- Hit List
- Documentation Project
Voices-Voix documents and denounces federal government smearing of another target: Voices-Voix
October 1, 2015—In an ironic twist, today the Voices-Voix Coalition - which documents instances of the Canadian government attacking dissent and debate - is releasing a case study on itself.
"We never expected this when we started," says Robert Fox, a longtime social justice advocate and member of the Voices-Voix Strategy Group. "But Steven Blaney's accusations in parliament made it clear that we were no longer just documenting organizations that have been targeted, but had become a target ourselves."
On the morning of June 16, Voices-Voix released a scathing report entitled, Dismantling Democracy: Stifling debate and dissent in Canada. The report demonstrates a decade-long pattern of the federal government defunding, smearing and muzzling those who oppose its policy priorities. During Question Period that afternoon, the NDP brought up the report's findings up in the House of Commons, asking for a government response.
Minister Steven Blaney rose and instead of addressing the concerns arising from the report, accused the NDP, the Liberal Party and Voices-Voix of "siding with terrorists."
"Such outrageous and baseless comments were clearly meant to avoid addressing the fundamental concerns brought up by the report," says Pearl Eliadis, a human rights lawyer, author and also member of the Voices-Voix Strategy Group. "It is also an example of an extremely worrisome and recurring tactic from this government; namely, to vilify and smear its opponents in the hopes of distracting the media and public from the vital issues at hand."
In today's case study, Voices-Voix documents in detail how Minister Blaney's comments came about and why they were completely unfounded. More importantly, the case study goes on to show that this incident is part of a long-standing pattern of baseless attacks on government critics that undermines freedom of expression, the rule of law and democratic values.
“It's ironic, although not surprising,” says Voices-Voix Coordinator Tim McSorley, “that the federal government would smear us with false allegations instead of responding to criticism about baseless attacks used to silence critics. It is alarming that these kinds of attacks have become so commonplace they are barely considered to be newsworthy anymore."
The case study is available online at http://voices-voix.ca/en/facts/profile/voices-voix
Tim McSorley (514) 561-9919