After New Zealand mosque shootings and civil rights backlash, Facebook bans white nationalism, separatism

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook is banning explicit praise, support or representation of white nationalism and white separatism on Facebook and Instagram, including phrases such as “I am a proud white nationalist,” following deadly attacks at two New Zealand mosques and a backlash from black history scholars and civil rights groups.

“Over the past three months, our conversations with members of civil society and academics who are experts in race relations around the world have confirmed that white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups,” Facebook said in a blog post Wednesday.

Users searching for white nationalism and separatism will be directed to resources that help people leave hate groups starting next week, the company said.

Explicit expressions of support for white supremacy are not permitted on Facebook. The decision to extend that ban to white nationalism and separatism addresses one of Facebook’s most controversial content moderation policies that control the speech of more than 2 billion users around the globe.

The social media company had previously defended the practice, saying it consulted researchers and academic experts in crafting a policy drawing a line between white supremacy and the belief that races should be separated. In training documents obtained by Vice’s Motherboard last year, Facebook said white nationalism “doesn’t seem to be always associated with racism (at least not explicitly).”

That position provoked a strong reaction from civil rights groups.

“By attempting to distinguish white supremacy from white nationalism and white separatism, Facebook ignores centuries of history, legal precedent, and expert scholarship that all establish that white nationalism and white separatism are white supremacy,” the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law wrote Facebook in September.

Facebook’s policy reversal marks a major step toward reckoning with the vast amount of white nationalist content that continues to fester on social media services.

With a growing number of populist movements gaining hold around the globe, technology companies have been reluctant to ban white nationalist content, wary of charges of censorship.

White nationalism hurtled back into the spotlight after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people. In a 74-page manifesto, he described himself as an “ordinary white man” whose goal was to “crush immigration and deport those invaders already living on our soil” and “ensure the existence of our people, and a future for white children.” He livestreamed the attack on Facebook.

“This is something that has been in the works for some time, but following the horrific attacks in New Zealand is more important than ever,” Facebook said in a statement.

Implicit or coded expressions of white nationalism and white separatism will not be banned right away as those are harder to detect, Facebook told Motherboard.

Rashad Robinson, president of the civil rights group Color of Change, called on other tech companies “to act urgently to stem the growth of white nationalist ideologies, which find space on platforms to spread the violent ideas and rhetoric that inspired the tragic attacks witnessed in Charlottesville, Pittsburgh and now Christchurch.”

The House Judiciary Committee plans to hold a hearing in early April on the rise of white nationalism. Researchers say that rise in attacks by white supremacists and anti-government extremists is being fueled by growing political polarization, anti-immigrant sentiment and the ease with which proponents can spread their beliefs over the internet.

A 2016 study from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism in D.C. found that white nationalists had seen their followers grow by more than 600 percent since 2012, outperforming the Islamic State in nearly every metric, from follower counts to tweets per day.

More: New Zealand mosque shootings: Are social media companies unwitting accomplices?

More: California mosque arson suspect left graffiti about New Zealand attack, police say

More: New Zealand debates free speech after ban of accused mosque shooter’s manifesto

In a tense political climate, hate speech – how to define it and how to root it out – has become a priority for Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube. Facebook has taken steps to curb hate speech on its platforms using a combination of computer algorithms and thousands of moderators trained to scrub posts that violate the company’s rules.

After a 2017 white supremacist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, Facebook wrestled with how to police white supremacy on its platform, according to the documents leaked to Motherboard. Facebook stopped short of a policy prohibiting white nationalist or separatist content after expressing concern that such a ban would extend to black separatist groups, the Zionist movement and the Basque separatist movement.

After an outcry from civil rights groups, Facebook told Motherboard in September it was reviewing its policy on white nationalism and separatism.

Facebook said Wednesday it had considered “broader concepts of nationalism and separatism – things like American pride and Basque separatism, which are an important part of people’s identity.”

Content relating to separatist and nationalist movements such as the Basque separatist movement in France and Spain will still be allowed on Facebook.

“Going forward, while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and separatism,” the company said.

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said Facebook’s new policy is a “step forward in the fight against white supremacist movements,” But, she said, much work remains to be done.

“Putting in place the correct policy is a start, but Facebook also needs to enforce those policies consistently, provide meaningful transparency around any AI techniques used to address this problem, and adequately retrain its personnel. Without proper implementation, policies will prove to be just empty words, and white supremacy will continue to proliferate across its platform,” she said.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/03/27/facebook-and-instagram-ban-white-nationalism-separatism/3285419002/

The West in Existential Crisis- The Mark Steyn Show with Douglas Murray

Vivian Bercovici: Critics of Trump’s Golan Heights order need to brush up on facts

Arwen~ Facts matter. 

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

-Daniel Patrick Moynahan

For years, the West paid virtually no attention to this very real threat on Israel’s borders. Israel was never the aggressor

Israeli PM welcomes Trumps Golan Heights decision…1:20

June 5, 1967: Following two decades of Arab rejection of the newly established state of Israel, war erupts, again.

In a pre-emptive strike, Israel virtually destroys the entire Egyptian air force fleet, grounding it. This is in response to hardline Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, at the time the undisputed leader of the Arab world, and his increasingly violent rhetoric pledging to destroy the Jewish state, backed up by military manoeuvres and buildups on the ground, and threats to cut off Israel’s maritime access to the Gulf of Aqaba, and the world.

The following day, Syria and Jordan attack Israel on the eastern and northern fronts. Both borders, particularly the short one with Syria, had bristled with tension from serial terrorist raids attacking Israeli civilians.

There was absolutely no question that Syria had attacked Israel

By any rational test, there was absolutely no question that Syria had attacked Israel. None. Unfortunately for Syria, within five days of its initial attack, the IDF not only repelled its forces but also captured the Golan Heights, an elevated plateau.

The area has little, if any, religious significance for anyone, was and remains sparsely populated (in ’73 by approximately 20,000 Syrian Druze), and Palestinians have never lived there, nor do they claim it as ancestral territory.

It also happens to be an enormously important strategic asset, from which Syrian soldiers used to shoot regularly at Israeli civilians in villages and farms below. More recently, the Golan Heights has abutted the scene of heavy fighting between the Syrian army, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which opposes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad), and ISIL.

Syrians protest on March 26, 2019, in the northern city of Aleppo, against the United States’ decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. George Ourfalian/AFP/Getty Images

Several years ago, when fighting raged along the Israeli-Syrian border, I had occasion to visit the area. One of my colleagues pointed to a rather unremarkable hill, approximately 500 metres from where we stood. It was a wind-scrubbed, sun-baked, desolate little bump, by Canadian standards. No village. Nothing.

A battle had been ongoing for weeks between FSA forces and ISIL, the latter having captured the hill and immediately planted their black flag at the top. Unknown numbers of fighters on both sides died in these battles.

As I looked through a super-powerful set of binoculars at the flag, within 60 seconds, the bare hilltop suddenly swarmed with more than 20 ISIL fighters. Many of them had binoculars, and were watching me watch them. We lay in the dirt, flak jackets and helmets on, and waited. One of the more seasoned members of our group warned that when ISIL feels “watched,” they fire. Fortunately, they did not on that day.

We lay in the dirt, flak jackets and helmets on, and waited

The West paid virtually no attention to this very real threat on Israel’s borders. Yet, the international media and political communities, having transformed into overnight military and legal experts, are now slamming Israel regarding the Golan Heights, for what they deem an affront to international law.

Perhaps they are a little rusty on the historical facts.

Six years after the 1967 war, Egypt and Syria launched a full-out military offensive (Jordan, wisely, chose to sit this round out). It also happened to be Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, when everything in the country shuts down.

A photo taken from the Syrian town Ain al-Tineh shows the Druze town of Majdal Shams in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on March 26, 2019. Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images

The surprise attack put Israel in an existential situation for the first few days of the war. Of course, the Arab intention was to recapture territory lost in the 1967 war and, while they were at it, destroy the rest of Israel and repatriate the Palestinians.

Again, the IDF prevailed, maintaining control over the Sinai desert and the Golan Heights. In both wars, the Arab countries were very much the aggressors, bellicosely so — a critical point when it comes to considering international law.

Because international law, as understood since the Second World War in particular, denounces the situation where the aggressor occupies land in an armed conflict. There seems to be consensus that such situations violate our collective sense of decency and fairness. So, for example, the Iraqi attack on Kuwait was roundly abhorred by the international community. As was the Russian aggression vis-a-vis Crimea.

A portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stands near a sculpture in the Syrian town of Qunaitra, in the Golan Heights, on March 26, 2019. The writing in Arabic reads: “The Golan is ours.” Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images

These situations have been raised recently as being somehow corollary to the Golan. Which they are not. The truth is that international law is focused on the more usual paradigm, where the aggressor keeps the land. Israel is a singular case and the facts challenge the rather brittle thinking and “logic” that the international community is determined to apply in this context.

Had Crimea attacked Russia and lost territory, that would be analogous to the Israel-Syria-Golan situation. Had Kuwait attacked Iraq and lost territory, that would be analogous to the Golan situation.

Israel did not attack Syria. Indisputable historical fact.

Israel did not attack Syria. Indisputable historical fact

Often invoked to discredit Israeli claims to the Golan, United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, addressing the ceasefires of 1967 and 1973, respectively, do nothing of the sort.

As a matter of fact and law, neither resolution precludes the actions taken earlier this week by the United States and Israel. People can hate and vilify U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu all they want. This isn’t personal. It’s factual.

On Monday, during a ceremony at the White House, President Trump signed an Order proclaiming U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights as being part of Israeli sovereign territory, and specifying: “Any possible future peace agreement in the region must account for Israel’s need to protect itself from Syria and other regional threats.”

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a signed Proclamation on the Golan Heights while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, centre, applauds at the White House on March 25, 2019. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed the profound appreciation of a nation, noting that Israel won the Golan Heights in just wars of self-defence.

“Your proclamation comes at a time when the Golan is more important than ever for our security,” he said, addressing Trump, “when Iran is trying to establish bases in Syria to strike at Israel. From across the border in Syria, Iran has launched drones into our airspace, missiles into our territory.”

There should not be a different standard of compliance with international law for Israel. Based on the reactions of many states to the American recognition Monday, including Canada’s, there is.

— Vivian Bercovici is Canada’s former ambassador to Israel. She lives in Tel Aviv.

 

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/vivian-bercovici-critics-of-trumps-golan-heights-order-need-to-brush-up-on-facts?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR2neeVZetIb6AJlmuloRdtR9JEnvLgJxlazMzXha79yZsr_lSxvzUPg-Uo#Echobox=1553682983

Think for yourself

The “media” determines who is guilty before all the facts are in while whitewashing or ignoring other cases with the same human tragedy , if not worse. It is vile and disgusting how media’s 24/7 filling  of  airspace by opinion and not fact, creates a frenzy, (as it is intended to do) and always those in the wings waiting to capitalize on it.

Sheeple, people can be.. 

Think for yourself, don’t rush to judgement before all the facts are in. Know what you stand on and for..and why you do.   

Search out the truth for yourself…it is worth the effort to find. 

Martel speaks again

Just a musing which may have some weight: if the self proclaimed social justice warriors and progressives are so certain of their arguments why are they incapable of listening to an opposing point of view?

Of course in the current climate, such a musing would cost a university professor his or her job for having “triggered” the student body.

The Left Ruins Everything

From the Boy Scouts to literature, from the arts to universities: the left ruins everything it touches. Dennis Prager explains.

https://www.prageru.com/video/the-left-ruins-everything/?fbclid=IwAR05C4J3SBcYalRNWMtLE-uFMTLjVI2NCtX7BnImO6iu3cihGPRfBYwsXEc

Liberal-dominated ethics committee shuts down opposition attempt for new SNC-Lavalin inquiry

Arwen~

This should have been an RCMP investigation all along…still should be. Liberals are entrusted to investigate Liberals…seriously? If we as Canadians, accept the very “liberal” appearance of corruption in our gov’t as the norm , and their outright smear and character assassination of credible people , then we have set the bar as low as it can go.  

Set a much higher standard Canada.

Trudeau must be kicked to the curb, Oct 21/19.

The Liberal-dominated House of Commons ethics committee shut down an attempt by opposition parties on Tuesday to launch a new inquiry into the SNC-Lavalin affair and allow former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould another opportunity to testify about the fallout from the controversy.

Conservative and New Democrat MPs said the Trudeau government tried to silence Ms. Wilson-Raybould when the Liberals on the House of Commons justice committee closed down its inquiry into high-level political interference in the criminal prosecution of the Montreal engineering and construction giant.

But Liberal MPs on the ethics committee used their majority to defeat the bid, putting an end to any further parliamentary inquiry into attempts by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other top officials to shelve the fraud and bribery prosecution of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

At the ethics committee on Tuesday, the opposition wanted to call Ms. Wilson-Raybould, and former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott, who complained last week about “an attempt to shut down the story.”

Ms. Wilson-Raybould told the justice committee she faced “constant and sustained” pressure from the Prime Minister and other top aides to override federal prosecutors and grant a deferred prosecution agreement for SNC-Lavalin.

The motion for a new inquiry – from Conservative MP Peter Kent – would also have asked the Prime Minister to waive cabinet confidentiality and solicitor-client privilege for the period after Ms. Wilson-Raybould was demoted to veterans affairs minister in early January to her resignation from cabinet in mid-February.

“Canadians deserve to know the whole truth,” Mr. Kent said. “There remains many unanswered questions about the former attorney-general’s resignation from cabinet, the presentation she gave to cabinet after her resignation and the discussions she had after being replaced as attorney-general.”

NDP MP Tracey Ramsey supported the Conservatives’ call for an ethics inquiry, and accused the Liberals of “trying to silence” Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Philpott.

“At the heart of this is extensive lobbying from SNC to influence the Prime Minister … to intervene and go to the former attorney-general to pressure her to change her mind,” she said.

The opposition parties had counted on Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who had supported a call for a public inquiry into the matter, to vote for the ethics committee to mount its own investigation.

However, Mr. Erskine-Smith said MPs should wait to see what further evidence Ms. Wilson-Raybould provides to the justice committee later this week. He also noted that Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is investigating.

“The justice committee has been very clear. The study is done,” said Ms. Ramsey, who is vice-chair of the justice committee. “There have been multiple attempts to bring it back to the justice committee, but it has been downed by [Liberal] members of the justice committee.”

Ms. Wilson-Raybould plans to submit additional “relevant facts and evidence” to the justice committee this week that she says will back up her previous testimony about attempts by Mr. Trudeau and top aides to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial.

She indicated she has documented evidence that will support her version of what happened between September and December, 2018, when she was attorney-general and justice minister.

“A request was made for ‘copies of text messages and e-mails’ that I referred to in my testimony on Feb. 27, 2019 … I will provide copies,” she wrote to the committee last week. “Related to these requests, I also have relevant facts and evidence in my possession that further clarify statements I made and elucidate the accuracy and nature of statements by witnesses in testimony that came after my committee appearance.”

The Prime Minister told reporters on Monday that another waiver of cabinet confidentiality and solicitor-client privilege for Ms. Wilson-Raybould is not necessary, saying the justice committee had a “full airing” of the matter.

The issue has dominated Parliament since The Globe and Mail reported on Feb. 7 that the Prime Minister’s Office pressed the former attorney-general to negotiate a settlement with SNC-Lavalin.

In the fallout from The Globe report, Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Philpott resigned from cabinet, and Gerald Butts stepped down as Mr. Trudeau’s principal secretary. On March 18, Michael Wernick retired as clerk of the Privy Council, saying he had lost the “trust and respect” of the opposition parties over his role in the SNC-Lavalin case.

One option that remains open to Ms. Wilson-Raybould is to raise a question of personal privilege to ask the House of Commons Speaker to allow her to speak. However, the Speaker could limit the time to 20 minutes.

“We know that those are not practical suggestions given the time limitation generally imposed by the Speaker. The ethics committee would have been a safe and a civil place for her to speak,” Mr. Kent said.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-liberal-dominated-ethics-committee-shuts-down-opposition-attempt-for/?fbclid=IwAR1Imz4BWR3d77J8VI6Ybjua76hv-VDeTITgjbkCv-6z63MFsW7KG9EXvl4

To prevent another Christchurch, Islam must confront the attacks in its name that have radicalised the West

Arwen~ A must read.

 

A view of the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch
How can we prevent another atrocity like the one in Christchurch? CREDIT:  REUTERS

 

How can we – Muslims and non-Muslims together – prevent another atrocity like the one in Christchurch? As I have watched New Zealanders of all faiths mourn, this has been the question on my mind. So far, few of the answers offered have come close to the truth.

What the massacre revealed was the need for a clear understanding of the weaponisation of ethnic, religious and political identities that is going on throughout the world. This was Brenton Tarrant’s evil aim: to contribute to a polarisation of the West – and to a parallel phenomenon in the Muslim world. His actions, which eerily resemble those of Isil and other Islamist terror groups, were calculated to intensify the hostility and suspicion that already exist towards Muslims in the West. They were also designed to elicit a response from Islamists and so encourage a cycle of retaliatory violence.

We must not let him, or anyone else, succeed. Solidarity across racial, religious, cultural and political lines to address this global crisis is the only answer. But this means resolutely acknowledging the causal factors of the violence that we are seeing in so many parts of the world. As a Muslim, this leads me to questions that require difficult but honest answers.

Why, for example, did the attacker emblazon a weapon with the name of Charles Martel, who defeated a Muslim army in Poitiers, France, in 732AD? It is obvious from his manifesto that he is an unabashed white supremacist. Yet the many historical references it contains are also evidence of a fixation upon nearly 1400 years of armed conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims, and an acute awareness of moments when the tide of Muslim conquest, which repeatedly threatened to inundate Europe, was turned back. From there, the attacker’s fixation turned to more recent events: repeated Islamist terror attacks in Europe. For instance, he specifically referenced the death of Ebba Akerlund, an 11-year-old Swedish girl who was killed in an Islamist terror attack in 2017.

As much as it may be uncomfortable for many, this deserves more focus. The targeting of Muslims at prayer in Christchurch comes after nearly two decades during which Islamist atrocities have been a pervasive feature of news bulletins around the world. The massacre in New Zealand would likely be inconceivable if divorced from this wider context in which Islam has become synonymous with terror in the minds of many non-Muslims.

Sadly, from an Islamist perspective, the Christchurch atrocity is simply part of an ancient cycle of violence. Of course, most Europeans do not view themselves as being “at war” with Islam. But to a significant percentage of Muslims, this is simply because Westerners have been enjoying the peace of the victor, which Islamists seek to challenge. This is why Christchurch is such a dangerous moment.

Ending the cycle of violence requires addressing not only the ideology and motivations of someone like Tarrant, but also the historical framework he shares with many Muslims. That is, that Muslims and non-Muslims are and shall remain in a state of permanent conflict, until the end of time (according to Islamists) or the disappearance of Islam (according to advocates of a “counter-jihad”).

Among Muslims and non-Muslims, there is an urgent need to address those obsolete and problematic elements of Islamic orthodoxy that underlie the Islamist worldview, fuelling violence on both sides. The world’s largest Muslim organisation, Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama, of which I am General Secretary, has begun to do exactly that.

The truth, we recognise, is that jihadist doctrine, goals and strategy can be traced to specific tenets of orthodox, authoritative Islam and its historic practice. This includes those portions of Shariah that promote Islamic supremacy, encourage enmity towards non-Muslims and require the establishment of a caliphate. It is these elements – still taught by most Sunni and Shiite institutions – that constitute a summons to perpetual conflict.

It is our firm view that, if Muslims do not address the key tenets of Islamic tradition that encourage this violence, anyone – at any time – can harness them to defy what they claim to be illegitimate laws and butcher their fellow citizens, whether they live in the Islamic world or the West. This is what links so many current events, from Syria to the streets of London.

There is a desperate need for honest discussion of these matters. This is why it worries me to see Western political and intellectual elites weaponise the term “Islamophobia,” to short-circuit analysis of a complex phenomenon that threatens all humanity. For example, it is factually incorrect and counter-productive to define Islamophobia as “rooted in racism,” as proposed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims. In reality, it is the spread of Islamist extremism and terror that primarily contributes to the rise of Islamophobia throughout the non-Muslim world.

That is why it is vital to challenge the prevailing “Muslim mindset,” which is predicated upon enmity and suspicion towards non-Muslims, and often rationalises perpetrating violence in the name of Islam. Otherwise, non-Muslims will continue to be radicalised by Islamist attacks and by large-scale Muslim migration to the West.

We appeal to people on both sides of the political divide in the West, of all faiths and none, to renounce the practice of weaponising Islam for partisan advantage, and join us in the desperate struggle to reform obsolete and problematic tenets of Islamic orthodoxy, rather than bequeath a tragic legacy of hatred and violence to future generations.

Yahya Cholil Staquf is General Secretary of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organisation

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/24/prevent-another-christchurch-islam-must-confront-attacks-name/

Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court, CP sources say

Arwen~   Super impressed by JWR’s non partisan pick and this judge’s position. “..had been a vocal critic of its activism on Charter of Rights issues”

The most fallible Charter of Rights and Freedoms,  instituted into our Constitution by Pierre Elliot Trudeau,  has been an unmitigated  disaster to our nation.

Jody Wilson-Raybould recommended in 2017 that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominate a conservative Manitoba judge to be chief justice of the Supreme Court, even though he wasn’t a sitting member of the top court and had been a vocal critic of its activism on Charter of Rights issues, The Canadian Press has learned.

Well-placed sources say the former justice minister’s choice for chief justice was a moment of “significant disagreement” with Trudeau, who has touted the Liberals as “the party of the charter” and whose late father, Pierre Trudeau, spearheaded the drive to enshrine the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Constitution in 1982.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal discussions about a Supreme Court appointment, which are typically considered highly confidential.

For her part, Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself.”

In an email, she characterized the matter as part of the normal process of appointing a Supreme Court justice, which involves “typically CONFIDENTIAL conversations and communications — back and forths between the PM and the AG (attorney general) on potential candidates for appointment.”

She said she’s “not at liberty to comment” on the “veracity” of what the sources said occurred, adding, “Commentary/reporting in this regard with respect to a SCC appointment(s) could compromise the integrity of the appointments process and potentially sitting justices.”

The issue suggests Trudeau may have had reasons unrelated to the SNC-Lavalin affair for moving Wilson-Raybould out of the prestigious Justice portfolio earlier this year — a cabinet shuffle that touched off a full-blown political crisis for the governing Liberals.

Wilson-Raybould has said she believes she was moved to Veterans Affairs as punishment for refusing to intervene to stop a criminal prosecution of the Montreal engineering giant on bribery charges related to contracts in Libya. Trudeau has denied the SNC matter had anything to do with the decision.

She resigned a month later amid allegations she was improperly pressured by the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the SNC-Lavalin case, triggering a furor that has engulfed the Trudeau government ever since.

The issue, the sources say, arose after Beverley McLachlin announced in June 2017 her decision to retire that December after 28 years on the high court, including 17 as chief justice.

Her retirement meant the government would have to choose a new chief justice and find another bilingual judge from western or northern Canada to sit on the nine-member bench.

Not since Wilfrid Laurier

Trudeau created an independent, non-partisan advisory board, headed by former Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell, to identify qualified candidates to fill the western/northern vacancy and submit a short list of three to five names for consideration.

According to the sources, one of the names on the eventual list was Glenn Joyal, who had been appointed in 2011 by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper as chief justice of Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

Wilson-Raybould then sent Trudeau a 60-plus-page memo arguing that Joyal should not only be added to the top court but should be named chief justice as well.

Only once before in Canadian history — in 1906, when Sir Wilfrid Laurier appointed his justice minister to the top judicial job — has a prime minister chosen a chief justice who was not already sitting on the Supreme Court.

Joyal criticized charter interpetation by SCOC

Wilson-Raybould’s pick puzzled Trudeau but he became disturbed after doing some research into Joyal’s views on the charter, the sources said.

Joyal had criticized the judiciary for broadly interpreting charter rights and expanding them to apply to things not explicitly mentioned in the charter or, in his view, intended by provincial premiers when they agreed to enshrine a charter in the Constitution.

The Supreme Court’s liberal interpretation has led to things like legalization of same-sex marriage, the right of women to choose to have an abortion and the legalization of medical assistance in dying, among other things — developments Trudeau has celebrated.

In a January 2017 speech to the Canadian Constitution Foundation’s Law and Freedom Conference, Joyal echoed conservative arguments that the top court has usurped the supremacy of elected legislatures to determine social policy.

Charter reduces influence of legislators: Joyal

The charter, Joyal argued, was the result of a compromise between Pierre Trudeau and premiers, most of whom had originally opposed inclusion of a charter in the Constitution. The compromise was intended to maintain a balance between the judiciary and the legislative branch of government, with provisions allowing governments to limit or override rights altogether in some circumstances.

Since then, judicial interpretation of the charter has ignored the intentions of the drafters and “led without question to a level of judicial potency that was not anticipated back in 1982,” Joyal said in the speech, a video of which is available on the foundation’s website. That, in turn, has resulted in a “less potent and less influential legislative branch that seldom has the final word.”

“With the ‘constitutionalizing’ of more and more political and social issues into fundamental rights, the Canadian judiciary has all but removed those issues, in a fairly permanent way, from the realm of future civic engagement and future political debate,” he said.

Joyal was particularly critical of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of section 7 of the charter — the section which guarantees everyone the right to life, liberty and security of the person and under which the top court struck down Canada’s abortion law and the prohibition on medically assisted death.

The court’s liberal interpretation of that section “has become, particularly in recent years, the single most fertile source for the discovery of new rights and the de facto constitutionalization of political and social issues,” he said.

Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s advice. He ended up appointing Sheilah Martin, a judge on the appeal courts of Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, to fill the vacant western Canadian seat on the bench. Sitting Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner was elevated to the role of chief justice.

In a statement Monday, Joyal makes no mention of the former minister, saying he submitted an application for consideration for the Supreme Court in 2017, only to be forced to withdraw his name for personal reasons related to his wife’s health.

“I fear that someone is using my previous candidacy to the Supreme Court of Canada to further an agenda unrelated to the appointment process,” Joyal said. “This is wrong.”

Wilson-Raybould’s advocacy of Joyal for the top judicial job may not come as a total surprise to some Liberals, who’ve privately noted what they consider her conservative, restrictive approach to charter rights in a number of bills, including those dealing with assisted dying, impaired driving and genetic discrimination.

Jane Philpott, as health minister at the time, was jointly responsible with Wilson-Raybould for the assisted dying legislation. She quit the cabinet earlier this month in solidarity with Wilson-Raybould, saying she no longer had confidence in the government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-supreme-court-wilson-raybould-1.5070619?fbclid=IwAR3rROewsA1H5oBn-YXYb11dHShYpSJgdPXdFwmlVI6t3CSQFlhBxcfJWhI

 

Pronoun Trouble -The Mark Steyn Show

April 13, 2017

Arwen~  Steyn and Peterson,  Canadian treasures:)  

In this episode of The Mark Steyn Show, Mark explores what Daffy Duck used to call “pronoun trouble”. His guest is Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist at the University of Toronto whose entire career has been imperiled by his opposition to the new “non-binary” gender pronouns – such as “zhe”. Transgender activists and other politically correct enforcers have determined to destroy him.

In this full-length interview, Steyn and Professor Peterson discuss the Orwellian perversion of language and the totalitarian impulses of social engineering. And Mark asks the big question: Is the jig up for western civilization? Click below to watch:

 

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