Brian Lilley is the host of Byline on Sun News Network and a senior correspondent for Sun Media's Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. His weekly column is published in more than 30 daily newspapers across Canada and he appears on several leading talk radio stations. Watch Byline at 9pm ET Monday to Friday and read Brian's columns in your Friday papers.
by Ezra Levant
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are protesting a decision by their president, Viktor Yanukovych, to cancel a treaty that would give Ukraine closer ties to Europe.
It’s not that these protesters are fervent free traders. It’s that by cancelling agreements with Europe, Yanukovych is tilting Ukraine east – back towards Russia and former Soviet KGB agent Vladimir Putin, who has long eyed Ukraine as a key to rebuilding the Russian Empire.
Perhaps Yanukovych just doesn’t want to be given the full Soviet treatment. Back in 2004, when Ukraine’s leading politician, Viktor Yushchenko, wasn’t sufficiently obedient, he was poisoned, KGB-style, with dioxin. It didn’t kill him. But it made him very ill and turned his Hollywood good looks into a pock-marked old man. Apparently that’s what happens when you cross the Kremlin.
But Putin’s war against Ukraine isn’t just covert. It couldn’t be more overt. Read more…
BRIAN LILLEY | QMI AGENCY
OTTAWA — CBC’s bombshell claim that the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Canadian soil with the support of the Harper government was blown to bits Monday after the state broadcaster released its source documents.
Last Wednesday, CBC’s The National trumpeted a story of American spies targeting foreign leaders.
“Stephen Harper’s government allowed the largest American spy agency to conduct widespread surveillance in Canada during the 2010 G8 and G20 summits,” the headline on CBC’s website read.
The documents, released online Monday, don’t support that claim and read more like a standard security briefing ahead of an international summit.
Wesley Wark , a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa, said the claims made by the story and the words in the documents don’t match.
“There was no support in the document for the claim originally made by the CBC that CSEC (the Communications Security Establishment Canada would lend its technical expertise to the NSA effort,” Wark said.
Security analyst David Harris of Insignis Strategic Research agreed with Wark that the documents don’t support the claims CBC made in its original story.
“As smoking guns go this is the ultimate smokeless gun, there’s no compelling evidence of any kind of CSEC collaboration with any imagined NSA plot to penetrate private discussions of visiting government leaders,” Harris told QMI Agency.
That’s a far cry from the way CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge and reporter Greg Weston played the story last Wednesday evening on The National.
“The U.S. was monitoring the communications of world leaders while they were all in Toronto for the G20 summit and Canadian officials approved it,” Mansbridge said as he introduced the story.
Weston claimed on air that the spying operation was done, “all with the blessing of the Canadian government.”
“Beyond the indication about ‘co-ordination’ with the Canadian partner there are no details about what CSEC or the Canadian government felt about this U.S. operation,” Wark said.
CBC obtained the documents from Glenn Greenwald the journalist, lawyer and former porn promoter who has been working with NSA leaker Edward Snowden. CBC paid Greenwald for access to the documents, a fact omitted from the broadcast of their original story.
Harris called it strange that CBC partnered with someone like Greenwald, a person who calls for more open government, but initially refused to release the documents.
“For people pushing governments to be more honest and transparent, it certainly took a lot to get the documents out of them,” Harris said.
by Christina Blizzard
The Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne released its long-term plan for energy Monday.
It reminded me of the old Soviet Union, which kept putting out 10- and 20-year plans and then never achieved any of its goals.
If only Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli had slammed his shoe down on the podium and yelled, “Nyet, nyet, nyet!” the picture would have been perfect.
By my count, this is the third time the Liberals have revised their energy plan.
And every time they re-do it, the price goes up. Read more…
by Brian Lilley
Should police need a reason to force you to perform an invasive test?
The NDP in Ottawa says no.
The New Democrats partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving on Thursday to push for a new bill that would treat every Canadian driving a car as a criminal until they prove otherwise.
It’s the latest attempt to crack down hard on the ever-shrinking problem of drunk driving. The news release touting Bill C-556 states that, if passed, it would, “amend the Criminal Code to allow police officers to perform systematic random breathalyzer testing regardless of whether or not the driver shows signs of impairment.”
That means police don’t need a reason to give you a test. Read more…