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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Let’s get the facts on the graves, with a public inquiry

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Brian Giesbrecht

Canada needs a public inquiry into what has become known as “The Kamloops Graves Hoax”.

The May 27, 2021 claim of the Kamloops Indian band was that “human remains” were found in the apple orchard area of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, resulting in what has been described both as a “national hysteria” and a “moral panic”. The band subsequently extended the claim to include other even more graphic  terms, such as “bodies”, “graves” and even “mass graves”. Emotional articles and books followed.

In a press release issued three years after those sensational claims were made, their chief, Roseanne Casimir, has finally admitted the truth – there were no “human remains”, “bodies” “graves” or “mass graves” found at Kamloops.

Only “soil anomalies” were detected. Those anomalies could just as easily be tree roots, rocks, or the result of any of the other previous excavations that had been done in that same area. (As it happens there was a previous excavation in the area that was apparently missed by the radar operator. It is almost certain that it was soil anomalies from a 1924 excavation that her radar detected.)

Those 2021 false claims sent the nation into a panic. There is no need to describe in detail the flag-lowering, church-burning shock and  frenzy that spread like wildfire through national and  international media, brought the ailing Pope to Canada, convinced shamed MPs to condemn their own country as genocidal, vote in regressive UNDRIP and other incredibly expensive legislation, and spend what will be billions of dollars on a futile search for “missing children” who never existed. Many fine writers, including Terry Glavin, have described these strange last three years.

That episode of national hysteria is now an embarrassing  part of Canada’s history.

A legitimate question to ask is why the Kamloops band made those false claims.

Chief Casimir said that they were based on Sarah Beaulieu’s report.

“But it would be shockingly unprofessional for a ground penetrating radar operator (GPR) to claim that graves had been found before excavation had taken place. It is well known that GPR can detect only soil anomalies or disturbances. It cannot detect “graves” or “human remains”. A simple Google search of the question “Can ground penetrating radar detect graves?” is all that is necessary to find that answer.

It therefore seems highly unlikely that Beaulieu would have made such a reckless claim. Almost certainly, Beaulieu properly reported only that soil disturbances, anomalies or reflections – that might be graves — were detected, and that excavation would be necessary to determine whether or not those disturbances were graves, or any of the hundreds of other possibilities.

But the answer to precisely what Beaulieu said can only be found by reading her report. And that is currently impossible, because the band is refusing to release the report. This is odd, because they had initially promised to release it, and only later reneged on that promise. They are are now steadfastly refusing to let the public see it.

The only reasonable explanation for this refusal is that they have something to hide – specifically that their claim of “graves” found was a claim they knew was false when they made it. Beaulieu’s report almost certainly did not say that graves had been found.

But on the strength of what appears to be a lie they made an application to the federal government for money to deal with what they said were “graves” containing the remains of 215 KIRS students – students they insisted had died under sinister circumstances, and were secretly buried by persons unknown, with the forced help of children – “as young as six”.

Exactly what representations the band made to the federal government in order to get the $8,000,000, or how the money was spent, is unknown, for the simple reason that both the band and the federal government have not released that information to the public.

Logic dictates that either Sarah Beaulieu, or Chief Roseanne Casimir, claimed that “graves” had been found, knowing that such information was false. Only one of them was telling the truth. $8,000,000 was obtained from the federal government on false information. Who made that false “grave” claim?

The Kamloops band refuses to release Beaulieu’s report – a report they initially promised to release. They are also refusing to provide any details about how the $8,000,000 was spent – despite not having put even one shovel in the ground. The RCMP is refusing to investigate anything involving the Kamloops claim, unless the Kamloops band requests their assistance. It is not likely that the band will ask the RCMP to investigate their own false claim. The federal government is refusing to release any details about the representations made by the band in order to obtain the $8,000,000.

And now, three years after that claim of “human remains” the Kamloops band has suddenly changed “remains” to exactly what they always were “anomalies”. They refuse to provide an explanation for that astounding reversal.

Meanwhile, there is absolutely no explanation from the Trudeau government about why they gave out millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, and severely damaged Canada’s reputation at home and abroad, with a preposterous genocide confession, for allegations about secret graves that a simple Google search would have told them were false. There is also no explanation for the mainstream media’s failure to do that simple Google search, or ask even one obvious question about claims that were so highly improbable from the outset.

Hamlet’s “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” quote is apt here.

Except the smell is coming straight from Kamloops and Ottawa.

Most Canadians now believe at least some version of the original claim that priests secretly buried indigenous children at Kamloops. One in five believe that priests actually murdered the children.

Life in Canada has been severely disrupted by the false claims made on May 27, 2021. Canada’s reputation has been badly damaged. Canadian schoolchildren are being falsely taught that their ancestors were genocidal racists.

We have now reached the absurd point where a Justice Minister of Canada has seriously considered  criminalizing  anyone asking legitimate questions about these secret burial claims, Canada’s Senate has recommended that even writing an article disputing the original May 27, 2021 Kamloops claim should be outlawed – apparently making not only this article – but even Casimir’s recent correction to “anomalies” illegal. This madness must end. Canadians deserve to know how things went so horribly wrong.

A public inquiry is the only way to clear the air, and get the country back on track.

Brian Giesbrecht, retired judge, is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Where was Canada’s Governor General on D-Day?

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Colin Alexander

There really are non-partisan functions that need to be done by the representative of all Canadians, the Governor General, and not that of a self serving, partisan and narcissist politician in pursuit of photo-ops.

On D-Day June 6 Canada’s Governor General Mary Simon should have taken her rightful place. At ceremonies in France. But she wasn’t there. Instead, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed her aside. As usual.

The D-Day landings may seem like ancient history even as June 6, 1944 was a defining day for Canada. But it’s important to recall that over 14,000 Canadians stormed Juno Beach, as part of the largest amphibious landing in history. More than 5,000 Canadian troops were killed and thousands more injured in the Battle of Normandy. While we celebrate the eventual defeat of Germany, we may also recall Winston Churchill’s saying we need to remember that there was a Germany before Hitler.

The military historian Basil Liddell Hart had a view of history that’s largely gone missing in the western democracies. Essential reading is his book, Why don’t we learn from history? He quoted the Roman historian Polybius: “There are two roads to the reformation of mankind—one through the misfortunes of their own, the other through the misfortunes of others; the former is the most unmistakable, the latter the less painful…we should always look out for the latter, for thereby we can, without hurt to ourselves, gain a clearer view of the best course to pursue… the knowledge gained from the study of true history is the best of all education for practical life.”

Arguably, the conflicts in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine and Gaza could have been averted or could have evolved less disastrously by heeding the lessons of history—and, specifically, from history of the two World Wars. Undoubtedly, the mismanaged exit from Kabul emboldened President Putin. Disaster in Ukraine since the invasion of Crimea represents failure to heed the ancient principle, also from Roman times, If you want peace, prepare for war. There was no deterrent to the invasion of Ukraine. And the western democracies have consistently delivered far too little materiel and far too late.

There’s abject disrespect at the highest levels for truth and tradition, and the values that made of Canada a great country. I came across a phrase in news  reports that made me shudder. The Governor General was relieved of her duties when it was she who should have hosted a state dinner for President Joe Biden in 2023. Prime Minister Trudeau had no business relieving her of her duties. He usurped her constitutional role.

The Governor General was also relieved of her duty to attend the D-Day ceremonies in France. Arguably, it was her job to unveil unveiled a statue commemorating Canada’s participation. In her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regina Rifles, Princess Anne performed that ceremony. Fair enough. But as a minimum, the Governor General should have been there too. Instead, of course, Trudeau traveled to France after shunting the Governor General off to perform a token ceremony in New Brunswick.

My point is, there really are non-partisan functions that need to be done by the representative of all Canadians, the Governor General, and not that of a self serving, partisan and narcissist politician in pursuit of photo-ops.

Canadians don’t normally need to know that the British North America Act vests in the Governor General an ultimate duty to override political abuse. But that’s why King Charles’s representative signs legislation into law as well as other proclamations. That function, and the power to withhold it, is the last resort for maintaining the free and democratic society that Canada purports to be.

History tells of ultimate leaders who failed that duty to their people. In 1921, under pressure of riots, Italy’s King Victor Emmanuel III refused to declare a state of emergency and impose martial law. Instead he dissolved the parliament and asked Mussolini to take the power that evolved into his dictatorship. Similarly, in 1933 Germany’s ailing President Paul von Hindenburg signed into law the Enabling Act that empowered Hitler’s unbridled exercise of power.

D-Day reinforces this lesson from history, from two thousand years ago. The Roman political philosopher Cicero warned: “Though liberty is established by law, we must be vigilant, for liberty to enslave us is always present under that very liberty. Our constitution speaks of the people’s general welfare. Under that phrase all manner of excesses can be employed by lusting tyrants …”

In sum, it’s important to learn history and to maintain traditions. That includes having Governors General who insist on taking the lead role as Canada’s functional head of state—and, most importantly, not having politicians usurping the vice-regal role.

Colin Alexander’s degrees include Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford. His latest book is Justice on Trial: Jordan Peterson’s case shows we need to fix the broken system.  

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Energy

Why we should be skeptical of the hydrogen economy

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Hügo Krüger and Ian Madsen

Hydrogen has a low energy density by volume, compared to well-established and practical fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and natural gas. It also has a low ignition point and is three times as explosive as natural gas, which could be either positive or negative.

At first glance, using highly variable, intermittent, inexpensive renewable energy to produce hydrogen for energy supply stabilization seems logical. However, renewable energy is not always readily available. The concept of hydrogen as a ‘buffer,’ akin to a battery, to ensure consistent renewable power is more complex than it appears.

Upon further examination, the idea is impractical and expensive for several reasons. Among them, hydrogen has a low energy density by volume, compared to well-established and practical fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and natural gas. It also has a low ignition point and is three times as explosive as natural gas, which could be either positive or negative, depending on its use.

Contrary to claims, renewable energy is neither inexpensive nor environmentally benign. Storing hydrogen in a natural gaseous state requires massive, costly storage vessels. Electrolyzing is expensive and will likely remain that way. Similarly, the cost of producing hydrogen is higher than that of deriving it from natural gas, which produces carbon dioxide, which is unwanted. There are some other techniques, such as pressure, heat, and radiolysis from radiation emitted from nuclear reactors, that are feasible, perhaps in combination. Small ‘micro nuclear reactors’ may drive down these costs. Atomic reactors are already used in U.S. Navy aircraft carriers to produce aviation and diesel synthetic fuel.

There are also a series of impractical issues. Existing pipeline infrastructure cannot transport pure hydrogen due to hydrogen embrittlement, and hydrogen cannot easily be used as a transportation fuel. A new Teflon-coated pipeline and distribution system parallel to the existing natural gas network would have to be built, costing hundreds of billions of dollars in North America alone.

While the idea of synthetic fuels using hydrogen may seem more feasible, it would likely be limited to a ‘niche role,’ potentially in natural gas-deficient nations. However, this would still necessitate significant investment. Ultimately, diverting funds to this ‘hydrogen economy’ could be a misallocation of capital from other, potentially more viable, areas.

Download the full report in PDF format here. (16 pages)

Hügo Krüger is a YouTube podcaster, writer, and civil nuclear engineer who has worked on a variety of energy related infrastructure projects ranging from Nuclear Power, LNG and Renewable Technologies. He holds a Master’s in Nuclear Civil Engineering from École Spéciale des Travaux Publics, du bâtiment et de l’industrie, Paris and a bachelor’s from the University of Pretoria.

Ian Madsen, BA (Economics, University of Alberta), MBA (Finance, University of Toronto), holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. He was an investment portfolio manager; owned his own investment counselling firm; published an investment newsletter; founded the professional society now known as CFA Saskatchewan in 1986; and was a director of an investment research operation in India. Since 2016, he has been the Senior Policy Analyst at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, performing valuation analyses on federal and provincial Crown corporations in Canada, and also written numerous policy analyses. He lives in Surrey, British Columbia with his family.

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