Chantier Politique

July 17, 2017

English Edition, No. 20

Trudeau Government's Bill C-59

All Out to Oppose Police State Bill C-59!

No to State Terrorism! Defend the Rights of All!

Picket
Wednesday, July 19,
5:00 p.m.

Corner of Decarie Blvd & MacDonald Street
(South East Corner, 1 block south of Côte-Vertu Metro)

Organized by the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ)
Contact: bureau@pmlq.qc.ca 514 522-5872


Trudeau Government's Bill C-59
PMLQ Holds Militant Picket Outside Federal Government Offices
Changes to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act

4th Anniversary of the Railway Tragedy at Lac-Mégantic
Lac-Mégantic Residents Demand Railway Security


Trudeau Government's Bill C-59

PMLQ Holds Militant Picket Outside
Federal Government Offices

On Wednesday, July 5, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ) held a militant picket in front of federal government offices at Complexe Guy-Favreau in Montreal against the Trudeau government's police state Bill C-59, an Act respecting national security matters, introduced on June 20, just prior to the summer recess. For over an hour participants shouted slogans condemning the bill, which broadly expands secret police powers, firmly declaring that a government of police powers is not a government of laws. They pointed to the fact that the introduction of the legislation does not bode well for the people and that the rights of all must be provided with a guarantee. They also expressed support for the struggles of the peoples of Quebec, Canada and worldwide in defence of their rights, stating unequivocally that it is only through the recognition and guarantee of rights that security can be ensured.

While the picket was taking place, Party activists distributed the most recent issue of Chantier politique dealing with Bill C-59, encouraging people to find out more about the bill and involve themselves in the work for its withdrawal as well as the repeal of previous Harper government legislation, Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015. Quebeckers who experienced the War Measures Act in Quebec in 1970 questioned whether the Justin Trudeau government was preparing a new coup by targeting Quebec, commenting that such attacks must not pass. Tourists from France, whose government has passed similar legislation strengthening secret police powers, declared that their country's citizens have never felt so unsafe. While thanking the organizers of the action, a group of people of Muslim faith said that the passage of such legislation is always an occasion to attack various communities. One of them condemned Premier Couillard's statements in particular (with regard to an attack at the Michigan airport, Couillard was quoted as saying: "Unfortunately, you cannot disconnect this type of event -- terrorism -- from Islam in general" and that "Muslims also have a responsibility in the fight against terrorism."). He questioned why Muslims should have to apologize for terrorism, when they have had nothing to do with any of the crimes that were committed.

"Strengthening secret police powers and the police state does not ensure people's security," PMLQ Leader Pierre Chénier told Chantier politique. "Far from it, its aim is to subjugate the people to the ruling elite's plans for annexation and war, within the framework of the United States of North American oligopolies. For the people to be safe, the state must recognize and guarantee the rights of all. An end must also be put to wars of aggression and regime change. What also must be ended is the theft, by the imperialist ruling elite which organizes and uses terrorist forces to achieve its aim of world domination, of what belongs to the peoples by right," he added.

"Quebec is always the first target of attack of state terrorism perpetrated by the Canadian state," said PMLQ Director Christine Dandenault. "Quebeckers must be at the forefront of the struggle to force the federal government to withdraw both this bill as well as [the previous Harper government legislation] Bill C-51, and to prevent the Quebec government from participating in the dirty tricks of the political police, as is already being done through inflammatory statements, such as that Muslims in Quebec must assume their responsibility in the fight against terrorism," she said.

Other actions are being organized during the summer and fall to alert people to the content of Bill C-59 and develop the struggle for its withdrawal, as well as the repeal of Bill C-51.

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Features of Bill C-59

Changes to the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service Act

Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters, brings amendments to five laws:

- The Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act;

- The Communications Security Establishment Act;

- The Secure Air Travel Act;

- The Criminal Code;

- The Youth Criminal Justice Act;

With regards to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), it not only maintains the extended arbitrary powers conferred to CSIS by the Harper government's Bill C-51 but further enhances these powers. The Harper government had considerably amended CSIS' mandate.

For activities such as data collection, security assessments, arrangements with provinces as well as with foreign States, the agency was authorized to ''take measures, within or outside Canada'' with regards to anything that ''constitutes a threat to the security of Canada.'' CSIS was also explicitly authorized by Bill C-51 to violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or any Canadian lawso long as a judge signed off on it. It also had the power to engage in disruptive activities over and above any given law including those of a foreign State. The only limitations placed on this provision were that CSIS was prohibited from causing "intentionally, or by criminal negligence, death or bodily harm to an individual" or "to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice" or "violate the sexual integrity of an individual." Other amendments included that the mandates obtained through these provisions were not affected by clauses in the Criminal Code prohibiting invasion of privacy.

Not only has the Trudeau government not removed any of the powers authorizing CSIS to act unlawfully and with impunity, it actually incorporates into Bill-59 a description of the illegal activities the political police can now ''lawfully'' be involved in.

Bill C-59 explicitly names the activities a CSIS director or employee appointed to these activities by the minister may engage in to "reduce a threat to the security of Canada." These activities are described as:

"altering, removing, replacing, destroying, disrupting or degrading a communication or means of communication;

"altering, removing, replacing, destroying, degrading or providing -- or interfering with the use or delivery of -- any thing or part of a thing, including records, documents, goods, components and equipment;

"fabricating or disseminating any information, record or document;

"making or attempting to make, directly or indirectly, any financial transaction that involves or purports to involve currency or a monetary instrument;

"interrupting or redirecting, directly or indirectly, any financial transaction that involves currency or a monetary instrument;

"interfering with the movement of any person; and

"personating a person, other than a police officer, in order to take a measure referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (f)."

According to the Bill, no CSIS employee would be ''guilty of an offence by reason only that the employee, in the course of their duties and functions and for the sole purpose of establishing or maintaining a covert identity, makes a false statement with respect to a covert identity or makes, procures to be made, requests, possesses, uses or transfers a false document or acts on or authenticates a false document as if it were genuine" and ''No employee is guilty of an offence under section 368. 1 of the Criminal Code if the acts alleged to constitute the offence were committed by the employee in the course of their duties and functions and for the sole purpose of establishing or maintaining a covert identity."

According to the Trudeau government's twisted logic, all this has now become ''lawful'' and in conformity with a government of laws because it is now incorporated into the law. In fact, what this shows is that police powers have become the government and still we are brazenly told that this means that our security will be enhanced.

As for any "threats to the security of Canada," Bill C-59 maintains the definitions contained in article 2 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act:

"(a) espionage or sabotage that is against Canada or is detrimental to the interests of Canada or activities directed toward or in support of such espionage or sabotage,

"(b) foreign influenced activities within or relating to Canada that are detrimental to the interests of Canada and are clandestine or deceptive or involve a threat to any person,

"(c) activities within or relating to Canada directed toward or in support of the threat or use of acts of serious violence against persons or property for the purpose of achieving a political, religious or ideological objective within Canada or a foreign state, and

"(d) activities directed toward undermining by covert unlawful acts, or directed toward or intended ultimately to lead to the destruction or overthrow by violence of, the constitutionally established system of government in Canada, but does not include lawful advocacy, protest or dissent, unless carried on in conjunction with any of the activities referred to in paragraphs (a) to (d)."

Bill C-59 clearly enhances powers which authorize CSIS as well as other agencies to partake in criminal activity and in the use of subversion against those who are fighting for change. It targets Quebeckers and Canadians who are organizing to establish modern constitutional arrangements that enshrine the rights of Quebec and the Indigenous nations to self-determination and, importantly, the rights of the citizenry to have decision-making power vested in the people.

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4th Anniversary of the Railway Tragedy at Lac-Mégantic

Lac-Mégantic Residents Demand Railway Security 


  Third Anniversary March in Lac-Mégantic, July 10, 2016

July 6 marks the fourth anniversary of the railway tragedy at Lac-Mégantic. The disaster killed 47 people, destroyed the downtown area, and contaminated the surrounding land as well as the Chaudière River. On the sombre occasion, the Coalition of Citizens and Organizations for Railway Safety held a press conference near the railway tracks where the derailment took place. The Coalition demanded the federal and Quebec governments take immediate action on railway safety beginning with the building of a bypass route around Lac-Mégantic so that dangerous products, especially crude oil, no longer travel through the town. The Coalition forcefully declared that railway safety must be at the heart of all economic development affecting the town and surrounding region and that the people living there should have a say on these developments.

Amongst other things, the Coalition denounced the fact that instead of building a bypass, the railway section where the train convoy derailed was rebuilt just days after the tragedy with an eight degree curve, which is even more pronounced than the original 4 degree curve. This makes the route even more dangerous in terms of a possible derailment. This information was revealed to residents only this past May during hearings of the Bureau d'Audiences Publiques sur l'Environnement on the social acceptability of various railway options following the tragedy.

The rebuilt line has been in use since January 2014 for the weekly passage of over ten convoys belonging to the Central Maine & Quebec Railway company, which purchased the Quebec assets from the bankrupt Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, the operator of the train convoy that derailed and exploded on that tragic night four years ago. The Central Maine & Quebec Railway regularly transports tank cars through downtown Lac-Mégantic. Similar to before that fateful night, the tanks are filled with dangerous substances such as propane gas, sulfuric acid and car fuel containing ethanol, with the transportation of crude oil expected to resume in 2018. Without a bypass, the Coalition demands at the very least that the curve in the railway where the derailment took place be reduced to the minimum.

Sorting presently takes place on the service track at the top of the slope that descends non-stop into downtown Mégantic. Were a problem to arise during handling, or the connecting of trains to the main line, it could result in a train heading off on its own down the steep slope. The fact that the service track is being used for freight handling also means the trains are still being parked on the main track, as was the case during the fateful night of July 6, 2013, when the parked train full of crude oil raced down the slope on its own, derailed and exploded. The Coalition demands that corrective action be taken on these matters.

As for the bypass route, the Coalition denounces as unacceptable the lack of action on the part of governments, which claim further studies are necessary and then use this as an excuse not to propose any time frame for construction to begin. The Coalition reports that the City Council of the neighbouring municipalities including Nantes and Frontenac have reached an agreement with the town of Lac-Mégantic on a modified bypass route that is considered safe. The proposed route would minimize passage through farm and forestry land. The farm and forestry producers affected by the bypass have said they would agree to the proposed route in exchange for financial compensation. The Coalition claims that the only factor missing for construction to begin is the political will of the federal and Quebec governments to make it happen! The lack of urgency by governments places additional stress on residents who have suffered so greatly and demand their safety be the main concern in the operation of the railway.

One the occasion of the 4th anniversary of the tragedy, Chantier politique reiterates its support to the people of Lac-Mégantic and the region who are fighting to have their voices heard. Their rights, safety and well-being must be at the heart of all measures to revitalize the town and economy and provide a future for those who have endured such a calamity.

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