We were all entertained for many days by the strutting six-gun packing Trudeau “ordering” the shooting down of some “spy” balloons over North America. Slow Joe Biden and young gun Trudeau, the 21st century edition of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid, the resolute defenders of North America, how can it not be met with a grin and chuckle. The humorists of Instagram, Tik Tok and all the rest had a great deal of fodder to feed the madcap story of these two leaders trying to be the toughest kids on the block.
Newly discovered surveillance weapons flying at 36,000 feet could and maybe should be alarming if it wasn’t so well known that all countries are continually spying on each other. But, it was Trudeaus perceived threat to commercial airspace which has now become Trudeau’s primary reason for his war footing. We also have now found out that these balloons are probably not new, it was simply a matter of someone finally looking for them.
By the way it was an Air Canada pilot who first spotted one of the balloons over Canadian airspace, not the 1980’s NORAD system. The leaders of North America who set their policies according to the pulse of social media, at the time did not know for sure where these cylindrical objects originated from but it was safe to say that the usual black hats Russia and China were behind it. It was a chance for the leaders, both of whom are sagging in the polls to counter their characterizations of being incompetent, or in Joe’s case proving that he was awake. Sometime in the future we will know once all the facts slowly leak out because right now the Americans and the Canadians are saying very little, and right now they can’t find a couple of them.
In any event I was interrupted from this reverie on problems in the stratosphere by the news that Commissioner Lucki, who, like the balloons, was often filled with hot air herself, had in fact finally “resigned”. Bill Blair and Mendocino will no doubt help her pack, so there is no need for calling “Frog Boxes” as they have been waiting outside her office for the last few months. She did last as a Mountie, long after her best before date, but her leaving was clearly predictable and inevitable. The Liberals despite all their grooming of her could she could never make her into the black belt of woke; she tried and tried, but always disappointed them, always apologizing of never being able to deliver.
Many wrote to me asking if I was happy to see her go. To be truthful it was not personal, and I found it to be a bit of a non-event. She was clearly going to be replaced, the bigger and more crucial question is to who comes next?
There were some interesting comments by Brian Sauve as head of the National Police Federation, the union representing the Mounties. He felt that poor Ms. Lucki was going from “crisis to crisis to crisis” and that she was probably hampered by the Covid 19 lockdowns. Yup, Mr. Sauve feels that the lockdowns prevented her from showing off her strongest trait, the ability to speak “face to face”. I am truly beginning to wonder about Mr. Sauve. The blame it on Covid mantra is beginning to wear a little thin out here in the hinterland.
To be fair, he did admit that the Commissioner had trouble distinguishing the political side from the operational side, but the crisis to crisis quote should have more aptly named it the “lie to lie to lie”.
In terms of who next to fill the Liberal dance card, I have no idea. However they will have zero credibility unless they publicly acknowledge that the RCMP, structurally, is in fact badly broken. The person will need to admit that the RCMP needs to be drastically reorganized from the ground up– and they need to declare their vision for the future. Otherwise, get ready for another “crisis to crisis to crisis” over the next few years, which will result in further disintegration of a once proud organization.
There will be a few clues in where the RCMP may be heading once a new head is anointed. Once chosen, if the candidate in their inaugural speech rattle on about “inclusion” and “diversity”; or mention anything being “systemic”; or even the words “going forward” and “working together”– turn off the channel or stop reading. You will only be torturing yourself as you will likely be facing another five years of mind numbing frustration. It has to be admitted that the RCMP is damaged on almost every level and the ship currently is being steered down a path where operational policing has become too far out of view.
While on the topic of being frustrated, the other news that came out in the last 48 hours was the report by Commissioner Judge Rouleau on the institution of the Emergencies Act. His findings were accurately predicted in a previous blog, and he was true to form. The Ottawa born liberal condoned Rouleau, would not go against the government –who were fighting “lawlessness” and “insurrection” by those dastardly Convoy protestors. The Judge took his moment in the sun, to blow some hot air of his own. It took him 2,000 pages in five volumes, including a 273 page “summary” to conclude that “the very high threshold for invocation was met”, and then curiously added about his finding that: “I have done so with reluctance”.
He chose instead to blame the police. Convenient in this era to be sure. All of it could have been avoided he says if it wasn’t for a “series of policing failures” he maintains. In the same breath, he did note that there was a failure of all levels of government for their “failing to rise above politics”. But one never blames the government if you can blame someone else. Like all the residents of Ottawa, Rouleau felt that the situation had become “unsafe and chaotic” –despite all of the government employees working from home and the food delivery services being in full operation. Clearly a government ensconced worker in Ottawa has a different definition of chaos compared to say a person living in and around the downtown east side of Vancouver.
Judge Rouleau admitted that “the factual basis underlying his conclusions was not overwhelming”. Underwhelming in other words, not convincing, yet he apparently remained confident in his findings. He also believed that the institution of the Emergencies Act had a “deterrent effect” for the grand total of seven days that it was in effect. It was ok that bank accounts were frozen by the government in response to what he had also termed “a lawful protest…” .
(There has been an interesting development in the Federal Courts which has ruled that the emails between members of the government during the Emergencies Act imposition should be released to the public. Too late for the Rouleau commission, but it could cause some ruffling of feathers.)
We must also keep in mind that this commission of inquiry was powerless in terms of what it was supposed to judge and to any follow up of his findings. It was a paper exercise, that was necessary because it was dictated by the Act itself.
His conclusion was not accepted by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and others as they said that they disagreed, that the “threshold was not met”. I agree with them. I sat through many hours of testimony and I saw no evidence whatsoever that the threshold for the suspension of civil liberties had in fact been met at any level. The Liberal justification for the imposition boiled down to Minister David Lametti saying that they had a legal opinion, as the Justice Minister, which said that the threshold had been met. Unfortunately he could not tell us what that was, as it was protected by “solicitor client privilege”. This audacious explanation was convincing to Justice Rouleau apparently. The Justice Minister working for Mr Trudeau, in Mr. Trudeau’s cabinet, provided to Mr. Trudeau a legal opinion to back up his decision and you the public are not allowed to know on what that opinion was based. That and a civil servant in the Prime Ministers Office who also wrote a cabinet memo how hellfire and brimstone had descended on Wellington street. Ignore the fact that the various police authorities who were on the ground with the protestors, testified that the situation did not meet that threshold.
Justice Rouleau also made 56 recommendations. He wants the CSIS definition inside the Emergencies Act removed. That was the part that the government in power had difficulty explaining away during testimony. According to the CSIS definition which was purposely included in the legislation at the time, it was clear that the definitive threshold was not met. The Judge’s recommendation therefore–get rid of it.
He also recommended, like a true government aficionado, that there was a need to establish another level of government in situations like these, another command centre, and we will call this one the Major Event Management Unit. In watching the proceedings one would not come to the conclusion that what the police agencies needed was another layer of management. Oh, and he also recommended that someone in government should be assigned to the “monitoring and reporting on social media”.
Unfortunately, the Liberals will spin this –that this egregious suspension of human rights in those days of the bouncy castle was justified. Putting a ball cap on the statue of Terry Fox amounted to treason and pointed to insurrection. These same Liberals have now introduced bills to control and moderate the internet. They believe that there is a need to control all of the information that is being fed to the public if they deem it to be “misinformation.” These are indeed dark days for freedom of thought in this country.
By the way if you want to make me Commissioner, I would only want a sole source contract like McKinsey. My first order of business would be to move RCMP HQ and all its inhabitants to Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. The first priority is that we need to stop, at all costs, the enlightened upper class Mounties from breathing that Ottawa air. If the workers don’t want to leave and are clinging to their desks in defiance, then will simply declare the Emergencies Act once again.
Daily briefings by the way, will be held at the local Tim Hortons, where common sense will ultimately be restored, and a sense of the real world will be re-established.
Photo courtesy of Hailey Sani via Flickr and Creative Commons – Some Rights Reserved