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Author Topic: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada  (Read 560 times)

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Maple Leaf Forever

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Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« on: September 10, 2019, 09:43:18 PM »

In light of the recent events surrounding the Canadian Anti-Hate Network threatening to dox us all and Elections Canada's weak response up to now, I believe we should start a mailing campaign in order to convince Elections Canada not to release our information to groups that wish to harm us. I already wrote a template which you can find in first reply. Feedback, improvements, questions, etc. more than welcome.

In the meantime, a few points need to be addressed

  • Should we do physical mail or e-mail or both?
  • Should we get in touch directly with Stéphane Perrault, Chef Electoral Officer? Or is it better to keep the pressure on Manya Laroche-Reinhardt?
  • Do we have an e-mail address on hand that we know our messages will be read?
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Maple Leaf Forever

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 09:43:42 PM »

To whom it may concern,

My name is [insert your name] and I’m writing to you as a member of the Canadian Nationalist Party (CNP) which obtained federal eligibility on August 29th, 2019.

I would like to share my concerns with you regarding the fact that my personal information is available on request and that groups such as the Canadian Anti-Hate Network have stated on their website their goal of publishing the names and street addresses of every party member and lobby media organizations to run hit pieces on us. By doing this, theses groups will not only insult and libel us but they are also banking on the fact that some individuals will be inspired by the articles published to seek confrontation with party members. In the current political climate, many people believe it’s acceptable to act violently towards people they disagree with. It is commonplace that demonstrations turn into battles as groups such as Antifa form counter-protests and behave violently in an attempt to silence and intimidate their opponents. Many instances of this happened in Toronto in recent times. My fear as a party member is that local activists crowd outside my home and harass me because they disapprove of my political opinions. This would threaten my physical safety.

I would like learn more on the process to follow in order to obtain a party’s membership information. Who can make such a request? Do they need to provide a reason for the request? How does Elections Canada evaluate the legitimacy of requests? Is there a risk assessment performed to ensure that the safety of the people whose information is shared is not compromised, as guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

The fact that Elections Canada would enable activists to intimidate Canadians from forming a new political party by use of violence and threats is reckless and profoundly antidemocratic. I formally object to my name and home address being released for this purpose and I hope that you will not put my fellow party members in harm’s way by releasing theirs.

I look forward to reading your reply and answer any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name]
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jonottawa

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 10:21:54 PM »

I think time is of the essence. You can't 'undox' somebody. It's probably already too late. But just in case ...

I will send you the email address that replied to me today. Perhaps you could contact that address and ask if that's a good contact point or not and if you can post the address publicly (or, perhaps better, share the address privately.) Or just send your email template there. You are free to reveal that I gave you the email address if that's something you wish to include in your message.

I won't be posting the address publicly in a public forum because I don't want people impersonating our members and sending inappropriate (vulgar or explicitly threatening) emails there and then we will get blamed/scapegoated.

Good luck.
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Maple Leaf Forever

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 10:51:27 PM »

I think you're right. It would be irresponsible to post this email for the world to see as we don't know precisely what purpose it serves and who's on the other end. Thanks for providing it to me. I'll email them right away and ask for the best place to voice our concerns. I will mention you gave it to me for the sake of transparency.
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jonottawa

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 10:51:51 PM »

Or, since time is so short, I could send them your template myself and say something like:

Greetings,

One of our party members has drafted a letter to you (Elections Canada) that he wishes to use as the basis of a mailing campaign (having many of our members send you the same letter). He thinks my letters to you lack diplomacy, can you imagine that? At any rate, because time is short, and because his letter contains many critical points for you to consider, I am giving you a sneak preview.

To whom it may concern,

etc., etc.



Or I could just send them an email telling them to expect an email from you. Anyway, we can work it out over PM if you like. Or you can just take the ball and run, however you wish to proceed is fine with me.
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Maple Leaf Forever

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2019, 11:05:05 PM »

Email is sent. I asked if this is a good place to voice my concerns and if not to put me in contact with somebody who can address them. Let's wait for their reply before sending any more emails. I'll try to get more people in the thread so we can develop a strategy and improve the template
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jonottawa

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2019, 11:12:53 PM »

Okey doke.

Minor improvements might be:

"I look forward to reading your reply and answering any questions you may have."

and in a similar vein:

"... their goal of publishing the names and street addresses of every party member and lobbying media organizations ..."

"theses groups"

"Many instances of this have happened in Toronto ..." (sounds better to me, anyway.)
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Maple Leaf Forever

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 05:57:49 PM »

This morning, I received a reply saying that they acknowledge my email and that it's been forwarded to the right people. No news from this "appropriate group" for the moment. Below, is the exact message I sent plus some grammatical corrections.


To whom it may concern,

My name is [insert name] and I’m writing to you as a member of the Canadian Nationalist Party (CNP) which obtained federal eligibility on August 29th, 2019. This email address was given to me by a fellow party member. If this is the wrong place to send this letter, please put me in contact with the person best able to assist me.

I would like to share my concerns with you regarding the fact that my personal information is available on request and that groups such as the Canadian Anti-Hate Network have stated on their website their goal of publishing the names and street addresses of every party member and of lobbying media organizations to run hit pieces on us. By doing this, these groups will not only insult and libel us but they are also banking on the fact that some individuals will be inspired by the articles published to seek confrontation with members of the CNP. In the current political climate, many people believe it’s acceptable to act violently towards people they disagree with. It is commonplace that demonstrations turn into battles as groups such as Antifa form counter-protests and behave violently in an attempt to silence and intimidate their opponents. Many instances of this have happened in Toronto in recent times. My fear as a party member is that local activists crowd outside my home and harass me because they disapprove of my political opinions. This would threaten my physical safety.

I would like to learn more on the process to follow in order to obtain a party’s membership information. Who can make such a request? Do they need to provide a reason for the request? How does Elections Canada evaluate the legitimacy of requests? Is there a risk assessment performed to ensure that the safety of the people whose information is shared is not compromised, as guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

The fact that Elections Canada would enable activists to intimidate Canadians from forming a new political party by use of violence and threats is reckless and profoundly antidemocratic. I formally object to my name and home address being released for this purpose and I hope that you will not put my fellow party members in harm’s way by releasing theirs.

I look forward to reading your reply and answering any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

[insert name]
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 06:56:28 PM by Maple Leaf Forever »
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jonottawa

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2019, 06:36:33 PM »

I'm glad they acknowledged your email.

Punctuation is not my strong point, but perhaps there should be a comma after Canadian Nationalist Party (in the "My name is" paragraph)? If so, I'm not sure if it goes inside the bracket. That's where I'd put it, but who could know. (... as a member of the Canadian Nationalist Party (CNP,) which obtained ...) Hmmm, the comma looks funny there. I dunno.

Also I guess you didn't understand my "theses groups" post (it's hard to see the strikethrough in the s.) You have a legit typo in the "I would like to share" paragraph. "theses groups" should be "these groups".

It might be helpful if you created a template for Canadians who aren't party members to send too. Just a thought.

Oops, just noticed another hiccup I somehow missed:

I would like to learn more ...
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 06:45:59 PM by jonottawa »
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Maple Leaf Forever

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2019, 07:02:38 PM »

I just corrected the typos you pointed out by editing my last reply. Thanks for the proofreading.
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Maple Leaf Forever

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2019, 09:12:59 AM »

After checking back on them to make sure they didn't forget about my request, I received the following reply

Dear [My name]

This is in response to your email of September 10, 2019 in which you raise concerns about the fact that the information you provided as part of the application for registration of the Canadian Nationalist Party will be made publicly available upon request, and that this information might be wrongfully used.

 

We appreciate you contacting us with your concerns. Elections Canada, like all government institutions, is governed by laws that relate to what information must be protected from public release and what information must be made available to the public on request. There are also situations where an agency may make a decision about whether to release information. Before making any information publicly available, Elections Canada ensures that it is in compliance with these laws.

 

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) made his decision regarding the party’s eligibility based on the information that was available to him at that time (August 29, 2019). On that day, your name was included in the list of at least 250 members who had previously confirmed their membership to the party. The law requires decisions of the CEO and the documents supporting those decisions to be made publicly available. Unfortunately, other considerations such as the ones raised in your email are not applicable under section 541 of the Canada Elections Act (the Act). As such, membership declarations and confirmations are public records and are available for inspection under the Act. There have been requests for this information and we have processed them.

 

With regards to the process itself, section 541 of the Act states that all decisions made by the CEO “are public records and may be inspected by any person on request”, and that extracts from documents can be taken. The Act does not require requestors to explain why they request the information or for what purpose. As such, Elections Canada does not have any discretion as to whether the information must be made public. That being said, we recognize that the Act makes the information available in order to ensure that the public has a better understanding of the CEO’s decisions. Allowing this information to be inspected also supports the requirement for public institutions to be as transparent as possible. This transparency is especially important for Elections Canada given its role to administer elections and regulate political entities in accordance with the law.

 

Elections Canada encourages anyone who inspects the information to use it responsibly and for purposes that are aligned with the spirit of the law.

 

Regards,

 

Services de l’enregistrement │Registration Unit

Financement politique│Political Financing

Élections Canada│Elections Canada


A few key points

- Our information has already been requested. It's not mentionned if the requests were granted or denied. I will press them on this since the decisions and the facts supporting them are public

- Elections Canada seems to defer only to the Canada Elections Act to decide whether or not to release information. Safety and the requestor's motives are not taken into account

- Elections Canada simply advises requestors to use the information responsibly but has no means or will to enforce that
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Maple Leaf Forever

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Re: Mailing campaign to Elections Canada
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2019, 09:12:48 PM »

I had some free time at lunch and replied to Elections Canada. Here is the full text. Considering how little time we have left if any, I will ask for my issue to be escalated if I don't have an answer by lunchtime tomorrow.

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. However, I must share my dissapointement with it's content.

I understand that Elections Canada must comply with laws requiring it to make some information accessible on request. You also seem to imply that Elections Canada has some form of discretionary power in that regard. Could you expand on the nature of those powers, their limits, and provide an example of how they could be used? Could Elections Canada decide not to release a party's membership information in certain situations?

You mention that requests for my party's membership information have been made and that they have been processed. I would like to obtain the full detail of those requests including the entities that made them, if the requests have been granted or denied and the full documentation that supports each decision.

I believe I was not clear enough in my original email. At this very moment, some activist organizations are maliciously threatening the Canadian Nationalist Party and it's member. Most notably is the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. On their website, they explain how they plan to obtain our personnal information and leak it in the media so they can incite people to confront us. I invite you to read the article for yourself: https://www.antihate.ca/canadian_anti_hate_network_to_publish_names_of_250_neo_nazi_party_members_in_canada There is also a group calling themselves Antiracist Canada threatening to do the same. In fact, it appears they already started and that they successfully obtained our information from you. Don't take my word for it, take theirs: http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-cnp-eligible-for-official-party.html?m=1

As evidenced, you can see that very real threats were formulated against members of the CNP. I explain in my original email how the political climate in our country could lead to harassment and physical harm at the hands of activists who disagree politically with us and who believe it's ok to be violent towards us on that basis of this disagreement. I hope I was clear enough this time in explaining the phenomenon.

Considering the political climate our country finds itself in and that substanciated threats were made againt members of the CNP I find it irresponsible to hand out our personnal information to whoever requests it without knowing what they intend to do with it. The way Elections Canada treats the personnal information of CNP members at the moment is completely reckless and puts everyone of us in harms way. I formally ask that the motive of requestors should be logged and that a security assessement be performed to ensure CNP members (or members of any party to be honest) are not put in danger for every new request for information.

As stated previously, I cannot believe that Elections Canada would make itself complicit in the bullying of patriotic Canadians trying to form a new political party. This is profoundly antidemocratic and a blatant failure of your ogranization's mission statement.

I hope you will reconsider your decision.

Thank you
[My name]


Basically, they don't care that their actions have consequences. They just hide behind the fact that they are simply following the law.
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