Sunday, February 15, 2009

 

Citizens' Alert: New law in effect

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Groups slam province over new gag law
The Canadian Press, The Globe and Mail
February 14, 2009


Vancouver -- The B.C. election gag law that took effect yesterday is being slammed by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and other groups.

They say the law is so vague that anyone could be fined if they put out any advertising even remotely related to the election, including photocopying for neighbourhood flyers.

Vincent Gogolek of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association calls the law "an outrageous violation of freedom of speech."

Micheal Vonn of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says the law is a nightmare that puts voters in the ridiculous position of having to register with the government before they can speak out about any public issue for the next three months.

Read more here. And here. The NDP critique here. CKNW here. Vaughn Palmer here. Or just google "BC Gag law will make you retch". - BC Mary.

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Comments:
Mary - i heard that even if you disagree with a policy of the Campbell government - ie. the lack of transparency from the Campbell government in providing documents in the Freedom of Information requests from the defence - you may be in contravention of the gag order.

You may wish to ask others but I believe that is what Vaughn Palmer wrote about on Friday.

I am beginning to think that this gag law has more to do with the hearing on FOI documents than anything else.

PG
 
PG,

I'd like to follow up on what you suggest here ... but can't find the Vaughn column you refer to.

His last one, according to my online edition, was talking about whether or not the media will play along with the political parties to share costs of riding the campaign buses and airplanes.

Could you give me the URL or even the headline for the column you mean?

Many thanks.

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This closes a loophole in elections law where third party organizations, which could be funded by oil companies or Saudi Arabia, or yes, even Trade Unions, can run election advertising.

The NDP is up and arms about it, because it has been able to skirt elections laws by having its Union masters do its attack dog work with all of its union members dues.

This is a positive development.
 
Then there is this apparent can of worms: "Election advertising includes taking a position on an issue with which a candidate or registered political party is associated."

An issue with which a candidate or registered political party is associated. Think about that for a few minutes. -

Hard to tell who's supposed to shut up about what, where

By Vaughn Palmer, vancouver sun February 14, 2009


The BC Liberals are associated with the BC Raid on the Legislative buildings because three of their hand picked aides were caught on a wire tap (endorsed by the current AG as a valuable tool to catch enough evidence when witnesses don't exist) that implied that they were willing to barter Executive Council (Caucus) information in exchange for jobs with the Federal Liberals .... [ONE LINE REMOVED FOR LEGAL REASONS]

Your job as an administrator of this blog is too make sure you don't violate BC's Gag Law....however, if you are in the unique position as that of Barry Forward's NorthVancouverPolitiics.com blog there's no worry as far as prosecution is concerned.

Why?

Because his server is based in New Orleans, well outside BC (Canada) legal domain....

....its like the Patriot law in the States where it allows the USA government spooks to look through every MSP (Medical Service Plan) document that it wants to in search of the bad guys. Our right to Privacy is ruled null and void no matter how many reasurrances that the BC Liberals think they have written into their law to safeguard our rights.
 
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Thanks, NVG:

Vaughn Palmer seems to think there's a lot to worry about ... and he's not a guy who ordinarily feels uncomfortable when the Campbell government starts making new laws.

I think they (the C. govt) would have a tough time prosecuting anybody under this new law.

I think it just might prove to be a rallying cry for BC citizens who have had enough and aren't going to take it anymore.

As for big corporations, unions, or Saudi Arabia ... I imagine that somehow they'll manage to get their special messages across.

Meantime, We the Little People might use the Obama technique of getting our concerns broadcast, person to person to person. It sure worked for him.

I agree, it's a bad, confusing, worrying law. But there's also the immutable Law of Unintended Consequences which means that some good may come of it.

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this is the section that you may wish to seek legal advice on - the key phrase is blogs created to oppose a political party -:

Others less so: "Personal networking pages and blogs are generally not election advertising unless they are created to promote or oppose a candidate or a registered political party or the blogger is operating their site on a commercial basis."


Hard to tell who's supposed to shut up about what, where


By Vaughn Palmer, vancouver sunFebruary 14, 2009

Gordon Campbell wants you to just shut up, as the protests against his government's gag law would have it.

But what precisely is restricted under the Campbell government's new rules on third-party election advertising, which took effect Friday? Even the province's independent election watchdog is struggling to define the limits ... [BALANCE OF VAUGHN PALMER DELETED FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS.]
 
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Anon 4:35,

Just so you know: I removed an accusation of unproven guilt ... something that's NOT accepted on this blog (and shouldn't be allowed anywhere) until a trial proves otherwise.

What I removed had nothing to do with a political party. I'm surprised you'd suggest otherwise.

As has been stated from Day One, almost 3 years ago, this blog isn't about guilt. Nor is it about political partisanship.

I despise adversarial politics, where people fight each other instead of addressing ourselves to the issues confronting us. We're all in this together, and I look forward to the day when we learn to seek solutions together.

Even more, I despise attaching guilt to a name or a group (e.g., unions=bad, compassion=Lefties)

I think you'll see that it hasn't been an easy task to maintain neutrality when the issue confronting us -- the selling of BC Rail -- was the action of a government. A government made up of one political party.

It has been more difficult recently with Campbell's named BC Liberal MLA Caucus sending their own special lawyer into the Basi Virk courtroom to plead for more secrecy. I argue against the issue of secrecy -- and haven't denounced any group -- but I do hold the premier fully responsible for these matters. Fully responsible.

Finally, I removed part of your post because of it infringes copyright.

OK?

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Heckfire.

I welcome, and fact even invite, any and all attempts by Mr. Campbell and his Lickspittles to prosecute me or anyone who dares speak their mind.

Perhaps we should start a 'cult' on this one too Mary?



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Count me in, RossK.

Can't wait to see who the first Chosen Ones may be.

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Count me in Mary, Gazetteer!!!

As a concerned citizen who worries for the freedoms my children will enjoy as as they grow,I think it is important for all views to be heard,right or wrong, agreed upon or not, before an election.

I plan to talk about the many different opinions represented by many different groups in the coming months.I may ask representatives of certain organizations to present their views in a friendly guest blog.

Gag law or not,I dare them to stifle my words and thoughts, or those of any guests I may host.
Let the games begin...
 
Count me in Mary, Gazetteer!!!

This gag law is highly questionable if you ask me,considering the freedoms we are entitled to under the Charter.

What, are we in China now?

Censorship rules?

I am planning to cover a number of different views held by many around the province in the time up to the election.Views that perhaps I don't agree with, but that have the right to be heard,regardless of motive or driving force. It is absolutely ridiculous to think the Province would spend our hard earned tax dollars on prosecutions against bloggers speaking their minds.
Let them try - let them attempt to stop any of us,because in doing so they will invariably bring us publicity that will end up working to our advantage, not theirs.

The average people of BC will not take lightly to other average people being harassed.
 
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Laila,

Welcome to our FREE PRESS FOR FREE SPEECH CULT ... open to all who recognize an irresistible challenge when they see one.

Hell no, this ain't China. This ain't even Zimbabwe. Not yet, anyway.

Maybe the unofficial Cone of Silence in B.C. has been so successful, our leaders thought they could go a bit farther. I guess that's what they call Critical Mass. Or Enough is Enough. Or We're Mad As Hell and We Aren't Gonna Take It Anymore.

Looking forward to your next editorials.

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