Saturday, September 24, 2011

M.P. Matthew Kellway Speaks on Bill C4 Yesterday

Below is M.P. Matthew Kellway's speech on Bill C4 the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act.

For more info on Bill C4 see:

To help stop Bill C4 see:

September 23rd, 1:45 p.m.
Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Mr. Speaker, as I listen to the debate in this House on Bill C-4, there are
some very obvious themes that are arising. One of the central themes that we
keep coming back to is the issue of fundamental human rights and freedoms. I
think that the Canadian public and we ourselves in this chamber can
reasonably expect some disagreements between members of different parties.
Sometimes those disagreements can be profound disagreements.

However, it saddens me that we disagree on these very issues of fundamental
human rights and freedoms. It seems to me that we in this chamber should not
have to be debating whether or not everything we do, every bill we consider,
should be based on, or consistent with, principles that human beings are
entitled to fundamental rights and freedoms. One would have thought, or at
least hoped, that we were past that.

We have, after all, a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that forms part of the
Constitution of this country. It recognizes, as I hope we all do, that
certain rights and freedoms are not conferred just by way of Canadian
citizenship but are universal. In the words of the charter, they belong to

Long before our charter, we were signatories to the charter of the United
Nations. As that charter says, we became signatories as a result of our

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war [...], and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of
the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large
and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations
arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be
maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

What follows, of course, is our signature on a number of United Nations
conventions and declarations that are intended to put these beliefs into
practice. So profoundly certain are we of the legitimacy of such fundamental
human rights and freedoms that we are even prepared from time to time to
send Canadian men and women around the world and into war to protect people,
not just Canadians but people of all citizenship, who are denied such rights
and suffer as a result.

We all know there are many places around the world where people are denied
such rights and freedoms, and are subject to discrimination, persecution,
violence and even wrongful prosecution. From time to time, people end up on
our shores, seeking safe haven or asylum from more persecution,
understanding that this is a country known to the world as a place where one
can enjoy such rights and freedoms in peace.

One would hope that we respond to such people in a manner consistent with
our explicit commitments to respect fundamental rights and freedoms, the
most obvious of these commitments being our own charter of course but also,
most relevant to Bill C-4, the commitments we have made to the international
community about the appropriate treatment of refugees and, indeed, children.

However, Bill C-4 strays from those commitments, some of which have governed
or guided us for 60 years. I would like to point today to a few parts of
this bill where I think this is the case.

Bill C-4 places into the hands of the minister the power to create a second
or, in the terms of the bill, a designated class of refugee claimants. There
are very few criteria or parameters made explicit in the bill for making
such a designation, leaving very broad discretion to the minister and
therefore little accountability for the decision. This is of great
importance because of the profound implications of being placed into the
designated group. Mandatory detention follows such designation.

Section 7 of our charter says:

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the
right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of
fundamental justice.

Which is to say, if we are going to deprive someone of life, liberty or
security, we better have a really good reason for doing so and a really
sound process for doing so, a reason and process that enjoys the consensus
of all Canadians.

The good reason and the sound process do not exist under Bill C-4. One of
the few explicit reasons the minister can invoke the designation is out of
suspicion that those claiming refugee status have already been victimized by
a smuggler.

Further, the detentions are group detentions, which is to say that the bill
does not require an assessment of the threat that any individual refugee
claimant may pose. Absent such an assessment, the detention of everybody
means, at a minimum, the arbitrary detention of somebody. Such arbitrary
detention raises the violation of section 9 of our charter; that is, the
right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

The fact that there is no review of the detention for at least 12 months
raises further issues. Section 10 of the charter requires that everyone
arrested or detained has the right to: be informed promptly of the reasons
therefore; retain and instruct counsel and to be informed of that right; and
to have the validity of the detention determined within 48 hours and to be
released if the detention is not lawful.

To return to an earlier point, the detention for in fact seeking asylum, and
that we need to keep in mind just what triggers this detention, simply a
claim for refugee status, seems also to run afoul of the United Nations
Convention on the Status of Refugees, which says:

The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their
illegal entry or presence, on refugees who...present themselves without
delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or

Article 31 of the refugee convention further states:

The Contracting States shall not apply to the movements of such refugees
restrictions other than those which are necessary--

Of course, as previously discussed, the designation process does not provide
for an assessment of necessary restrictions of movement for individuals as
the movement of everybody in the designated group is restricted simply as a
matter of being so designated.

Sadly, the denial of rights and freedoms to those in designated groups
extends beyond their recognition as a refugee by this country.

First, Bill C-4 would prevent designated refugees from applying for
temporary or permanent resident status for five years and further, prevents
them from obtaining refugee travel documents for five years. Again, this
would seem to breach the refugee convention to which we are a signatory,
which provides that the contracting states shall issue to refugees lawfully
staying in their territory travel documents for the purpose of travel
outside their territory unless compelling reasons of national security or
public order otherwise require.

Second, Bill C-4 would impose on refugees from a designated group a
continuing obligation to report to an officer to answer questions and
provide information or documents as so requested. This kind of surveillance
outside of the criminal justice system is unheard of in Canada. Further, it
must be remembered that this kind of surveillance under Bill C-4 flows from
the very arbitrary designation in the first place.

The sum total of the foregoing analysis of Bill C-4, albeit cursory and
partial as it is, goes to my final point.

Bill C-4, if we are to believe its title, is intended to counter human
smuggling. Throughout this entire debate I cannot recall any member of the
House making the claim that human smuggling is not a serious offence, that
it is not a practice that should be defeated, and that offenders should not
be subject to very serious punishment. Human smuggling is after all the
exploitation for profit and/or other nefarious advantage of people who are
most vulnerable, and in most need of protection.

The perversity of this legislation is that it heaps punishment on those very
same people that the human smugglers are exploiting. A further twist to that
perversity is that not only does the bill promise harsh treatment for those
seeking asylum in this country, a country where they come in the hopes of
being able to enjoy the rights and freedoms that they could not access at
home, but it proposes to deny these asylum seekers the very rights and
freedoms that define this country for ourselves and in the international
community, and make us so proud to be citizens of it.

Somebody gave the bill a very fine and aspirational title, and then things
went very seriously wrong. If it is the belief of the government that
provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act are insufficient to
deal with human smuggling, then I would urge the government to bring back
before the House a bill that punishes human smugglers, not those that they

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Camping At Bon Echo Provincial Park

Here are some pictures from my camping trip to Bon Echo Provincial park earlier this week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

From a comment to the comments section of BlogTO at:

Frankly, painted lines aren't much more than psychological window dressing and offer limited protection to cyclists. I agree with G above. Ride in the lane. That way there are two options for motorists; either change lanes to pass, or kill you/me. I've always found that they will pass you in the left lane and have had more 'close calls' in bike lanes and 'hugging the curb' than riding about where the cars right wheel goes. By the same token, respect the rules of the road. When someone is making a right-turn stay behind them. Don't try and sneak by on their right--even if they're not making a right turn. If there's no bike lane then you/we are traffic. If we stop this bickering and realize that there are bad drivers and good drivers; bad cyclists and good cyclists, we can all make use of the roads--bike lane or not--and get where we're going without killing each other. At least that's what I'd hope and like to think about my fellow Torontoians.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Walk in the East End Beaches Area

I took my camera for a walk today in Toronto's East End Beaches Area. I recorded the route with the MyTracks application on my phone:

View 2011-04-12 10:42 walk in the east end beaches in a larger map

And although the camera settings got messed up while the camera was in my pocket I put the pictures that I took up here. You can see where I figured things weren't right.

Toronto East End Beaches

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Help Stop Usage Based Billing for Internet Service

UBB is--strictly speaking--bullshit. Please sign the petition to help put a stop to Canada becoming the 3rd world of Internet service:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Linux to the Rescue: Data Recovery

I had a user bring a machine running Windows to me earlier today that wasn't working right. I did something that I've done a bunch of times before to recover the data off of it. Here's what I did.

First I took a live Linux boot disk (I typically use OpenSUSE) and booted from it.

Once it's booted fire up a terminal. Using the live KDE version of OpenSUSE I pressed Alt-F2 and typed 'konsole'. Once the terminal is up type:

cd /dev



look for sdaX where 'X' is number. These are partitions on the first hard drive. If there's more than one hard drive in the machine check sdb, sdc, and so on. In the case from this morning there was an sda1 and an sda4. Being a Windows XP laptop sda1 was the primary partition on the first hard drive and sda4 was the 'recovery' partition put there by the people who put the laptop together. So what we've got to do now is mount that primary partition so we can get at the data. First I needed to created a directory to mount the partition on so I typed:


this made me root. There wasn't a password needed because it was a live disk boot. Then:

md /media/hd

This command created the directory to mount the partition on. The next step is to mount the thing. This I did by typing:

mount -o loop /dev/sda1 /media/hd

This mounts the device /dev/sda1 as a loopback device at the directory that was just created in /media/hd.

Once mounted you can go into the mounted partition and get at the data. So...

cd /media/hd

will show you the contents. Now in my case I had a NAS on the network so I could copy the data off to that. I did this by again pressing Alt-F2 and typing:

dolphin /media/hd

This opened the default graphical file manager in KDE and pointed it at the freshly mounted hard drive partition. In my case the data that I was after was in "/media/hd/Documents and Settings/" so I navigated there. Once there I was able to see the files in the user's Desktop, My Documents, etc. folders. At this point I needed the connection to the NAS so I pressed Ctrl-t to get me a new tab in Dolphin. Then I did Ctrl-l so I could type the address I wanted to access. Again, in my case I typed in


A moment later the NAS responded asking me to enter in the password to access it. I entered it and created a folder by right-clicking-->new-->folder and called in FROM_OLD_MACHINE. Then I went into that newly created folder and flipped back to the first tab in Dolphin where the files that I wanted were. I clicked on the files and folders that I wanted to recover then dragged them to the tab in Dolphin that was showing the folder on the NAS; hovered there for a moment. When it switched over to that second tab I moved the cursor into that folder and let go of the mouse button. I then selected 'copy' and it started copying the files into the folder on the NAS.

As it turned out in this case the fix was relatively straight forward on the Windows side and I didn't need this backup but at least I had it.

Also, I know this wouldn't work if there was something screwie with the filesystem on that partition that I mounted. Never the less, in a large majority of cases where I'm given a Windows machine that won't boot I've been able to recover the data with this method. Even if I do end up having to re-install I've got the data from the original install.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time of Use Energy Billing

I just wrote to my MPP Peter Tabuns after hearing about a consultant's report delivered to the Ontario Energy Board that suggested a wider gap between 'On Peak' and 'Off Peak' times. Call me cynical but that sounds like higher on-peak rates rather than lower off-peak rates to me. The print version of the story I heard on the radio can be found at the CBC here.

Hi Peter,
I'm just hearing a story on the CBC's morning show news about a report from a consultant suggesting that there be a greater difference between energy rates depending on the time of use. (

I don't suppose that the intention is to lower the off-peak time?

I'm concerned because like many I'm employed in a job that I don't have much control over what time I show up at so that tends to dictate what time I'm using energy.

It's kinda funny, I seem to remember reading a book that proposed something radical. Public power at cost. Humm, who wrote that... Howard something. Seems like a good idea. Too bad so many throw their votes away by voting Conservative and Liberal.

Anyway, I just felt that I needed to say something after seeing that story.

Keep up the good work.


The book I referenced is Public Power by former Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton.

Later in the afternoon yesterday I got this reply from Peter's office:

Kevin, thanks for passing this along. The price is like a balloon. You
push in on one side and the other side bulges out. Any price change they
make affects all the others. You are in the same position as many -
their ability to change consumption at key times is really limited. Take
care. Peter

Doesn't really change anything. I guess there's a reason it's called 'peak'; because people are using it. Still, pretty good turnaround time on a random constituent's email.