Armed U.S. agents a blow to sovereignty

Armed U.S. agents a blow to sovereignty

Postby Oscar » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:58 am

Armed U.S. agents a blow to sovereignty

July 13, 2007

Thomas Walkom, in the argument below from the Toronto Star (28 June) argues convincingly, I think, that the federal government should not follow through on its proposal to allow members of the U.S. police (and army?--think Montebello) to carry firearms carte blanche in Canada. The existing regulations, while time-consuming to fulfill, are not only effective but they serve the useful purpose of making it impossible for the U.S. police and army to carry out their duties in Canada on the assumption that they in fact have an (inalienable) right to bear arms in this country.

If you wish to protest the government's proposal, there is still time to do so (though I don't recall the exact deadline). The extended rationale for the government's position is outlined in the Canada Gazette (available online), Vol. 141, No. 25--23rd June 2007. See Part I, Proposed Regulatory Text, Proposal to make an Exemption Regulations (Persons) to the Export and Import Permits Act.

You can make your views known by writing to Mr Blair Hynes;
(His regular mailing address and fax number are provided in the Canada Gazette.)

You can of course ask Mr Hynes to acknowledge the receipt of your email / letter / fax; but he might not respond. (I have heard nothing about the email outlining my objections to the proposed rationale that I sent earlier this week.)

--Denis Salter.
Armed U.S. agents a blow to sovereignty - News -

June 28, 2007 Thomas Walkom

The federal government plans to give an unspecified number of American police agents carte blanche to carry guns in Canada. It insists that in the post-9/11 world it is just being sensible. It is not.

Few things are more crucial to a nation's sovereignty than its control over legalized violence. It is quite often lawful for the police to shoot you. It is almost never lawful for you to shoot the police. We accept that arrangement only because those who have been given this remarkable life and death authority are in some sense "ours" – they are responsible to governments that we elect.

Ottawa's plan would dramatically change this relationship. It would introduce a whole new array of armed peace officers into this country that are answerable to a foreign power.

Stephen Harper's government, which quietly published these proposed regulatory changes in its Canada Gazette last weekend, suggests the move is designed primarily to accommodate armed air marshals who routinely fly back and forth across the border. But it also says the arrangement would apply to other situations, including "various cross-border enforcement initiatives between Canada and the United States."

This is bureaucratese for open-ended. It means the new law could apply to just about any U.S. agency – from the FBI to Homeland Security to Buffalo police.

Presumably, foreign agents would be allowed not just to carry weapons but to use them. Otherwise what would be the point?

And if, under this new regime, a U.S. agent killed someone on Canadian soil, to whom would he be responsible? Who would investigate? If the shooting were deemed improper, who would lay charges or impose discipline?


Read the full article at:

Denis Salter
Professor of Theatre
McGill University
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Exemption Regulations (Persons)

Postby Oscar » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:01 am

----- Original Message -----
From: Elaine Hughes
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 10:35 AM
Subject: Canada Gazette

Re: Vol. 141, No. 25 — June 23, 2007
Exemption Regulations (Persons) ... le2-e.html

Mr. Hynes.

I see this proposed Exemption Regulation as the 'thin edge of the wedge' - allowing the list of exempted weapon-holders to grow in the future without anyone really noticing it.

It has the potential of rendering our own security impotent and putting our entire country at enormous risk.

There's no reason why this issue couldn't be approached, using some form of the Alternatives already set out in your preamble, which would smooth out all those 'impediments' - without giving carte blanch permission for foreigners to carry weapons in my country!

Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

I look forward to receiving assurance from you that common sense has taken precedence and this proposed regulation has been REJECTED.

Elaine M. Hughes
Box 23
Archerwill, SK S0E 0B0
Telephone: 306-323-4938
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