Toronto mainstream press carries Y2K cover story : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

One of our major dailies is carrying stories this morning about the PM's powers with the Emergencies Act, with personal preparation and what city officials are doing. A front page story. Sorry can't link but here is the website:

I'd be intersted in your comments.


-- citygirl (, December 07, 1999


"People can be arrested, including those who hoard supplies. It can also restrict travel. Failure to comply could lead to fines and prison terms of up to five years. "

That is scary.


-- ridley (, December 07, 1999.

Same thing is happening in Australia. I'll bet England and much of Europe, Japan won't be far behind.

-- Gary S. (, December 07, 1999.

We live near London Ontario and it was the lead story in the London Free Press this morning.

-- Kath (, December 07, 1999.

Toronto Sun

Sweeping Y2K powers

Feds make secret plans for a crisis

By MARK DUNN -- Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Jean Chretien's government will be on full Y2K alert New Year's Eve and ready to invoke an updated War Measures Act if needed, sources have told The Toronto Sun.

The new law gives cabinet sweeping powers to issue whatever orders or regulations it believes are necessary to deal with emergencies such as major power outages caused by computer glitches or civil insurrections, major riots and prison revolts.

Depending on the emergency -- such as a nuclear accident -- manpower, vehicles, equipment, food and clothing could be mobilized.

People can be arrested, including those who hoard supplies. It can also restrict travel. Failure to comply could lead to fines and prison terms of up to five years.

Chretien has ordered eight key cabinet ministers to be in Ottawa at midnight Dec. 31 to handle any crisis that could hit.

Cabinet has the power to invoke the Emergencies Act, which was passed in 1988 to replace the War Measures Act -- used by Pierre Trudeau in 1970 to quell the FLQ terrorist crisis.

"They can't arrest you just for something they think you've done, but they can arrest you for not obeying the (emergency) regulations they've made," a government insider said.

Senior officials say Canada is nearly fully compliant to respond to Y2K problems.

They are even more reluctant to discuss the potential for terrorist threats, mass suicides and crackpots looking to enter the afterlife in a blaze of glory.

"We don't respond to hypothetical situations," said Valerie de Montigny of the Privy Council Office.

Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson has responsibility for invoking the act -- which sets in motion a chain of events, including the recall of Parliament.

At least 10 MPs and 15 senators would have to be in attendance to approve the emergency law. Four key ministers -- Treasury Board's Lucienne Robillard, Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy, Industry's John Manley and Defence Minister Art Eggleton -- will run the show. Others in town that night will include Transport's David Collenette, Health Minister Allan Rock, Natural Resources Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Anne McLellan.

Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano will be in Montreal Dec. 31, but has been told to be on standby to return to Parliament.

Sources say senators were alerted and besides the 10 or so in the Ottawa area, others in Toronto and Montreal have been warned to be prepared to go to Ottawa.

Guy McKenzie, spokesman for a federal group responsible for millennium contingency planning, was reluctant to discuss doomsday scenarios. "We don't have anything to make us believe that we need to work through scenarios at this point. We have ministers in town to basically craft decisions if needed because they are the ultimate decision-making power."

-- Deborah (, December 07, 1999.

Well, given my grave financial status, which y'all are more than aware of, I think that this law in the US would uh benefit me, cause I understand our Main House has quite a stash? Maybe we could spread that around? ie, give some to me?!!

-- Hokie (, December 07, 1999.

"People can be arrested, including those who hoard supplies"

Are Toronto and other Canadian police officers going to be arresting people for taking the same reasonable precautions that many of them have taken to protect their families themselves? Are judges, many of whom will also have quietly prepared by then, going to come down hard on ordinary citizens for doing the same thing?

Anything's possible - but I believe that the typical Canadian police officer still has integrity, is both human and humane, and would not be at all willing to treat as a criminal someone who has simply taken reasonable and sacrificial precautions in advance to protect his family.

And, to any Canadian cops out there - I have the highest respect for you, I appreciate the often unappreciated work you do to keep the rest of us safe, and I'm looking to you to continue that fine tradition by not letting anyone argue you into putting on jackboots. In return, if you need help or assistance of any kind during a perilous Y2K-rollover, you'll find me and millions of your fellow- citizens only too willing to come to your assistance!

-- CountOn It (, December 07, 1999.

Bring your money, food, gasoline, and daughters, Subject.


Dudley Do-right.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 07, 1999.

Hey, Ron, as someone who also lives in Canada, I feel far safer being a 'subject' of Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God Queen, than I would be being a subject of William Jefferson Clinton I, by virtue of Watergate, Filegate, Chinagate, Over 40-Plus Suspicious Deaths, the Backing of the Bilderbergers, and Membership in Various Other Elitist Groups, King.

Besides, I like and respect our Queen Elizabeth. Can you say the same of your King William...:)?

-- John Whitley (, December 07, 1999.

Mr. Whitley,

Well said!!!!!!!!!

By the way I enjoyed your comments on the radio from Nov.

Thanks for your convictions. You are the first person that I've heard that has the chutzpah to say--"Will happen" instead of the milktoast "may" or "could".

-- d----- (, December 07, 1999.

FWIW, I think the reference to "hoard" supplies is a holdover from the days of the "War Measures Act". During WWII the gov't wanted to curtail the black market as much as possible (to ensure fairness of access to supplies).

I doubt the cops are gonna be busting people in Jan 2000 because they happen to have a case of KD and some cans of tuna in the basement.

On the wider issue of this story appearing on the front page of the Toronto Sun (a right-wing [in Canadian terms], populist tabloid read by the Canuck equivalent of Joe Six-Pack), I don't think it will stir up much here in Toronto or Canada as a whole. Most people will read it as the gov't putting contingency measures in place, and not read anything "between the lines". I think most Canadians are intelligent enough to realize that because an event is planned for, it does not automatically mean that the event will happen .

You don't have to go too far east of Toronto to find people who were damn glad to see the Army in Jan 98 (the Ice Storm). My feeling is that the authorities themselves (hydro, gov'ts, police etc.) feel that they did not respond as swiftly and effectively to the Ice Storm crisis as they would have liked and, hence, for Y2K they are preparing and planning to a much greater degree.

Just some thoughts from north of the border.

-- Johnny Canuck (, December 07, 1999.

It may have appeared in the Toronto Sun, Mr. Canuck, but it was being regularly re-broadcast on every 680-NEWS radio news broadcast during rush hour this morning, as the Canadian masses were heading into the city to stitch mocassins, mount moose heads, paint litle Mountie statuettes, and whatever else they do down there on Bay Street to earn an honest daily dollar:)!

The Toronto Sun, to give it its due, has covered a number of these types of stories which the other Toronto papers ignored - the moving of the Army's Land Forces Central HQ out of the city because of anticipated 'Y2K chaos' comes to mind.

And what is really significant here is that readers of populist newspapers are rarely stupid. They can read between the lines, too. Watch them start stocking their larders now.

That story was also carried on the CP Newswire, which means other Canadian radio stations and newspapers will almost certainly carry or refer to it. Certainly the Ottawa and Edmonton Sun's will...

-- John Whitley (, December 07, 1999.

Johnny Canuck

I totally agree that folks aren't going to panic over the military aspect in Canada. After the Ice Storm folks would be fools to not welcome them if the shit hits the fan.

Considering the breadth of the exposure of this and the CBC news yesterday and today it would seem that the "powers that be" in Canada are sending out "subtle" messages that folks had better have there shit together before hand.

Prepare for the "Three day Ice Storm" folks :o)

and keep your liners dry

-- Brian (, December 07, 1999.

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