Playing the ‘Racism Card’ Undermines National Security

The Canadian government’s tendency to label our protectors ‘racist’ is insulting, inaccurate and undermines national security and public safety

This piece first appeared in The Epoch Times Canada on February 14, 2024.

Going by what some people have been saying about Canada lately you would think we are a land of racists. Cops are racist. The RCMP is rife with “systemic racism.” So is the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. The whole country is a bunch of to-the-core hateful people who judge others based on the colour of their skin, their sexual preference or gender identity, or their faith.

I have no intention of arguing against this nonsensical attitude as I have better things to do, but it is nonetheless true that the tendency of late to accuse just about everyone of prejudice is having an important, and dangerous, effect on national security.

This move to label those of us who work(ed) in security intelligence and/or law enforcement is not just affecting morale within those organizations (CSIS, RCMP, local police forces, etc., at least according to my sources) but is making the ability of those agencies to fulfill their legislative mandates more difficult. Allow me to explain.

Thanks to some leaks to the press a year or so ago, Canadians have learned that CSIS has been warning the federal government for more than a decade and a half that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been engaged in foreign influence activities in our backyard and getting away with it (CSIS is authorized to investigate foreign interference under Section 2b) of its legislation, the CSIS Act).

Sadly, successive governments chose to ignore this well-grounded intelligence and were only forced to address the issue after the aforementioned leaks.

What, pray tell, was the government’s reaction when the information went viral? Simply put, denial, feigned ignorance, and, wait for it, concerns that CSIS intelligence would feed racism. Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jumped on the racist bandwagon. When the MP for Don Valley North, Han Dong, was named as one of the candidates believed to be supported financially by the Chinese regime heading into the 2019 election, Trudeau suggested the allegations were racist. He also told Canadians he had never seen the CSIS reports (something I have weighed in on before).

Now, with the public inquiry into these serious allegations of PRC interference finally underway, the racism card is still being played. A year ago, Sen. Yuen Pau Woo questioned whether a foreign influence registry might become “a modern form of Chinese exclusion,” alluding to the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act (or better put, the Ban on Chinese Immigration Act).

Allegations against former Ontario cabinet minister Michael Chan that he may have engaged in improper activities in connection with the 2019 and 2021 federal elections were met with a legal action against his accusers for “public humiliation” born out of a “stereotypical typecasting of immigrants born in China as being somehow untrustworthy.” Again, the racism card.

None of these bouts of anger seem to take into account that the PRC actually DID interfere in our elections (according to CSIS, which I wholeheartedly believe), harass those seen as dissidents in the Canadian Chinese diaspora, and set up illicit “police stations“ in several cities to monitor and pester those it does not like.

But it is not only those tied to the PRC pointing these fingers. The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) launched a Charter of Rights challenge against the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) which it said had carried out a years-long audit of the charity solely for reasons of “bias and Islamophobia.“ Not helping matters was Trudeau’s comment a year earlier that “there’s no question that there is work to be done within government to dismantle systemic racism and Islamophobia”

Except that the CRA audit was tied in fact to concerns ranging from flawed record-keeping to improper links to the Muslim Brotherhood and an alleged Canadian front for Hamas. Oops, no “bias and Islamophobia” there!

That racism exists is a given, here in Canada and elsewhere. That officials, even within CSIS and the RCMP, could harbour racist views is also likely. But the notion that these agencies, whose mandates are to keep us safe, are somehow bent on investigating only certain groups based on their faith/race/sexuality/whatever is ludicrous. They do their work based solely on what they uncover (i.e., intelligence and/or evidence). If in the end there is no reason to conclude wrongdoing has transpired, cases are dropped. At least these folks did their due diligence, which is what Canadians expect of them.

We really need our politicians to stop kowtowing to narrow interest groups and end their knee-jerk tendency to swallow the “racism” campaigns holus bolus. What they should do is state unequivocally that they support the agencies tasked with executing national security investigations 100 percent and will wait for such to conclude their efforts to determine what action, if any, is required. (They should also open their email inboxes periodically to see what CSIS and the RCMP have sent them.)

National security may not be a vote-getter, but it is important. And our protectors deserve more support from the very citizens whose well-being they are trying to ensure.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.