Coming Soon….

Two investigations lead me to places that I would have preferred not go, but what’s at stake is worth it.

(L-R) Veterans Todd Gilman, Dana Johnson, Dave Bona and Christian McEachern protest in front of the Canadian Forces Recruiting office in downtown Calgary on Thursday July 13, 2017. The group were voicing their opinion on the military’s use of a malaria drug. Jim Wells/Postmedia

Among the benefits of having a blog is that there are really no set rules as to what you have to put in it. The legal concept is known as situs mea et praecepta mea, or my site my rules. Okay, maybe not, but the principle, legal or not, applies. I’m going to put what I like on my site, and what I will be posting next will fall into the category of investigative journalism.

I am by no means a journalist either by training or by trade, nor do I claim to be one. What I am doing, is performing research, conducting interviews, tracking down leads, and then memorializing my findings in a way that people will find compelling. Sounds like investigative journalism to me, but I don’t aspire to be the next Linden MacIntyre (wait that rhymes doesn’t it haha). That being said, I hope he would approve of the effort.

mefloquine: Making a Monster

I’m working on a comprehensive look at mefloquine, from its development by the United States military in the 1960’s, it’s use in a top secret US government project, and it’s subsequent approval for use in Europe and North America in the 80’s and 90’s. Today, thousands of veterans across the globe suffering the lasting effects of mefloquine toxicity, and are looking for justice through litigation, but simply covering the financial costs won’t make up for the horror these people live each and every day, from the the time they first took the drug, and likely until the day they die.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and the Global Compact on Migration

It’s a part of the Global Compact on migration that you seldom if ever hear about, yet remittances play a major role in it. Remittances from Canada account for 1% of the GDP of the Philippines, while rules put in place to protect jobs in Canada are ignored, while thousands in Alberta have languished in unemployment for two years or more. For those who ever thought it wouldn’t do damage to the economy had better think again, and have a read at my report on this when it comes out.

Stay tuned, and please donate.

It takes a bit of work to put stuff like this together, so please be patient, and above all, please support me so that I can continue performing the research that will allow me to bring you the truth. Groceries and coffee are always a good thing to have in this line of work, so I’d like to secure a steady supply of both if I could. It would be greatly appreciated.

In addition, I’m going to find out if there are any fundraising efforts to help support the litigation efforts here in Canada. If and when I get this information, I’d also ask you to contribute to that as well.

D.B.C

Quebec’s Culture of Corruption

Corruption is just a part of life in Quebec, and Alberta tax dollars are helping to fund it.

Quebec: The most corrupt province


As the SNC Lavalin scandal gains momentum and threatens to bring down Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government, word emerges of another potential scandal brewing in Quebec, this time involving Bombardier, another darling of la belle province. Bombardier and the Liberal’s have had ties for years, and they have been the beneficiary of many a government hand-out, so this really comes as no surprise.

In fact, that Quebec is rife with corruption comes as a surprise to nobody. It seems to be ingrained into the culture, at least politically, and it has been in the news in Canada for decades, with the ’76 Olympics in Montreal being perhaps the ultimate testament to corruption, with Olympic Stadium being the billion dollar center piece.

I’ve pored over the vast repository of information that is available to me, and have put together this brief look at politics and corruption in the province of Quebec.

First, the SNC Lavalin story.

The company at the center of the current political firestorm in Ottawa traces it’s roots back to 1911, when the appropriately named Arthur Surveyer founded the engineering firm Surveyer, Nenniger & Chenevert in Montreal (SNC). 25 years later engineers Jean-Paul Lalonde and Romeo Valois form the firm Lavalin, merging in 1991 to become SNC Lavalin.

SNC’s international experience dates back to 1963, while Lavalin began the massive James Bay hydroelectric dam project in 1974. The combined company would go on to acquire contracts for major projects around the globe in the 1990’s and by 2018, had claimed it’s place as the largest construction company in Canada. It had 50,000 employees worldwide, offices in 50 countries, and operations in more than 160.

Saadi Gadaffi, progeny of a despot, failed soccer player, and known reprobate.

Libya

By the year 2000, SNC Lavalin had been doing business in Libya for a number of years. One of their most important partners in Libya was Saadi Gadaffi. son of strongman Muammar Gadaffi, and the head of his father’s special forces. Saadi was typical of the sons of other despots in the region, more playboy than aspiring leader of a nation. Rather than focusing on much needed development projects for his country, he envisioned creating a “new Hong Kong” in Libya, and it became well known that when going to a meeting with Saadi, you brought cash.

In 2008, SNC Lavalin invited Saadi to move to Canada, who would go on to live in Montreal and Toronto. For Saadi, it was an opportunity to improve his english, as well as to network with political and business leaders, while learning the intricacies of doing business in North America.

SNCL would hire private security firm Garda to provide protection for their guest, and four contractors were hired for the job. It would be up to the security detail to pay for all of Saadi’s expenses, illicit and otherwise. These would in turn be invoiced back to SNCL, who would report the expenses as being related to business in Libya. Nearly $2 million in such expenses were reported, as has been revealed in the past week.

Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel informs parliament of her discovery that SNC Lavalin procured prostitutes for Saadi Gadaffi.

In early 2011, the Arab Spring had made its way to Libya, and SNCL projects across the country would come to a sudden halt amid the violence and political uncertainty. Saadi had managed to flee the country and in November of that year, Mexican authorities broke up a bid to smuggle him into the country. A consultant hired by SNCL and the VP/Controller were arrested and charged in Mexico. Saadi would make his way to Niger, where he received asylum, but was eventually extradited back to Libya to face murder charges, though a court acquitted him of the charges in 2018.

2012 would bring more bad news when, in February, two former SNCL executives were arrested in Canada in relation to alleged corruption at a project in Bangladesh that the World Bank was underwriting. The following month, CEO Pierre Duhaime resigned in disgrace after an internal audit revealed that $56 million in payments had been made to agents in contravention of the company’s policies.

In April, another former executive was arrested in Switzerland on corruption charges relating to a projects in North Africa, and in Canada, SNCL headquarters was the subject of an RCMP search relating to corruption involving high-ranking Tunisian officials between 2001 and 2010.

In November, Duhaime was arrested, when charges of fraud, conspiracy, and using forged documents, in relation to SNCL’s contract to build Montreal’s super-hospital, which it had won in 2010. SNCL’s bad year would end with December seeing accusations against another former executive, relating to the Bangladesh project.

Less than a week ago, on February 1st, Duhaime plead guilty to a single charge of breach of trust, avoiding jail time for what some have said is the biggest fraud in Canadian history.


Former SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime leaves a Montreal courtroom on Friday, after pleaded guilty to a charge of helping a public servant commit breach of trust for his role in the MUHC superhospital bribe scandal. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

In March of 2013, the Charbonneau Commission, tasked with examining corruption in Quebec’s construction industry, had been sitting for nearly two years. Yves Cadotte, VP of SNCL, would testify before the commission telling of collusion with other firms in order to secure contracts in Montreal, as well as details of illegal payments to political parties. In April, the World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) barred SNCL from bidding on contracts for 10 years.

Organized Crime in Quebec

Justice France Charbonneau’s report was issued in November of 2015. After four years and at a cost of $40 million, the nearly 1,800 page report contains 60 recommendations. The commission would find that the prevalence of organized crime in Quebec, primarily in the form of the Italian mafia and the Hell’s Angels, played a major role in the corruption that was running rampant and unchecked in the construction industry.

Nicolo Rizzuto, the former boss of the Rizzuto Crime Family in Montreal, was shot dead in his Toronto home in November 2010.

Since forming in the early 1970’s under Nicolo Rizzuto, the crime family that bears his name has been operating out of Montreal. Prior to the 1970’s, corruption in Quebec doesn’t appear to have been more of a problem than it was anywhere else. But after the arrival and rise of the Rizzuto family in Quebec, things began to change drastically, as the mafia and the Hell’s Angels begin to exert their influence over Quebec’s labour unions.

Soon, they would control nearly every aspect of the industry, having influence over the awarding of lucrative contracts, and collecting concessions from unions, contractors, and suppliers. Stacks of cash were used to buy political influence, and violence and intimidation were used to keep everyone in line. Eventually, this would become the norm, and Quebec’s culture of corruption would become entrenched in society.

It seems particularly entrenched in Quebec politics, as politicians of all stripes and at all levels of government seem to behave as though that’s just the way things run. For the Liberal Party in Quebec, it is almost standard practice to engage in illegal shenanigans for political gains, to the point where they see themselves as entitled and above the law.

Alberta Tax Dollars in the Pockets of Mobsters

If this were strictly a Quebec or a Montreal problem, it wouldn’t even appear on the radar, but it isn’t. Over the years billions of dollars in tax revenue has left Alberta in the form of transfer payments, the majority going to Quebec. The likelihood that at least some of that money made its way into the hands of organized crime is great. The amount of Alberta money illegally circulated in Quebec over the years has to be in the billions of dollars.

It’s bad enough that we have to give it up in the first place, but to know that it is being used to improve the lot of criminals makes it even more infuriating. Thousands of Alberta families are suffering, with many on the brink of disaster. Countless lives have been forever turned upside down, and some have even been lost as a result of the economic crisis in Alberta.

The result of all of this is evident in the news stories and polls coming out of Alberta. More and more of us see separation as the only solution to a situation that has become untenable to the point that, eventually, people will begin to rise up and willingly break the law. In Quebec, it would seem as though crime actually does pay. Maybe we need to start thinking that way in Alberta as well, because if things keep going the way they are, it might the only choice we have left if we want to survive.

DBC

A HISTORY OF SNC-LAVALIN Woods, Allan . Toronto Star ; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]25 May 2013: IN.3.

Perversion of Justice

Unlike previous Liberal scandals, this one should send a chill down every Canadian spine.


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman leaves court with his lawyer Marie Henein following a hearing in Ottawa, Tuesday September 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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 Gomery report detailed the existence of an ‘elaborate kickback scheme’ to funnel money to the Liberal Party’s Montreal headquarters. Jacques Corriveau, a close friend to Jean Chrétien, has been charged with fraud in connection with the case. (Canadian Press/CBC)

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.

Katie Telford and Gerald Butts. The brains of the outfit.
The dim-witted boob they foolishly chose to execute their plan.

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.

DBC

Perversion of Justice

Unlike previous Liberal scandals, this one should send a chill down every Canadian spine.


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman leaves court with his lawyer Marie Henein following a hearing in Ottawa, Tuesday September 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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 Gomery report detailed the existence of an ‘elaborate kickback scheme’ to funnel money to the Liberal Party’s Montreal headquarters. Jacques Corriveau, a close friend to Jean Chrétien, has been charged with fraud in connection with the case. (Canadian Press/CBC)

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.

Katie Telford and Gerald Butts. The brains of the outfit.
The dim-witted boob they foolishly chose to execute their plan.

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.

DBC

Stolen Honour

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.

Members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment sprint into position as they arrive to assume responsibility for the airport at Bali Dogle, Somalia, on December 15, 1992. Canada is taking part in a UN relief operation in the East African country. (CP Photo/Andrew Vaughan)

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.

The Result

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.


Marj Matchee holds a photo and boots of her husband Master Corporal Clayton Matchee during an anti-malarial drug mefloquine rally September 19, 2017 on the front steps of Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
DAVE CHAN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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.

Ex coelis

DBC

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1847738/

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2016/bvg-oag/FA1-1999-1-0-eng.pdf

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/clayton-matchee-s-wife-wants-to-reopen-somalia-inquiry-1.4258889

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As Convoy Reaches Parliament Hill, The Real Message Is Muted.

Media Focus On Yellow Vests Shows That A New Approach Is Needed.

Looks like a pack of loons to me.

Janice Copling

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/united-we-roll-protest-what-to-expect-downtown-this-week

Comments Section,Ottawa Citizen article, Feb. 19, 2019
The United We Roll convoy makes it to Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

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.

Jeremiah Rodriguez, CTVNews.ca Staff  https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/convoy-arrives-in-ottawa-for-rally-following-cross-country-trek-1.4303118

Both CTV and Global made mention of the fact that trucks from Quebec and the Maritimes had joined in the protest, while the Mothercorp Commisar who wrote the CBC piece fails to mention this.


A group of like-minded protesters from Eastern Canada was expected to join up with them in Ottawa.


By Karen BartkoOnline Journalist  Global News https://globalnews.ca/news/4972392/truck-protest-ottawa-oil-policies/

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.”

Unknown government chimp, CBC News
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/truck-convoy-red-deer-ottawa-arnprior-1.5024229

The Yellow Vests

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.”


By Samantha Beattie, Huffer
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/02/19/yellow-vests-arent-just-a-pipeline-movement-experts_a_23673410/

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.

The Yellow Toque’s. A Made In Canada Movement?

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.

DBC

Post Script

To see what the Crisis in Alberta looks like by the numbers, follow this link. You’ll begin to understand what it is that has turned us into “Angry Albertan’s”https://onecalgaryvoter.com/2019/01/07/the-last-good-day-2/

Separatists Need To Step Up Their Game

The Canadian Red Ensign 1905-1922

If you were to ask someone in Calgary, or anywhere else in Alberta for that matter, where they stood on the matter of separation, you would likely get one of three responses. They would be: a) I am for separating from Canada, either alone or with Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and want to do it now, or, b) I am against separating entirely, Canada is better united and it’s unpatriotic, or, c) I’m open to the idea, but I’m going to wait until after the next election to make up my mind.

I am in the “a” group, but I have a few caveats to add to it. Ideally, I would like to remain as part of a fair and equitable Canada. So, if our politicians can find a way to address our concerns, and fix what we see is a broken Confederation, there would be no need for Alberta to go its own way.

In order to properly explain the nature of those concerns, will require a look at the history of Canada and Alberta, so please bear with me while I lay it all out for you, beginning with Confederation, in 1867.

History

Canada 1867

1867 – The majority of the landmass in what is now Canada was once owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company, while B.C. and the North-Western Territory were still British colonies. 1867 is also notable as being the year the United States purchased Alaska from Russia, making westward expansion all the more critical for the young nation.

1870 – The government of Canada purchased Rupert’s Land, and Manitoba becomes a province, thus reducing any likelihood of losing territory to the United States.

!871 – British Columbia becomes a Canadian province, with PEI following in 1873.

The Great March

1873 – Sir John A. MacDonald orders formation of a force to police the Northwest Territories, which will also act to strengthen Canada’s claims to sovereignty over the region. They would ride west out of Manitoba, and establish a fort near what is now Lethbridge.

1881-1885 – Perhaps Sir John A. MacDonald’s best known achievement, the transcontinental railroad was the means by which Canada would exercise its’ sovereignty over it’s territory. It would enable the growth that would ultimately lead us to where we are in the present day.

1905 – Alberta and Saskatchewan join Confederation. Now, starting in 1867, the government had been actively looking for immigrants to settle in the new territory. This activity had increased in 1896, as immigrants from eastern Europe were being sought to settle the Northwest Territories. Thousands of Hungarians, Romanians, Poles, and other eastern European nationalities would be drawn by the offer of 160 acres of free land to homestead. Among them would be my Hungarian great-grandparents, who ultimately established themselves in central Saskatchewan.

1930 – This is a very important year in the history of Alberta, and ultimately, for all Canadian provinces. It was the year Alberta was granted rights over its own resources when the Dominion Land Act was repealed, something that up to that point had belonged to the federal government. After some lengthy and intense negotiations, all provinces now had rights over their own resources. Previously, only the 1867 provinces had these rights.

The Trouble Begins

William “Bible Bill” Aberhart, Alberta’s Seventh Premier (1935-1943)

In 1935, the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA), who had led the province since 1921, were wiped off the electoral map following a sex scandal involving the party leader and premier, John Brownlee. Allegations of an affair with an 18 year-old stenographer, who worked in the Attorney General’s office, would lead him to resign in disgrace.

Not expecting to win the election that year, and caught completely by surprise, the Social Credit party hadn’t even picked a leader by the time the election had rolled around. When they won, they had to choose who among them would become the next Premier of Alberta. They chose William Aberhart, a staunch baptist minister, who was also known as “Bible Bill”. Aberhart was known for his weekly “Sunday Sermons” which were broadcast on the radio for all to hear.

An adherent to “social credit” principles, Aberhart believed that the cause of the Great Depression was that people didn’t have enough money to spend. So, he proposed a $25 per month “dividend” be paid to all Albertan’s, as a means of creating economic stimulus in order to escape the depression. Think “Guaranteed Income”. To further prove the point that he had absolutely no concept of economics, Bible Bill would do something typically seen in failing socialist countries. He would pay for the scheme by having Alberta print its own money.

The federal government would step in, and the move was declared unconstitutional, ending the plan for good fortunately for us. Today, we know why it was a bad idea, but at the time, most Albertan’s wouldn’t have understood the economics of it, and Bible Bill was seen as the champion of the everyday Albertan, and his popularity rose as a result. A feeling of resentment also rose in Alberta, and, for the very first time, the calls for separation were being heard around the province.

It came from a feeling of being looked down upon by Eastern Canada, as though the people of Alberta were merely residents of a colony, far from the civilized world of Central Canada, and incapable of handling their own affairs. Add to this the feeling of being used and exploited economically, and you now have a population that will start to view separation as the only means of protecting their interests, against those that they think are against them.

Aberhart, however, didn’t believe that separation was the right thing to do, and was opposed to the idea entirely. He would urge his supporters to reconsider the notion, and, ultimately, he would win the day. He remained in office until his death on May 23rd, 1943. Ernest Manning would go on to take over as party leader and premier, and the Social Credit party would lead the province for another 28 years.

Peter Lougheed and the Progressive Conservative’s take the Alberta Legislature by storm in 1971

1971 – Just like the way the UFA was destroyed as an entity by the Social Credit victory in 1935, so now were the SoCreds relegated to the political waste bin, as the Progressive Conservative party won the 1971 Alberta provincial election. Soon, another wave of separatist sentiment would be sweeping across Alberta and the prairies, only this time, Alberta would have more than sufficient justification for this, and it would be the basis for the separatist movements we are seeing today.

Pierre Trudeau. Human embodiment of Montgomery Burns.
Pierre Trudeau’s dim-witted progeny, Justin, is responsible for the sharp increase in support for separation in Alberta and across the prairies.

Reality

Concept for the flag of the Republic of Western Canada.

At the moment, the Alberta/Western separation movement poses very little to no political threat to anyone, and so isn’t taken as seriously as it needs to be in order for it to have any kind of impact. This was more or less the case over 40 years ago too, and it happened for about the same reasons, which would have to be addressed before separation would become a credible threat.

First off, there has to be some cohesion among those who want to separate. Over the course of the last 45 years or so, a multitude of groups, committed to the cause of separation, have come and gone. A number exist today. In order to have any hope for success, there has to be only ONE group or party delivering a single message, with a single objective. It is one thing to do it in only one province like Alberta, but add Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the mix, and things become even more difficult.

Let’s assume for a moment that this has happened, that a single, unified party was formed in the prairie provinces, with a charismatic leader at the helm. They will need to have a plan in place, which will detail how they will accomplish this objective, and what it would cost. It would have to be very detailed, and cover a great deal of information, requiring the input of numerous experts from a variety of disciplines. Essentially, it would have to be the mother of all cost-benefit analyses.

W. Brett Wilson. Local billionaire.

It would take time to put together something like this, I’m thinking 18 months to two years at a minimum. It wouldn’t come cheap either, with the bill likely being somewhere in the seven figures, which would mean that such a separatist movement would need to be able to raise funds. Although there would be some in the grassroots who would be willing to donate to the cause, the vast amount of the money would have to come from wealthy benefactors, like W. Brett Wilson, Calgary billionaire, philanthropist, and television Dragon.

A Little About Quebec Separation

Quebec Premier Rene Levesque (Nov. 1976 – Oct. 1985)

I have a grudging respect for Rene Levesque, even though I didn’t agree with his politics. He was an average guy who drank, chain-smoked, and perpetually looked like he’d slept in his suit, and he was also the leader of a province. He held firm to his beliefs, and was willing to do the work it would take to see them realized, though to no avail.

He co-founded the Parti Quebecois in 1968, after a falling out with the Liberal Party, under whose banner Levesque was sitting in the National Assembly. He wanted to form an alternative to the separatist parties that existed at the time, who he viewed as too radical, and did not appeal to the majority of Quebecer’s. For instance, unlike the other parties, the PQ considered the rights of English speaking Quebecer’s. Unlike many in La Belle Province, Levesque considered them to be as Quebecois as those who only spoke French, which earned him scorn from those who were hardcore Quebec nationalists.

What Levesque and the PQ were hoping to achieve was what they called “sovereignty association”. Rather than a complete separation from Canada, it was to be modeled after the then newly formed European Community, the precursor of the European Union of today. It called for the creation of a political and economic association between Canada and the now independent Quebec, which would appeal to a broader base in Quebec.

What Levesque failed to see however, is that this was built on the premise that the EC would someday unite, which it later did, and that it wasn’t meant to be a framework for separation. It would suggest that Levesque didn’t understand the basic purpose of the EC, and hadn’t considered the economic and political intricacies that were involved.

Why Quebec Wanted Out

There have been tensions between english and french in Quebec since the 1600’s, and the root of these tensions lies in the differences between the two cultures. Religion and language were the biggest points of contention, and Quebecers would be defiant in their stance towards the english, whom they saw as oppressors.

A key part of the separatist platform in Quebec was the demand to be recognized as a “distinct society” within Canada. They wanted to have control over those things that made them distinct from the rest of Canada, in order to ensure the continuation of their culture, and all the things that made them Quebecois.

Different Provinces and Very Different Reasons

What it boils down to is this my friends, Quebec’s reasons for separating were/are cultural in nature, while in Alberta, our motivation is to ensure our economic survival. I have no doubt that I will be accused of making a glib over-simplification of the issue, but, at its heart, that’s just the way that it is.

I think it is very important that cultures be aloud to survive and, that every culture is distinct from all others, and it is something that absolutely that should be protected. That being said, I do not understand how, given the gravity and seriousness of our current situation, a serious and concerted effort has not yet been made in Western Canada to form a separatist political entity.

The stakes in Alberta and across the prairies are far higher than they ever were in Quebec. The priorities in Quebec are ensuring french is the primary language of all signage in the province, and having people acknowledge the fact that they are different from all other Canadians (duh). Meanwhile, for those of us living in Alberta, those priorities are very different.

We want to have more control over our own economy, something we do not have in this broken confederation we find ourselves in. For too long, we have been the primary contributor to the Canadian economy as a whole, and the provider of billions of its tax dollars to Quebec, to the detriment of every Albertan. If Ottawa isn’t willing to work to find a solution to this inequity, then the next logical course of action, would be to use the nuclear option, and go down the path of separation.

A Canada from sea to sea is the way I would like to keep things, but, if push comes to shove, I am willing to venture down that road. Yes, I’d prefer it to be just a threat, but has to be a credible threat, and in order for it to be credible, you have to be ready, willing, and able to follow through with it. I count myself to be among the growing number of people in Alberta and across the prairies who would be willing to do so.

So, I’m just putting out what needs to get done. I’m willing to do my part, whatever that may be, but until the west can get its’ collective shit together on separation, nothing I do will make a damn bit of difference. But, I’ll probably keep doing it anyway.

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