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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Moscow attack highlights need for secure borders


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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Brian Giesbrecht

Are candid questions about border security and immigration really semi-racist, or are they legitimate self protection? Are questions about unchecked people entering our countries from parts of the world where Islamists have great influence “Islamophobia”, or are such questions perfectly understandable given the Islamist-inspired attacks that occur with regularity around the globe?

The shocking terrorist attack that took place on March 22, 2024 near Moscow is still reverberating around the globe. Exactly who was responsible for the attack and why it happened is not completely clear. One of the many Islamist terrorist factions, IS Khorason Province, has taken “credit” for the bloody massacre, but the details are murky. To add to the murk the videos that have emerged showing large powerful shooters that some say stand in stark contrast to the videos showing smaller and less robust Tajik suspects confessing to being the shooters. So, conspiracy theories are flying.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin seems intent on trying to blame Ukraine, but that is entirely predictable. Everything Putin says is now taken with a grain of salt by the international community. Ukraine does not appear to be connected. What is known is that Putin was warned recently by the U.S. that exactly such an attack was in the works, but angrily blew off the warning as American propaganda. How Russians will react to this information -or even if they will find out about it – is not known. We don’t know much more than that at this time. Hopefully the details will become clearer with the passage of time.

However, two facts about the incident that do appear to be reasonably certain are that the perpetrators were not Russians, and that the attack was related to an Islamist terror group that hates Russia – and apparently everyone else that does not share their philosophy.

That definitely includes Canada. Should we worry about such an attack taking place here?

At one time the answer would be “probably not”. Canada was a nation with a sophisticated, well-regulated immigration system that weeded out potential terrorists, and tightly controlled borders. A dangerous person might still get in, but chances are that even if he did his movements would be monitored, and he would be stopped before committing an atrocity. But not anymore.

This all changed when Justin Trudeau became prime minister in 2015. Canadians were mystified when he told the New York Times that Canada was a “post national state”. What did he mean?

What he meant began to become clear when he sent out his famous January, 2017 tweet basically inviting any global resident who cared to come to Canada – no questions asked.

“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,’

And thousands did. Roxham Road became internationally famous as a pleasant lane where any global resident with the wherewithal to fly to the United States could get a cab to Roxham Road, and simply walk into Canada. They would then agree to show up at an immigration hearing they had no intention of attending. And that would be it. They would stay as long as they liked.

Canadians began to understand the implications of being a “post-national state”. Because does such an entity as a “post-national state” even need borders, border guards, border security – or even an army, for that matter? Aren’t concerns about terrorists getting into your country rather silly now if Canada had apparently evolved past that outdated “nation state” stage? And why even be concerned with how many people were entering the country if borders weren’t really relevant any longer?

So people came. Anyone who raised questions about this radical new philosophy was branded as something akin to a racist or white supremacist. Or, worst of all – “like Donald Trump”, who had famously questioned the wisdom of allowing free entry into the U.S. of people from countries where Islamist philosophy prevails.

This worked. The Conservatives were thoroughly intimidated. So they basically remained silent, while millions of immigrants and foreign “students” flooded into the country, with little in the way of background checks.

In recent years the number of people coming into Canada as asylum seekers, foreign students, or immigrants in other categories has been astounding. Last year alone, Canada had an additional 550,000 immigrants, but more than 1,000,000 foreign students.

These are staggering numbers. Most of these people are probably peaceful and productive people. But how many of them are not? How many of the million “students”, for example, might have ties to the same Islamic terrorist group that terrorized Moscow?

The fact is that we don’t know. The numbers coming in are too great. They are coming in too fast. And they are not being properly checked. The frightening reality is that if even a tiny fraction of these virtually unchecked people are terrorists Canada could see tragedy unfold any day of the week.

Many of these foreign students appear to be involved in the lawless and shockingly antisemitic protests, now occurring daily in public places, and even in Jewish neighborhoods – sometimes directly in front of synagogues! In January, 2024 National Post commented on this frightening phenomenon:

“In recent months, we have witnessed a critical mass of antisemitic Canadians willing to vandalize Jewish businesses, protest relentlessly for a Palestinian nation-state “from the river to the sea” and even threaten police officers with death.”

The Post notes that most of the most violent protests appear to involve new immigrants and foreign students from Muslim nations. It would be a slur on these people to suggest that they are tied to an Islamist terrorist group, like the IS-K group claiming responsibility for the deadly rampage in Moscow. And yet, Canadians who are witnessing this alarming antisemitism have a right to know with whom they are sharing their country. That is the right of every citizen.

Our neighbours to the south are worried about terrorism as well. Millions of unchecked migrants have simply walked into Texas, Arizona and California since 2020. If even a tiny fraction of these unchecked migrants are terrorists there will be major trouble ahead. Recently, Christopher Wray, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned about the likelihood of a terror attack occurring because of these lax or completely absent border controls.

Britain, and all of Europe are also beginning to realize that the almost unrestricted, and unregulated immigration into their countries is placing them at great risk. Because of these understandable concerns the unwritten taboo about citizens asking candid questions about the backgrounds of newcomers to their countries is starting to break down. Simply put, people don’t want terrorists entering their countries.

That includes citizens of Russia. We don’t know how events will play out in Moscow. Is this just the first of many similar attacks in Moscow and elsewhere, or is it just a one-off?

But perhaps it will get us all thinking more clearly. Are candid questions about border security and immigration really semi-racist, or are they legitimate self protection? Are questions about unchecked people entering our countries from parts of the world where Islamists have great influence “Islamophobia”, or are such questions perfectly understandable given the Islamist-inspired attacks that occur with regularity around the globe? Should we continue to write off any political party that dares ask these questions as “far-right” or “anti-immigrant” or should we listen to the questions that they raise and take these concerns seriously?

Ordinary citizens throughout the western world are starting to wake up and realize that it is not racist, or “far right”, to demand to know who is being let into our countries. We all want peaceful, productive immigrants who share our basic values. But we have the right to know that is who they are before we let them in. Who we allow into our country is of vital importance to us, and we should not be afraid to say so. We have a right to expect that our borders are secure.

Perhaps at some stage in human evolution borders will no longer be necessary, because we will all be living in some peaceful, post-national state. But until that glorious day comes, we need secure borders, and we need to have good information about anyone who wants to cross them.

Brian Giesbrecht, retired judge, is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Peckford: The legality and morality of our country are no longer aligned

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Brian Peckford

“Our legal system may find me/us guilty, but the legality and morality of our country are no longer aligned.”

This is a part of the statement by Marco Huigenbos of the Coutts three after being found guilty of mischief for behaviour at the Alberta border during the Covid protests.

The “Coutts Three,” Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen

Mr. Huigenbos hits the nail squarely on the head – – –

This country through its so called legal system has ignored the Charter of Rights and Freedoms opening words —‘Whereas Canada is founded on principles that recognize the Supremacy of God and the Rule of Law ‘ and abused Section 1 of this same Charter by violating ‘ demonstrably justify’ and in ‘a free and democratic society ‘ and hence no longer has the decency or respect towards its people that is characteristic of a democratic nation.

Thousands have been injured and many hundreds dead as a result of Governments’ mandates and lockdowns and blatant coercion and lies to use experimental health damaging vaccines. Peoples’ rights and freedoms have been trampled on and our Constitution destroyed.

These Coutts men are to be lauded for their courage, their faith and their tenacity in the face of the country’s leadership, at all levels, that has lost its way.

This present leadership political, judicial in our country, at federal, provincial and municipal levels have abused the efforts our early 19th century reformers who were fighting for our rights and freedoms and have insulted all those who fought for our country’s freedom in the great wars.

Mr. Huigenbos’s wisdom shines forth today.

The Honourable A. Brian Peckford P.C. is the last living First Minister who helped craft the Canadian Charter of Rights

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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

The Smallwood solution

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Brian Giesbrecht

All Canadians deserve decent housing, and indigenous people have exactly the same legal right to house ownership, or home rental, as any other Canadian. That legal right is zero.

$875,000 for every indigenous man, woman and child living in a rural First Nations community. That is approximately what Canadian taxpayers will have to pay if a report commissioned by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is accepted. According to the report 349 billion dollars is needed to provide the housing and infrastructure required for the approximately 400,000 status Indians still living in Canada’s 635 or so First Nations communities. ($349,000,000,000 divided by 400,000 = ~$875,000).

St Theresa Point First Nation is typical of many of such communities. It is a remote First Nation community in northern Manitoba. CBC recently did a story about it. One person interviewed was Christina Wood, who lives in a deteriorating house with 23 family members. Most other people in the community live in similar squalor. Nobody in the community has purchased their own house, and all rely on the federal government to provide housing for them. Few people in the community have paid employment. Those that do have salaries that come in one way or another from the taxpayer.

But St. Theresa Point is a growing community in the sense that birth rates are high, and few people have the skills or motivation needed to be successfully employed in Winnipeg, or other job centres. Social pathologies, such as alcohol and other drug addictions are rampant in the community. Suicide rates are high.

St. Theresa Point is one of hundreds of such indigenous communities in Canada. This is not to say that all such First Nations communities are poor. In fact, some are  wealthy. Those lucky enough to be located in or near Vancouver, for example, located next to oil and gas, or on a diamond mine do very well. Some, like Chief Clarence Louis’ Osoyoos community have successfully taken advantage of geography and opportunity and created successful places where employed residents live rich lives.

Unfortunately, most are not like that. They look a lot more like St. Theresa Point. And the AFN now says that 350 billion dollars are needed to keep those communities going.

Meanwhile, all of Canada is in the grip of a serious housing crisis. There are many causes for this, including the massive increase in new immigrants, foreign students and asylum seekers, all of whom have to live somewhere. There are various proposals being considered to respond to this problem. None of those plans come anywhere near to suggesting that $875,000 of public funds should be spent on every Canadian man, woman or child who needs housing. The public treasury would not sustain such an assault.

All Canadians deserve decent housing, and indigenous people have exactly the same legal right to house ownership, or home rental, as any other Canadian. That legal right is zero. Our constitution does not give Canadians – indigenous or non-indigenous- any legal right to publicly funded home ownership, or any right to publicly funded rental property. And no treaty even mentions housing. In all cases it is assumed that Canadians – indigenous and non-indigenous – will provide for themselves. This is the brutal reality. We are on our own when it comes to housing. There are government programs that assist low income people to buy or rent homes, but they are quite limited, and depend on a person qualifying in various ways.

But indigenous people do not have any preferred right to housing. The chiefs and treaty commissioners who signed the treaties expected indigenous people to provide for their own housing in exactly the same way that all other Canadians were expected to provide for their own housing. In fact, the treaty makers, chiefs and treaty commissioners – assumed that indigenous people would support themselves just like every other Canadian. There was no such thing as welfare then.

Our leaders today face difficult decisions about how to spend limited public funds to try and help struggling Canadians find adequate housing in which to raise their families, and get to and from their places of employment. Indigenous Canadians deserve exactly as much help in this regard as everyone else. Finding sensible, affordable ways to do this is vitally important if Canada is to thrive.

And one of hundreds of these difficult and expensive housing decisions our leaders must deal with now is how to respond to this new demand for 350 billion dollars – a demand that would result in indigenous Canadians receiving hundreds of times more housing help than other Canadians.

Our leaders know that authorising massive spending like that in uneconomic communities is completely unfair to other Canadians – for one thing doing so means that there would be no money left for urban housing assistance. They also know that pouring massive amounts of money into uneconomic, dysfunctional communities like St. Theresa’s Point – the “unguarded concentration camps” Farley Mowat described long ago- only keeps generations of young indigenous people locked in hopeless dependency.

In short, they know that the 350 billion dollar demand makes no sense.

Our leaders know that, but they won’t say that. In fact it is not hard to predict how politicians will respond to the 350 billion dollar demand. None of their responses will look even remotely like what I have written above. Instead, they will say soothing things, while pushing the enormous problem down the road. Eventually, when forced by circumstances to actually make spending decisions they will provide stopgap “bandage” funding. And perhaps come up with pretend “loan guarantee” schemes – loans they know will never be repaid. Massive loan defaults in the future will be an enormous problem for our children and grandchildren. But today’s leaders will be gone by then.

So, in a decade or so communities, like St. Theresa Point, will still be there. Any new housing that has been built will already be deteriorating and inadequate. The communities will remain dependent. The young people will be trapped in hopeless dependency.

And the chiefs will be making new money demands.

At some point this country will have to confront the reality that most of Canada’s First Nations reserves, particularly the remote ones, are not sustainable. Better plans to educate and provide job skills to the younger generations in those communities, and assist them to move to job centres, will have to be found. Continuing to pretend that this massive problem will sort itself out by passing UNDRIP legislation, or pretending that those depressed communities are “nations” is only delaying the inevitable.

When Joey Smallwood told the Newfoundland fishermen, who had lived in their outports for generations, that they must move for their own good, there was much pain. But the communities could no longer support themselves, and it had to be done. Entire communities moved. It worked out.

 The northern First Nations communities are no different. The ancestors of the residents of those communities supported themselves by fishing and hunting. It was an honourable life. But it is gone. The young people there now will have to move, build new lives, and become self-supporting like their ancestors.

Brian Giesbrecht, retired judge, is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

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