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Karl Nerenberg has been reporting on federal politics from Parliament Hill for rabble.ca since September, 2011. In his long career, he has won numerous awards as a broadcaster and documentary filmmaker.
The Prime Minister has announced that Canada will renew its commitment to participate in military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also know as ISIS), for one year.
Canada's role, which began six month ago, is supposed to be limited to air strikes and training of Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, behind the actual battle lines.
Canadian troops are not mandated to participate in ground, offensive action. But it seems, in the field, there is no clear demarcation between active participation in combat and training. So far, one Canadian has been killed in action, by friendly fire from Kurdish forces.
The following are notes for a short talk rabble's Parliamentary Correspondent gave at an event in Ottawa, early in March 2015, sponsored by the Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy, which is headed by Andrew Cardozo.
When I think of Stephen Harper I am not sure he is really a Conservative, or at least not a Conservative in the proud Canadian tradition.
Where Robert Borden and John Diefenbaker extended the franchise -- the former to women, the latter to First Nations people -- Harper is trying to limit it, with legislation he insultingly calls the 'Fair' Elections Act.
Here is the partial text, in English, of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's statement, recorded on his cell phone shortly before he shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, in Ottawa, on October 22, 2014, as provided by RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson.
"To those who are involved and listen to this movie, this is in retaliation for Afghanistan and because Harper wants to send his troops to Iraq.
So we are retaliating, the Mujahedin of this world.
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For the opposition parties, the lack of effective oversight for Canada's spies and police in the government's new anti-terrorism legislation is one serious flaw.
It is not the only one, however.
In a CBC Radio interview on Thursday morning, former Conservative Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day tried to claim that the opposition parties have not said what, substantively, they would change in the proposed legislation, Bill C-51.
We were just getting somewhere toward the end of Wednesday afternoon's debate on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Rube Goldberg-ish monster of an anti-terrorism bill, Bill C-51, when the Speaker had to cut it off for lack of time.
Justice Minister Peter MacKay, who took the floor after more than two hours of back and forth in the House, was going over the criminal code amendments in Bill C-51.