“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…” Who is behind Engage Canada?

Jun 19, 2019 | NewsPolitics

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…” Who is behind Engage Canada?

That famous scene from the “Wizard of Oz” – when Dorothy and her friends get to see behind the facade of who the Wizard of Oz really was, rings true here with third party advertiser “Engage Canada.”

With the Toronto Raptors victory now  in the books, many who watched the games noticed the increased number of “third party” ads playing out between the game.

The most notable ads came from “Engage Canada” – their anti-Scheer ads have been blanketed all over the airwaves and will be up till June 30th, when the “grace period” or “open season” for third party ads ends.

According to CTV, ads that aired during the Raptor’s playoff games could cost upwards of $50,000″ and were viewed by 7.7 million Canadians .

The opposing side to Engage Canada was “Shaping Canada’s Future “ –  which was formed to “promote the values of free enterprise, lower taxes and common-sense regulation,” according to its website.

The first of the organization’s two spots, featured on neverready.ca, focus on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “broken promises, including his government’s failure to achieve a balanced budget and inability to pass electoral reform legislation, a centrepiece of the Liberal’s 2015 election campaign.”

“Shaping Canada” is very upfront as to their mission and who funds them – unlike “Engage Canada” who lives in the shadows, wanting to keep their founders, members and finances hidden.

It’s been hard to find background on who is behind “Engage Canada”, other than UNIFOR and Jerry Dias being players in its creation when it was announced after the media bailout.

Even back in 2015, VICE News reported this: “Engage Canada “has not openly published who is running it, who is donating, whether it’s coordinating with the NDP and Liberals, or even how much money it raised. When VICE tried to find out anything about the group’s finances, a spokesperson said: “we’re not going to talk about money.” 

The mandate on their website states this:

“For too long, right-wing Super PACs funded by wealthy big money donors — like Ontario Proud, Working Canadians and Conservative Voice — have spent millions protecting well-connected conservative interests and monopolizing political discussion in Canada.   We’re only now starting to solve the problems a decade of Stephen Harper’s policies inflicted on the middle class. Too many families are still struggling, and a government led by a weak Andrew Scheer, who takes his cues from Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, would only make things worse.”

Recently, a website was created by the Conservative Party to expose the truth about  “Engage Canada.”

“Engage Canada accounts went completely dark for four years as Justin Trudeau broke every major campaign promise he made; racked up billions in deficit spending; engaged in endless scandals and cover-ups; insulted our veterans; and lied to Canadians.  Engage Canada accounts were activated again in 2019 to embark on freshly funded attacks on—you guessed it—Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.  The tired, deceitful narratives are sloppily reused anti-Harper talking points, only this time with accompanying Andrew Scheer imagery.  Engage Canada operates in the shadows. They’d rather no one ask them any questions, and they rarely reply when the media investigates. Engage Canada fights tooth and nail to mask where their funding comes from.

Even when asked directly about who funds them, they replied “we’re not going to talk about money.”

Here’s what has been turned up so far about who has led Engage Canada.

Brian Topp – the president of the NDP. He ran for NDP leadership and came second to Tom Mulcair. His wife and mother-in-law ran (unsuccessfully) as NDP candidates.  He was also Chief of Staff to former Alberta premier Rachel Notley.

Kathleen Monk – Founding Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute (a left-wing group named after NDP party leader Ed Broadbent). Her other job is as a Principle at Earnscliffe Strategy Group, where she personally “consults” for Unifor.

Dave Gene –  is a top Ontario Liberal partyman whose career is plagued with self-inflicted scandals. Dave was an instrumental piece in the Dalton McGuinty cabal, serving the then-Premier as his deputy chief of staff.

Don Guy – a member of Engage Canada’s leadership group, spent years working as a director under the now-disgraced former Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.  Amidst the scandal that ultimately led to Dalton McGuinty’s resignation as Premier of Ontario, Canadian media reported that “Dalton McGuinty owes his political success to his very own dark prince of political disinformation, manipulation and skullduggery, the cunning and sly Don Guy.”

Is it any wonder that UNIFOR – with their affiliation with “Engage Canada” – was named to Justin Trudeau’s “special panel” that will decide which media companies get money from the Liberals’ $600 million election-year media bailout package?

It’s no surprise, considering that UNIFOR lobbied various ministers in the Trudeau Cabinet through 2019.

The bottom line is this: Back in 2015, these so-called third party advertisers were out there with one goal in mind: to defeat Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. Sad to say, it worked because the players were not being exposed properly and by the time they were, it was too late. After the 2015 election, many on the conservative side started questioning them and called for election reform to curtail their activities.

  • Politicians like Senator Linda Frum called for a moratorium on foreign money being used to influence our elections.

After much discussion, what we ended up for Election 2019 from the Liberals is this, according to Andrew Scheer and Pierre Poillivre: “a stacked deck” in favour of the Liberals when it comes to what can be spent by third party advertisers.

We are near the end of the “open season” for these third party advertisers and once that ends, the deck is indeed stacked against Conservatives with a 600 million dollar media bailout with UNIFOR on the panel to “approve” recipients, new third party party advertising rules and Trudeau’s “Digital Charter” which has not been too kind to Conservative pages on social media.

Do your homework as to which party will best serve Canada –  including this issue, which, in light of the scandals plaguing the Trudeau government, is turning out to be a big election issue.

“Ethics in government” is shaping up as the biggest issue for voters in the approaching federal vote, outdistancing the economy, the environment and trade with the United States, according to a new poll conducted for The Globe and Mail.

A solid majority of 73 per cent of Canadians polled by Nanos Research say that ethics in government will influence their vote in the fall election, slated to take place on Oct. 21. So far, the Liberal party has fallen down badly in that department on many fronts, including their need to “stack the deck” in order to win the election.


Liberals inching closer to reviving Section 13, the controversial hate speech law repealed in 2013

Arwen~ It is worth noting that the NDP also supports the Liberals in reviving Section 13. The left are clearly not supporters of free speech… anyone shocked by this? Make noise Canada…don’t be silent on this one.

Posted in comment section: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”  ― C. S. Lewis

Critics of the day — including many Liberals — argued the law was overly broad and had weak safeguards to protect speech rights

Justice Minister David Lametti said he’s taken note of suggestions on how the former hate speech law could be updated and improved.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Brian Platt

June 18, 2019

OTTAWA — Justice Minister David Lametti says he will look “very carefully” at a recommendation by a Liberal-dominated House of Commons committee that the government start consultations to revive a controversial hate speech law repealed in 2013 over free speech concerns.

It is the latest sign the Liberals are seriously considering bringing back a version of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, but one updated to target hate speech spread through social media.

Section 13 made it a discriminatory practice to convey messages over the phone or internet that contain “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt,” as long as those people were “identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

Canada already has Criminal Code provisions that prohibit the incitement of hatred against identifiable groups, the promotion of genocide and the distribution of hate propaganda. A conviction comes with heavy penalties, including prison time. Given free speech concerns, however, the charges require the sign-off of an attorney general before being laid.

But complaints made under Section 13 were dealt with through the quasi-judicial Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, not the courts. The tribunal could levy fines of up to $10,000 and issue cease-and-desist orders. Critics of the day — including many Liberals — argued the law was overly broad and had weak safeguards to protect speech rights.

Liberal MP Keith Martin had tabled a bill to repeal Section 13 in 2008, but the bill died on an election call. The law was finally repealed in June 2013 by a private member’s bill from Conservative MP Brian Storseth.

Earlier this spring, the Commons justice committee began a study into the issue of online hate speech. The report, written by the Liberal majority, was released this week and calls on the government to strike a working group to establish a non-criminal remedy for hate speech violating the federal human rights code. It said the remedy should apply “irrespective of whether that violation happens online, in person, or in traditional print format.”

“This remedy could take the form of reinstating the former section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, or implementing a provision analogous to the previous section 13 within the Canadian Human Rights Act, which accounts for the prevalence of hatred on social media,” the report said.

Justifiable limits of free speech is something that any government should be looking into 

Speaking on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting, Lametti declined to say whether he personally wants to see Section 13 revived, but pointed out the courts ultimately found it was constitutional, and said he’s taken note of suggestions on how the former law could be updated and improved.

“The justice committee has suggested (reviving it), a number of stakeholders have suggested it,” Lametti said. “What I will say is that I’ll take a look very carefully at what the committee had to say.”

Later, during question period, Maxime Bernier — the former Conservative leadership candidate who now leads the People’s Party of Canada — said the justice committee was proposing to “censor free speech on the Internet.”

“As (Bernier) well knows, free expression is something that we value in this country,” Lametti said in response. “He should also know … in the current context, with online platforms, that the limits of free speech, justifiable limits of free speech, is something that any government should be looking into — as the prime minister did when he was in Paris and looked at the Christchurch declaration.”

Lametti was referring to a meeting last month that had world leaders vow to take action against the spread of extremist content online. It was organized in response to a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed 51 people.

I’ll take a look very carefully at what the committee had to say 

The government has been considering for some time whether to bring back Section 13. The National Post reported in January 2018 that the justice department sent correspondence to a hate speech activist in B.C., telling him that reviving it was possible.

“I note your suggestion that the Government should bring back the legislation that was in the Canadian Human Rights Act to deal with hate messages on the internet,” said the email signed by then-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, dated Jan. 5, 2018. “It may interest you to know that this option is currently under review.”

If the Liberals do bring it back, they’d have support from the NDP. “The government should reopen and update the (federal human rights act) with today’s technology considered and, likewise, reinstate an updated version of section 13,” said the NDP’s supplementary report to the justice committee.

Conservative MPs on the committee, however, issued a dissent. “The repealed section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act or any modification of the same should not be re-introduced,” they said. They recommended instead that “sanctions respecting hate crimes online or elsewhere be dealt with under the appropriate sections of the Criminal Code.”