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NEWS: Council faces pundit backlash on security perimeter criticisms

This morning the Globe and Mail reported that, “The Harper government is bracing for a (public) backlash over a border security agreement it is negotiating with the United States, anticipating it will spark worries about eroding sovereignty and privacy rights, a document obtained by The Globe and Mail shows. …The (government’s) communication strategy…anticipates criticism from civil rights groups and others such as Council of Canadians chairwoman Maude Barlow.”

But it would appear that the backlash is coming from the mainstream media – and it’s targetted at the Council of Canadians! Within hours, Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson, who supports the proposal, wrote, “Joint surveillance and information-sharing will have Canada-firsters like Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians howling.”

Then John Ivison in the National Post wrote, “Politics can be complicated but one time-saving way to arrive at an educated opinion is to find out what the Council of Canadians thinks and to then take the diametric opposite position. If Maude Barlow thinks the ‘secret Canada-U.S. perimeter security plan’ is an ‘outrageous attack on the rights of Canadians’, it follows it must be a good thing.” By that logic, let me suggest that Ivison is an incisive, coherent and gifted journalist.

That said, Vancouver Sun columnist Barbara Yaffe is relatively gentler when she chides us by writing, “The Council of Canadians on Thursday proclaimed the project ‘unnecessary and invasive.’ …But the reality is that the plan will have its limits — no one is talking about removing border crossings.”

Our media releases on the security perimeter plan can be read at http://canadians.org/media/trade/2010/10-Dec-10.html and http://canadians.org/media/trade/2010/09-Dec-10-2.html.