Thursday, April 13, 2017

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's State of the Nation Address

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaking at the "State of the Nation" address.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the State of the Nation address. Photo: About Hungary/PM Orbán addressing state
of the nation: "Tomorrow doesn’t cast a shadow on today"

On February 10, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered his State of the Nation address; one of the most insightful, informative, and impressive speeches that I have ever read. Like all of his speeches they are well written and delivered with poise and composure.

The State of the Nation address was not only an uplifting message for the Hungarian people, but affirmation of Hungary's success story that began only seven years ago; the result of the many positive changes that Orbán and the Fidesz Party—Hungary's national conservative party that he leads—ushered into Hungary after winning the 2010 parliamentary elections.

At the core of Hungary's success has been God's many, continued blessings that stems in part from Hungary's respect for God and the acknowledgement of its Christian origins in the constitution, The New Fundamental Law of Hungary (April 25, 2011), which also includes Hungary's National Avowal; both of which are explicitly Christian and patriotic.

Prime Minister Orbán, the Fidesz party, and the Hungarian people have responded very positively to God blessings with hard work, dedication, and a determination to rebuild their nation, which has resulted in Hungary's emergence as one of, if not, "the" leading nations in Europe.

The State of the Nation address not only captures much of Hungary's success, but instills in the reader an understanding of the courage, certitude, and strength of the Hungarian people and their unwavering desire to reclaim their autonomy.

That is not to say that Hungary doesn't face any serious challenges ahead; it certainly does and some of the biggest challenges come directly from Brussels, what Viktor Orbán referred to as the "five major attacks."

Today's post not only lists and expands upon the "five major attacks," but includes: how 2016, was a year of uprising and revolt; the success of the Hungarian model; how tomorrow does not cast a shadow on today; and concludes with Orbán's intriguing question, "Did the Government lead the country well in 2016?" 

The year of 2016: a year of uprising and revolt

The State of the Nation address was in part a rebuke of the globalists, the media, and "the prophets of liberal politics," who did not expect the positive changes, that have occurred over the past few years, to have ever become a reality.

Hungary's recent history proved to be not some false narrative written by "clever people," but the existential reality of the Hungarian nation's will for self-determination in which autonomous decisions were made and implemented regarding its own political, economic, and social affairs. Orbán elaborated on this truth, "History is us – not just in Hungary, but throughout Europe. In our flesh-and-blood selves, with our thoughts and ideas, plans and hopes, we do not like – and will not allow – others to tell us or decide for us why we are on this Earth, how, why and what we should or shouldn’t do, or should or shouldn’t think."

This truth proved to be quite a reality check for the "arrogance and superiority" of the rich and powerful, which Orbán specifically highlighted:
A common mistake among humanity’s rich and powerful is to believe that they can act like God and be immune from the consequences. They declare supposedly incontrovertible facts; they push utopias onto other countries and peoples; they decide what others can or cannot say, and what they can or cannot believe in; they decide on membership of elite circles and they believe their global power is unquestionable. Money, the media, global governance and an open global society – in 2016 people in many places around the world had had enough of all this.
Citing the examples of Brexit, the election of President Donald Trump, the ejection of the Italian government, and the Hungarian migrant referendum, Orbán went on to state, "...[P]erhaps there is still more to come."

Indeed 2016, was a year of uprising, a revolt against political correctness, in which countries began to reclaim their autonomy. Here is how Orbán put it:
There has been an uprising by those who are not usually asked, whose voices are not usually heard: those who are not at home in the world of the media; who have been pushed aside by the wheels of the global economy; the seemingly weak and vulnerable; those who have been forced into economic and cultural straightjackets; whose mouths have been gagged in the name of political correctness; who were promised a share of the profits of the global economy and global governance. They demanded the return of their homelands, of their economies and social opportunities. They demanded the return of the world in which they once felt at home: the wide and diverse world of nations.
Orbán went on to state that this was the message of the American, French, Italian, Dutch, and Austrian elections.

The Hungarian model is working

Well into the address, Orbán asked the question, "But what is the state of Hungary's affairs, and those of the Hungarian people?" Making a comparison to other European and Western nations, Orbán distinguished Hungary's state as one in which the people have already put their uprising behind them.

Drawing from its recent history, Orbán made reference to 2010, the year in which Hungary announced its own political and economic system, and after seven years of hard work, has created a successful model. It is a model catered to Hungarian tastes, created from Hungarian traditions, instincts, and a national way of thinking: a system of national cooperation. Here is how Orbán elaborated on this:
...It is national because it springs from within us. It is cooperation because we want to prosper not at each other’s expense, but while helping each other. And it is a system, because its foundations, walls, roof, components and fabric are held together by the rules of common sense, while the timberwork was produced under the iron laws of economy and history...The mortar which binds the walls of the Hungarian model is courage: something without which no political structure can remain standing...
Reclaiming its autonomy meant in part that Hungary took control of its finances which resulted in: sending the International Monetary Fund (IMF) "packing"; called the banks to account; taxed multinationals; and scraped forex loans. Orbán highlighted how Hungary's effort to regain financial control proved to be very successful when he stated, "We rose up when they told us it was impossible to put our finances in order while also jumpstarting economic growth. We set out to do so, and we have shown them a Hungarian economy that has been continuously growing for the past four years."

Hungary's success story can also be expressed as a function of its efforts to seek full employment. Seven years ago, the Hungarian government sought to create 1 million jobs; today that target has almost been met with the creation of 700,000 new jobs. 

In its continued effort to help families, Hungary also reduced families' household utility charges.

Hungary has also built a border fence in 2015, which has proven to be very effective, staving off the flow of migrants coming from the Middle East and other parts of the world. In addition Hungary has recruited and is in the process of training 3,000 border-hunters, of which 462 have recently been sworn in by Prime Minister Orbán. What I found particularly noteworthy was how Orbán clarified Hungary's position on genuine migrants: 
And with the migrant referendum we barred others from deciding whom we should and shouldn’t allow into the country. We will of course be letting in genuine refugees: Germans, Dutch, French and Italians, terrified politicians and journalists, Christians who have been forced to leave their homes and who here in Hungary want to find the Europe they have lost in their homelands.
Other positive changes in Hungary include: credit rating agencies have upgraded Hungary; increased wages; a decrease in family debt; a rise in consumption; and the benefit of hard working Hungarians who have been remunerated for genuine performance of their jobs.

If all this isn't impressive enough, Orbán went on to express his commitment to protecting the Hungarian work force from "cheap outside labour," as well as highlighting the importance of everyones' contribution to nation building:
It would not be good to bring in cheap labour from outside to fill such jobs, as is the fashion in the West. Instead I call on us to value each and every job, every job done well, and the workers who do them. We must be capable of sustaining and running our own country. We need everyone to contribute, meaning that in future we must continue to respect Hungarian cleaning ladies, road workers, dock workers, hod carriers and labourers. This is why we are increasing the minimum wage by 15 per cent and the minimum wage for skilled workers by 25 per cent. We are one nation and one country, and they too have a place in our common future.
Tomorrow does not cast a shadow on today

About mid-way through the address, Orbán continued with what is essentially a very positive report on the state of the nation; so positive that Orbán confidently stated, "Despite all difficulties, with due caution what I can tell you is that the future of Hungarians – including that of schoolchildren and pensioners – is assured." 

Orbán highlighted that Hungary's progress was achieved through hard word and determination.

One of the most fundamental responsibilities of a nation's leader is to ensure the safety and security of the citizenry. Orbán has taken this responsibility seriously by tightening up border security, and through the use a dedicated police force, maintained law and order within. In case of disasters, natural or otherwise, Hungary has disaster management personnel on standby and in position.

Orbán understands that the family is the vital cell of society, and has acted accordingly with a wide-ranging and diverse family support system, which he declares as "...[P]ractically unique in Europe."

Recognizing the importance of children in the "vital cell," Hungary has set out to provide support and assistance to children: nursery school begins at three; 318,000 children have received free meals; free textbooks have been given to 730,000 school children; and the government compensates children who are disadvantaged.

In addition to education, children also receive: guidance; physical education is given on a daily basis; and religious studies and ethics remains very much apart of the curriculum.

Hungary has taken concrete steps to improving health care. In addition to recognizing the importance of health care professions with increased salaries and wages, Hungary has also renovated seventy-one hospitals, constructed twenty-three clinics and renovated fifty-four others, built twenty-seven new ambulance stations and renovated another thirty-five.

Hungary has secured its continued economic development with the conclusion of its foreign affairs and foreign trade agreements. Hungary recently received Russian President Vladimir Putin, soon to be followed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In July, Hungary will be directing the work of the Visegrád Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia), and hosting the leaders of sixteen Central European states in Budapest.

Orbán also expressed his concerns for the distant future of Hungary—in fifteen-to-twenty years from now—and the important role its population demographics plays in that future. Simply put, a country cannot seriously hope for a better future with a declining population. In this regard, there is good news for Hungary; that is, marriages are increasing and Hungary is seeing the highest birth rates since 2010. To further encourage population growth, Hungary provides assistance to those who decide to have children.

Hungary takes it one step further and ensures that children are raised to love their homeland, to be patriotic and to have a patriotic frame of mind. Here is what Orbán expressed about this:
Will Hungary be their shared passion, as it is ours? Will they too have a sense of national justice, which is fuelled by patriotism? Will they understand that the only way we can avoid being the slaves of other peoples – and the only way we can remain an independent nation – is if, first and foremost, we declare ourselves to be Hungarian? These are all things that we should take care to teach children in school, because it is only through this that our children can understand what links and binds us together.
Hungary's future progress is by no means without its challenges. Orbán identified those challenges: the five major attacks.

The five major attacks that Hungary must deal with in 2017

Hungary's self-determination has been met with opposition from Brussels, and in 2017, and that opposition has grown and become increasingly hostile. The result of which leaves Hungary with five five major attacks to defend from.

First, the European Commission seeks to prohibit Hungary's own mandated utility price cuts to make way for multinational corporations to set their own prices. Brussels wants to replace individual countries' independent energy policies with central regulation, which essentially removes Member States' right to determine the price of energy. 

Second, the issue of migration. Migrants freely travel across Europe, which Hungary adamantly opposes and seeks to remedy by detaining all illegal migrants until their individual cases are decided upon.

Third, the need for Hungary to defend itself against international organizations, who through their covert actions, seek to influence Hungarian politics. The threat is not from non-government organizations fighting for a cause, but from paid activists of international organizations and their branch offices in Hungary. Orbán specifically referred to the transnational empire of George Soros, who despite Hungary's rejection of the European Union's quota referendum, is working tirelessly to bring hundreds of thousands of migrants into Europe.

Fourth, Brussels' attack on Hungary's tax reduction policies. It is an attempt by Brussels to remove the decision making process and competence from Member States, which Hungary opposes. Orbán asked the very simple question, "Should nations be free to decide on their own taxes?"

Fifth, Brussels' attack on Hungary's job creation subsidies. Such subsidies are used as a tool for economic development to which Orbán asked, "...[S]hould nations be able to decide whether they want to give employers incentives to create jobs, or should this right also be transferred to Brussels?"

Orbán went on to state that, "If we want Hungary to continue being a winning country in 2017, we Hungarians must provide a clear response to these five questions." That response is a matter of self-determination in which Orbán stressed the importance of the government's need to reach an agreement with the people and ask for their support. Here is what he had to further say about the five questions:
In fact behind all five questions there is the issue of national self-determination. So we have returned to the starting point: nations against globalists, sovereigntists against federalists. If we want sure and solid answers, we must come to an agreement with the people. We must ask them and gain their support, as we have done on every important issue so far. It is not enough to state that we shall not allow these things. What is important is that the people of Hungary also shall not allow decisions affecting them to be made over their heads.

"Did the Government lead the country well in 2016?"

At the last segment of the address, Orbán asked the question, "Did the Government lead the country well in 2016?" From the reading of this blog post, one would think the answer to that question is rather obvious, "Yes." As I continued to read the remainder of the address, I was somewhat surprised by what Orbán pointed out to be the typical Hungarian mindset; that is, no matter how well things are going, Hungarians still want to see a government that they are satisfied with.

In my view, the State of the Nation address is proof positive that in fact, Hungary has been led well in 2016. The State of the Nation is a testament to the leadership of Viktor Orbán, the work of the various Ministers, and others in the administration, that the challenges to nation building have been successfully met.

Orbán pointed out what are perhaps two of the most significant indications of Hungary's success: that Hungary is no longer is a nation that is held back by failed leadership; and over the past few years, it has emerged as a country transformed from a "culture of self-pity" into a "culture of action."

Orbán ended his address by providing his opinion on what he considers to be a successful leader and administration:
Sándor Márai taught us that we don’t know the meaning of mediocrity. This is also the cast-iron rule for Hungary’s political leadership. The Hungarians can never be satisfied with mediocre leadership and a mediocre government: we need more, and we deserve more. But the question is this: what makes a good administration and what makes a good leader? In my opinion, good administration takes people to the finish line so that that when they get there, they feel that they hadn’t needed leaders at all.
May 2017 be a year which, when it is over, we feel that it went by like a charm.
Go Hungary! Go Hungarians!

May God continue to bless Hungary with success in 2017 and beyond.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Hungary's New Border-Hunters: A Response to the Ongoing Migrant Crisis

A photo of border security personnel and migrants at Hungary's southern border with Serbia.
Border security at Hungary's southern border with Serbia. Photo: About Hungary Blog/The Trojan horse in
Europe’s borderless Schengen zone

Border security is a relatively new label to my blog, but an ever growing, important subject that I will be blogging about and for good reason: the failure to secure borders, coupled with significant increases in migrant flows brings with it the increased risks to national safety, and potentially threatens identity, heritage, and culture.

If there is one country at the forefront demonstrating the kind of leadership and understanding of how to thoroughly deal with border security, Hungary is definitely that country!

Hungary has successfully responded to the European migrant crisis, that peaked in 2015, with the building of it's border fences and the placement of security personnel at its border, in particular at its southern border with Serbia. The result has in effect sealed Hungary from the waves of so-called "refugees" who seek to travel through Hungary as an extension of the Balkan-route to other parts of Europe.

To put Hungary's border concerns into perspective, Zoltán Kovács, the Government Spokesman, Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, recently stated in an article, Europe is facing a migrant crisis, not a refugee crisis, from the About Hungary web site that, "Last year alone, 1.2 million people arrived in Europe, and most of them did not come from Syria. The Hungarian authorities have registered immigrants from 104 countries. This also indicates the fact that we are talking about ‘mass migration at an intercontinental level’, and should proceed accordingly."

If you don't consider Kovács's statement cause for concern, perhaps the standard warning announced from speakers at the Hungarian border will convince you of the importance and gravity of Hungary's border issues, "Attention, attention. I am warning you that you are at the Hungarian border. If you damage the fence, cross illegally, or attempt to cross, it is counted to be a crime in Hungary."

Hungary continues to improve upon its border security with the building of a second fence and the training of 3,000 new "border-hunters": specially trained border guards, 462 of whom have recently been sworn in by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Speech Swearing in New Border-Hunters

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's speeches are well written, delivered, and are sure to impress anyone who reads or listens to them. The speech he gave on March 7, the ceremonial swearing in of the new border-hunters, is certainly no exception. It truly is an inspiring speech that reveals much about the Hungarian spirit, and about the man himself, who has clearly demonstrated that he takes the responsibility of securing and protecting the people of Hungary seriously; a primary responsibility of all leaders of government.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with new border-hunters. Photo: Reuters/Laszlo Balogh via Public Radio International (PRI)/Hungary's Trump-supporting leader will deploy 'border hunters' and refugee detention containers

Orbán could not have began his speech better when he referred to the new border-hunters as "compatriots." He highlighted the seriousness of their role in Hungarian society: a "calling" that places them at the service of Hungary and the Hungarian people. It is a calling in which they pledge to protect Hungary at the risk of their own lives, if necessary. Orbán stated that, "Protecting the homeland, our homes, women, children and parents is a moral imperative stretching back centuries. It is this imperative that adds to the gravity and sublimity of the current moment." 

The border-hunters are part of a group of security forces that includes: members of modern-day border-fort garrisons, the body of officers in Hungarian uniform, the police, and members of the defence forces. Together they form a battle-hardened community that stands its ground under the toughest of circumstances, enabling Hungarians to live in peace and security.

What I found most noteworthy about the "gravity and sublimity of the current moment," was how Orbán made it abundantly clear that, although the migrant flow has subsided considerably, Hungary cannot afford to relax or be under any illusions because Hungary remains under siege. Orbán went on to state that there are millions preparing to set out for Europe in the hope of a better life.

In its preparations for the next wave of migrants, Hungary has set out to improve upon its border security by reinforcing its lines of defence with the building of a second border fence, and by recruiting, training, and deploying border guards. Orbán made it crystal clear that Hungary must continue with its own initiatives and not rely in any way on Brussels and the European Union (EU), as both have demonstrated their willingness to make matters difficult for Hungary.

One of the more salient points in the speech was Orbán's reference to the added danger of the migrant crisis; that is, it being a Trojan horse of terrorism. Here is what he stated:
The migration crisis, Ladies and Gentlemen, will continue until we eliminate its root causes. It will remain on the agenda until people everywhere realise that migration is the Trojan horse of terrorism. The people who seek to come here do not want to live according to our culture and customs, but according to their own – with European standards of living.

I found the added concern of migrants wanting to live according to their own culture and customs to be spot on. It spotlights not only how some people have no intention of assimilating, but the potential development of demographic nightmares that already exists in countries like Sweden, France, Germany, Holland, the UK, and other European countries.

Prime Minister Orbán stressed that although border-hunters are to be humane, they must also be firm: the law applies equally to everyone, including migrants who seek to cross Hungary's borders illegally. Orbán went on to state what I consider to be one of the most important parts of his speech:
This is the reality, and no beautifully-worded human rights bombast can override it. The past few years have taught us that we can only withstand the pressure of migration if we show strength, unity and cohesion. So far we have succeeded in doing this. This has made Hungary one of the safest countries in Europe today. If the world sees that we are able to protect our borders, if they see that the reinforced Hungarian border fence is impenetrable, if they see that we continue to insist on upholding our laws and do not waver for a second, no one will attempt to come to Hungary illegally. It is the Hungarian people’s legitimate expectation that entry to the territory of our country should only be allowed to those whom we have thoroughly vetted, and whose identities, motives and intentions have been clarified.
Orbán then talked about the simple goals of Hungarians; that is, to live in a Hungary in which Hungarians are happy to start families, confident that their children will have a better life than they do. Among some of the other goals, Orbán pointed to the opportunity for everyone to have jobs, and that everyone earns the appreciation and reward based on the work they perform. Adding to the aforementioned important part of his speech, Orbán stated:
We want a Hungary and a Europe in which being Hungarian is a source of pride and recognition – in which our traditions and history are respected, and in which our culture is also respected. We Hungarians want a Europe in which we can live our own Hungarian lives. In the Hungary that we want, security is the foremost concern. And one can only have a safe and secure life in a place where the laws and the interests of the country are defended by dedicated people in uniform who have sworn to do this task: people like you, who are brave, determined, well-prepared, ready to do their duty and to protect their country. You are now the defenders of both freedom for Hungary’s present and hope for Hungary’s future. I ask you to be as proud of this as we are proud of you. I wish you courage and perseverance in your work, and I wish your families strength and good health.
God protect and preserve Hungary!

The Emergence of Hungary as a Leading Nation in Europe

In the past few years, Viktor Orbán has emerged as one of, if not, "the" European leaders that other European and world leaders have been looking to. A prime example is Holland's Geert Wilders, who in a recent interview with the Rebel Media's Ezra Levant, referred to Orbán as a "hero." It was no coincidence that President Trump contacted Prime Minister Viktor Orbán by telephone in late November 2016, in which he was quoted as saying , “I’m a big fan of Hungary.”

Orbán's emergence on the European scene was the result of Hungary's peaceful revolution in the voting booth in April 2010—Hungary's parliamentary elections—in which Hungary not only elected the Fidesz Party (the national Conservative party that Viktor Orbán leads), but set in motion the return of Hungary's autonomy to the Hungarian people. That year, Hungary had not only rejected austerity and sent the International Monetary Fund packing, but implemented the following measures: introduced taxes on multinational corporations; cut household utility fees; slashed income taxes; put people back into the work force, and introduced pro-family policies. 

Today, Hungary is not only an example for other European countries, but a success story! A success story that Viktor Orbán elaborated on in his State of the Nation address on February 10, in which he stated: the major credit ratings have all restored Hungary to investment grade; household debt has fallen and continues to fall; unemployment has hit a record low; wages are rising; and the economy is enjoying sustainable growth that has put Hungary among the leading economies in Europe.

Hungary is a much stronger and stable country today than it was seven years ago; a strength and stability that has enabled the Hungarian people to manifest their own destiny, which includes the tightening of its border security.

God bless Hungary.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Vigilance, Accountability and Security at Canada's Borders

An image of the CBSA's patch on an officer
Canada Border Services Agency's emblem. Photo: The Toronto Star/Border Officer Blows Coke Bust

Today's blog post is about a report of the same title, issued by the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (hereafter referred to as "the Committee") that commenced a study on the policies, practices, and collaborative efforts of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The purpose of the study was to determine how the CBSA performs its responsibilities in identifying and denying entry to inadmissible persons, as well as the removal of individuals that have been discovered to be inadmissible after having gained entry to Canada.

Vigilance, Accountability and Security at Canada's Borders was a report that I initially discovered through the campaign of Kellie Leitch, leadership candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), who had encouraged the reading of this report on numerous occasions through social media, in her email messages, and on television.

It has only been through Kellie Leitch's campaign that the issue of Canada's open borders has come to the forefront of the CPC leadership race. No other candidate has been clear, complete, and forthcoming about this issue as Kellie Leitch has from day one of her campaign, which she has responded to and detailed in her Screening For Canadian Values policy proposal. 

If this is the first you have been alerted to Canada's open borders and are somewhat skeptical, perhaps you would find the following information cause for concern: 

  • In 2013, 4,534 warrants were issued for the removal of foreign nationals or permanent residents, who had entered Canada, but were later discovered to be inadmissible.
  • The CBSA database contains information on approximately 44,000 inadmissible individuals who failed to comply with removal orders, and the agency is unclear about the number of individuals who are still in Canada.
  • It takes the CBSA an average of 851 days to remove a person found inadmissible, all at a cost to Canadian taxpayers.
  • Currently, there is no tracking system in Canada for persons leaving the country who have been found to be inadmissible, and who have failed to comply with a removal order and are facing an outstanding immigration warrant, or those overstaying their limits such as temporary foreign workers.
  • It is known that 145 Canadians have gone abroad to support terrorist groups and approximately 80 have returned. 
  • Through its Liaison Officer program, the CBSA has confirmed that liaison officers are involved in approximately 6,000 cases of improperly documented travel each year.
  • The targeting of Canada's immigration system by organized crime groups continues unabated.
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has reduced the visa immigration process to a "paper-based exercise" where very few face-to-face interviews are held.
  • The Committee discovered that only between 9-15% of immigrants are interviewed by a visa officer before they come to Canada.
  • Between 2009 to 2013, Canada received 386,698 temporary foreign workers and 495,191 foreign students, of which only a small percentage were screened by Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) based on referrals from CIC and CSBA.
  • In 2012, Canada's busiest 50 airports saw the enplaning and deplaning of 23,609,330 passengers from countries other than the United States, an increase of 190% over the 12,660,777 passengers seen in 2003.

The Committee's report detailed many of the policy and operational challenges facing the CBSA and other government actors—Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)—involved in the process of determining admissibility to Canada and removal of inadmissible individuals.

To properly ascertain how the CBSA performs its responsibilities the Committee conducting a fact-finding mission to the National Targeting Centre in September 2014, and held eight hearings over a four month period. During that time it heard witnesses and received written submissions from relevant institutions, groups, and individuals, both within government and from civil society.

The Committee's report resulted in ten recommendations that not only identified the problems with, but also provided the solutions to, the procedures and practices of the CBSA that, in my view, are logical, necessary, and urgent. The fundamental problem with Canada's open borders can be summed up in what the Committee referred to as its "primary belief"; that is, "...[I]t is necessary that relevant departments and agencies involved in the process of identifying and denying entry to inadmissible persons to Canada have access to timely, accurate and relevant information through clear information sharing arrangements and improved coordination." (iv)

Removals, Warrants and Entry/Exit Registration

Under the subheading, Removals, Warrants and Entry/Exit Registration, the Committee's report begins to seriously address the deficiencies within the CBSA's operations, specifically with respect to the inability to locate and remove inadmissible persons from Canada; those who have failed to comply with a removal order and are subsequently faced with an outstanding immigration warrant.

As to the procedure of how the CBSA operates, here is how the Committee explained it, drawing from Division 6 Detention and Release of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)"With regard to procedure, removal orders are issued when a foreign national or a permanent resident who has entered Canada has been found to be inadmissible. In instances where a person has failed to comply with a removal order, the CBSA is responsible for enforcement and issues immigration warrants, accordingly." (7) 

The Committee noted that the CBSA's warrants-database contains information on 44,000 inadmissible individuals who did not comply with their removal orders. The Committee went on to further note that the CBSA is unclear as to how many of these individuals still remain in Canada.

What further exacerbates this problem is that it takes the CBSA an average of 851 days to remove a person found to be inadmissible, all at a cost to Canadian taxpayers.

Currently Canada does not have a system to track and record who has left the country, nor any type of alert mechanism to ensure that the CBSA is informed when a temporary resident visa holder enters and leaves the country. This concerned the Committee with regard to temporary foreign workers who may decide to overstay their four year limits of working in Canada. 

To solve this problem the Committee provided its fourth recommendation which states, "...[T]he Government of Canada move, as soon as possible, to implement a system to register the entry and exit of all travellers, Canadians and non-Canadians." (9) Entry and exit reporting would solve the problem of knowing when inadmissible persons (and those who have overstayed their limits) have left the country, which would also prevent the current backlog the CBSA is faced with from growing.

All this points to an even bigger and more fundamental problem with Canada's open borders: the lack of proper and thorough screening of all immigrants and travellers to Canada.

Screening of Immigrants and Travellers to Canada

Under the subheading, Screening of Immigrants and Travellers to Canadathe Committee detailed their concerns about screening and pre-screening of non-Canadians who enter Canada, either as immigrants or on temporary visas. They responded to these concerns with their fifth, sixth, and seventh recommendations.

An image of the Committee's 5, 6, 7 recommendations
The Committee's Recommendations 5, 6, and 7.

The thrust of this section of the report focused primarily on a preventative approach; that is, improving upon the pre-screening process. This included placing priority on acquiring a foreign national's admissibility to Canada prior to boarding a plane or ship from their country of origin. The Committee also noted that this would be beneficial to Canada, ensuring that our resources would not be spent on the appeals and removals processes.

Implementing such a preventative approach involves more than just the CBSA. The Canada Border Services Agency works together with CIC, CSIS, and the RCMP. The Committee noted that both the CIC and CBSA are jointly responsible for administering the admissibility provisions of the IRPA. The report goes on to state that, "CIC establishes immigration policy and is responsible for issuing visas enabling foreign nationals to enter Canada. For its part, the CBSA enforces IRPA and is responsible for providing IRPA–related intelligence. In this regard, the CBSA draws upon intelligence and information from other departments and agencies, including CSIS and the RCMP." (11)

One of the most important points the Committee spotlighted was the need to make effective use today's technology. Here is what the Committee stated:
In this day and age, it is reasonable to assume that CIC and the CBSA should be able to request a query of permanent resident and temporary visa applicants against RCMP criminal and CSIS intelligence databases, and a consolidated Canadian intelligence community list of persons of interest, to see if they generate a hit. Verifying applicant names through applicable security and foreign intelligence databases could provide an essential backstop to checks for criminal records maintained in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). As previously noted, not all human threats have criminal records. However, their names (or aliases) might well be known to intelligence agencies. (13)
Perhaps what is most telling about Canada's open borders is the fact that only 9-15% of immigrants are interviewed by a visa officer before they come to Canada. The Committee heard from witnesses who expressed concerned that, "...CIC has subsequently turned the immigrant visa application process into a 'paper-based exercise' where very few face-to-face interviews are held." (14) 

The importance of face-to-face interviews cannot be overstated! This point was reinforced by former ambassador Martin Collacott, now the spokesperson for the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, who expressed the following concerns:
Such interviews are important for a number of reasons. A face-to-face interview not only assists a Canadian visa officer to get a better idea of whether an applicant is likely to constitute a security threat to Canada – whether they are likely, for example, to have extremist views which are in conflict with Canadian views, values and objectives – but such an interview also provides an opportunity to give a prospective immigrant important and accurate background on what to expect in terms of job opportunities and integration into Canadian society. (14)
The Committee affirmed the importance of face-to-face screening by stating that, "...[G]iven the complexity in screening potential citizens to Canada, face-to-face interviews may provide an important opportunity for assessment." (14)

Another individual that further spotlighted Canada's deficient screening process was retired ambassador James Bissett. The Committee noted the following about his statement:
...[T]he CBSA and CIC are overwhelmed by the large number of people seeking to come to Canada, either as immigrants or visitors. He states: “because of high volumes, we are not paying attention to the personal interview and for human intelligence to play a role in screening. More importantly, Mr. Bissett told the Committee, “the security screening itself is minimal” and noted that visitors and temporary resident applicants are “not being interviewed or very few of them screened for security.” He added, “I think [Canada is] taking a serious risk. (15)
Bissett's statement brings to the forefront what appears to be another major problem with securing our borders: not enough CBSA/CIC personnel to accommodate a proper and thorough screening process.

Some of the Committee's other findings

To counter the use of genuine documents generated in fraudulent circumstances or used by those other than the rightful owner, the Committee explored the options of: improving the CIC screening referral process; the increased use of CSIS and the RCMP information for screening; better intelligence sharing and interagency cooperation; more face-to-face interviews; and the collection of biometric data. 

The Committee also learned of the need for stronger intelligence capabilities within the CBSA, and in particular, the leveraging of regional intelligence capabilities and greater availability of "lookouts" (part of the CSBA's intelligence products that inform, support and enhance the agency's screening and targeting capabilities) to provide accurate, up-to-date actionable intelligence in the databases, that includes the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database for use by CBSA Border Services Officers.

The CBSA and its role in securing Canada's borders

Created after the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, the CBSA was formed out of border and enforcement personnel from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the former Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The CBSA is responsible for, "...[P]roviding integrated border services that support national security and public safety priorities and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods, including animals and plants that meet all requirements under the program legislation. (3) 

As the front-line agency, the CBSA with its 13,000 employees (which includes 7,200 uniformed officers) administers the entry and exit of approximately 100 million travellers, 70 million of whom come directly from the Canada-US land border. The report notes that, "The agency collects, analyzes and disseminates information and intelligence about individuals and shipments at borders, air terminals and ports. The CBSA also administers more than 90 statutes, regulations and international agreements, and enforces the IRPA. (3)

The CSBA has a shared responsibility with other agencies and departments in protecting Canada's borders:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada processes immigration applications for permanent residents and temporary resident visas for visitors, students and workers. The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) reviews all citizenship applications of permanent residents, as well as all refugee claims made in Canada; the Service will review visa applications of persons of interest as required, while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) enforces relevant laws and provides criminal background checks. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), Transport Canada, and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) gather intelligence relating to immigration and border transit. (3)

The CBSA is responsible for managing 117 land border crossings, all thirteen international airports in Canada, major marinas, mail processing centers and rail sites.

The CBSA is also vested with powers of arrest, detention, search and seizure. All CBSA officers can, under Canadian law, stop travellers for questioning, take blood and breath samples, search, detain and arrest citizens and non-citizens without a warrant.

Vigilance, Accountability and Security at Canada's Borders is certainly a timely report given the fact that our open borders are increasingly making Canada a very popular international destination that brings with it increased security risks.

We all read the headlines of the demographic nightmares in Sweden, France, Germany, the UK, Belgium, Holland and other European countries; not to mention what has happened in United States in the past few years. We do not need, nor do we want any such scenarios developing in Canada! 

Canada needs political leadership to ensure that our borders are properly secured, and that our Canadian identity is protected and promoted. The call for that leadership has been answered with the candidacy of Kellie Leitch, who is adamant about correcting Canada's open borders.

I respectfully encourage you to support her by Becoming a Conservative Member for Kellie LeitchBy doing so, you will be eligible to vote for her in May and help secure Kellie's victory as the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. The deadline is March 28, only a few days away!

God bless Canada.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Kellie Leitch's Support is Not a Function of Polls But Based on Common-Sense Policy Proposals

A side-profile photo of Kellie Leitch
Kellie Leitch during the Conservative leadership debate in Saskatoon, November 9, 2016.
Image by iPolitics via
The Canadian Press/Liam Richards

Since my first post on Kellie Leitch, Kellie Leitch: Canada's Compliment to President-elect Donald Trump, which included statistics from a poll conducted by Mainstreet Research, several polls have been released from other polling firms, drawing my attention to the polls game with the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leadership race.

I can not help but draw a parallel between the CPC leadership race and my experience following the American general election of 2016; that is, how polls did not accurately reflect the reality of President Donald Trump's support.

As one who watched the Republican Party (Grand Old Party or GOP) leadership race, and the general election that followed with great interest, the polls game became abundantly clear especially in the latter part of the general election when President Trump's support grew stronger. The growth of that strong and consistent support increasingly and noticeably put the mainstream media, or to quote Pamela Geller, the "enemedia," into a panic! They were desperate to report skewed statistics—and other fake news—in their efforts to derail his campaign and discourage voter turnout.

On a lesser scale, this is what we are experiencing here in Canada; the enemedia's panic over Kellie Leitch and their attempts to prevent her victory in May, which I wrote about in my previous blog post, The Trump-effect in Canada and the Enemedia's Attempt to Stop Kellie Leitch.

Kellie Leitch's support is not a function of polls 

If you take another look at the above photo, the text, "Leitch surges in the latest Mainstreet Tory leadership poll," is the title of an article by written by BJ Sierkierski who reports on iPolitic's CPC Leadership Tracker (powered by Mainstreet Research). The report was published on February 17, and is one of three listed at iPolitic's Data Tracker.

A graph of CPC leadership race statistics for February 15
Statistics from BJ Sierkierski's February 17 report.
Image by iPolitics 
Although Mainstreet Research and iPolitics seem to be above board, following their polls and reports doesn't make understanding the CPC race any easier. Case in point, the aforementioned article in which Sierkierski included statistics for "first-ballot preference as percentage of vote" which had Kellie Leitch at 20.09%, about 1% behind Kevin O'Leary.

In that article, Sierkierski wrote on the first line, "Kellie Leitch is now the first choice for over one-fifth of Conservative party members, passing Maxime Bernier and nipping at the heels of an increasingly polarizing Kevin O’Leary campaign..." Such wording has an emotional appeal to anyone supporting Kellie Leitch, but that "positive news" was short lived.

One week later on February 23, another iPolitic's CPC Leadership Tracker article written by Sierkierski was published, Scheer climbs, top three slide in latest Mainstreet Tory leadership poll. Sierkierski again reported on the "first-ballot preference as percentage of vote" which had Kellie Leitch at 16.2%, behind O'Leary by about 4%.

Tomorrow, there will be a CPC leadership debate in Edmonton and you can bet that another poll will be released and a subsequent article published at iPolitics within a few days time; not to mention polls and articles from other firms as well. God only knows what the numbers will be and what they will say about them!

Following these polls plays upon one's emotions; a truth that requires one to be very cautious and prudent. In the end analysis, polls are nothing but a "best guess" that do not serve as an assurance of what the reality will, in fact, be. That can only be determined by the vote count in May!

I don't pay any heed to polls; nor, do I put much stock in them as an indication of what is to be understood about the reality of any candidate's support. After vividly recalling the American election experience of 2016, coupled with the knowledge I have acquired about Kellie Leitch and her campaign, polls are, not to put too fine point on it, redundant!

Kellie Leitch's support is a function of common-sense proposals that reflect what she has heard from Canadians 

One of the biggest assets that comes from the Leitch campaign is Kellie's own personal ability to connect with Canadians. Kellie has done this (and continues to do so) during her many months of travelling across the nation, listening to the needs and concerns of Canadians, and speaking on their behalf.

Leitch has responded by developing policy proposals that address those needs and concerns which she has published in detail at her Policy page: Screening for Canadian Values; Cap on Government Spending; No National Carbon Tax; Dismantle the CBC; Against the Legalization of Marijuana; Safer Canadians; Let the People Speak Act; Natural Resources Development; UNRWA/Hamas Funding; Supply Management; Mexican Visas; Israel; Budget Policy; and Firearms Regulation.

The result of which has seen two-thirds of Canadians support Kellie Leitch's vision for Canada! It is a vision that encompasses a bold common-sense approach to fixing the many problems we have in Canada; first and foremost, the failed immigration policies and procedures that have in effect, turned Canada into a country with open borders.

Amongst all of Kellie's policy proposals, what most resonates with Canadians is the Screening For Canadian Values proposal! During Leitch's travels across the country, thousands of Canadians have expressed their belief in a unified Canadian identity that is grounded in shared values:

  • Equal opportunity – We must strive to ensure that everyone has as much of an equal opportunity to succeed as possible, especially our youth
  • Hard work – Everyone must work hard and provide for themselves and their families
  • Helping others – Once people become prosperous, we all are expected to give back to our communities to help others
  • Generosity – Canada is a place that shows what is possible when hard work and generosity come together
  • Freedom and tolerance – A Canadian identity that is based on freedom and tolerance to allow each of us the chance to pursue our best lives and to become our best selves

Part of Kellie's common-sense solutions to promote and protect these Canadian values includes screening all immigrants, refugees, and visitors to Canada for these values with face-to-face interviews with a trained immigration officer. This is the most effective way to ensure that those who desire to come to Canada accept and agree with our Canadian values!

Canada cannot be a country with open borders! As Kellie notes on her web site's Screening For Canadian Values page, "Currently, fewer than 1 in 5 immigrants receive a face-to-face interview with a trained immigration officer. That’s something that should be of concern to all Canadians, especially as the government plans a massive increase in immigration levels."

There is indeed great cause for concern with respect to our immigration policies and procedures. Proof of which comes to us directly from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose Liberal government fast-tracked 25,000 Syrian so-called "refugees" into Canada between November 4, 2015, and February 29, 2016. The Government of Canada has listed the total number of Syrian "refugees" that have entered into Canada at 40,081. All this has been done at a cost to Canadian tax payers of $400 million and growing!

A screen shot of the Government of Canada's refugee page
Screen shot of the Government of Canada's refugee key figures. Notice the disclaimer message? It is new since I last published my January 31, post that also referenced the above numbers. Image by Government of Canada/#WelcomeRefugees: Key figures

Canadian immigration offices should not be omitting face-to-face interviews with the overwhelming majority of applicants; this is not nation-building! Kellie stresses the importance of nation-building at her Screening For Canadian Values page:
Since 2001, governments have become obsessed with immigration numbers. Pressure is placed on immigration officials to approve more and more applications every day. Immigration officials are expected to make decisions on seventy-five applications a day. That means less than five minutes per application. That’s not the way to build a nation based on shared values.
Kellie Leitch is absolutely adamant about correcting our immigration policies and procedures and she is the only candidate who has been willing to talk about it and stand up for our Canadian identity that is based on shared, historic Canadian values!

If this blog post resonates well with you, consider Becoming a Conservative for Kellie! By doing so, you will be eligible to vote for Kellie and help secure her victory in May. The deadline to join the CPC for Kellie is March 28.

Above all, if you are not doing so already, do keep Kellie Leitch and her campaign in your prayers.