Why I think President Trump has made the world a much worse place on Day One of his presidency

Saturday, 21 January, 2017


*** Why I think President Trump has made the world a much worse place on Day One of his presidency *** //I respect my FB friend for his professional work but I disagree with him. Here is my comment (with added web links & slight updates).//

XXXX, One day I would love to chat in person. Until then, here is my wordy take of why I think President Trump has made the world a much worse place on Day One. Starting with the least damaging (the mere “monetary” damages). Trump said the following in his Inauguration Speech and he has said all of these during the campaign so they are not new.

1) “For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry;
>>> International trades benefit everyone or we just don’t do it. Stances like this is getting China, Canada, etc worrying about trade wars. For the record, //Canada is the top export destination for 35 states. Nearly 9 million U.S. jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada.//

2) “Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military;
>>> Forgoing defence of NATO, Japan, etc?? Should they pay? How much? Think like a foreign leader for a moment. Which sovereign leader is stupid enough to be held hostage for a king’s ransom for its defence? This will force the world into an arms race? EU politicians are taking notice and starting to distrust US. Putin’s mission accomplished in Day One of Trump’s presidency. Fantastic!

3) “We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own;” & “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.
>>> This is probably one of the saddest part of this cluster-beep.
Spoiler alert, I’m giving the answer before I tell the story.
We Canadians are PROUD of us NOT putting Canada First! We PRIDE ourselves of putting “Others First”!

Some Americans have very short memory. On one sunny 9/11 day years ago, some evil people thought of turning planes into high-tech guided missiles with built-in human collateral protection. In that uncertain time, Canada let ~200 flights fully loaded with people (potential terrorists flown missiles) diverted to our major cities like Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal and Toronto (all with millions of people).

The “Others” we Canadians put “First” happened to be thousands of Americans and people visiting US! I would say the probability of me winning the lottery last night is higher than Trump coming to aid of Canadians if the shoes were swapped.

I’m human but I try to live by the Golden Rule when I can. What kind of horrible world we live in if we always and only put ourselves first?!

Right now, with “America First”, it feels like a great friend has flipped and become a psychopath.

And 1, 2, 3 and many more are the reasons why Trump Day One is the worst day of any US President’s Day One!

P.S. For me to write this wordy blah blah blah, I had to take a strong dose of Trump-vaccination. So I watch a 9 minute CBC News video of U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson paying tribute to the town of Gander, N.L. for “its generosity on 9/11, hailing its residents for their grace and good humour and representing “the best of us.”

//“This could well be the motto of this town: ‘Without waiting to be asked,'” Jacobson said.
He spoke about one stranded passenger, a child, who turned four in Gander soon after 9/11. All his gifts were stuck on the plane he had been on, so to make him feel better, a local Gander family threw him a party.
“They consoled and they cooked, they cooked and they cooked,” Jacobson recalled.//

Ref (with video, an easy Google): Gander on 9/11 told ‘you were the best of us’ CBC News Posted: Sep 11, 2011

Belated Happy 102nd Birthday to Prof. Ronald Coase with special #PDFtribute

Saturday, 19 January, 2013

Happy belated 102nd Birthday to Nobel Economics Laureate Professor Ronald Coase. Wishing professor Coase good health and all the best in 2013!

In 2009, I took the initiative to spend a few days to download, process, upload, transcribe (small part of), and time-code professor Coase‘s 2003 Coase Lecture (a massive .mov file) to share on YouTube (6 clips in a playlist) to allow interested people from around the world to watch and learn as a way to celebrate professor Coase‘s 99th birthday.

Here is the 2003 Coase Lecture by Ronald Coase – Part 1. Watch the other 5 parts via this YouTube playlist.

For the last few birthdays of professor Coase, I mainly reshare the above video clips (with a new text interview in 2011). This time around, I’ve taken a new initiative to honour professor Coase‘s 102nd birthday. You see, a few years ago I went to the University of Calgary Law Library to conduct some US patent research for a client. As a bonus/treat for myself, I spent some time to download quite a few academic papers by professor Coase.

To celebrate professor Coase‘s 102nd birthday, I’ve uploaded the following three important papers plus a bonus paper as a special gift to readers of professor Coase‘s ideas.

Here are the PDFs of the academic papers
1937 – Nature of the Firm
1959 – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
1974 – The Lighthouse in Economics

Bonus academic papers
– 1947 – The Origin of the Monopoly of Broadcasting in Great Britain

In the wise words of professor Coase,

“The only support I got was from my contemporaries. […] If this tale has any general significance, it is that new ideas are most likely to come from the young who are also the group most likely to recognize the significance of those ideas.”

I was inspired to upload these academics papers by the #PDFtribute movement to honour the 26 years young Aaron Swartz (1986 – 2013) who died partly as a result from his fight with the outdated and outmoded JSTOR system to make academic papers available for free for all.

For me personally, I received these important papers for free from the Law Library. And I see them (Firm, FCCLighthouse) deserve to be read by as many people as possible instead of under the messed up limited JSTOR manner. The bottom line, to me, by having these papers available by a single click here is that this save people’s physical travel time to go down to their local university libraries where these papers can be downloaded for free anyway!

It has not escaped my attention and noticed the paradox that The Lighthouse in Economics is a paper that disprove, with facts, the incorrect belief by many people (including my former MBA classmate who has a B.A. degree in Economics) that Lighthouse services cannot be charged thus has to be made freely available by the governments!

*** Concluding thoughts ***

I want to emphasize that I totally agree with the many academics in the #PDFtribute movement and Aaron that it is about time we in Canada and US require academic papers to be made publicly downloadable for FREE in perpetuity if any part (or whole) of their research funding come from any level of government (thus tax payers’ money, our money)!

Happy 102nd birthday professor Coase!

Goodbye Aaron, you left us far too soon!

Video interview with Oscar Shortlisted doc director Alison Klayman, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Thursday, 6 December, 2012

Alison Never Sorry interview - Youtube thumbnail compositeAi Weiwei carrying an Oscar on Facebook

The insightful, fun, and sometimes deadly serious documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (艾未未:道歉你妹; title in Taiwan 艾未未:草泥馬) has been Oscar shortlisted from 126 films down to 15, coming out ahead of films like “The Central Park Five” by the legendary Ken Burns et al, and “Head Games” by Steve James (director of the amazing Hoop Dreams).

Alison Klayman, director of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, was very nice and cool to do her first post-Oscar-shortlist video interview with me on the day after she came back from a Bangkok film festival trip. Here is my video interview with Alison.

Video interview with Oscar Shortlisted Alison Klayman, director of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry trailer (Official selection Sundance 2012 Film Festival)

I just noticed on the back wall in the following film still, the pictures are the concept drawings that lead to the Remembering (2009), an installation for the Façade of the House of German Art.

Ai Weiwei Never Sorry - Film Still

Golden Ai Weiwei Oscar

Alison and I talked about the middle finger salute in the interview. To me, it is a show of defiance to the powerful, be it the one-party ruled Chinese government or any other governments or powerful institutions.

Weiwei middle-finger art Read the rest of this entry »

July 1st #CanadaDay and LIVE broadcast of massive #HK71 street protest via @feng37 – #Democracy #RuleOfLaw #FreePress

Sunday, 1 July, 2012

#HK71 - pix 06#HK71 - pix 01

As I watched the #HK71 massive July 1st, 2012 street protests (on the day of the 15th anniversary of the hangover of HK to Chinese government, and the swearing-in of the new Chief Executive of HK, CY Leung), I can no longer pretend to be just a happy man on #CanadaDay. In fact, as I see massive problems in HK, I have to be honest and admit that I see Canada is full of our own problems as well when I tweeted,

145secs till Canada’s 145th birthday! Happy #CanadaDay I LOVE you #canada I promise 2 work harder to make you better! #democracy #ruleoflaw

To point out one bright spot. I’ve been searching for **ANY** LIVE broadcast by citizens re the #HK71 street protests, I finally found the following clip(s) in a channel!

feng37 is broadcasting LIVE #HK71 street protest clips like http://bambuser.com/v/2794775 via his Bambuser channel http://bambuser.com/channel/feng37 #democracy #RuleOfLaw

Make sure you check out the clips at this channel http://bambuser.com/channel/feng37.

Update: I’ve confirmed via John Kennedy @cyberzombies, Web producer at South China Morning Post), that he is feng37 saying “@Kempton Hey, yeah @feng37 is my account for Chinese tweets.” Note that I got to know about all the video uploads initially via John‘s tweets.

P.S. Re Canada – I love you.  In Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, when news anchor Will McAvoy was asked,

“What makes America the greatest country in the world.”

Executive Producer MacKenzie McHale as an audience member (without McAvoy knowing if she was there), wrote on a card and signal to McAvoy on stage, “IT’S NOT” On the next card, McHale wrote “BUT IT CAN BE.

The same question can be asked of Canada. And I submit the same answer applies.

#HK71 - pix 03#HK71 - pix 04

#HK71 - pix 05#HK71 - pix 07

#HK71 - pix 08


I am happy that feng37’s solution of using bambuser (which I also used in my AB election report) was much easier to handle (just an app on a mobile phone, iPhone/Android/etc) to film LIVE #HK31 street protests have given us some great footage to watch without Television stations’ filtering.


The following are what I’ve tweeted earlier tonight. And I am happy that they have been superseded by the above broadcasted clips.


Tweeted the following tonight for #hk71 street protest.

Anyone streaming LIVE video of #hk71 street protest? Can someone post links so people can watch? If not, here is a guide how anyone can do it

9 Steps to LIVE broadcast #hk71 street protest Step1:Get 3G wireless USB stick & plug into laptop Step2:From gmail, get free Google+ AC

Step3 to LIVE broadcast #hk71 install G+ Hangout video plugin Step4:Link YouTube account to G+ Step5:Start Hangout On Air Step6:Broadccast

Step7 to LIVE broadcast #hk71 Share YouTube live video link on social media channels:Twitter,FB,G+,etc Bring extra batteries 4 #democracy

Step8: Here is Google demo1 of LIVE broadcasting using G+ #HangoutOnAir

Step9: Here is Google demo2 of LIVE broadcasting using G+ #HangoutOnAir #hk71

NDP leadership vote cyber-attacked – Is the NDP claim of “No possible way to get into their process” misguided?

Saturday, 24 March, 2012

In response to CTV reporter question re integrity of the leadership vote, NDP Brad Lavigne (Principal Secretary to the Leader of the Official Opposition) stated “No possible way to get into their process.

Really, is Brad serious? He should really read the October 2010 Washington Post article “Hacker infiltration ends D.C. online voting trial” for a change and stop the “No possible way” misguided claim at least (or delusional at worst)! Absolute declarative statement like “No possible way” is a sign of NOT understanding the complexity of security matters especially surrounding internet voting.

In Aug 2011, I wrote an in-depth article re the potential problems of internet voting if used in a Canada wide general election, “A software engineer’s critique of Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer’s plan“. I thought it is timely to repost my article “A software engineer’s critique” again.

Currently according to the Spanish e-voting company Scytl and NDP, they are claiming the NDP leadership vote suffered a DoS attack and the integrity of the vote was not affected. As I tweeted: How did they prove there was no vote tempering? Won’t it be #NDP & #Scytl self interest to coverup their incompetence? #ndpldr

News articles,
– Globe and Mail, “Hackers attack NDP, delaying electronic leadership vote
– CTV.ca, “Attempted cyber-attack holds up NDP leadership vote
– CBC News, “NDP leadership voting delayed by outside attack

Robocall scandal update: Elections Canada probing spending records of Conservative campaign

Monday, 5 March, 2012

The original team of robocall scandal breaking reporters Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher have published their latest report “Elections Canada probing spending records of Conservative campaign in robocall scandal“. Based on the evidences presented in the article, Canadians need some further information from a Guelph, Ontario election campaign. In particular, further explanation of missing election expenses invoices from Andrew Prescott, the deputy campaign manager of Conservative candidate Marty Burke in Guelph, Ontario.

Here is an excerpt from the article (with emphasis and additional link added), I highly recommend you read the full article. It is a great read.

“Prescott said Monday that he had given his campaign manager invoices for the calls but could not explain why the expenses did not appear on the financial report sent to Elections Canada.

He said he used a RackNine account he held through his own company, Prescoan, to place the automated calls announcing Burke campaign events. He said he then submitted invoices to the campaign for these costs.

“I gave them to the campaign manager,” Prescott said. “There was definitely no effort to hide anything or obscure anything.”

There is no record of these expenses anywhere in the Burke campaign return, however. Read the rest of this entry »

Battles and War in the fight for Fair Digital Copyright for Canada – Government to Reintroduce Bill C-32 “In Exactly the Same Form”

Friday, 9 September, 2011

My heart sank reading Michael Geist, Sept 9, 2011, “Government to Reintroduce Bill C-32 “In Exactly the Same Form”” So my concerns and worries expressed in my Sept 5th, 2011 article, “Fair Digital Copyright for Canada – Insights from a new Phd thesis by Blayne Haggart” may have come true. But I am not giving up easily and Canadians shouldn’t go down without a fight.

Here is an excerpt from Winnipeg Free Press, Sept 8, 2011, “Long-awaited copyright bill returns, but top court to wade in too” (emphasis added)

“One of the hotly debated issues around the bill, around how educators are able to use copyrighted materials, has now popped up before the Supreme Court.

The justices will be hearing a case about whether grade school teachers who make copies of textbooks for their students should be shielded from paying tariffs.

The same issue came up before the Commons committee last March. Groups who represent educators and provincial ministers of education would like to see more explicit protection for classroom copying included in the “fair dealing” section of the Act, while those who represent publishers say they deserve to be compensated for the textbooks they create.

NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus said the government should be listening to criticism of the bill and making changes before it is forced to by the courts.

“There are problems that need to be fixed and we can do this in a collaborative way or a confrontational way, but I would prefer to get this bill done,” Angus said.

“I want to know that they’re actually listening to the witnesses, because witnesses have identified some serious shortfalls with the bill that can be fixed.” […]

Internal U.S. embassy cables posted by Wikileaks this year suggested former industry minister Maxime Bernier offered to show American officials a previous copyright bill before it was tabled in Parliament.

The cables also detailed how the office of another former industry minister, Tony Clement, suggested Washington include Canada on an international piracy watchlist in order to push legislative efforts along.

Rupert Murdoch’s PR moves after hiring global firm Edelman

Friday, 15 July, 2011

Rupert and James Murdoch make Commons U-turn - PR problem or Moral problem

July 16th update: “Richard Sambrook, Global Leader of Edelman Crisis and Issues Management, former BBC’s Director of Global News confirms zero involvement in Rupert Murdoch PR file


Call me old school and cynical, I agree with Jeff that “This ain’t a PR problem, folks. It’s a moral problem.“ Since hiring global PR firm EdelmanRupert Murdoch had Rebekah Brooks “resigned” (to be diplomatic), and now Murdoch has met with the murdered girl’s family. To me, both are clearly PR moves to do damage control. Yes, if Murdoch had these many days ago before this thing blow up in their face, then may be they can appear to be sincere. But flip-flopping re their House committee attendances next week really sunk their reputation or trust facto to the ground.

At this point, I believe allegations of illegal dealings against Murdoch‘s vast media empire should be fully investigated in both UK and US. It is important the UK public inquiries and all the legal authorities to uncover all the problems hidden over the years.

As I tweeted and I mean it, especially the last bit. (with notes added)

PR: Rupert Murdoch meets with family of murdered schoolgirl. #failLove to be a fly at Edelman / inside minds of @richardwedelman [global CEO and President of Edelman@sambrook [leader of Edelman‘s Global Crisis and Issues practice]

Business management writer Tom Peters tweeted,

I’m sure Mr Murdoch genuinely sorry for incident with murdered girl–but as hands on guy, he sets the “cultural tone” for the organization!

Saw this insightful tweet by a stranger on Twitter,

Wonderful to see-as throughout history-its ordinary people not politicians nor business that leads – NOTHING beats people power

The Independent, “After 52 years, mogul’s ally [Les Hinton, publisher of The Wall Street Journal since Mr Murdoch bought it in 2007] quits to protect jewel of US empire


12:24pm, 16 July 2011 update: Here is a video interview with President & CEO of Edelman, Richard Edelman. Have a watch of what he thinks as he is the man leading the PR firm that is advising Murdoch on his handling of the phone hacking scandals.

[HT John]

Here is an interesting official Edelmon London video of Richard Edelman talking about trust, especially interesting in light of Edelman‘s role in Murdoch‘s scandals. And it is unfortunate that I come across a claim of a quote that Richard Edelman said in a media training session, “Sometimes, you just have to stand up there and lie. (See AdAge 2008 Feb, “Blog Wars: Gawker vs. Edelman – Blog Suggests PR People Lie; PR Chief Takes Umbrage”)

May 2nd Election – How can I forget? #elxn41

Monday, 2 May, 2011

May 2nd Election – How can I forget? #elxn41

* In light of the nuclear disaster in Japan, how can I forget the internationally respected former nuclear watchdog, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission president, Ms. Linda Keen was fired in the dark of the night, only hours before she was to testify in front of a parliamentary committee about Canadian nuclear safety?

* How can I forget Mr. Munir Sheikh, Canada’s former chief statistician, had to resign so he can be free to defend the integrity of himself, StatsCan, and the census? Have a read of Mr. Sheikh’s public article after his resignation.

* How can I forget former Vets Ombudsman Pat Stogran contradicting Harper’s claim of supporting the troops? Have a read of an excerpt of Pat’s Aug 2010 Op-ed in “It’s time to stand up for our troops against the gov of Canada“. Pat is still fighting for the troops and has recently pointed out “Democracy in Canada must change. […] Whatever the solution, join the Revolution! Govt must serve Cdns!

* How can I forget about the many vote mob videos showing Canadian youth care? Check out many videos I tried to repost by searching for “vote mob”.

* And how can I forget Peter Russell, constitutional expert, talks about the Harper Government’s contempt for parliamentary democracy and what is at stake in the Canadian Election 2011?

* I will vote tonight after work. How can I forget to vote after reading all these tweets?!

Favourite May 2nd Election Day “Go Vote” Tweets #elxn41

Monday, 2 May, 2011

* “Off to vote, because I’m a citizen, not a customer or a consumer, and citizens have responsibilities. #elxn41

* “Voting day is always a happy day. #democracy #elxn41 #vote

* “Voting is sexy! #vote #elxn41

* “No vote is a vote, you might as well have a say. #elxn41

* “If you don’t vote I don’t want to hear you whining about not getting the government you wanted. #elxn41

* “If you choose not to vote, you don’t get to bitch if the govt. fucks you over. It takes 20 minutes. Don’t be lazy. Do it, damn it! #elxn41

* “This is the most important federal election in Canada in over a decade. If you’ve never voted before, now is the time! #elxn41 #cdnpoli

* “Democracy is not a spectator sport. #vote #elxn41 #cdnpoli

* “It’s an unpredictable & exciting 24 hrs for Canada. It’s rare that you can circle history on a calendar. Savour it and #VOTE today. #elxn41

* “Canadians, today is the day to vote your conscience. #vote #elxn41

* “Let us not forget that many of shed blood to gain the right to vote. Let’s #vote! #cdnpoli #elxn41 #votemob #youthvote #yvote @leadnow

* “VOTED- Shopped for roast beef supper with my folks and LOTS of snacks. We’re making a night of it. A long night. #elxn41

Vote on May 2nd – These young people are voting! You should too!

Wednesday, 27 April, 2011

Remember to vote on May 2nd.

University of Toronto Mississauga Vote Mob

Halifax Vote Mob

Usask Vote Mob 2011

Read the rest of this entry »

more Vote Mobs – Vote on May 2 (or Advance polls Apr 22, 23, 25)

Saturday, 23 April, 2011

University of Toronto’s Vote Mob – “This is What Democracy Looks Like”

University of Lethbridge Vote Mob

Brandon University Vote Mob

Vote Mob at University of Regina


Click here for more entries and videos about vote mob!

Vote Mobs – Vote on May 2 (or Advance polls Apr 22, 23, 25)

Friday, 22 April, 2011

Acadia University Vote Mob

Queen’s University Vote Mob

Concordia University – VOTE MOB!

University of Toronto – Vote Mob

UBC Vote Mob: Behind the scenes


Click here for more entries and videos about vote mob!

Thanks Vote Mobs – There is Hope in Canada – Vote on May 2

Thursday, 21 April, 2011

As a passionate Canadian, I am shocked and disparaged by the lack of respect for democracy and ethics by Stephen Harper. In these dark hours, the student-organized Vote Mobs across Canada shine a bright light and reminds me there is still hope in Canadian democracy.

Please VOTE on May 2nd, 2011.

Waterloo Vote Mob

UBC Vote Mob!

Brock University Vote Mob

Carleton University Vote Mob… with a Twist!

McMaster University Vote Mob: Reach For the Stars

University of Victoria Vote Mob – RESPECT

University of Guelph Vote Mob –Dog Days are Over


Click here for more entries and videos about vote mob!

VOTE Mob: Rick Mercer on CTV’s Question Period talking about young people involvement in election

Monday, 18 April, 2011

Highly recommend you watch this short video clip, “CTV’s Question Period: Rick Mercer on involvement”

The veteran political comedian says it is refreshing young people are taking action in a brand new way, and explains how the recent ‘vote mobs’ show the kids are alright and getting engaged.

Rick Mercer: Vote Mobs

Viral Campaign: ShitHarperDid.com

Sunday, 17 April, 2011

Plain and simple with some solid source reference articles about Sh*t Harper Did.

Stephen Harper thinks that what doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. Unless it kills you.

Stephen Harper thinks that what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. Unless it kills you.

In 2008, Luc Pomerleau, a biologist at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, discovered secret government plans to weaken regulations & allow corporate food producers to conduct their own safety inspections. Pomerleau leaked the news and was immediately fired. Then the listeriosis meat outbreak killed 17 Canadians.

Read about Luc Pomerleau in The Ottawa Citizen

Here is their “Ben Mulroney Not Endorsing ShitHarperDid.com“.

Other videos: check out thisthis, and this one with some strong language.

Check out CTV news report of the viral campaign: ShitHarperDid.com. Now Toronto Q&A with the makers of shitharperdid.com,

Who are you guys?

We are a million dollar ad agency. Wait, no we’re a socialist-communist-liberal conspiracy unit. Wait, no we’re scruffy hipster types. Wait, no, we’re an oft overlooked, disregarded and actively ignored demographic of Canadian voters who want attention by swearing so you’ll ground us. But then at least we’ll be part of the cool swearing kids, right? Those kids smoke. Actually we’re a group of young Canadian artists (comedians, musicians, filmmakers and designers). […]

What are you hoping the site will accomplish? Read the rest of this entry »

VOTE Mob – University of Calgary

Sunday, 17 April, 2011

It is nice to read “U of C ‘Vote Mob’ riled up for Canadian election – Rally urges students to get involved in voting”. Check out www.studentsneedtovote.ca.

University of Calgary Vote Mob (Omni News)

CBC News, “Rise of the Vote Mob feature on CBC

U of C Videos, “University of Calgary Vote Mob – Unstoppable!

This Rick Mercer’s rant to get people, especially students, out to vote started the “Vote Mob” thing.

WordPress.com under DDoS Attack

Friday, 4 March, 2011

Wordpress.com DDoS attack (March 3rd, 4th, 2011)

The following news articles explain why (for just 10-15 minutes) I was unable to edit or access my site kempton.wordpress.com yesterday (March 3rd, 2011). Looks like WordPress.com is under new attacks today (March 4th, 2011) even they have been quickly resolved. (See LIVE status update here.)

* Tech Crunch, March 3rd, 2011, “WordPress.com Suffers Largest DDoS Attack In Its History

* Computer World, March 4th, 2011, “WordPress blog service down: Huge DDoS attack

* Forbes, March 4th, 2011, “WordPress Denial of Service Attack Also Reveals New Economies of Scale Impacts

Canadian Copyright Bill C-32 submission

Friday, 28 January, 2011

Feel great! Finally got around to send in my Bill C-32 submission to the parliamentary committee (Committee’s mailbox at CC32@parl.gc.ca) three days before the 31 Jan, 2011 deadline!

Check out Prof. Michael Geist’s “Canadians Speaking Out on Bill C-32” for his views and other experts’ takes. And I found Project Gutenberg Canada’s submission very insightful.


“In order for briefs on Bill C-32 to be considered by the Committee in a timely fashion, the document should be submitted to the Committee’s mailbox at CC32@parl.gc.ca by the end of January, 2011. A brief which is longer than 5 pages should be accompanied by a 1 page executive summary and in any event should not exceed 10 pages in length.

Defending Canada and Parliamentary Democracy

Tuesday, 27 April, 2010

Today is an important day. From CBC,

“The House of Commons has a right to order the government to produce uncensored documents related to the treatment of Afghan detainees, Speaker Peter Milliken has ruled.”

More info from this Liveblog from CBC. Ottawa Citizen, “Milliken mediates“.

From TorStar “Parliament wins in showdown with Harper government“, and editorial “Wise ruling on secret files“.

From TorStar Susan DelacourtSpeaker’s Ruling: Derek Lee speaks” (very insightful, must read),

[Lee:] The precedent here today is the clear, unequivocal, benchmarked statement of authority of the House to send for papers and records and it is absolute. And he says the House has never acted to curtail its powers. It was always absolute and it still is. So that’s the rule, that’s the law.

The government members took it quite well. It maybe wasn’t a cold shower, I don’t know. I mean, I wrote a book on this, it wasn’t new to me. But to some of them, to hear that said, it would be a bit of a cold shower.

An excerpt from Macleans “The Commons: The House always wins“,

There seemed, at first, points for each side. Halfway through, the tally might have been said to be tied. Then, the will of Parliament began to run up the score.

“Before us are issues that question the very foundations upon which our parliamentary system is built,” Mr. Milliken observed. “In a system of responsible government, the fundamental right of the House of Commons to hold the government to account for its actions is an indisputable privilege and, in fact, obligation.”

Then came the reference to Bourinot. Then references to Maingot, Erksine, McGee and Odgers. Then this.

“It is the view of the chair,” Mr. Milliken said, “that accepting an unconditional authority of the executive to censor the information provided to Parliament would in fact jeopardize the very separation of powers that is purported to lie at the heart of our parliamentary system and the independence of its constituent parts.”

MPs on the opposition side applauded. The Speaker continued. ”Therefore,” he said, “the chair must conclude that it is perfectly within the existing privileges of the House to order production of the documents in question.”

A cry of “yes!” came from the far end of the room.

Read the rest of this entry »

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