Unlike previous Liberal scandals, this one should send a chill down every Canadian spine.
As the SNC Lavalin affair dominated the news in Canada, another scandal has been brewing for month’s in the form of the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Second to the Chief of Defense Staff, Norman was charged with breach of trust, the allegation being he leaked cabinet information.
At issue was the Trudeau government’s decision to cancel the procurement of a supply vessel for the navy, Norman’s alleges leaking of document’s to the media pertaining to a November 2015 meeting where it was decided that the project would be put on hold. The leak would anger the cabinet, prompting them to call for an RCMP investigation.
I won’t go further into the details of the matter, since it isn’t the details I am concerned about, so much as the actions of the PMO. Admiral Norman’s defense attorney is filing an abuse of power motion, and key to this are the records of the troika who run the government, Justin Trudeau, Gerald Butts, and Katie Telford, Trudeau’s Chief of Staff.
As the details of these scandals begin to see the light of day, something becomes clear. The Justin Trudeau Liberal’s will be remembered for their attempts to obstruct or otherwise pervert justice. Unlike the scandals of Liberal government’s in the past, the ramifications of this one affect every Canadian, and it this needs to be pointed out.
LavScam a Different Kind of Scandal Than AdScam
The Sponsorship Scandal was typical of those we tend to see in politics, involving money, graft, kickbacks, the type of things that tend to come to mind when the words “political scandal” are said. Influence peddling and other similar types of corruption usually involve a small number of people, and typically, financial transactions have taken place.
As a rule, these types of crimes don’t have a direct effect on the rights of the average Canadian. It’s possible that some constituents in some areas may be affected on an economic level, but by and large, their rights under the law are not affected.
By showing that they are willing to obstruct and pervert justice. the Trudeau Gang have shown that they are willing to deprive anyone of their legal rights, while breaking the law as they see fit. This isn’t a financial scandal, this one’s ideological, and it shows just how far Justin Trudeau is willing to go to get what he wants.
The Slippery Slope
If the PMO is willing to interfere in the administration of justice in these matters, what would stop them from doing the very same thing in other matters of their interest? And what would be stopping them from putting the screws to any average Canadian whose views were opposed to theirs. Although people cannot be arrested and prosecuted for their beliefs, how much of a stretch would it be for the PMO to go so far as to manufacture criminal charges? They’ve already proven they are willing to break the law so it’s not unreasonable to believe that this scenario could play out.
That you, or any of your family or friends could end up in prison for opposing an ideology is something that could only have happened in Cuba, or China, or any of the other regimes that Justin Trudeau admires. Gerry Butts may not be an employee any more, but he still writes the play-book, and it reads like a Kafka novel.
One and Done
Justin Trudeau can no longer be oblivious to the fact that he has a major problem, and his performance in Toronto is proof. Whether he was high or on the verge of a nervous breakdown, he was obviously different to many observers and pundits. Whether removed from within, or at the polls, he will not see another Christmas in the Prime Minister’s office.
The scandal has made news around the globe, getting coverage from the BBC, The New York Times, and even Russia Today. Those who once thought that Justin Trudeau was the model of a modern and enlightened leader, will now have to find another vacuous shill to take his place.
What’s important is that Canadian’s do the right thing in October, and unseat the Liberal’s. There’s now a lot more at stake than we first realized.
Disbanded regiment deserves to have its reputation rehabilitated.
By rights this issue should be classified as a scandal, with a lot more press coverage than it has received up to this point, and, it also happens to be one that is very personal to me.
I think I may have mentioned my family’s history in the military in a previous post, along with my ties to the PPCLI. My Uncle “Spike”, as he was known, was a Sergeant when he retired back in the early ’80’s, and a couple of years before he retired, he was asked (asked mind you) to join the Canadian Airborne Regiment. A one time army boxing champion, he had what it took to be a jumper. He still ran everyday in combat boots into his 50’s, switching to running shoes until he stopped running in his late 60’s.
So, when the regiment was disbanded in disgrace on September 1st, 1995, in the wake of the Somalia scandal, I felt the shock that one feels when told that a family member has died. It was as though a part of my self was somehow gone now. I couldn’t imagine there ever NOT being an Airborne Regiment.
Initially, I felt anger towards those who had committed the brutal acts that led to it. Them, the chain of command on the ground, the lot of them. These were bunch of racists whose bosses had given them free reign to terrorize the local populace, because they were too goddamn lazy or didn’t give a shit or both. Thanks to them, the Canadian Forces had a black eye, and the Canadian Airborne Regiment had ceased to exist. Way to go, assholes.
But then, some time later, mefloquine made the news, and all of a sudden, things weren’t quite so cut and dried after all. As the story began to unfold, the blame started to lift from the soldiers, and would ultimately land square in the lap of the Department of National Defense, and Swiss pharmaceutical concern Hoffman-La Roche.
Because of their actions, two Somali teenagers are dead, and the lives of some of the soldiers forever changed. A large number of veterans continue to suffer from the nightmarish side effects, and in all likelihood courts will be hearing cases for years to come in future legal actions.
The Stuff of Nightmares
Marketed under the brand name Lariam, mefloquine is an anti-malarial drug. Anti-malarial drugs have been available since the 19th century, when French scientists were able to extract quinine from the bark of the Cinchona tree, native to the Andean region of South America.
Quinine was in demand by European militaries, as colonialism made its way into tropical areas, and today, military personnel take the majority of doses of anti-malaria medications dispensed. It only makes sense that militaries would have an interest in their development, and have aided in the advancement of these medications over the years.
Big Pharma And The Military Industrial Complex
Lariam was developed by the US military near the end of the Vietnam War, as part of an effort to find an anti-malarial that was effective, economical, and safe. The first reported trials of mefloquine were done in 1975, on prisoners in the Joliette Correctional Centre in Illinois, while another was performed the following year at the Maryland House of Correction. No details of these trials can be found.
During the 1980’s, the pharmaceutical industry began lobbying the US congress in an effort to get their products to market quicker. Testing protocols were delaying the time it took to get a drug to market, and the drug companies wanted to shorten the time it took, so that they could begin earning revenue quicker.
So when the FDA approved Lariam for use in 1989, a number of critical studies relating to tolerability and interactions with other drugs had not yet been done. Within months of being released, safety concerns would begin emerging, yet the drug would remain to be the go to for the prevention of chloroquine-resistant malaria.
Start of a Scandal
The Canadian Airborne Regiment left for Somalia in December 1992, five months after then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had committed Canadian troops for the mission. Called Operation Deliverance, it would become part of the US led Operation Restore Hope, which would ultimately fall under UN control and become UNOSOM II.
The decision to send 2 Commando to Somalia had been controversial from the very beginning. The unit was known to be rife with racism, and was viewed to be the dumping ground for those with discipline issues. The CO of the regiment had been sacked for stating that the regiment was unfit for the mission, and replaced by Lt.Col. Carol Mathieu, who would lead the contingent in Somalia.
For whatever reason, the DND had made the decision the Lariam would be the anti-malarial prophylactic to be used on this deployment. Though available in the United States, Lariam was still unavailable in Canada, though it could be if it were being used in a clinical trial.
As with any clinical trial, there would be strict protocols that would have to be observed. There is a great deal of monitoring, testing, and recording involved in a clinical trial, and so knowing this, the DND made the decision to participate in the clinical trial for Lariam. Whether or not anybody bothered to look for any existing clinical data from the US is debatable, though I’m betting nobody bothered.
The Department of National Defense had absolutely no intention of doing any of what was required of it for the study, and this fact was apparent as soon as the mission started. There was no monitoring, no reporting of adverse events, no effort to even make it look like they were trying.
Worse still, the men had no idea that they were supposed to part of a drug trial. While they were told what the medication was for and what the possible side effects were, they were not given the forms to sign that would have constituted informed consent. As far as they knew, they wouldn’t have been given the medication if the government had thought it was dangerous. It’s an assumption we make all the time. They would have assumed wrong.
The Adverse Effects
It wasn’t long before some disturbing side-effects began to appear, similar to those that were reported in the United States. Anxiety, nightmares, paranoia, hallucinations, depression, and other serious symptoms began appearing.
It has been revealed in recent years that many of those serving in Somalia had exhibited these symptoms, including those involved in the incidents in question. For many, the symptoms continue to this day, years after taking the drug.
The stage was now set for a scenario straight out of a movie; a battalion of heavily armed, highly trained, potentially psychotic, racist killing machines, would be dropped into a high-stress mission in Africa. The worst-case scenario was about to play out.
In order to keep this from becoming a novel, I’ll dispense with most of the details, but feel free to do some research for yourselves online. The key points are two Somali teens, Shidane Arone and Ahmed Arush were killed, and a third, Abdi Hinde Bei Sabrie, was seriously wounded.
Master Corporal Clayton Matchee would be charged in relation to the Arone death, however he would attempt suicide by hanging himself, and would suffer permanent brain damage. Due to the extent of his injury, he will require constant care, and he no longer faces the criminal charges that were brought against him.
Trooper Kyle Brown would be found guilty of manslaughter and torture and serve a 40 month prison sentence. His life after getting out has been difficult, as he continues to suffer from PTSD and the neurotoxic effects of mefloquine.
Several others would face charges in relation to the matter, however most would later be acquitted by a court martial. These men and hundreds of others on that deployment would suffer from psychological anguish brought on by mefloquine neurotoxicity, which was identified in 2006.
It wasn’t until 2017 that the Canadian military decided to begin curtailing the use of mefloquine. It is no longer being offered as the first option in malaria prophylaxis for deployments. In fact, it appears as though mefloquine is being used less and less worldwide, as calls go out for further studies on the long-term effects. Litigation attorneys in numerous jurisdictions are busy preparing briefs for actions that will likely total in the billions of dollars.
We Really Need An Inquiry Do-Over
A three person Commission of Inquiry into the Somalia affair was convened in late 1995 by Defense Minister Art Eggleton, issuing its report in September 1997, after being cut short by David Collenette, Eggleton’s replacement.
Collenette had grown impatient with the commission, and when it was brought to an end, a great deal of testimony had yet to be heard. The final report contained 2000 pages over five volumes, and was highly critical of the leadership and culture within the Department of National Defense. There is no mention of mefloquine anywhere in it.
In 2017, Clayton Matchee’s wife, Marj Matchee, began calling for the government to re-open the inquiry. A great deal of information has come to light since the Commission’s incomplete report was released, and it needs to be brought to light. Had the information been available at the time, there is little doubt that it would have had an impact on the final report. To not re-open the inquiry would be a miscarriage of justice.
Kyle Brown, Clayton Matchee, and the rest of 2 CDO were not saints by any stretch of the imagination, and some held some pretty repugnant views, but they were professionals. The way I see it, and many will agree with me on this, without mefloquin, this wouldn’t have happened. The men of 2 CDO should not have to wear the mantle of destroyers of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. They, along with the Canadian Airborne Regiment, deserve to have their reputations restored.
The convoy that started out from Alberta on Valentines Day arrived on Parliament Hill this morning, joined by trucks from across the country. I wanted to see how the media were reporting this, so I looked at a variety of sites, and I was not surprised by much of what I read. That being said, it wasn’t all bad coverage, but the media bias in Canada is alive and well, and pushing an agenda based in fear.
The Big Three
Global, CTV, and CBC. Canada’s major fake news outlets had some differing takes on this story, though the CBC’s slant is clearly the most biased of the three. The Global and CTV News stories were the closest to being actual reporting, which frankly is refreshing.
CTV reported that 200 vehicles were involved, while Global put the number at “hundreds”. The CBC made no mention of the number of vehicles in their report.
On Tuesday morning, protesters parked approximately 200 vehicles in the streets surrounding Parliament Hill for a rally in front of the House of Commons.
The story on the CBC News website (author unknown) also contains judgmental statements such as “…controversial pro-pipeline movement..” and “..convoy of angry Albertans and other westerners…”, while the other two organizations refrained from being so blatantly prejudiced on this occasion, much to my surprise.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer welcomed a controversial convoy bringing a pro-pipeline message to Ottawa today, assuring participants that “we’ve got your back.”
The Yellow Vests play prominent in every story, and their role in the convoy varies depending on the point of view of the author, however it is quite clear that some see them as the organizers of the convoy, and that has detracted from the message the actual organizers wanted to get across.
A headline in the Montreal Gazette on Feb. 19th read “Trucks rolled in at a rally initiated by Yellow Vests Eastern Ontario”, while the grotesquely liberal Huffington Puffington Post (props to Mr. Rush Limbaugh for that one) ran a headline that read “Yellow Vest, United We Roll Aren’t Just A Pipeline Movement: Experts”. The gist of the article is that a horde of angry white nationalists from Alberta, driving in large, carbon spewing, climate killing trucks, have invaded Ottawa, and are spewing racism and islamo/homo/transphobia on the sacred grounds of Parliament Hill.
“A movement may try to distance itself and claim a project they think is innocent, but when you scratch the surface you realize it’s a vehicle of hate,” said Joseph. He described yellow vests as “a revisioned white nationalist, white supremacist movement.”
It is in the comments section however, that you really get a feel for what people are thinking, at least what those people who felt strongly enough to actually write in anyways. The views of many who wrote in are summed up nicely by one woman, Janice Copling, whose comment on the story in the Ottawa Citizen was “Looks like a pack of loons to me”. While there were people who wrote in to defend the convoy, many saw it as just a bunch of angry racist rednecks who were out to stir up trouble.
Let The Editorializing Begin
Anyone who actually gives two shits about the issue and has a brain cell would know that the original purpose of the convoy was to draw attention to the fact that Ottawa needs to act on the pipeline issue IMMEDIATELY. The men and women in the convoy would otherwise be working right now, were it not for the current government of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau. Not only has it shown itself to be just as corrupt as Liberal government’s gone by, it has also proven to be perhaps the single most inept government in the history of Canada.
The message was muted by the presence of the Yellow Vests however, and this brings me to my thoughts on the Yellow Vest movement in Canada. Make no mistake, I fully support the vast majority of what the Yellow Vests are saying, with the exception of those beliefs espoused by the “fringe” elements of the movement.
I do not think that all left-leaning, liberal’s belong to or support Antifa, and so, similarly, I hope that you would not think that I’m a racist or neo-Nazi for espousing right-leaning conservative beliefs. I believe we need strict immigration controls, something that Canada is sorely lacking. This doesn’t mean I want to start putting muslim’s into internment camps, or deporting every person of colour that I see.
This Isn’t France
The reasons why Le Gilete Jaunes have proven to be an effective movement in France, are the same reasons that their Canadian compatriots have not, and will not achieve the same success.
First, the yellow vest has become ubiquitous in France, thanks to the law requiring them in all vehicles. They were ready at hand, bought and paid for, and, most importantly, symbolic of their cause. As you may recall, the protests in France began in response to an increase to fuel taxes, which of course directly affect vehicle owners. In Canada, the majority of people do not own a yellow vest, and it would require an outlay of cash (anywhere from $4 if you can find one at Dollarama, to $20 or more elsewhere). This tends to reduce support among those who can’t afford one, leaving them feeling left out.
It’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of Canadians either have in the past, or currently own a toque, especially after the total load of bullshit that Mother Nature dumped on us in the form of the Polar Vortex. It might be safe to say that on a per capita basis, more people in Canada wear toque’s than people in France wear yellow vests. I know it wouldn’t be the best choice for summertime protesting, but I really can’t think of anything more Canadian than a toque for this.
The lack of a cohesive message is the other thing that differentiates the Yellow Vests. Here in Canada, the myriad of issues lends itself to confusion. They are essentially protesting everything all at once, which, while it shows that we have a LOT to complain about, doesn’t provide the specific focus it will need in order to garner greater success.
The Fight Must Go On
As Canadian’s, we’re still fairly new to the whole protest movement thing, especially those of us on the conservative side of things. We don’t have years of experience in protesting against out government, unlike many Europeans.
It is funny, and at the same time very sad, that one would aspire to put on a protest like those many we’ve seen held in European cities. Tens of thousands filling the streets at once, signs made, songs ready to be sung, flags being waved. I would prefer going without the tear gas and water cannons that are often synonymous with Continental demonstrations, but it would be foolish to expect otherwise.
The stakes are simply too high to stop now. Justin Trudeau and his minions in the Liberal caucus are a detriment to Canada. We knew of the ineptitude of this government, and now we have proof that corruption is ingrained in Liberal DNA. Allowed to remain in office, they will finish destroying the Alberta economy, which will precipitate an economic disaster that will be felt from coast, to coast, to coast.