very clearly that we stepped much farther into this fight with Prime minister Trudeau’s 2016 shift. The consequences of which could be nothing short of cataclysmic. From the continued horrendous suffering of the Syrian people, which is seeing bodies of whole families washing up on European shores, to the possibility of igniting a huge regional conflict if the Kurdish forces we are training and equipping claim their homeland by forcibly cutting off pieces of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq,. The possibility of sparking a clash between NATO and the Russian Federation, or with Iran is not impossible. I was a Canadian soldier for ten years. Training whole units for combat operations ,of necessity, involves leading them in battle. General Vance Chief of the Defense Staff warned as much at the Liberal press briefing ,
“We want Canadians to know that we will be involved in engagements as we defend ourselves and those partners who we are working with,” Gen. Vance later told reporters. “You put more people on the ground in a dangerous place, it is riskier over all.” General Vance Chief of Defense Staff , February 8th, 2016
That’s what Mr Trudeau means when he says “advise and assist”. Witness also the recent assertion by Maj.-Gen. Charles Lamarre, director strategic joint staff, that Canadian advisers played a vital leadership role in defending then retaking ground near Mosul on December 16th of 2015. In plain English that means putting rounds down range for Canadian special forces, it means Canadian soldiers personally leading platoon sized units into the fire of the enemy. As evidence of ramping up of their operations the CF deployed of 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron specialist Griffon helicopters. The highly aggressive troops of the JTF2 are on the offensive. The fact is we are excellent at this task, far more skilled than our American cousins, and that is why the Obama administration and the US pentagon welcomed Canada’s new mission.
If Canada is to pursue an independent foreign policy then the issues raised here should be talking points on our evening news. As it is the military and government are left to pursue their policies in the dark with little to no input from Canadians and perhaps little comprehension of the possible outcomes
Rex Tillerson father of Iraqi Kurdistan?
In 2011 with Iraq headed toward chaos under the hardline Shia regime of Nouri al-Maliki Exxon mobile executive Rex Tillerson went looking in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish Regional Authority for new concessions. In 2011 after secret negotiations a deal was signed giving concessions to Exxon many n the so called disputed area that lies outside the boundary of the current Kurdish Regional Government area. This was viewed in Baghdad as solidifying the Kurd’s claim on the area and they are the same areas that Human Rights Watch claims of ethnic cleansing is taking place. With Rex Tillerson now becoming U.S. Secretary of State. It is likely that the Kurdish claims may now have American backing.
“It is becoming increasingly self-evident that if we as Canadians want to take control of our country, our communities and our lives we need to take matters into our own hands. We should begin strongly supporting our Québécois brothers and sisters in their courageous struggle for social justice by calling on the Québec Government to immediately end the brutal and illegal violence against their own people, our fellow citizens. Then we must join them, all of us, in the streets of our cities and towns from Victoria to Halifax”.
Additional Photos; Peter Thomas Kennedy
There is a revolution going on in the province of Québec, only it isn’t very quiet. For three long years now the people of Quebec have been taking to their streets, despite brutal and violent police repression. Outside of Québec these events are presented as a “student strike”. To be sure student groups, most notably A.S.S.É have been instrumental in leading the charge . But to characterize this as anything but a society-wide grassroots social uprising aimed at fundamentally changing their society would be a grave misjudgement.
I have watched these events unfold as a journalist in the thick of them. I followed the social uprising from its roots in the 2012 student strike as a journalist for Montréal’s groundbreaking CUTV citizen-media. I spent hundreds of hours on the streets of Montréal and other cities in Québec. This includes Victoriaville, where one young man had his eye blasted out, one young lady had her jaw smashed, and a third young man was shot in the back of the head at close range putting him in a coma for 3 days by militarized police attacking a crowd that included women pushing strollers and elderly people. On April 3rd 2014 during an absolutely peaceful protest I witnessed a riot line violently attack 71 year old retired teacher Robert Fransham. He was alone on a bike in the middle of the street when he was smashed to the ground. He suffered a concussion and his injuries caused a severe infection in his leg. January 1, 2015 this amazing, charming and peaceful man died, one day short of his 72nd birthday, when a heart valve he had for a number of years without problem, suddenly became infected. I have watched 90lbs girls smashed to the ground by 3 or 4 200 pound men in armour. Myself and my team, though clearly marked as press were kettled; held for 9 hours without access to food, water or legal council and processed for violating Montréal’s anti constitutional P-6 by-law.
Demonstrations have been continuous in the city of Montréal and all over Québec for the last 3 years, slacking only slightly after the resolution of the “Student Strike” of 2012. The issues at play may seem diverse and unconnected; environment, union rights, student rights, housing, austerity, but at base they are a rejection of post-industrial capitalism. The idea that our societies should be run from the top by corporate interests has lost favor and the propaganda that kept us in line for since the end of World War II has lost its power. The issues in Québec are relevant in all of Canada. We are being asked to strive even harder for the good of the “economy”, to strip our resources heedlessly for foreign consumption. There has been a determined and largely successful effort to keep the facts about what is happening in Québec from being known in the rest of the country, this is no accident.
Because already uprisings are spreading across Canada. Most notably due to the emergence of coordinated, organic Native movements that exhibit a solidarity coast to coast never before seen in this country. This combines with historic levels of citizen involvement in resource extraction issues. Though this is categorized by the mainstream press as a uniquely “environmental movement” this is not the case. While they are many and varied the largest part of the resistance is motivated by the fact that mostly foreign resource corporations have far more rights than citizens, far more control in the political process, and are actually being enshrined as sacred cows of national security. All of this in a period when as a recent CBC town hall pointed out, a staggering 60% of Canadians say they don’t trust their political leaders at any level.
That the state feels threatened is evidenced by the massive government security agency response to Idle No More . Even large parts of the Canadian Armed Forces intelligence apparatus were put into motion. In the 10 years I served in the Armed Forces I never knew of military intelligence being involved in domestic issues, and it is certainly not their place, they are to be used in war, not internal control. The recent security bills all have language that place activists on the same level as terrorists. This is not simply about Bill-C51, this trend has been taking deep root since 2007 when security services in Canada began changing their language to refer to activists as “multi-issue extremists” and to focus the tactics and resources they claim are in place to fight against mass attack on our soil from foreign forces. This is not an accident. In reality Canada does not face any outrageous threats from foreign forces. The recent “terrorist attacks” are being carried out by mentally ill persons with no actual connection or support from foreign adversaries. No, the move in the last several years in Canada when looked at in any rational way is a move to cement social control for a mostly capitalist run agenda. The legislation in it’s language is aimed at bringing any resistance to corporate-driven government policies firmly into the sphere of our new national security state.
The people of Canada, like the people of Québec want to take control of their political systems, and to some extent their lives and communities back. I think that Canadians have much to learn from the tactics used by the courageous activists in Québec. There is a disturbing trend in Canada right now to look at Steven Harper as the root of all evil. If only we rid ourselves of the tyrant we can have back the socially-conscious Canada we grew up in. This is a dangerous bit of self-delusion. It is not any particular political party that is causing our decline it is the overtaking of our political system in total by strong corporate interests. These have obviously already bought young Mr Trudeau and are packaging him as a savior figure very reminiscent of Barack Obama. We all know how well that worked out.
It is becoming increasingly self-evident that if we as Canadians, want to take control of our country, our communities and our lives we will need to take matters in our own hands. We should begin by strongly supporting our Québécois brothers and sisters in their courageous and peaceful struggle. We need to demand that the Québec Government immediately end the brutal and illegal violence against their own people. Then we must join them, all of us, in the streets of our cities and towns from Victoria to Halifax we must fill the streets of our nation. We must show our governments in massive fashion that we both recognize what is actually happening in our nation-state, and who is at fault. We must show those in power unequivocally that we will no longer tolerate the fictional appearance of democracy in the hands of a political class increasingly melded with the business class to the detriment of us.
We idolize the Second World War generation for standing up to insidious evil. But what is more insidious than the treasonous appropriation of our citizens sovereign power to a powerful few who would warp it to their benefit? Now is the time for us to match them in the titanic worldwide struggle taking place not only in Québec but in Europe, South America , Hong-Kong and literally half the globe. We need to stand now and stand together, or maybe none of us will stand at all.
About William Ray I am a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists.I am a ten year Veteran of the Canadian Forces. I was with the 2nd Battalion PPCLI in Croatia in 1993 when they where awarded the Governor General of Canada and the Secretary General of the United Nations commendations for bravery for halting ethnic cleansing in the Medak pocket. I started with community radio and writing articles. In 2009 I began working with CUTV Montreal. During the student strikes and subsequent social unrest I helped manage the Livestream ground teams. I am also a co-founder of 99media.org and The founder of 3RTV, both citizen media groups. I also collaborated with Michelle Moore on the documentary film Déception Durable which was selected for the 2014 Montréal International Film Festival, and Films That Matter in Calgary, and the FReDD festival in France on resource extraction in Quebec.
In 2007 Canada experienced a fundamental shift in the focus of our Intelligence Services, a shift that is of interest to every Canadian. It was in this, and the following years while planning for the G-20 summit and Olympic Games that the baleful eye of the security services swung decisively in the direction of Canadian Citizens involved in Social action and Environmental groups.
‘The June 2007 internal CSIS report was titled ‘Multi Issue Militancy’. However, that category quickly and consistently became ‘extremism’( the term most Canadians use is activist) in subsequent reports. The June 2007 internal CSIS report states: “As the Service positions itself for numerous events that could become targets of MIE groups, it is important that everyone be kept aware of the developments”…In the following months, a more specific definition of an MIE emerges. ITAC produces a number of references to groups that encompass this definition. One note from November 2008 states they have‘included, among other things, opposition to US foreign policy, including the ‘Global War on Terror’, various Third World and regional causes, as well as animal rights, anti-globalization’. In some instances, the category MIE is directly associated with the global justice movement.
“The centralization of intelligence under the ISU-JIG (and later ITAC) in Canada resembles Department of Homeland Security ‘fusion centres’ in the United States, which coordinate data-sharing among state and local police, intelligence agencies and private companies. Fusion centres involve both centralization and extension of intelligence practices: coordination is concentrated in a few, new agencies, but intelligence gathering responsibilities are extended to local and regional police who never before participated in such networks ”. – Walby-Monaghan
This is the sort of Orwellian phrases our taxpayer funded security services are using to describe us in their internal communications and the language they use when going before politicians. Any citizen active with either a social action or environmental group is called a ”multi issue extremist”, and peaceful protests like banner drops, or friendly family marches are referred to as “non- violent attack strategies”
This language is used to present their case to politicians for increasing their budgets and powers. And really that is what a lot of this is motivated by not some deep-seated fear in Ottawa that protesters will storm the halls of power but rather the crass cravings for money and respect by our security services and police forces.
It is dangerous to underestimate the effect of this mentality in a business where the amount of respect you get, is contingent on the size of the threat the Nation faces. If you don’t spend your whole budget you’ll get less next year. I have been in this environment as a member of the Canadian Army. I have watched the machine synthesize new threats to justify its existence and plead for more resources. Local Police Forces are receiving millions of dollars in new militarized equipment and a sense of importance being on the National security scene
In tracing this trend backwards we find that in 2002 one year after the 911 event in the US. Gilles Michaud, a hard charging young RCMP Inspector finishes the FBI anti-terrorism courseat Quantico Virginia. He returns to Canada and sets up the Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams in major Canadian cities.
This in essence provides the RCMP a back door re-entry into the intelligence business that they were summarily dismissed from after the McDonald and KeebleRoyal commissions of the 1970s.
The RCMP were fired from domestic intelligence essentially because they had been, among other things, impersonating the FLQ , burning barns and writing phoney manifestos. All of this was to ensure thier national security budgets kept increasing.
It has recently come to light that the RCMP were responsible for at least one of a series of pipeline bombings in northern B.C. in 2008-2009, they used this excuse to falsely arrest Wiebo Ludwig a farmer opposed to oil development, and at the same time massively increase the INSET resources in Alberta. Old habits die hard one supposes.
In the aftermath of 911, and while our soldiers fought in Afghanistan, money rained down upon the security services. Enough to build a large bureaucratic life form which for the next ten years chased phantom terrorists around the globe. But by 2007-8 the money was drying up like the phantom threat it was thrown at. At a time of massive spending cuts fuelled by the global bank robbery of 2008. A new enemy was needed.
Well ladies and gentlemen we are it. And not the first time in Canadian history. During the 1950’s and right up until the 80’s the RCMP ran “Operation PROFUNC” in which they, along with the Canadian forces, planned to preventatively, arrest up to 40 thousand Canadians and their families and put them in concentration camps.
That would bring us to 2010, and who is the RCMP’s INSET team in Montréal going after. A little known Quebec student association: the Àsse. The Àsse members who were arrested after staging a sit-in the offices of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of education,they were arrested in heavily armed police operations, a month after the events and from the “discovery“ that the crown had to turn over, they were the targets of massive and all encompassing surveillance, months before the protests. Now, if the RCMP were acting against the student movement, in Quebec two years before the strike in 2012 is it reasonable to believe they had no part in suppressing it. Is the brutal police response being directed from Québec city? The likely answer is no. It is far more likely that the RCMP has been working closely with the SPVM and in fact could be helping to co-ordinate the brutal response to the generally peaceful citizens of Montréal The use of a city bylaw to justify the use of brutal militarized police tactics is a model ready for export to any other Canadian city.
After the events in Ottawa, we have new draconian legislation on the books , and more on the way. The RCMP publicly state that those opposed to our current energy extraction model are the single greatest threat to our National Security. We had better prepare ourselves to have the full weight of the government security apparatus aimed squarely at us as citizens.
It is already happening as there have been many reports over the last few years of the RCMP and CSIS meeting directly with energy company executives. Also prominent on the list are aboriginal groups. When the Conservatives called for a “whole of Government response” to the Idle no More movement, they had I.N.S.E.T in mind . This operation had heavy participation from the Canadian Forces Intelligence and Special Forces Command or SOFCOM.
Mohawk filmmaker Clifton Nicholas and myself arrived in Rexton N.B. a week after the confrontation between Mk’mac warriors from Elsipogtog and RCMP October 17th 2013. We have definite questions about the identity of some of the “RCMP” officers that performed the brutal raid. We found dozens of RCMP uniform bags in the wood line behind where the raid took place, and Canadian Forces Ration packs either the RCMP failed get dressed before work or needed to dress someone in RCMP uniforms. Having served Ten years in the Canadian Forces including seeing combat as an infantryman I can say that alot of the gentlemen with the assault rifles moved more like soldiers than policemen.
All this to enforce the rights of a US energy Company against Peaceful Native protesters One can also look to the recent events in Burnaby BC where the RCMP enforced a faulty order to protect a drilling company from Texas. We the citizens are the perceived threat , the resource companies their client, that is obvious.
We had better act quickly and decisively in this country to rein in our security services and return local police to enforcing the criminal code. This is their vital function in maintaining social peace in our societies. Their performance of this role is based on the trust of the population they mean to police. I know from direct experience that very few young people will call or co-operate with police in any way because of their experiences with political repression and profiling on the streets. This is hugely dangerous. We only have to look at the United States to see what happens when police loose the faith of civil society. We had better all start standing up for our rights here with at least as much organization and gusto as we show for the rights of satirical cartoonists in France or we will all end up in a place few of us will recognize.