B.C. Bill 21: Legal Professions Act, Gets Royal Assent, And Law Society Sues Over It

The Province of British Columbia recently passed Bill 12, the Legal Professions Act. In short, it would take away the ability of the Law Society of B.C., or the LSBC, to self-regulate, and put it under Government control.

Many professions in Canada are “self regulated”. These include: teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers, social workers, to name a few. They typically report to some sort of college, which oversees their licencing and professional development. Bill 12 would reverse this, at least for B.C. lawyers.

The LSBC responded by suing the Government in Supreme Court. And this was fast. The Bill received Royal Assent on May 16th, 2024, and the Notice of Civil Claim was filed the following day.

In short, the LSBC argues that its independence will be damaged, and the public harmed, if lawyers are not allowed to regulate themselves. Furthermore, if Government has the power to issue and revoke licences, it will result it an unwillingness to bring lawsuits for deserving clients.

The LSBC also complains that they never had any meaningful consultation before Bill 12 was brought. However, they had known for more than 2 years that this was going to happen at some point.

In addition to losing their independence, it’s argued that Bill 12 will have an impact on the health and well being of lawyers. Brook Greenberg authored a piece critical of Bill 12, and it’s quite the attention grabber. Below are sections from it.

However, the most visceral objection I have to Bill 21 is the government’s decision to include stigmatizing and discriminatory provisions to compel legal professionals to undergo forced medical treatment.

Within the 317 sections of this poorly thought-out and badly drafted bill, are harmful provisions about “health,” including in the definition of what it means for a legal professional to behave “incompetently.”

Section 68 initially defines “incompetently” with a focus on conduct that fails to meet standards. However, it goes on to define competence with specific reference to “health conditions.”

In doing so, Bill 21 makes unwarranted assumptions and creates false and stigmatizing connections between lawyers experiencing health conditions and their competency. We know from the national study on the psychological health of Canadian legal professionals that up to 50 per cent of legal professionals in Canada experience moderate-to-severe mental-health and substance use issues, at times.

That means roughly 7,000 lawyers in B.C. have had such experiences. However, only single-digit numbers of lawyers have their competency called into question in a given year.

Making and emphasizing a connection between competency and health conditions, as the government has done, is unwarranted and will inflict great harm both on individuals, and systemically.

It’s a bizarre argument to make: lawyers should be allowed to control their own profession. Otherwise health issues that can legitimately impact their ability to practice will lead to them not being able to.

We know from the national study on the psychological health of Canadian legal professionals that up to 50 per cent of legal professionals in Canada experience moderate-to-severe mental-health and substance use issues

From this, are we to determine that a significant minority — almost half — of B.C. lawyers have substance abuse and mental health issues? Should we really be letting the alcoholics, drug addicts and mentally ill be regulating themselves? If anything, Greenberg’s article makes a strong argument in favour of not letting lawyers police themselves.

We’ll have to see what becomes of this.

Other recent B.C. specific legislation includes:

  • Bill 12, the Online Harms Act
  • Bill 23, the (Anti-White) Anti-Racism Act
  • Bill 31, domestic implementation of U.N. Sendai Framework

(1) https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/42nd-parliament/5th-session/bills/progress-of-bills
(2) https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/news-and-publications/news/law-society-of-bc-announces-legal-action-to-challenge-legal-professions-act/
(3) https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/news-and-publications/news/updates-and-timeline-single-legal-regulator-legislation/
(4) https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/news-and-publications/news/law-society-of-bc-announces-legal-action-to-challenge-legal-professions-act/
(5) https://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/comment-bc-embeds-mental-health-stigma-and-discrimination-in-legal-regulation-8719567#google_vignette
(6) LSBC v HMTK and AG Notice of Civil Claim

Private Members Bill C-388: Fast Tracking Energy, Gas And Weapons To Ukraine

Garnett Genuis, Conservative Member of Parliament for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB, has introduced Bill C-388. The short title is: Boosting Canadian Energy and Mining Projects and Ukraine’s Munitions Supply Act. As implied, the goal is to ship weapons and energy to Ukraine. It’s been promoted on Twitter.

However, the Bill is so lacking in details and specifics that it’s unsettling where this will end up. It comes across as a way to endlessly throw money away on a foreign conflict. Not once does Genuis mention any safeguards that would be put in place.

Genuis also wants Canada’s “outdated” or unneeded equipment to be sent off as well. Apparently, the Canadian Forces won’t use them, but they’ll help fight off Russian aggression. It’s never explained or implied how this will happen. To summarize:

  • Canada has made promises to send weapons to Ukraine and not fulfilled them
  • Canada has weapons that are “surplus, and no longer useful” here
  • Canada should be sending equipment to Ukraine that it no longer uses
  • Canada should be buying new equipment here, or making more weapons
  • Canada should fast track gas and energy and mining projects to Ukraine
  • Energy and mining growth will help Canadian economy

Dealing with energy and mining first:

Plan to Fast Track Energy and Mining Projects
Preparation of plan
2 (1) Within 60 days after the day on which this Act comes into force, the Minister of Natural Resources must, in collaboration with representatives of the provincial governments responsible for natural resources, prepare a detailed plan to fast track energy and mining projects, including those related to liquefied natural gas and civilian nuclear energy, that includes measures to displace energy exports from hostile countries and support energy cooperation with allies and partners.

Genuis’ legislation would compel Ottawa to come up with a plan to fast track various energy exports to Ukraine. But this is still very broad, and doesn’t give any numbers or targets.

There’s also nothing in the Bill that would require that energy sales take place at fair market rates. Yes, he pitches the “benefits” to the Canadian economy, but how much could a country at war for 2 years afford? The Bill doesn’t specify any of this. Would these be (forgivable) loans? To what degree would the public be forced to subsidize this?

Bearing in mind that Genuis has openly supported and endorsed the Paris Accord, he wants to ramp up production in Canada anyway. This isn’t so that Canadians can have cheap fuel and energy prices, but so that Ukraine can. Interestingly, he doesn’t seem concerned about potential Carbon taxes when it applies to energy shipments abroad. This was from 2017, but a revealing clip, assuming he still holds the same views.

Would the details be worked out behind the scenes by anonymous bureaucrats?

Now, getting to the munitions part:

Genuis is extremely vague on which “munitions” would be sent to Ukraine. He implies that it’s older equipment that the Canadian Forces wouldn’t need. In that case, why would Ukraine need it? Are these guns? Body armour? Explosives? Vehicles? Surveillance equipment?

Genuis doesn’t specify if he expects the “unneeded” weapons to be sold to Ukraine at fair market rates (or close to it). If the Trudeau Government is so wasteful and incompetent, isn’t he concerned they’ll simply be given away, or sold for next to nothing? Is he worried that the munitions will end up in the hands of a hostile power?

And if these are things the Canadian Forces are unlikely to ever use, are they obsolete to the point that they’re useless in war? This isn’t clarified.

Changes To Other Acts As Well

Purposes
10 (1) The Corporation is established for the purposes of
(a) supporting and developing, directly or indirectly, domestic business, at the request of the Minister and the Minister of Finance for a period specified by those Ministers;
.
(b) supporting and developing, directly or indirectly, Canada’s export trade and Canadian capacity to engage in that trade and to respond to international business opportunities; and
.
(c) providing, directly or indirectly, development financing and other forms of development support in a manner that is consistent with Canada’s international development priorities

Section 10(c) of the Export Development Act will be altered to make include this subsequently: “the Corporation shall give preference to the development of munitions manufacturing capacity in Ukraine.”

Genuis’ Bill, if implemented, would give priority to shipping weapons to Ukraine over other foreign “development”.

The Defence Production Act would have Section 16 amended to include this:

16.‍1 For as long as any territory of Ukraine is occupied by armed forces of the Russian Federation, the Minister of National Defence must periodically review Canada’s inventory of defence supplies, and the Minister must offer to donate to Ukraine any defence supplies that, in the opinion of the Minister of National Defence, are surplus or no longer useful to Canada.

The Business Development Bank of Canada Act would be amended to give Ukraine priority to develop munitions. In other words, preference with tax dollars will be given to a foreign country.

The Export and Import Permits Act would be amended to treat weapons exports to Ukraine the same as exports to the United States.

As with most Canadian legislation, there are built-in regulations which give almost unfettered power to bureaucrats. This would alter several Acts, but do nothing to ensure accountability. The whole thing comes across as a means to endlessly take from taxpayers, under the guise of preventing Russian aggression.

For all that Genuis — and Conservatives in general — rail against Trudeau waste and corruption, there’s nothing in Bill C-388 that would prevent more of the same. Are we to be skeptical domestically, but not internationally?

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bills
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-388
(3) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/garnett-genuis(89226)
(4) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-388/first-reading
(5) https://twitter.com/GarnettGenuis/
(6) https://twitter.com/GarnettGenuis/status/1786470255960744343
(7) https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-20/page-1.html#h-211513
(8) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/d-1/
(9) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/b-9.9/index.html
(10) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-19/

Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(1) Bill C-206: Decriminalizing Self Maiming To Avoid Military Service
(2) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(3) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(4) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(5) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(6) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(7) Bill C-245: Entrenching Climate Change Into Canada Infrastructure Bank
(8) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(9) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(10) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(11) Bill C-312: Development Of National Renewable Energy Strategy
(12) Bill C-315: Amending CPPIB Act Over “Human, Labour, Environmental Rights”
(13) Bill C-367: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism
(14) Bill C-373: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism 2.0
(15) Bill S-215: Protecting Financial Stability Of Post-Secondary Institutions
(16) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(17) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(18) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights
(19) Bill S-275: Adding “Sustainable And Equitable Prosperity” To Bank Of Canada Act

Senate Bill S-275: Adding “Sustainable And Equitable Prosperity” To Bank Of Canada Act

Have you heard of Senate Bill S-275? It is called the “Act to amend the Bank of Canada Act (mandate, monetary policy governance and accountability)”. It was introduced back in September 2023, and is currently at Second Reading.

It was brought in by Quebec Senator Diane Bellemare, who was appointed by Harper back in 2012. Keep in mind that she was appointed by a “conservative” Prime Minister. Now, what is this all about?

From the preamble of Bill S-275:

Whereas monetary policy has measurable redistributive effects on Canadians’ incomes;
.
Whereas underlying economic trends over the coming decades will be shaped by demographic shifts, the climate crisis, technological change and global political uncertainty and are conducive to generating supply shocks to prices—shocks that are minimally affected in the short term by traditional monetary policy;
.
Whereas a gap currently exists between the Bank of Canada Act and the Bank’s practices respecting monetary policy;

There will now be a section added to the Bank of Canada Act, and it reads as follows:

Bank mandate
4.‍1 The mandate of the Bank is to ensure the financial stability of Canada and of Canadian financial institutions and to promote sustainable and equitable prosperity and the well-being of all Canadians.

What exactly is “sustainable and equitable prosperity”? It’s not defined, so we’ll have to guess with this. “Sustainable” is probably being used in reference to playing along with the climate change scam. And “equitable prosperity” sounds like a fancy word for massive wealth redistribution.

One can certainly debate the value of the Bank of Canada, or the Bank for International Settlements. But why is crypto-Communist language being put into this Act?

There will also be a Permanent Committee added to the Bank of Canada. It will involve 9 people, 6 of them to be appointed in a vaguely described process.

  • the Governor of the Bank of Canada
  • the Deputy Governor
  • a Deputy Governor responsible for economic analysis
  • 6 external members appointed under this section

Some of the duties this Permanent Committee will have include:

(a) participate in discussions about setting the policy rate;
(b) set the policy rate by vote;
(c) adopt the annual cost-benefit analysis framework that supports policy rate decision-making;
(d) supervise the assessment of the effectiveness of monetary policy — that is to say, whether the targets are met, what economic effects monetary policy has on prices, employment, growth, investment and productivity, and what financial and redistributive effects it has on households and businesses;
(e) ensure that the use of non-traditional tools is consistent with the Bank’s mandate and the objectives of monetary policy; and
(f) represent the Bank in negotiating and drafting the agreement with the Government of Canada provided by section 14.‍4 and include monetary policy targets in the agreement.

To summarize: there will be a group of 9 people, 6 of whom selected in a yet to be defined process, determining major financial and economic decisions for the Bank of Canada. It’s to act in a manner consistent with its mandate. Keep in mind that the new mandate is:

to ensure the financial stability of Canada and of Canadian financial institutions and to promote sustainable and equitable prosperity and the well-being of all Canadians.

At the risk of being alarmist, this new mandate is a real concern. Given the proliferation of Carbon taxes, and various iterations of UBI, or universal basic income, where exactly are things going? The language is also vague enough that it’s hard to pin down specific details.

Bellemare spoke about the legislation on September 26th, 2023. However, it didn’t really add any specifics about what was going to happen. Nor did the questions she was asked.

Add this to the list of things to keep an eye on.

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/s-275
(3) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/S-275/first-reading
(4) https://sencanada.ca/en/senators/bellemare-diane/
(5) https://sencanada.ca/en/content/sen/chamber/441/debates/142db_2023-09-26-e#41
(6) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/b-2/

Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(1) Bill C-206: Decriminalizing Self Maiming To Avoid Military Service
(2) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(3) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(4) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(5) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(6) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(7) Bill C-245: Entrenching Climate Change Into Canada Infrastructure Bank
(8) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(9) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(10) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(11) Bill C-312: Development Of National Renewable Energy Strategy
(12) Bill C-315: Amending CPPIB Act Over “Human, Labour, Environmental Rights”
(13) Bill C-367: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism
(14) Bill C-373: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism 2.0
(15) Bill S-215: Protecting Financial Stability Of Post-Secondary Institutions
(16) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(17) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(18) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights

B.C. Bill 12 (Online Harms) Deferred: Another Case Of Problem, Reaction, Solution

The C.B.C. recently reported that British Columbia Bill 12 (the Online Harms Act) is being paused for now. This is titled the Public Health Accountability and Cost Recovery Act. The stated reason is that social media companies like Facebook and X/Twitter have come to the table to implement their own protections.

But B.C. Premier David Eby made it clear that this may go ahead anyway, if an agreement cannot be worked out.

Other recent B.C. specific legislation includes:
Bill 23, the (Anti-White) Anti-Racism Act, and
Bill 31, domestic implementation of U.N. Sendai Framework

The stated purpose is to hold companies — such as social media outlets — accountable for medical and health care costs that arise from content they put out. An example cited is Carson Cleland, the 12 year old from Prince George, who committed suicide last October after online sextortion. It’s claimed that if platformed were properly regulated, this wouldn’t have happened.

However, it appears more likely that this is a pretext to be able to swiftly remove content the Government deems “harmful”, for whatever reason. And this is being achieved in the standard way.

  1. Problem
  2. Reaction
  3. Solution

The PROBLEM is that Bill 12 is crafted in such a way as to impose financially crippling penalties. No Government wants to be seen as being overtly anti-free speech. So this must be framed in a manner that appeals to public safety.

The REACTION is that companies get nervous about the fines and other costs they could be on the hook for, even if they weren’t complicit in generating the material.

The SOLUTION is that social media firms agree to “voluntarily” implement their own measures, which means complying with what the Government wanted anyway.

Now, what’s in this Bill?

Direct action by government
2 (1) The government has a direct and distinct action against a person to recover the cost of health care benefits caused or contributed to by a health-related wrong.
.
(2) For certainty,
(a) subsection (1) does not establish a right of action for any other person, and
(b) the cost of health care benefits recoverable under subsection (1) includes the cost of health care benefits in relation to the risk of disease, injury or illness.

Direct action by the government of Canada
3 (1) The government of Canada has a direct and distinct action against a person to recover the cost of health care benefits caused or contributed to by a health-related wrong.
.
(2) For certainty,
(a) subsection (1) does not establish a right of action for any other person, and
(b) the cost of health care benefits recoverable under subsection (1) includes the cost of health care benefits in relation to the risk of disease, injury or illness.

Sections 2 and 3 of the Bill specify that the B.C. (and oddly, Canadian) Governments are able to take legal action against people for health care costs in relation to “disease, injury or illness”.

Interestingly, both Sections 2 and 3 specify that the right of action — or ability to sue — is for Governments only. Private people apparently don’t have that right. Then there’s 2(6) and 3(6)

(6) If the government [of Canada seeks] in an action under subsection (1) to recover the cost of health care benefits on an aggregate basis,

(a) it is not necessary
(i) to identify particular individual benefit recipients,
(ii) to prove the cause of disease, injury or illness in any particular individual benefit recipient, or
(iii) to prove the cost of health care benefits for any particular individual benefit recipient

What this means is that while both the B.C. and Federal Governments have the right to sue to recoup health care costs, private citizens don’t. It’s also not required that they identify: (a) beneficiaries; (b) causation; or (c) analysis of health care benefits.

Apparently, companies aren’t limited to being sued once, either.

Private parties and proceedings
6 (1) It is not a defence to an action commenced by the government under section 2 (1), or by the government of Canada under section 3 (1), that a claim for a benefit recipient’s damages, alleged to have been caused or contributed to by a health-related wrong, has been adjudicated or settled.

6 (2) It is not a defence to an action commenced in respect of a benefit recipient’s claim for damages, alleged to have been caused or contributed to by a health-related wrong, that an action commenced by the government under section 2 (1), or by the government of Canada under section 3 (1), has been adjudicated or settled.

It’s a commonly accepted principle that once a dispute is resolved, that it not be rehashed in a different forum. This applies to things like union grievances and human rights complaints. But here, it’s explicitly stated that “adjudicated or settled” won’t protect from future litigation.

Section 8 gets into what evidence will be allowed. This will include “statistical information and information derived from epidemiological, sociological and other relevant studies, including information derived from sampling”. In other words, modelling will be allowed as evidence. Remember how that was used back in 2020/2021?

Section 10 states that the Statute of Limitations both for the B.C. and Federal Governments will be 15 years. This goes well above the 2 year limit that typically applies.

In any event, it’s not hard to see what social media companies are nervous about Bill 12 going ahead. It exposes them to all kinds of risks, but without really defining their responsibilities. It’s no surprise that they’re now willing to work something out to prevent this legislation from going ahead.

Another area the CBC article omitted was any explanation of who was responsible for social media companies capitulating. For that, we turn to the B.C. Lobbying Registry.

Jean-Marc Prevost is one of the people lobbying on behalf of Facebook. He’s a former staffer for BCPHO Bonnie Henry, and helped her push the injections back in 2021. To give context, he was a part of this same NDP Government, leaves, and then promptly lobbies that same Government. See Archive.

And the conflict of interest doesn’t end there. Prevost lobbied for the company Emergent BioSolutions Inc., a few years back. This is the actual manufacturer of the AstraZeneca vaccines. He had the ear of the right people at the time.

Bradley Lavigne works at Counsel Public Affairs, same as Prevost. In March, he also lobbied on behalf of Facebook. And similar to Prevost. Lavigne pushed for vaccines on behalf of Emergent BioSolutions back in 2021. He has been a CBC commentator for about 20 years, meaning he pitches his clients’ goals directly to the public. See archive. He has also been in the inside of the Federal NDP party structure going back to the days of Jack Layton.

As should be obvious: a lot of these “commentators” and “pundits” are really just paid actors, playing the role of experts. And although these actors are supposedly from different political parties, their respective firms have people on staff across the spectrum.

For more on Emergent BioSolutions, or pharma lobbying more broadly, there are many rabbit holes to go down. These examples are hardly exhaustive.

Rachel Curran also lobbied on behalf of Meta. This is important since she spent over 3 years as part of the B.C. Government, and more than 6 more working for Harper Federally. See archive. Additionally, she lists herself as a CBC commentator from 2016 to 2020. This isn’t simply a left or right issue, but one where all parties do much the same things.

  • Francis LeBlanc – Chair, Former Executive Director, Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians
  • Chris Wilkins – Past Chair, CEO, Edge Interactive
  • Robert Asselin, Senior Director, Public Policy, Blackberry
  • Megan Beretta, Policy Analyst, Canadian Digital Service
  • Rachel Curran, Public Policy Manager, Canada, Facebook
  • Peter Donolo, Vice-Chairman, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada
  • Dr. Elizabeth Dubois, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Ottawa
  • Kathleen Monk, Principal, Earnscliffe Strategies

Curren is also involved in CIVIX, which is an online “disinformation prevention” group funded by taxpayers. In fact, there are several such organizations in Canada. Some are registered as charities, receiving large tax benefits.

The name Peter Donolo should also ring a bell. He was Jean Chretien’s Chieff of Staff in the 1990s, and helped get him elected. He also worked with Michael Ignatieff and Justin Trudeau.

It’s interesting that groups that are supposed to stop disinformation also are filled with operatives from the same Governments who are impacted.

The B.C. Government was lobbied on behalf of X (formerly Twitter) with regards to Bill 12. Fernando Minna works for Capital Hill Group, and has for the past 3 years. See archive.

Capitol Hill Group is run by David Angus, who worked for former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and former Ontario Premier Bill Davis.

Sabrina Geremia of Google lobbied the B.C. Government as well. While she doesn’t list political involvement in her profile, at least 3 colleagues do: Lindsay Doyle, Jeanette Patell, and Semhar Tekeste.

Erin O’Toole, former CPC Leader, gets an honourable mention. Before getting into politics, he lobbied on behalf of Facebook. He worked for Heenan Blaikie, same law firm as Jean Chretien and Pierre Trudeau.

Why cover all of this?

Bill 12 seems designed to force social media companies into compliance or face crippling financial penalties. Virtually anything can “cause public health harm”, depending on how it’s worded. This legislation is written in such a way that either Victoria or Ottawa can inflict damage. But these groups are very willing to negotiate, and the lobbyists have connections to those same Governments.

If the goal all along was to compel these outlets into being willing to censor, it’s more effective to get them to do it themselves. And remember, it’s all voluntary here. Technically, no one has been forced.

Problem. Reaction. Solution.

(1) https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-online-harms-bill-paused-1.7182392
(2) https://www.leg.bc.ca/
(3) https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/42nd-parliament/5th-session/bills/progress-of-bills
(4) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/
(5) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=5501&regId=56572920
(6) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=4186&regId=56566730
(7) https://www.linkedin.com/in/jean-marc-prevost-04830598/
(8) Jean-Marc Prevost LinkedIn Profile
(9) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=34073
(10) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=1334&regId=56559236&blnk=1
(11) https://www.linkedin.com/in/brad-lavigne-a0927a39/
(12) Brad Lavigne LinkedIn Profile
(13) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=34055
(14) https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-curran-a99258109/details/experience/
(15) Rachel Curran LinkedIn Profile
(16) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=5460&regId=56572569&blnk=1
(17) https://www.linkedin.com/in/fernandominna/
(18) Fernando Minna LinkedIn Profile
(19) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=3536&regId=56568880
(20) https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrina-geremia-028644/
(21) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=16607&regId=948142
(22) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=288445&regId=668908

Private Member’s Bill C-373: (Again) Removing Religious Protections For Antisemitic Expression

On February 5th, 2024, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, Member of Parliament for the Bloc Québécois in Lac-Saint-Jean, introduced Private Member’s Bill C-373. The goal is to remove religious exemptions for the hate crime of antisemitism.

If this sounds familiar, it should. It’s identical to Bill C-367, which was introduced by Yves-François Blanchet, the leader of the Bloc Québécois on November 28th, 2023.

Both Bills C-367 and C-373 would repeal Sections 319(3)‍(b) and 319(3.‍1)‍(b) of the Criminal Code. These would provide defences in Court if the expression were based on religious beliefs. Interestingly, neither Bill lists what faith(s) this would apply to, although Christianity is an obvious suspect.

Defences
.
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)
(a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;
(b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or
(d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.

Defences — subsection (2.1)
.
(3.1) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2.1)
(a) if they establish that the statements communicated were true;
(b) if, in good faith, they expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds they believed them to be true; or
(d) if, in good faith, they intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of antisemitism toward Jews.

Some clarity would be nice. These Bills (C-367 and C-373) didn’t just happen. There are obviously some written texts which are apparently offensive.

Brunel-Duceppe is also involved in foreign affairs. He and Blanchet are both part of CAIL, the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group.

  • (CAAF) Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association
  • (CACN Canada-China Legislative Association
  • (CADE) Canada-Germany Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAEU) Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association
  • (CAFR) Canada-France Inter-Parliamentary Association
  • (CAIE) Canada-Ireland Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAIL) Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAIT) Canada-Italy Interparliamentary Group
  • (CAJP) Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group
  • (CANA) Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association
  • (CAPF) Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie
  • (CCOM)Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • (CEUS) Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group
  • (CPAM) Canadian Section of ParlAmericas
  • (RUUK) Canada-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Association
  • (SECOC) anadian Delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly
  • (UIPU) Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

Here’s where the story take a turn, as it usually does. Brunelle-Duceppe didn’t come up with this on his own. It looks as if he has been meeting with CIJA, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

Brunelle-Duceppe appears to have been contacted by the Israeli Lobby about this. There’s a meeting which took place on January 19th, 2024. Just 2 weeks later, he’s introducing this Bill. That seems unlikely to be a coincidence.

CIJA is very involved in Canadian politics, and has regularly lobbied politicians for decades. A large part of their agenda focuses on amending the Criminal Code and Human Rights Codes to combat what they call hate speech and antisemitism.

Bills C-367 and C-373 are hardly the only ones introduced in recent times to limit Canadians’ expression and speech. Here are some others.

Bill C-63 (the Online Harms Act) was recently introduced. This would impose strict criminal penalties for people suspected — not even charged or convicted — of causing harms. Like so many pieces of legislation, it’s both vague, and has real consequences.

Bill C-229 sought to ban “symbols of hate”, but without defining what the criteria would be. It can be difficult to distinguish between hate, history, and simple expression.

Bill C-250 would have put Holocaust deniers in prison for up to 2 years. This came from a “Conservative” MP named Kevin Waugh. The Bill is moot at this point, since the equivalent provisions were slipped into Bill C-19, a budget that passed.

Bill C-261 would create “red flag laws” for hate speech, but without defining what it is. Without a person even being charged or convicted, a Judge could order them to be subjected to the kinds of restrictions that felons on probation or parole would face. This is virtually identical to Bill C-36, which was introduced, but didn’t pass in the previous session.

Who can forget Iqra Khalid’s M-103 (Islamophobia Motion), or Bills C-6 and later C-4 (to criminalize anything that would be considered conversion therapy?

British Columbia Bill 23 gets an honourable mention. This would establish a Provincial Committee to establish and advance an “anti-racism” agenda, and embed it in everything. Whites are specifically excluded from being on having any leadership role.

Not only do these Bills erode freedom, and particularly freedom of speech, the details are always worked out behind closed doors. It’s typically an NGO, often a foreign one, who has elected officials try to implement them. This shouldn’t be allowed, regardless of who’s behind it.

But you won’t hear either the mainstream or alternative media talk about this.

One other point of interest is this: Blanchet’s Bill C-367 was introduced at the end of November, 2023. Brunelle-Duceppe’s Bill C-373 was in early February, 2024. This was just a few months later. Why was this introduced twice?

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/overview
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-373
(3) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/alexis-brunelle-duceppe(104786)
(4) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-373/first-reading
(5) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=592585

Private Member Bills In Current Session:
(A) Bill C-206: Decriminalizing Self Maiming To Avoid Military Service
(B) Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing
(C) Bill C-219: Creating Environmental Bill Of Rights
(D) Bill C-226: Creating A Strategy For Environmental Racism/Justice
(E) Bill C-229: Banning Symbols Of Hate, Without Defining Them
(F) Bill C-235: Building Of A Green Economy In The Prairies
(G) Bill C-245: Entrenching Climate Change Into Canada Infrastructure Bank
(H) Bill C-250: Imposing Prison Time For Holocaust Denial
(I) Bill C-261: Red Flag Laws For “Hate Speech”
(J) Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of Int’l Pandemic Treaty
(K) Bill C-312: Development Of National Renewable Energy Strategy
(L) Bill C-315: Amending CPPIB Act Over “Human, Labour, Environmental Rights”
(M) Bill C-367: Removing Religious Exemptions Protecting Against Antisemitism
(N) Bill S-215: Protecting Financial Stability Of Post-Secondary Institutions
(O) Bill S-243: Climate Related Finance Act, Banking Acts
(P) Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Euthanasia
(Q) Bill S-257: Protecting Political Belief Or Activity As Human Rights

B.C. Bill 23: Whites Prohibited From Serving On “Anti-Racism” Committee

A few days ago, Bill 23 was introduced in the British Columbia Legislature. This is the so-called “Anti-Racism Act”, and it’s every bit as bad as can be expected.

It was introduced by Josie Osborne, who is the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. It’s unclear why she would be doing this, as it appears to have nothing to do with her portfolio.

What are the goals of this Act?

2 This Act must be administered and interpreted in accordance with the following principles:
.
(a) systemic racism, systemic racism specific to Indigenous peoples and racial inequity are harming individuals and communities in British Columbia and require urgent action;
.
(b) actions to identify and eliminate systemic racism and systemic racism specific to Indigenous peoples, and advance racial equity, in programs, services, policies and laws should be informed by data;
.
(c) in taking action to identify and eliminate systemic racism and advance racial equity, consideration must be given to the ways in which an individual’s intersecting identities, including, without limitation, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, sex or religion, or an individual’s physical or mental disability, result in unique experiences of, or an increased risk of experiencing, systemic racism and racial inequity;
.
(d) consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples, acknowledging the rights, interests, priorities and concerns that are specific to First Nations peoples, Métis peoples and Inuit peoples, based on distinctions among them, is essential to the identification and elimination of systemic racism specific to Indigenous peoples and the advancement of racial equity and the implementation of this Act;
.
(e) engagement with racialized communities in British Columbia is essential to the identification and elimination of systemic racism and the advancement of racial equity and the implementation of this Act;
.
(f) investment in programs and services is needed to support healing for individuals and communities harmed by systemic racism, systemic racism specific to Indigenous peoples and racial inequity.

Even though “racial equity” is listed throughout the Bill’s principles, it isn’t actually defined. Best guess, it’s a push for some sort of affirmative action or quota system.

This sort of practice has long existed in employment and post secondary education. In theory, it could easily extend to other areas.

Section 5 of the Bill gets into the makeup of the Committee that will be reporting back to the Legislature. And it immediately becomes clear who isn’t welcome here.

Provincial Committee on Anti-Racism
5 (1) The minister must establish a Provincial Committee on Anti-Racism.
(2) The minister must appoint at least 7 and not more than 11 members to the committee.

(3) All members must be individuals who
(a) are racialized, and

(b) have expertise in working to eliminate systemic racism and advance racial equity.

(4) The committee must include the following as members:
(a) at least 2 individuals who represent organizations that support racialized individuals or communities;
(b) at least 2 individuals who have expertise in systems thinking theory and practice;
(c) at least 2 individuals who have expertise in the development and delivery of anti-racism training curricula.

Clause 5(3)(a) is very telling. In a Bill that claims to be fighting racism, the official policy is “whites need not apply”. Have to say, that sounds rather…. racist.

Clause 5(4)(b) is another one to wonder about. What are the “systems” that need to be implemented or changed? Will we be heading towards South Africa style apartheid?

It’s hard to tell at this point whether this will largely just result in slush funds being handed out to certain groups, or if it will be much worse.

Like many (or most) pieces of legislation in Canada, the B.C. Anti-Racism Act is backdoored with “regulations”. In practice, it means that major changes can be made without having to go back to the Legislature.

Regulations
31 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 [powers to make regulations] of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:
(a) respecting accessible formats for documents published under this Act;
(b) respecting anti-racism assessments and the anti-racism assessment framework developed under section 9 (1) (a) [duties of government] or 15 (1) (a) [duties of committee], including, without limitation, respecting
(i) the form and content of anti-racism assessments, and
(ii) the frequency with which anti-racism assessments must be carried out;
(c) respecting anti-racism training curricula and anti-racism training and the standards, targets and indicators set by the government under section 9 (1) (b) and (c) or by the committee under section 15 (1) (b) and (c);
(d) for the purposes of section 11 (4) (b) [actions against Indigenous-specific systemic racism], establishing requirements in relation to the receipt and use of information referred to in section 11 (3) (e);
(e) for the purposes of section 17 (4) (b) [actions against systemic racism], establishing requirements in relation to the receipt and use of information referred to in section 17 (3) (f);
(f) respecting grants under section 29 [minister may provide grant], including, without limitation,
(i) restricting the purposes, amounts or recipients of those grants, and
(ii) respecting the terms and conditions on which the grants may or must be given.

(3) A regulation under this Act may do one or more of the following:
(a) delegate a matter to a person;
(b) confer a discretion on a person;
(c) establish or define groups or categories of public bodies, persons, things, circumstances or other matters;
(d) make different regulations in relation to different public bodies, persons, things, circumstances or other matters, or for different groups or categories of public bodies, persons, things, circumstances or other matters.

Not only are the terms vague and undefined, but the details will be worked out in secret. Assuming this Bill is passed, then only afterwards will it all come out.

The obvious questions include: What sort of regulations will be coming in the near future? Who will be deciding what regulatory changes happen? Will there be any mechanism to challenge such measures? What kind of “discretion” will be handed out to other people or groups?

Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC
The Immigrant Services Society of BC

In the B.C. Lobbying Registry, a few names get flagged when searching anti-racism. Unsurprisingly, both groups receive large amounts of money from taxpayers.

Considering the NDP has a majority in the Province, the legislation will likely pass. Then again, it’s not like the Liberals are much of an opposition party anyway.

(1) https://bcndpcaucus.ca/mla/josie-osborne/
(2) https://www.leg.bc.ca/
(3) https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/42nd-parliament/5th-session/bills
(4) https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/42nd-parliament/5th-session/bills/progress-of-bills
(5) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/
(6) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=3739&regId=56571325
(7) https://www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca/app/secure/orl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=4629&regId=56572243