Brian Lee Crowley

Fiddling while the border cracks

The Toronto Star kindly invited me to contribute to a debate in their pages on the question as to whether Canada has a refugee crisis, especially in the context of 26,000 illegal border crossers at Roxham Road and elsewhere. Even though I am not sure that the word “crisis” is quite the right one, in a nod to journalistic style I agreed to write the piece saying Yes for the Star’s 17 July 2018 edition. My argument is that while it may not yet be a full-blown crisis, all the elements are there for it to become one, as these illegal crossings become only one more sign that Canada is losing control of the border.

As I conclude in the article:

“Regardless of the share of these illegal entrants finally accepted as bona fide refugees, the fact is they are purposely doing an end run around the rules, causing us to lose control of the border. That is playing both with fire and with the liberal Canadian consensus on immigration.”

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The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Friends can buy LAVs

The Grits are fumbling the defence of the LAV sale to Saudi Arabia. And they’re not just fumbling a little bit.  It’s a Bob-Stanfield-dropping-the-football photo op kind of fumble. Yet the arguments in favour of the sale (we’re at war with ISIS in the Middle East and the Saudis are our allies, among other things) are more compelling than the hamfisted “They’re nasty people and we should only sell to nice folks” narrative of the government’s critics. The sale of the LAVs is not bad; it’s the lesser of two evils. And that’s a perfectly acceptable and defensible standard, especially where Canada is putting its own troops in harm’s way in this conflict. Read my full analysis in my column for tomorrow’s Ottawa Citizen and other Postmedia newspapers.

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Punish powerful transgressors, protect the innocent: what’s good at home also works abroad

In the rush for everyone to prove how intolerant they are of powerful people using their power to hide sexual abuse of the innocent here in Canada, they seem to be forgetting that this commits them, logically and morally, to do the same abroad. So by all means root out abuse at the CBC and parliament, if it is proven to exist. But let’s not forget that far worse crimes are being committed against the innocent in Nigeria, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. A bit of consistency goes a long way, folks! Here’s the link to my Ottawa Citizen column as I originally wrote it. Those of you who enjoy such things might like to compare it to what the editors thought passed muster in the paper itself (-;

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Buying those boots to put on the ground

How the tune has changed!

Not so long ago, the federal government’s defence critics were decrying its unjustified hawkishness in a demonstrably ever more peaceful world. Now the criticism is that with Putin in Ukraine and IS in Syria and Iraq, we are embarrassing ourselves by not being able to contribute to any serious military response.

As I argue in my latest column for the Ottawa Citizen and other Postmedia dailies, this just goes to show that we can’t base military procurement on the transitory circumstances of the moment, but on a sober assessment of Canada’s interests and what an uncertain future in a dangerous world may bring.

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Brian Lee Crowley