Thursday, May 04, 2017

May the Fourth

How could this possibly go wrong?

As first reported in the Sun, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has introduced a new process for determining the eligibility of asylum seekers arriving in Canada.

This streamlined process means, in some cases, that a refugee claimant will be approved without a hearing in front of an immigration judge.

While the IRB is defending this controversial practice, a former immigration judge is speaking out about the security implications of scrapping the in-person hearing.

In an exclusive interview with the Sun, retired IRB judge Lloyd Fournier discussed his “uneasiness” with the federal government’s handling of the surge in illegal border crossings and asylum claims this year.

When an asylum seeker arrives in Canada, claiming to be a refugee and asking for our help, that person must demonstrate that he or she is a bona fide refugee.

Canada has an extensive legal system set up to determine if the asylum seeker is eligible to be a refugee.

As Fournier notes, the face-to-face hearing in front of an IRB judge serves two important purposes: To confirm the accuracy of the information in a refugee application and to determine the credibility of the person making the claim.

Without the face-to-face hearing, the credibility of an asylum seeker is never tested.

“Credibility is always an issue in determining refugee claims,” said Fournier, a former Liberal-appointed IRB judge.

“In fact, in the majority of the cases that I determined, credibility was the singular determinative issue,” he said.

A formal hearing is an integral part of weeding out those who are trying to enter Canada under false pretenses.

In his experience, Fournier explained, often times “contradictions became apparent when oral testimony differed materially” from a “claimant’s sworn statements”.

Rather than skipping steps to make it easier for an asylum seeker, Fournier argues Canada should be looking to implement stricter rules, especially because the system is already stacked in favour of accepting refugee claimants.

Unless a vote of no-confidence is coming down the pipe soon, the next election is only two years away. 

It's not like the Liberals can rest on their record of transparency and competence or anything.

Speaking of transparency:

What the Liberals want, for example, is for questions to the prime minister to be limited to one day a week, a situation which would obviously allow Trudeau to dodge attending Question Period on all days but one — if he deems to show up at all.

They also want electronic voting, thereby alleviating MPs from the arduous task of having to actually stand up to be counted.

These two changes alone represent walking away from increased accountability, not walking towards it.

While Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s “stolen valour” controversy garnered most of the headlines, Question Period watchers — yes, there are few — got to witness the prime minister figuratively looking down his nose and ridiculing NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, arguably one of the more adept interrogators in the House.

More than ridicule, it was closer to mockery.

When Government House Leader Bardish Chagger was standing to answer a question Mulcair had directed at the PM, Trudeau’s voice could be heard on Commons video mutedly heckling Mulcair.

“It’s amazing the NDP rejected him,” Trudeau said, condescendingly. And then, a few seconds later, he added, “The outgoing leader? The interim leader?”

When contacted by the CBC, the Prime Minister’s Office did not deny these remarks were made, but refused to comment on whether Trudeau was being serious or sarcastic.

Mulcair, however, had had enough of Trudeau’s non-answers on Monday, as should most Canadians — citing the fact that Stephen Harper, even at the height of the Senate scandal, at least had the cojones to show up at Question Period to face the music.

One must concede that whatever else Mulcair may be, he is a serious politician. His dad never handed him his wealth and aging hippies never gave him his job.

Would Trudeau find contempt easy if - let's say - he had to work to persuade people he wasn't a useless douchebag?

(Sidebar: who defends ISIS, the largest rape gang of Yazidis and Christian girls and women? Trudeau does.)

Imagine if people were bothered by cash-for-access?

Cash-for-access is back. Justin Trudeau is set to resume the high-priced fundraising events that proved so controversial for the Liberals when it emerged the party was raising millions of dollars through elite fundraisers attended by the prime minister in private homes.

The Liberals put the events on hold until they had taken steps to bring in new guidelines to make the events more transparent and accessible.

However, “An evening with Justin Trudeau” at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts Thursday will be followed by an event at the Vancouver Hotel on May 18. Tickets for the Montreal event top out at $250, while attendees can “enjoy appetisers, drinks and conversation with fellow Liberals” for the bargain price of $500.

Do poor people get to vent their concerns on a 3x5 card that would be addressed to anyone who cares?

We can't all be Chinese businessmen.

Imagine if people cared that he currying favour with a wealthy billionaire?

All along he has stated he is glad to “cooperate with the ethics commissioner,” something that would surely include an in-person meeting.

So, in order to verify that Trudeau’s actions were matching his words, opposition MP Chris Warkentin put forth an order paper question to find out what was truly happening.

Warkentin’s request was very simple: He wanted details of any meetings Trudeau may have had with Mary Dawson – the Ethics Commissioner.

As reported by the CP, here was the government’s response:

“The prime minister is happy to engage with the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner and answer any questions she may have.”

That’s it.

No details, no facts, nothing of substance.

And when the Ethics Commissioner’s office was given a request to share any info or proof of meetings between Trudeau and Dawson, their response was “No, we cannot.”

Imagine if people were bothered by the fact that terrorists will retain Canadian citizenship?

On Tuesday evening, Senators had the chance to send a strong message in the fight against terrorism.
They lacked the courage to do so.

The Liberal government’s controversial Bill C-6, which is slowly making its way through Parliament, includes a provision that removes the ability to revoke the Canadian citizenship of a dual national convicted of a terror offence.


The Senate voted Wednesday in favour of the bill that will revoke a Conservative policy to remove Canadian citizenship from dual citizens convicted of serious crimes such as terrorism and treason

Three amendments were introduced, however, which means the bill gets sent back to the House of Commons, where Liberals will decide whether to accept the changes or not. If they don’t, it goes back to the Senate again. Government House leader Bardish Chagger’s office said Wednesday amendments will be brought to the floor for debate “in due course.”

Why, if people were disgusted by these things, Trudeau would not only have to keep his fool mouth shut, he would have to work to keep his job.

That is something a trustifarian simply does not do.

Tax reform?

Canada is now confronted with two unhappy circumstances: A more business-friendly tax and regulatory regime in the U.S., and its hawkish Buy American/Hire American trade stance. We can’t change the latter, except remind Americans of the value of free trade in North America.

That is what Ottawa has been trying to do. But if it wants to be a virtuous free trader, the federal government should not be defending our own trade restrictions such as supply management, aerospace subsidies and foreign-ownership restrictions. Otherwise, we are no better than other countries’ economic nationalists.

 Whiners are out in full force:

According to the letter, which has been posted on Facebook, classroom crafts for Mother’s and Father’s Day will be scrapped this year.

“In an effort to celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and also to nurture our students who are part of non-traditional families, we have decided to encourage those celebrations to take place at home,” the letter reads. “Due to this, children will not be making gifts at school to give on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.”

That just sounds like a bunch of  PC nonsense that caters to the fevered imaginations of the pants-wetting sort.


But is the money worth it?

Important announcement:

Transport Canada issued a recall today for AT-AT Walkers, made by the Galactic Empire:

On certain All-Terrain Armoured Transport (AT-AT) walkers used by imperial ground forces, the central hydraulic system could fail in extreme cold temperatures, such as on planet Hoth or in Northern Canada. This could impair laser cannon tracking, and affect the walker’s ability to maintain balance and could ultimately result in a crash causing injury to imperial troops ...

 Yes, this actually happened:

Greedo crossed Han Solo once. Once.


And now, dogs supporting democracy. Enjoy.

(Paws up)

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