Where are they now?


Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has hired Howard Anglin as his chief of staff.

In recent years, Mr. Anglin stepped forward to defend the Conservative government’s position that Omar Khadr was not a child soldier. In 2008, he testified before the subcommittee on international human rights.

In 2006, he and Alykhan Velshi, currently Mr. Kenney’s director of communications, penned a piece for National Review, in which they stated their objections to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

The rest of Anglin’s writing for National Review is here. His writing for the Daily Caller is here.


Where are they now?

  1. 'Chief of staff' is an Americanism. We don't have such a position in Canada, and certainly not for mere ministers.

    Perhaps Cons think the actual term, 'Principal secretary' is too girley?

    NA does share an old saying though…'birds of a feather flock together' which explains this hiring.

  2. Paul Martin brought back the "Chief of Staff" title to ministerial offices after it had been "Executive Assistant" under Chretien for many years, if my recollection is accurate.

  3. Is it just me or it is surprising that two such prominent people in Kenney's office are American. I would have thought there were plenty of Canadians qualified for such positions.

  4. I don't care who brought it in, it's an Americanism we don't share.

    Laureen isn't 'first lady' either.

  5. Exactly my point.

  6. Yes, it certainly would be surprising…if either man were in fact American. Velshi's from Toronto and Anglin is a Montrealer.

  7. It's fairly widely used in Canada. Has been around the provincial Ontario government for many, many years as well.

  8. Mulroney brought it in…and we know what party he is. I didn't mean to snap at you….sorry for that….but I don't like creeping Americanisms. The fact they've crept so far doesn't make it any better.

  9. Isn't there another prominent person in Canadian politics, possibly even a party leader, who has referred to himself as an American in the past?

  10. And which party has screamed and hollered about that?

  11. Give up now. Cons have been trying to point out this very fact about the current leader of the Liberal party, but no one seems to actually care.

  12. Cons have been trying to have it both ways.

  13. Burn!!!!

    Nice one Colby.

  14. Both certainly have a "way with words". Alykhan Velshi's comment on George Galloway was applauded in numerous UK news sites. Have to appreciate good wordsmiths and give them their due.

    "not give special treatment to this infandous street-corner Cromwell "

    infandous = Too odious to be expressed or mentioned

  15. Yes let's ratchet up the capacity to write insults so we can be more like that other place that has entirely replaced policy discussion with character assassination.

  16. Agree with you on "first lady" – that is an Americanism through and through and one I particularly don't like. It's not just creeping Americanism, it's creeping erosion of our Parliamentary system and constitutional democracy. There is only one "first lady" and she wears a crown.

    As for Chief of Staff, it is such a minor minor thing that I don't care one way or the other, but I think you may actually be wrong.

  17. Well Mulroney brought in 'chief of staff', Harp ran on an 'elected senate', there was a big discussion at one point over whether Laureen was 'first lady'….but it got complicated by the fact we had a female GG at the time, plus the Queen….so it didn't fly. Harper acted as though the GG was only a rubber stamp, he also took a 'head of state' salute, and is slowly taking over the awards system formerly done by the GG….

    Now we hear there will be some formal agreement between Canada and the US to make us more one unit.

    THAT'S why I don't like the 'creeping Americanisms'. They are all 'minor things'….until they add up.

  18. Oh, I agree with you on all that, I just don't think "chief of staff" is an example of it.

    Not to belabour the point, but the term is common throughout the world, including the UN, especially in military titles.

  19. We had a perfectly good term for it…one in keeping with our parliamentary system…..we should keep it.

  20. That review article reads in retrospect like an odious apologia for torure[ waterboarding] of terrorsts or those so accused – since many aren't/ weren't allowed to know what if anything they are/ were charged with.

  21. the term is common throughout the world

    Yup. The UK uses it, for example. So does Brazil.

  22. The Bloc?

  23. Yes, creeping Americanism.

    Just say no.

  24. Nationality doesn't matter so much. They've all gone through the right-wing
    "think tank" stamping machine. And, at some point, there they shall return.

  25. "Howard Anglin: He's Not Here For You!"

  26. "not give special treatment to this infandous street-corner Cromwell "

    Advice Mr. Kenney might well have taken, were he wise. But he DID give him "special" treatment.

  27. If the principal secretary to the Minister of Immigration was as important a position as the Leader of the Opposition – a person who obviously could become Prime Minister – then it would be fair to call out the CPC on this apparent inconsistency.

    But since a Prime Minister will have orders of magnitude more impact on citizens than these two people there is no inconsistency.

  28. The National Review article basically says "we don't have to follow the Geneva Conventions because some of our enemies don't", which is a patently ridiculous argument. Either a nation is a signatory to the Conventions, in which case that nation is legally required to follow the rules, or a nation isn't a signatory, in which case said nation is probably led by murdering, torturing scum. The US is a signatory, ergo they are required to follow the Conventions. Waterboarding is a clear breach of the convention against torture, and it often leads to the death of those being tortured, ergo the US government is in breach, and the leaders responsible should be held to account. Apologists of this illegal behaviour now work for Jason Kenney.

  29. Great. Two more American fascists in Canada's government. Awesome.

  30. Are you related to Colby Cosh, the magazine writer?

  31. Perhaps Mr. Kenney would prefer to be just visiting.

    ..perhaps we should help him with that.

  32. Anglin's arguments in defence of the Harper government are made by snipping out sections of the "child soldier law" (Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict) and ignoring the obvious intent of the law.

    Not even the judge at Guantanamo said Khadr wasn't qualified under the law, which he obviously was, based on its plain language.

    By the time the issue came before the judge, years after Khadr's capture, he quoted a comment from a member of the committee who developed the law but he said the decision to prosecute was a government policy matter and not his decision, which is true, and he said, as far as jurisdiction was concerned, the Military Commissions Act superseded the treaty, and it had no lower age limit. In other words, under that infamous Act the US could charge 8 year olds if it wanted.

    See the US Defence Department web site – Omar Khadr – two sections on Child Soldier Protocol – trial documents

  33. Andrew said people dont like the Conservatives' "style", slash and burn tactics with opponents (stupid and disgusting smear campagns), robotic repetition of party lines (just watch Question Period), dictatorial tendencies (proroguing, leaning on public servants), lack of a tone of civility (vicious attacks), lack of substantiveness (simplistic slogans), mindless partisanship (he said it!). The only thing he forgot was acting like they're trying to hide something and being generally obnoxious, but maybe that was implicit in the comments. Add to that Paul's comments about borrowing the infamous "Rovian" tactics from the US Republicans.

    You can always find examples of other parties behaving this way on occasion, but for the Harper Party, it's a matter of policy.

    But is all that just about "style"? I don't think so. People who act like that can't be trusted except by those who imagine it's about hiding an agenda they hope to see implemented if only this group can manipulate voters into giving them a majority.

  34. The Daily Caller? Snort.

    By which is meant, 'a fine organ of estimable repute'.

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