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The Commons: Vic Toews’ real world

Imagining what other reality TV shows the government might approve of


 

The NDP’s Randall Garrison stood and declared the country to be taken aback.

“Canadians across the country are shocked that he personally approved filming immigration raids for reality TV,” Mr. Garrison reported, referring to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. “This is not some episode of Cops. These are real people and real officers doing a dangerous job. Filming is exploitative and can put individuals in danger.”

The producers of Border Security might rather Mr. Garrison describe their show as “a dynamic documentary series that offers viewers a front row seat to high stakes, bizarre reveals, and comical conflicts that are part of everyday life for border security officers,” but “real people and real officers doing a dangerous job” might easily be clipped for the next promotional poster.

“How could the minister be so reckless?” Mr. Garrison wondered. “Will he take responsibility and put an immediate end to this dangerous and offensive PR stunt?”

The New Democrats stood to applaud this query.

The concern here involves the presence of television cameras during the recent arrest of eight migrant workers in British Columbia—part of a reality TV show on the National Geographic channel (home as well of Wicked Tuna and Doomsday Preppers), as formally endorsed by Mr. Toews.

“Mr. Speaker, the show is about the situation faced daily by our front-line border officers. The privacy of individuals is protected at all times,” he read from a blue piece of paper. “However, it is important to remember that illegal immigrants cost law-abiding Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars each year and thousands of jobs. We expect the CBSA to enforce Canada’s immigration laws by removing individuals who take advantage of Canada’s generous immigration system by jumping the queue.”

And so if illegal immigrants are to steal our jobs and waste our money, they should at least be willing to provide us with some form of escapist and informative entertainment in the process.

Indeed, perhaps rather than condemn this program, we should recognize the possibilities it raises for further reality shows about the inner workings of the federal government and how exciting all sorts of things might seem when set to rock music. Imagine Defence Procurement: The quest to figure out how many billions more this new thing is going to end up costing or G8 Legacy: One’s man attempt to visit every gazebo, bike rack and public washroom that was paid for by the Border Infrastructure Fund or Omnibus: An intimate look at the life of the bureaucrat whose job it was to proofread all 753 clauses of C-38 or Price-on-Carbon Preppers: Joe Oliver and Peter Kent prepare you for the apocalypse. A whole network might be maintained, with game shows like Find the Budget Cut and Who Wants To Be Intergovernmental Affairs Minister?(something like The Bachelor), documentaries like Kevin Page: History’s Greatest Monster and a nightly backbencher-hosted newscast entitled Talking Points. The prestige centrepiece of the network would be a big-budget fantasy drama entitled Senate Reform.

“The minister has no consideration for those people who, for reasons that are unknown, decided to put their lives in danger to flee their country,” lamented Rosane Doré Lefebvre. “He should think a bit before turning this into a reality show.”

That is surely one way of looking at it. Another is to embrace Border Security as perhaps currently the most transparent thing about the federal government.

“Mr. Speaker, the show is about the situation faced daily by our front-line border officers. The privacy of individuals is protected at all times,” Mr. Toews repeated. “It is important to remember that illegal immigrants cost law-abiding Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars each year and thousands of jobs. We expect the CBSA to enforce Canada’s immigration laws by removing individuals who take advantage of Canada’s generous immigration system by jumping the queue.”

Alexandrine Latendresse, the diminutive New Democrat, was unimpressed. “Mr. Speaker, for the cameras, no substance!” she shot back. “For them, human dramas are a good opportunity to make a television show. Bravo!”

Awhile later, it was Liberal Kevin Lamoureux fussing about the program. Once more, Mr. Toews returned to his feet to read his remarks. “Mr. Speaker, the show is about the situations faced daily by our front line border officers. The privacy of individuals is respected at all times. It is important to remember that illegal immigrants cost law-abiding Canadian taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each year and they cost the member’s constituents, our constituents, thousands of jobs. We expect the CBSA to enforce Canada’s immigration laws by removing individuals who take advantage of Canada’s generous immigration system by jumping the queue.”

Whatever his interest in reality television, this much from Mr. Toews was rather scripted. He will likely have to be a bit more interesting if he hopes to make it into the next episode of Border Security.


 

The Commons: Vic Toews’ real world

  1. I don’t see the reason to get too uppity about this… like any free-marketer, I intend on exercising my opinion on this as effectively as I can – by not watching the show. Want to make sure future shows don’t show similar content? Then make sure this one is a ratings failure.

    Granted, this is a cop-out for me as I don’t even get the National Geographic Channel (I expect most are in the same boat). Maybe they’ll then claim they can’t compete with the Discovery Channel and ask for mandatory carriage.

    • Ratings are a US thing, not ours.

      • And just what do you base that on? Citation please.

        • You have anything labelled Nielsen connected to your TV?

          • Yeah, last time I saw it the homeowner filled out forms….tres accurate.

            Shows people like, and talk about, continue to go off the air….

          • You’re getting off on a very odd tangent from my original point, so I’m going to digress from this…. my larger point being I’m quite certain somehow there is a mechanism (whether it be ratings or otherwise) that if no one watches this show, it won’t be on the air long.

          • The diaries are long gone. There is now a box attached to TV which records what shows are being “watched” (or at least the TV is on & tuned to that particular show).

          • Thanks! You could certainly lie in the diaries……and fake the box too I guess

  2. First I laughed and then I got worried.

    Off topic, but what do double-hulled oil tankers have to do with the Canadian Action Plan (besides propaganda)? fyi…didn’t see the whole ad but that part just seemed strange???

  3. I wonder if Creepy Vic is hanging around with the film crew looking for attractive young illegals that he can rescue with his immigration “fast-track.”

    • Only if they’re baby sitters!

      • You guys are sick and really not capable of making an intelligent comment.

        • So tell me, hollinm, what is the difference between exploiting a babysitter for your own sexual gratification and exploiting an illegal immigrant for the entertainment of bigots and vindictive losers? Is it just a question of degree or is there some substantive difference between the two? Show us how intelligent comments are done.

          • I have no intention of defending Vic Toews or anybody else. However, there is an old saying that judge not lest you be judged. If he has done something illegal or wrong morally he will pay the price. However, you have no right to malign somebody personally on a blog site. However, showing a real sitution on TV where people have the choice to watch or not does not call for the kind of comments you and others have made.

          • If I malign the man by speaking the truth then I’d suggest that he’s maligned himself and I’ve simply commented on it. You think it’s impolite to comment on his moral failings? Tough. If Vic Toews had ever showed even an ounce of compassion for the people he maligns – constantly and habitually and falsely – then I might hesitate to be so impolite as to speak the truth about him.

            You think I have no right to judge him? Bullshit. Public opinion is the only judgement he will ever face. I’m gratified that even the most hard-core CPC boosters will not dirty their hands by speaking up for this guy. But Harper will reward him with an appointment as a Judge or some other patronage reward because that’s just the way that Harper rolls.

          • “You guys are sick…”

            “judge not lest you be judged…”

            Presumably you’ll be judged by hollinm.

  4. Vic Toews is a national disgrace.

    • In fairness to Toews, it doesn’t sound like he actually made this decision. Apparently this stroke of genius was approved in the PMO and – you’re going to love this – we taxpayers are actually paying for the production of this pornography.

      • That’s what I want to know: are we funding this crap TV. Now what kind of a government would PAY and allow TV cameras to film the panic and upset of people just trying to make better lives for themselves? There are many circumstances under which one would come here illegally, and one does not deserve to be seen as sensational entertainment for bozos who watch that kind of crap. Tell me: did they have the opportunity to cut a blouse off a woman, or to throw down a thin kid and handcuff him? Titillating stuff, if you’re Vic Toews the Creep. Creepiest Minister Ever.

  5. What was going on in that law school that this idiot got a law degree? And how did we end up with such thugs in government? This buffoon is nothing more than a Federal Jerry Springer; but with a dark side.

    • A pedophile side.

  6. “Indeed, perhaps rather than condemn this program, we should recognize
    the possibilities it raises for further reality shows about the inner
    workings of the federal government…”

    Great writing as always Aaron.Funny too. But what the frigging hell are you on about!! The whole freak’n Harper Govt is ,and always has been, one never ending reality show…

    Full of bad actors, idiots,liars, charlatans and creeps, jerks and goofs, yes men, yobs, braggarts and bullies, hosers, bimbos and bozos…it is one long crappy carnival of cant and mediocrity, from top to tail…out with the lot of them!

    Just when the hell do we get to vote them off the goddamn island once and for all? What did Canada do to deserve this?

    • Takes one to know one kcm2.

      • Then you admit he knows what he’s talking about?
        Weird.

      • Wow…that was almost, but not quite witty hollinm. Did it take you a while you come up with it?

        • When it comes to replying to you there is not much thought required. You will have lots of opportunity for your trash talk when the Conservatives win in 2015. You can take that to the bank.

          • “However, you have no right to malign somebody personally on a blog site.”
            -hollinm, 4 hours ago
            Amazing.

          • I do sympathize…as with blood, it is difficult to get coherent thought out of a stone.

  7. I nominate Ian Brown as host of G8Legacy.

  8. Hey Aaron, nice piece! I think Feschuk may have had to tear up his column and start over…

  9. When does “CRA: Barbados” hit the airwaves?

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