Two recent stories highlight how the Canadian government is spending public dollars to produce the results and the information they require to protect their way of taking care of corporate interests in Canada.
Call on your MP to stand against costly online spying
Would you want up to three billion dollars of your country's tax dollars spent on your own online surveillance? How would you feel if Public Safety Minister Vic Toews had already quietly set aside your money for such a scheme?
This isn't a hypothetical question. If passed, online spying bill C-30 will have you paying for a range of authorities to invasively access your private online information, at any time, without a warrant. The warrantless online spying plan is invasive and poorly thought-out, and one expert is saying it could cost billions of dollars.1
Toews has already set aside millions of your tax dollars just to get the the online spying plan started,2 and just last week he told media that the government is still "intent on proceeding" with the wildly unpopular bill.3,4
We know from experience that MPs get the message when contacted by local constituents, and there's only a small window of opportunity to stop this scheme
 Read our summary, Christopher Parsons: $80 Million dollars for Lawful Access Bill C-30 is a tall guesstimate, or find the original article here.
 Law professor Michael Geist recently reported that "the Public Safety Report on Plans and Priorities for the coming year include a commitment to advance lawful access legislation and an allocation of $2.1 million specifically earmarked for the issue."
 Article from CBC News: Internet surveillance bill not dead, Toews says
 Blog: Stop Online Spying hits 100k: Canadians are an inspiration
Conservatives move again to have robocalls suits tossed - Party urges court to dismiss lawsuits by 'professional agitators'
By Terry Milewski - May 24, 2012
Maude Barlow is a 'virulent critic' of Prime Minister Stephen Harper who has 'orchestrated' litigation against the Conservatives, a motion filed in Federal Court says.
The Conservative Party has filed a second motion to dismiss the robocalls lawsuits filed by the left-leaning Council of Canadians, calling council chairperson Maude Barlow a "virulent critic" of Prime Minister Stephen Harper who has "orchestrated" the litigation.
"It is evident that the Council's 'business plan' is to leverage anti-Conservative sentiment in order raise money and continue to employ professional agitators like Ms. Barlow," the motion says.
The Council of Canadians is seeking to overturn the results of last year's election in seven ridings won by Conservatives, where they say voters were misdirected to phoney polling stations by mysterious live or recorded phone calls, often purporting to be from Elections Canada.
The Conservative Party's latest salvo in response accuses the council of having "an improper motive" to "damage the Conservative brand through unfounded assertions."
"The applications have been brought solely to provide the Council with a platform to criticize Conservatives, who the Council views as its enemy," the motion says.
In a tart response, Council of Canadians executive director Garry Neil says, "unlike the epithets thrown at their political opponents, we aren't being accused of being Nazi sympathizers, or terrorists, or being on the side of the child pornographers."
"I only wish the Conservatives had put as much time and effort into their investigation of the robocalls scandal as they've put into chastising the Council of Canadians," said Neil.
The Conservative motion, filed in Federal Court on May 22, is a second attempt to dismiss the council's case. An earlier motion said the suit was filed too late and presents no proof that the outcome in any of the seven ridings was affected by robocalls. The motions are not expected to be heard until late June.
"The Council engineered the applications," the Conservative motion says, "and its fingerprints are all over the litigation that has ensued." It describes the Council of Canadians as "an officious intermeddler" without standing to bring the case.
The Conservative motion employs the rarely used legal doctrine of "champerty and maintenance," designed to block frivolous litigation by parties with no interest in a case. In its reply, the Council of Canadians sarcastically says, "We thank the Conservative Party for highlighting...our Democracy 24-7 Legal Fund and we continue to encourage people from coast to coast to contribute to this fund to ensure Canadians' democratic rights are upheld through these important legal challenges."
"If the Conservatives are serious about getting to the bottom of the 'robocall' affair," the council adds, "they would withdraw their absurd motions and let the Court examine the powerful evidence that has been submitted."