Thursday, 11 September 2014

September 11, 2001

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the anniversary of 9/11 and to mark Canada’s National Day of Service

September 11, 2014  Ottawa, OntarioPrime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the anniversary of 9/11 and to mark Canada’s National Day of Service:
“On September 11th, 2001, a group of terrorists targeting New York and the heart of the U.S. Government silenced the futures of nearly 3,000 innocent citizens from the United States and around the world – including 24 Canadians.
“To the people who mourn their loss most profoundly, the friends and families of the victims, Laureen and I offer our respect, our condolences and hope that you find comfort in the fact that Canadians remember that awful day and grieve with you.
“A key lesson of 9/11 is to remain vigilant against terror groups and regimes that  seek to establish safe havens such as the one which existed in Afghanistan prior to 2001, where the 9/11 perpetrators were allowed to thrive.
“While 9/11 will forever be remembered for the senseless nature of the attacks, it is important to recall that in the midst of terror and destruction, there was also enormous compassion, giving, bravery, and generosity to eclipse that darkness.
“There were waves of first responders who selflessly risked their lives in the aftermath of the attacks. There was the service of volunteers – military and civilian alike – and the generosity of many more who lent a hand as Good Samaritans. Canadians in Gander, Newfoundland, and a number of other communities hosted several thousand diverted air passengers, treating these stranded people like family and friends, inviting them into their community and into their homes.
“It is in honour and celebration of these acts of kindness that Canada designated September 11th as our National Day of Service in 2011, a day in which charitable deeds, fundraisers and community service can act as an antithesis to the inhumane acts committed 13 years ago.
“Canadians continue to step up in times of catastrophe and hardship – whether the front lines happen to be in their community, in this country, or somewhere else in the world – to contribute their time, energy and personal resources to improve the lives of those less fortunate. It is a cherished value that is at the very heart of what it means to be Canadian, a value that shows no signs of abating regardless of the challenge.”
From the Prime Minister's Web Site (

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Middle East

What are the long-term implications of the wars about Israel?   At the core, it involves an ideological objective to exterminate Jews and wipe Israel from the earth.   In the larger sense, it has little to do with hurting Palestinians being able to live in peace.   Everytime they have been offered a country, they have chosen war instead.

There is no lasting peace or a coexisting cease-fire that will endure with such deeply held beliefs by the populace in the surrounding area.   One can see the conflict in stark terms when one looks at a photo of the Jerusalem Temple Mount.   The Jewish Temple only has its foundation remains, and is not allowed to be rebuilt there.   However, built upon the Jewish ruins, are two Islamic Mosque structures.   Islam now commands paramountcy, and even tries to deny that Israel ever existed.  The picture reflects the clash of political and social civilizations.   Israel follows a western style democratic philosophy of governance and national aspiration.   The warring outsiders follow the inspiration of Mohammed and the consequences of Jihad.

Even in the most recent world-wide violence, we must not forget the importance of Mohammed, the inventor of Islam.   His behaviour is an example to all Muslims and they cannot criticize.   But if Mohammed had been a leader of peace, perhaps like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would not be much problem.   But history records that Mohammed was a dessert warlord, a murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages at the same time.   Islamic history tells us how he started wars, murdered enemies, and had prisoners executed.   Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza.   His teachings can be summed up as “If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad.”   Every reasonable rule has an exception in Islam.

Let no one deceive about Islam being merely a religion.   Indeed, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins.   However, in its essence Islam is a political ideology that seeks world-wide control.   It is a comprehensive system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person.   Islam wants to dictate every aspect of personal life.   Islam means 'submission'.   Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia and a world-Caliphate.   It is akin to old communism or national-socialism, which were deadly totalitarian ideologies.

The western media, in trying to be fair and appear neutral, significantly accepts the false Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as an oppressor and aggressor.   However, reasonable people, should support Israel, and speak out against wrong, regardless from where it comes, even Israel.   Nevertheless, in the current round of violence, Canadians should support Israel.   It is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz.   It is also the only open democracy in the region.   Israel is also the west’s first line of defence against the goal of world-wide subjugation to Islam.

Tiny Israel is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam's territorial advance.   Israel is facing the front lines of Jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan, Lebanon, and Aceh in Indonesia.   Israel is in the way, the same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.

Middle-east conflict is not just a war against Israel; it is a war against the West.   It is Jihad.   Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us.   If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its desire for conquest.   Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and Canada can sleep well, unaware of the political danger.

Some in Europe argue for abandoning Israel in order to address the disturbances of their internal Muslim minorities.   But if Israel were to go down, it would not bring peace to the middle-east, or any solace to the West.   It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behaviour, and accept western values.   On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam.   They would see the demise of Israel as proof that the west is weak, and doomed.   The end of Israel would not mean the end of the problem of Islam, but only the beginning.   It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination.   We have all heard leaders in the past say, that if they can get Israel, they can get everything.   

The evidence is clear that wherever Islamic philosophy dominates, it soon controls completely.   Then it means no freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, and an intellectual nightmare.

Freedom and pan-Canadian values are precious gifts that were won with a high price.   My generation never had to fight much for this freedom; it was offered to us by our parents and grandparents who fought for it with their lives.   Throughout Europe, large cemeteries remind us of those who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish.   My generation does not sufficiently own this freedom; we are its custodians.   We can only hand over this heritage by keeping faith.   Despite our strong desire for peace and security, there is no deal to strike with mullahs and imams.   We have to be informed to take the necessary action when needed, to stop the Islamic stupidity from destroying the free world that we love.

(Material borrowed from many sources)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Canada as Peacekeeper

Canada as Peacekeeper
The notion of Canada as peacekeeper resonates with many, but it is only part of our history and deep character.   Some present day socialists tend to deny Canada’s British origins, our warrior history and prowess in battle, and the values held that could involve terrible human sacrifice.   While we recount our proud military accomplishments as peacekeepers, that role must be placed in context.   In the future there likely will be less peacekeeping, as there is little peace to keep.   The age of suicidal terrorism and religious fanaticism that turns into armed action, is upon civilization again.   We must not selectively forget who Canada is, as it informs about where we must go to provide a better future for Canada.   A part of that understanding is the following statement.
August 9, 2014 Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark National Peacekeepers’ Day:

“Today we celebrate Canada’s long and proud tradition of contributing to international security. Since the mid-1950s, Canada has participated in dozens of international security missions around the world, helping to prevent or contain conflicts and contributing to global and regional stability.

“Our brave peacekeepers, which have included tens of thousands of Canadian Armed Forces members, police officers and civilians, have put their lives on the line around the globe placing themselves between hostile forces, supervising ceasefires and the withdrawal of opposing troops, providing valuable training and development, protecting and assisting civilians in need, and supporting international security operations and stability efforts. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice while undertaking these perilous activities.

“Canadians continue to play a vital role today in places like Haiti, the Sinai, Cyprus and South Sudan. I wish them well with their important work as well as a safe return home to their families and loved ones.

“On behalf of all of our citizens, I thank all those Canadians, both past and present, who have served for their remarkable contributions to greater peace, security and stability. Through their intrepid and selfless efforts, the world has known less conflict, war and strife.”


Thursday, 31 July 2014

Middle-East War

An Israeli soldier from the Givati Brigade after returning to Israel from Gaza on July 30. Photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters
I have hesitated to chime in with comments, after the murder of three Israeli children, about the war and how divisive it is to Canadians.   We cringe at the suffering, while we try to understand why people behave in such ways.  For in recent times, the killing started in the late 1800's in that area, and it still goes on.  I now include one article that gives at least some perspective. PF
You’ve read everything, heard everyone, endured every flaming comment on Facebook, bobbed to every talking head on TV and lent an ear to every opinion from Hussein Ibish to Howard Stern. So, what have you learned?
For me, it boils down to 10 truths:
1. This is a fight about extremism. This is not a fight between Jews and Muslims. It is not a fight between Arab and Jew. “Our borderlines no longer separate Jews from Arabs, but people who long to live in peace from those who feed, ideologically and emotionally, on continued violence,” Israeli novelist David Grossman wrote in The New York Times July 27
2. Israel does not have a blank check for killing civilians. The carnage not only feeds Hamas’ media machine, it also weakens, casualty by casualty, the strong moral basis for Israel’s struggle.  
3. If you are pro-Hamas, you are anti-Palestinian. Listen to the words of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, who defected from his father’s group due to its use of Palestinians as human shields. “Hamas is not seeking coexistence and compromise, Hamas is seeking conquest,” Yousef told CNN. “The destruction of the State of Israel is not Hamas’ final destination. Hamas’ final destination is building the Islamic caliphate, which means an Islamic state on the rubble of every other civilization.” Support for Hamas is support for continued Palestinian suffering. It is one thing to want Palestinian rights and self-rule: Israel acknowledged both when it withdrew from Gaza in 2005. But by maintaining an ongoing war of annihilation against Jews as soon as Israel withdrew, Hamas ensured the subjugation and blockade of Gaza. Shooting rockets to lift a blockade is like having sex to prevent pregnancy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on July 24. Photo by Siegfried Modola/Reuters
4. After the smoke clears, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to answer some tough questions. Why didn’t Netanyahu take advantage of a Hamas-PLO pact that severely curtailed Hamas influence? Did the Israeli security establishment use the kidnapping of three Jews, as the Forward’s J.J. Goldberg has asserted, as a pretext to upset Palestinian unity and scuttle any possibility of a negotiated solution?
“I ask the leaders of my own country: How could you have wasted the years since the last conflict without initiating dialogue?” wrote Grossman in the Times. “Why, for these past few years, has Israel avoided judicious negotiations with the moderate and more conversable sectors of the Palestinian people — an act that could also have served to pressure Hamas? Why have you ignored, for 12 years, the Arab League initiative that could have enlisted moderate Arab states with the power to impose, perhaps, a compromise on Hamas?” The fact that morality is on Israel’s side in this immediate conflict does not absolve its leaders and its supporters from taking correct action when the guns fall silent.
5. Going in now saved Palestinian lives. The discovery of a vast network of tunnels from Gaza into civilian areas of Israel proved just how critical the ground war was — and how lifesaving. Had Israel waited until a surprise, 9/11-style tunnel-based terror attack killed hundreds of Israelis, imagine the response. The Israel Defense Forces would have charged in full bore against an even better prepared Hamas. The death toll among Palestinian civilians and Israelis would have been far greater.
6. Israel may be losing support where it counts most: in the future. In the United States, younger Americans are far less likely to say Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip are justified. According to a Gallup poll last week, only 25 percent of Americans aged 18-29 support the Israeli position. American Jewish philanthropists need to ask what happened to the tens of millions of dollars they’ve spent to make Israel’s case.

Pro-Palestinian rally outside of the Israel Consulate offices in Los Angeles. Photo by Jeffrey Hensiek
7. Hypocrisy is the new normal. Blaming Israel for a disproportionate use of force? How many Iraqi civilians did America kill in the Iraq War? (At least 130,000.) How many American civilians did Iraqis kill? (245.) And where were all these protesters when Bashar Assad was slaughtering his own people? Twice as many Syrians were killed in war as Gazans last month. “If I were Assad right now,” wrote the Pakistani doctor Ali Rizvi on HuffPo, “I’d be thanking God I’m not Jewish.”
8. Israel, American and world Jewry is a community. The outpouring of support for Israeli soldiers, even among those who harbor doubts about the government’s policy, shows the deeper bonds of community — and destiny — that unite us.
9. Europe: Anti-Semitism is calling; it missed you. This war revealed the need for a serious set of government and NGO actions to deal with anti-Semitic forces in Europe, especially among Muslim communities.

Pro-Palestinian protesters burn an Israeli flag in Paris on July 19. Photo by Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
10. There are voices of moderation, reconciliation and peace, and we must strengthen them. Pay no attention to people who think their side is completely blameless and the other side is 100 percent at fault. Pay no attention to people who assert that the conflict between Arabs and Jews is eternal and inevitable. In 1967, who’d have thought Israel’s strongest allies against the hare-brained cease-fire schemes of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would be Egypt and the PLO? There are moderate voices in Israel, in Palestine and around the world. We must defeat the extremes, and strengthen, support and give hope to the shell-shocked middle.

Rob Eshman is publisher and editor-in-chief of TRIBE Media Corp./Jewish Journal. E-mail him at You can follow him on Twitter @foodaism.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A Nation Mourns

A Nation Mourns   July 1st 2014

Eyal Yifrach,19,  Gilad Shaar,16, and Naftali Fraenkel,16,  were laid to rest today.   These citizens of Israel had their whole lives ahead of them.   The lives of their families will forever be crippled by their kidnapping and murder.

The media must get, it that there is no equivalence between innocent students and terrorists, and no ethical journalist would draw any kind of parallel; too many do.

The situation for the kidnappings and murders comes from a culture where parents are proud, if their children murder their neighbours.   The Palestinian indoctrination is bold and overt in their school materials.   This culture abuses the minds of their children.

Failure of the media to report on this culture of hate is a failure to cover the most important force blocking coexistence and peace in the whole region.

Read the article by Bret Stephens (The Wall Street Journal)

Where are the Palestinian Mothers?
A culture that celebrates kidnapping is not fit for statehood.

In March 2004 a Palestinian teenager named Hussam Abdo was spotted by Israeli soldiers behaving suspiciously as he approached the Hawara checkpoint in the West Bank. Ordered at gunpoint to raise his sweater, the startled boy exposed a suicide vest loaded with nearly 20 pounds of explosives and metal scraps, constructed to maximize carnage. A video taken by a journalist at the checkpoint captured the scene as Abdo was given scissors to cut himself free of the vest, which had been strapped tight to his body in the expectation that it wouldn't have to come off. He's been in an Israeli prison ever since.

Abdo provided a portrait of a suicide bomber as a young man. He had an intellectual disability. He was bullied by classmates who called him "the ugly dwarf." He came from a comparatively well-off family. He had been lured into the bombing only the night before, with the promise of sex in the afterlife. His family was outraged that he had been recruited for martyrdom.

"I blame those who gave him the explosive belt," his mother, Tamam, told the Jerusalem Post, of which I was then the editor. "He's a small child who can't even look after himself."

Yet asked how she would have felt if her son had been a bit older, she added this: "If he was over 18, that would have been possible, and I might have even encouraged him to do it." In the West, most mothers would be relieved if their children merely refrained from getting a bad tattoo before turning 18.

I've often thought about Mrs. Abdo, and I'm thinking about her today on the news that the bodies of three Jewish teenagers, kidnapped on June 12, have been found near the city of Hebron "under a pile of rocks in an open field," as an Israeli military spokesman put it. Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, had their whole lives ahead of them. The lives of their families will forever be wounded, or crippled, by heartbreak.

What about their killers? The Israeli government has identified two prime suspects, Amer Abu Aysha, 33, and Marwan Qawasmeh, 29, both of them Hamas activists. They are entitled to a presumption of innocence. Less innocent was the view offered by Mr. Abu Aysha's mother.

"They're throwing the guilt on him by accusing him of kidnapping," she told Israel's Channel 10 news. "If he did the kidnapping, I'll be proud of him."

It's the same sentiment I heard expressed in 2005 in the Jabalya refugee camp near Gaza City by a woman named Umm Iyad. A week earlier, her son, Fadi Abu Qamar, had been killed in an attack on the Erez border crossing to Israel. She was dressed in mourning but her mood was joyful as she celebrated her son's "martyrdom operation." He was just 21.

Here's my question: What kind of society produces such mothers? Whence the women who cheer on their boys to blow themselves up or murder the children of their neighbors?

Well-intentioned Western liberals may prefer not to ask, because at least some of the conceivable answers may upset the comforting cliché that all human beings can relate on some level, whatever the cultural differences. Or they may accuse me of picking a few stray anecdotes and treating them as dispositive, as if I'm the only Western journalist to encounter the unsettling reality of a society sunk into a culture of hate. Or they can claim that I am ignoring the suffering of Palestinian women whose innocent children have died at Israeli hands.

But I'm not ignoring that suffering. To kill innocent people deliberately is odious, to kill them accidentally or "collaterally" is, at a minimum, tragic. I just have yet to meet the Israeli mother who wants to raise her boys to become kidnappers and murderers—and who isn't afraid of saying as much to visiting journalists.

Because everything that happens in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is bound to be the subject of political speculation and news analysis, it's easy to lose sight of the raw human dimension. So it is with the murder of the boys: How far will Israel go in its retaliation? What does it mean for the future of the Fatah-Hamas coalition? What about the peace process, such as it is?

These questions are a distraction from what ought to be the main point. Three boys went missing one night, and now we know they are gone. If nothing else, their families will have a sense of finality and a place to mourn. And Israelis will know they are a nation that leaves no stone unturned to find its missing children.

As for the Palestinians and their inveterate sympathizers in the West, perhaps they should note that a culture that too often openly celebrates martyrdom and murder is not fit for statehood, and that making excuses for that culture only makes it more unfit. Postwar Germany put itself through a process of moral rehabilitation that began with a recognition of what it had done. Palestinians who want a state should do the same, starting with the mothers.
Bret Stephens

Canada Day 2014

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on Canada Day

July 1, 2014   Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark Canada Day:

“One hundred and fifty years ago in Charlottetown and QuébecCity, our Fathers of Confederation first dreamed of a united Canada, prosperous, strong and free.

“As we mark the 147th anniversary of Confederation, we can proudly say that their great national dream has indeed come to fruition.

“Today, as we celebrate with family and loved ones, let’s remember what makes our Canada the best country in the world.

“It’s the moms and dads who pass on to their children Canadian values: working hard, doing what’s right, and determination to be our best.

“All Canadians cheered as we saw these values drive our athletes to victory at the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“These values are also represented by our men and women in uniform who keep our streets and loved ones safe, and by those proud members of the Canadian Armed Forces who vigorously defend our rare and precious way of life.

“The members of our military have always been willing to give their lives to protect our freedom, promote our values and pursue peace.

“This year they mark special milestones: the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Second, and the end of Canada’s military mission to Afghanistan, which we honoured across the country in May.

“Let their legacy in service of Canada inspire us to work harder than ever to continue to build our true North, strong and free.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada and from my family to yours, happy Canada Day everyone.”

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Ottawa terrorism

Terrorism, and its culture of ideas which breeds violence, is not somewhere else but here in Canada.

Noting Iran’s rising “anti-Canada rhetoric,” intelligence officials have been monitoring Iran as a terrorist threat to the Ottawa area.   The report from the Integrated Terrorist Assessment Centre, does not describe the specific threat Tehran poses to the Ottawa region.   In the past Iran has paid for Hezbollah make attacks internationally.

There was an Iran connection to last year’s plot to derail a Toronto-bound passenger train.   The conspiracy was directed by Al Qaeda figures operating out of Iran.

Foreign Minister John Baird continues to urge caution about Iran.   He said the Iranian political leadership had failed to fulfill promises of reform.   

Iran continues to terrorize its own population with Islamic-Nazism, with public hangings, kidnapping and extortion of families, unaccountable religious police, and denial basic freedoms such as religion, the media, or open political discourse.   The Iranian population are captives in the grip of an evil regime.   Since the Iranian leadership kills their own people, there is no restraining ideology not to continue to finance world-wide terrorism, and kill whenever it pleases them.  Canada is not immune from terrorism.

Previous attacks on Ottawa

There have been at least a dozen political attacks and plots in the Ottawa area in recent decades:

2011 Libyan Embassy: Seven young men were arrested after gaining access to the Libyan embassy in Ottawa and assaulting a diplomat.

2010 Royal Bank of Canada: An RBC branch in downtown Ottawa was the target of a firebomb attack by domestic extremists.

2010 Project Samosa: Three men were arrested in Ottawa for preparing to build IEDs for attacks in Ottawa and other Canadian cities.

2006 Toronto 18: Police arrested 18 individuals for plotting attacks at locations across Ontario, including Parliament Hill.

1991 Sudanese dignitary assaulted: Dr. Hassan Abdallah Al-Turabi was assaulted at Ottawa International Airport by a Sudanese refugee who was a martial arts expert.

1989 Bus hijacked on Parliament Hill: An armed man of Lebanese origin hijacked a Greyhound bus from Montreal to Ottawa citing political grievances.

1985, Canadians experienced the worst terrorist attack in our history when a bomb on Air India Flight 182 killed all 329 passengers and crew members aboard, most of them Canadian.

1985 Turkish Embassy: Armenian terrorists stormed the Turkish embassy, killing one Canadian guard.  The Turkish ambassador was seriously wounded when he tried to escape from an upstairs window.

1982 Turkish diplomat assassinated: Colonel Atilla Altikat was shot and killed in Ottawa while his car idled at a stoplight on the Western Parkway.

1982 Turkish Embassy: Armenian gunmen opened fire on Turkish commercial attaché Kani Gungor as he entered the garage of his apartment complex.  The victim was left paralyzed.

1977 Indian High Commission: The Indian High Commission (Embassy) in Ottawa was lightly damaged by a Molotov cocktail, by the Ananda Marga Yoga Society seeking the release of one of its leaders in India.

1972 Israeli diplomats: Six letter bombs sent to Israeli officials in Ottawa were intercepted and dismantled.

Canada cut off relations with Iran in September 2012, when Mr. Baird designated Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, closed its embassy in Ottawa and expelled its diplomats.   The measures were meant to pressure Iran over its poor human rights abuses, rogue nuclear program, support for terrorism, and backing of Syria President Bashar Al Assad.

Three months later, Canada outlawed the clandestine Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Canada has pushed for tighter sanctions against the Islamic republic.   Recently, the Ontario courts handed millions of dollars worth of Iranian government assets in Canada to victims of the Iran-sponsored terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Tehran’s anti-Canada rhetoric continues and is well-documented.   Through its propaganda channels, the Iranian regime threatened Canada with “swift retaliation” and labeled the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper “racist,” “radical,” “extremist,” etc.

In the meantime, we call on the international community to follow Canada’s principled example and unequivocally condemn Hamas’ recent kidnapping of innocent Israeli teenagers.   Hamas has had a long history of terrorist attacks targeting Israeli civilians.   This organization, which bases itself on its extreme Islamic ideology, takes great pride in celebrating its countless suicide bombings, rocket attacks and other acts of callous terror.   These attacks, which have resulted in the slaughter of thousands of victims are morally deplorable.

Today’s religious terrorists have no redeeming ideological belief system that is sane or understandable.


Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism

June 23, 2014 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism:

“On this day, we pause to remember those who have lost their lives due to acts of terrorism, both here in Canada and around the world.

“On June 23, 1985, Canadians experienced the worst terrorist attack in our history when a bomb on Air India Flight 182 killed all 329 passengers and crew members aboard, most of them Canadian.

“On this somber anniversary, we stand in solidarity with all families who have been affected by terrorist acts and honour the memory of those targeted by these hateful crimes.

“Our Government has taken action to fight terrorism in all of its forms, from our actions in Afghanistan to efforts here at home. Recent domestic initiatives include the adoption of Canada’s Counter-terrorism Strategy, the listing of several new terrorist entities under the Criminal Code, the 2013 Royal Assent of the Nuclear Terrorism Act and the Combating Terrorism Act, and the 2011 Kanishka Project – a five-year national initiative to improve our ability to counter terrorism and keep Canadians safe – all of which will help law enforcement and intelligence agencies to disrupt plans and preparations for terrorist attacks and investigate past acts of terrorism. Of particular importance is the passing of the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act in 2012, which allows victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators and supporters of terrorism.

“Global terrorist activity in recent weeks has reminded us of the threat posed by terrorism and the pain and suffering it brings to victims. The numerous memorials and days of remembrance around the world bring us together to honour innocent lives that have been lost to terrorism, as well as provide us with the opportunity to reflect on the need for continued vigilance against the perpetrators of these heinous acts.

Canada will not allow terrorism to undermine our way of life or that of others around the world. Canadians reject the use of terrorist violence, no matter where it takes place. Our defense of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law will keep us strong. Our continued vigilance will keep us safe.”

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Honourable Greg Rickford - Northern Gateway

The front page headline in the Newspaper just said in bold letters “APPROVED”  Protesters blocked Georgia St for a few minutes.   Some speakers made irresponsible statements on a platform repeated on TV, that a war is now on, as they advocated acts of terrorist behaviours against workers who do any kind of prep work on the ground.   The Media hyped for all it worth, as they yelled “where are the MPs ?”.   

But what actually happened that is not reported ?    The Minister merely issued a Press Release as part of a long process.   Others are trying to make it into something that it is not.   Lets look at what was actually was done, rather than the hype, and then lets all calm down.   As an extra, the Province of BC has its own approval process including its five hurdles announcement.   The Pipeline has not been finally approved, as there is just another step in a process.

Ottawa June 17, 2014
Natural Resources Canada

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today issued the following statement outlining the Government of Canada’s decision after the Joint Review Panel’s independent review of the Northern Gateway Pipelines proposal to construct and operate two parallel pipelines to transport crude oil between Bruderheim, Alberta and Kitimat, British Columbia, and a marine terminal at the port of Kitimat.   The proposal was submitted by Northern Gateway Pipelines Limited Partnership to the National Energy Board (NEB) for an environmental assessment and regulatory examination in 2010.   This constituted the beginning of the regulatory process.

The Joint Review Panel for the Northern Gateway Project was an independent body established by the Minister of the Environment and the National Energy Board to review the project.   The Panel’s rigorous science-based review included feedback from over 1,450 participants in 21 different communities, reviewing over 175,000 pages of evidence and receiving 9,000 letters of comment.   The NEB is responsible for regulating some 73,000 kilometres of pipelines transporting crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products across Canada.

“In December 2013, the Joint Review Panel found that construction and operation of the Northern Gateway Pipelines project is in the public interest, subject to 209 conditions being met by the proponent.   After carefully reviewing the report, the Government accepts the independent Panel’s recommendation to impose 209 conditions on Northern Gateway Pipelines’ proposal.

“Today constitutes another step in the process.   Moving forward, the proponent must demonstrate to the independent regulator, the NEB, how it will meet the 209 conditions.   It will also have to apply for regulatory permits and authorizations from federal and provincial governments.   In addition, consultations with Aboriginal communities are required under many of the 209 conditions that have been established and as part of the process for regulatory authorizations and permits.   The proponent clearly has more work to do in order to fulfill the public commitment it has made to engage with Aboriginal groups and local communities along the route.”

The National Energy Board will now issue Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Nation Building

Every once in awhile there is a speech that goes beyond daily politics, and must be remembered long after Parliaments have moved on to new issues, and leaders have been replaced.   Such was the occasion and speech by our Prime Minister on May 30, 2014.  

Read the full text, then copy it and pass it onto school children and the younger generation who may not be aware of Canada’s heritage which forms who we are today.    
I recommend this speech !  PF
Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada in Toronto

May 30, 2014 Toronto, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today delivered the following remarks at the Tribute to Liberty Dinner in Toronto:

“Distinguished guests, colleagues from the Parliament of Canada, ladies and gentlemen.

“We know the reason why we’re gathered together this evening, but let me briefly share with you the how.

“In 2008, Tribute to Liberty approached our Government with an idea and a question.

“First, the idea: to help construct a monument in our Nation’s Capital that would honour for all time the hundreds of millions of men, women and children who have struggled and continue to struggle against the tyranny of communism, those who lived and those who, tragically, did not.

“And second: would our Government work with them in carrying out this vision.

“Now you already know our answer.

“In 2010 in the Speech from the Throne, our Government made known our strong and clear support for Tribute to Liberty’s vision of a memorial to those who have suffered under communism.

“Let me take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to Tribute to Liberty, in particular, to you, Board Chair Klimkowski, to current Treasurer, past Chair Forstmanis, to the entire board, to all of the donors.

“The goal you have been working towards is important to Canadians, past and present, but it is especially so for future generations.

“For they must be forever reminded – forever – that the freedom and peace they stand to inherit was earned through struggle and sacrifice, and must always be cherished as a precious and unique thing.

“There are others who also deserve – some of my colleagues I know who also deserve – special thanks: Jason Kenney and the members of his team who have been invested in this project from the very beginning, John Baird, Shelly Glover, Senator Linda Frum, certainly Senator Yonah Kim-Martin, Senator Ngo, and of course my thanks to each and every one of you, because I know each and every one here has been a supporter.

“Thank you for your generous and ongoing support.

“And give all the organizers a very big hand for what they’ve done.

“Now friends, our work is nearly done.

“In fact, the Jury will be selecting the winning monument design team in a matter of months.

“And so, as they – as you – carry out this noble task, know that you have the admiration and appreciation of Canadians.

“For you mark a chapter in human history that is truly harrowing.

“During the 20th century, communism’s poisonous ideology and ruthless practice slowly bled into countries all around the world, on almost every continent.

“The result was nothing short of catastrophic.

“More than one hundred million souls were lost, an almost incomprehensible number.

“We must never forget that these are not numbers, they are not statistics.

“They were mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbours.

“Their futures, their potential, their hopes and dreams, were stolen from them.

“Our hearts break for those who suffered and we mourn for those who were crushed.

“In Canada, we feel this pain so acutely because nearly one quarter of all Canadians were either held captive by communism’s chains or are the sons and daughters of those who were.

“Indeed, throughout the 20th century, Canada became a haven for those fleeing communist governments, as Robert described to us, and a new home to those who wanted to live in freedom.

“And so, over nearly 100 years they came – your grandparents, mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters – you came, from Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Cambodia, the former Czechoslovakia, the former Yugoslavia, the former East Germany – I could go on – Vietnam, China, North Korea, Cuba, Albania and others.

“And when these freedom-seekers arrived, many having risked their lives to get here, instead of communism’s oppression, they found Canadian safety.

“Instead of communism’s restrictions, they found Canadian freedom.

“Instead of communism’s grim determinism, they found Canadian opportunity.

“Instead of communism’s fear, they found Canadian hope.

“Safety, freedom, opportunity, hope.

“That was Canada.

“And that is still our Canada today.

“Now since arriving here – once again I love the story Robert told us – but since arriving here these men and women worked hard.

“They raised strong families.

“They’ve upheld and promoted Canadian values.

“And through their innumerable contributions from coast to coast to coast, they have helped make Canada a better country.

“And friends, just as Canada combated communism at home by serving as a safe-haven for hundreds of thousands of immigrants and refugees, abroad, we vigorously defended freedom wherever it was threatened.

“Canadians know that the dangers and difficulties of the world do not go away simply by closing our eyes to them.

“And so with open eyes and a desire to do what is right and good, Canadians have led.

“During the Cold war, Canada was there on the frontier between East and West Germany.

“During those challenging years of one of my predecessors, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, stood shoulder to shoulder with the giants, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, President Ronald Reagan, and Pope, now Saint John Paul II, until the Cold War was successfully and decisively concluded.

“We threw our support and strength behind the people of the Baltic republics for 50 years, refusing to recognize their illegal annexation by the Soviet Union until they were finally liberated, as were the other captive nations of Eastern and Central Europe.

“Canada was a refuge for tens of thousands of Chinese fleeing the horrors of the Cultural Revolution.

“We welcomed more than sixty thousand Vietnamese refugees - the boat people - after the Fall of Saigon, as already been said including our first member of the Upper House of Vietnamese decent, Senator Ngo.

“We spoke out in those days against anti-Semitism in the Communist world, against the expulsion of Jewish citizens and against the horrific mass deportation of Crimean Tatars, the 70th anniversary of which we mark with sorrow, and with reminders unfortunately, this very month.

“Canada offered shelter to the Czech writer, Josef Skvorecky, and of course, to the Soviet defector Igor Gouzenko, who gave the west one of the very first warnings of the dangers to come in the Cold War, and who actually lived just a few blocks south of Parliament Hill.

“Canada was there in 1991 as the first western country to recognize a newly independent Ukraine and friends, Canada is still there for the people of Ukraine.

“In fact, there is no western country that has been closer and had closer ties to Ukraine than Canada, and you must know that we are all fiercely proud of that.

“Since the late 19thCentury, we received with open arms hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian settlers.

“We called the Holodomor what it was, a mass genocide by starvation.

“And in 2008, at the initiative of my colleague James Bezan who’s here tonight, we passed an Act of Parliament declaring the fourth Saturday of November to be Holodomor Memorial Day in this country.

“Now ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to return to Ukraine in just a moment, because the current situation there has serious and far-reaching implications for peoples everywhere.

“But before I do, let me explain why it is that Canadians vigorously promote freedom, why so many Canadians have been willing to give their lives defending it.

“It’s simple, really.

“Freedom, for everyone, is at the heart of what it means to be Canadian.

“Canadians have a long history of guarding our freedoms at home.

“And we have an equally proud history of defending freedom abroad.

“Another one of my predecessors, Prime Minister St. Laurent, who served in the early post-war years, put it well when he said, and I quote: ‘The vigour and liberty of our national way of life are the foundations for playing our role in the Cold War.’

“A statement, I would add, that applies equally to virtually all of Canada’s historic military engagements abroad.

“Now I must pause here, however, with immense regret to note that Canada has not always lived up to these high aspirations.

“There have been times when we’ve fallen short, heeded the calls of those who preferred to see Canada sidelined, to see Canada serve as a neutral bystander instead of a principled actor.

“Those who preached moral-equivalency and who said that Canada should learn to accept totalitarian communism as just another option.

“They were the people who showed blindness to the unparalleled crimes of Maoism in China.

“Indifference in the face of the communist coup against Poland’s Solidarity in 1981 and who pushed the so-called Peace Initiative of 1984, not long before the Warsaw Pact collapsed.

“Friends, our Government has learned from the past and we have used these Canadian examples and experiences – both proud and shameful – to guide our present actions and shape our foreign policies.

“Today, our foreign policies are informed by our highest values.

“Canada defends and promotes the basic freedoms that are crucial to maintaining human society and we oppose those everywhere who threaten those values.

“Under our Government, Canada has cut support for terrorist-led governments.

“We’ve condemned human rights abuses.

“And, ladies and gentlemen, Canada proudly, resolutely, unequivocally stands with the people of Ukraine.

“Now I just want to add something: I was told a couple of weeks ago that Mr. Putin made some comments.

“He said he didn’t understand why Harper and Canada cared so much about Ukraine; it’s a long way away, he says.

“The fact that he doesn’t get it tells you there’s a problem.

“Freedom, democracy, justice: that’s what it’s all about for the people of Ukraine.

“A couple of months ago I travelled to Ukraine as some of you know, the first G-7 leader to do so.

“During my visit I had the pleasure of meeting with Prime Minister Yatsenyuk.

“And when we met I shared with him – as I continue to share with my counterparts in the G-7 and beyond – that what is happening today to the millions in Ukraine is both a wake-up call and a call to action.

“Over the last several months, indeed years, the world has watched as President Putin has grown more comfortable with confrontation.

“His boldness has increased since Russian troops first made an open grab for power in Crimea.

“The impact of the Putin regime’s expansionism and militarism extends beyond Ukraine.

“It threatens the security of our Eastern European allies and, by extension, the stability and security of the world.

“Now friends, I cannot predict what these next few months or years hold for Ukraine, for Europe, or for Canada.

“But I do know this: Canadians have always supported freedom and democracy for all people and we will not hold back that support now from the people of Ukraine.

“Canada will do what we have always tried to do, the right thing.

“Now let me just close with this.

“Pope, now Saint, John Paul II referred to the 20thCentury as the century of tears.

“And, for countless tens of millions of people, he was right.

“In the course of that century, its great evils – militarism, fascism and communism – snuffed out the lights and the lives of freedom, democracy and justice.

“But just as stars shine more brightly as darkness claims the sky at night, so I believe Canada, the North Star, stood out as these shadows fell across the globe.

“Now those of us who have lived long enough will know that evil comes in many forms and seems to reinvent itself time and again.

“But whatever it calls itself - Nazism, Marxist-Leninism, today, terrorism - they all have one thing in common: the destruction, the end, of human liberty.

“My fear is this: as we move further into the 21st century, Canadians, especially new generations, will forget or will not be taught the lessons hard learned and the victories hard earned over the last 100 years.

“That they will fall even further in love with ease and convenience.

“And that they will not understand that their rights and their advantages, their peace and their security, were won by people willing to live and die for what is good and right.

“That they will not appreciate how precious and rare our way of life here in Canada today truly is.

“And that they will not recognize these grave threats when they re-appear.

“What history has taught us is one clear thing: that the political ideologies that promise utopia lead to the opposite, hell on earth.

“That’s why Canada needs this monument, and why we are so grateful to the work of Tribute of Liberty that reminds us of the names and the stories of those lost to one of the deadliest ideological plagues ever spread, to communism.

“This monument is part of marking our path as a nation, and, thus, helping to ensure that we do not lose our way.

“Thank you very much.”