to worry about.

soulchaser
08-10-2015, 11:39 AM
I fail to see how this has any teeth when a fellow could travel to a proscribed country indirectly.

I don't like that Mr Harper is my only choice.

If they manage to win this election, they won't win the one after it.

If they win a majority this election, Harper will most likely step down mid late 2017.

lone-wolf
08-10-2015, 11:40 AM
If they win a majority this election, Harper will most likely step down mid late 2017.

Why?

Mark-II
08-10-2015, 11:43 AM
Probably a good move. The media and the left have built up such a personality cult around him that he has become the party. A new face might re-enfranchise the jaded

soulchaser
08-10-2015, 11:56 AM
Why?

It would be 11 consecutive years as PM. That's a long time, and he'd want to give his successor at least a year and a half, two years in the position before going into the next campaign in 2019.

Maple Leaf Pilgrim
08-12-2015, 06:09 AM
I keep wondering who comes up with these ideas and whom drafts the bills. C-51, C-13, and now this. Must be a fascist in the back pulling strings.

Ok. I say you can go, however, should anything go wrong you foot the bill of your rescue... and get to have a quick chat with the families of the troops who don't make it back, mmmmkay?

-S.

Stephen
08-12-2015, 01:05 PM
If they win a majority this election, Harper will most likely step down mid late 2017.



I've heard he is going to step down win or lose.



I think it is for the best. Now my Gov. is telling me where I can't travel? Great news 1984. I have no reason or would never plan to go over there but that is beside the point.