Rotary Club of Oak Bay
2007-2008 Rotary International Theme: Rotary Shares
District 5020 Governor 07-08: Norm Watts
Join us at Noon on Tuesdays at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre (CLICK FOR DIRECTIONS)
Program for February 19, 2008, reported by Gary Nazar. CLICK HERE for Print Version


Past-President David Maxwell chaired the meeting. He recalled his year as President in 2005/06 when Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammer was President of R.I. with the theme “Service above Self”. David pointed out that with 1.2 million Rotarians in the world, half had to have been sponsored by the other half and he invited us to remember our sponsor, why that person might have thought we would make a good Rotarian, and to thank one’s sponsor. He thanked Lorna Curtis for inviting him, saying, “See all the trouble you got me into?”.

Tom Lidkea played for O Canada and Nels Granewall recited grace in sonorous Swedish.
Joan Firkins was District Governor that year and she was invited to recall some of the high lights, including having the President of R.I. at our District Conference.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests introduced by Jerry McLean:

Burt Kennedy, Winnipeg West, Sneior Active;
Bruce Willats, Laguna Beach;
Marguerite Trussler, Edmonton, Retired Judiciary.
Reg Wittaker, Guest Speaker was guest of the Club;
Bonnie Sayers was a guest of John Snively;
Sara Murphy was a guest of Irene Davie.

Announcements:
Health of the Club: Mary canty reported that Mark Beford is steadily improving during his convalescence in Calgary.
Honorary Membership: Ben Andersen thanked the Club for their support of him as member and Police Chief but said he would have to resign as his new position kept him away during the week. The Club then unanimously consented to bestow the title of Honorary
Member on Ben, which he accepted while expressing his appreciation.

Sergeant-at-Arms
Sergeant-at-Arms Tom Croft, President in 2001/02, fined those with no pins, no guests at table and some 14 who had never been club presidents. David Sills paid $5 for his error last week and apparently Brian Lamb had kept Tom’s gloves since the fireside??? Ben Andersen and Tsuyoshi Takahashi celebrated birthddays. Happy/sad $ from Neil R., Ben A. and Neil M. Ted Harrison won the draw but no white marble.

Guest Speaker, introduced by Irene Davie

Reg Whitaker is a distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at York University and has published several books on security situations in Canada as well as serving as advisor on a number of commisions including those on Maher Arar, Air India and aviation security. He spoke to us on the topic, “Is Ottawa keeping Canadians secure in the age of terrorism?” Nobody can make us 100% secure, but Ottawa is doing its best under difficult circumstances to reduce insecurity to manageable levels. But security has to be balanced against other goals: especially our democratic freedoms. Too much security comes at a cost. After 9/11, US President Bush declared a Global War on Terror. He also stated: “you are either with us or with the terrorists.” But terrorism is a method of conflict, not an enemy state that has attacked us. ‘War’ is the wrong way to fight terrorism, which is a threat that requires good intelligence, international cooperation, and good security. The US under Bush directs a unilateral war with many unfortunate consequences. A basic idea is that you “fight them over there to avoid fighting them over here”. This led to the Iraq fiasco. Which actually has promoted terrorism, given it new bases, and nurtured roots for Islamic extremists in Western countries. Another consequence of war: in war, civil liberties and other freedoms have often been suspended, or limited. The Bush administration record at home and abroad is deplorable for trampling on democratic freedoms and human rights. The war on terror blinds policy makers to non-terrorist threats: natural disasters, diseases, climate change, etc. The fiasco of Hurricane Katrina is a result. Since 9/11 Canada has been fighting a 2-front war. 1st front: the public face of anti-terrorist policy in cooperation with the US. 2nd front: the less public struggle to limit the damage to Canadian national sovereignty threatened by the US war on terror.

The 1st Front: The Chrétien/Martin Liberals from 2001 to 2006:
• restructured the bureaucracy to focus on security
• added $8 billion in new resources for security
• began to beef up the military and put Canada in Afghanistan
• Passed the tough Anti-Terrorism Act
• strengthened border security and expanded co-operation with the US.
• Developed a new national security policy, Securing an Open Society, stressing the integration of security measures across agencies and governments, and focus on no-terrorist as well as terrorist threats.

The 2nd front: Canada kept out of the Iraq disaster: this was a very smart policy.
Canada headed off the ‘North American Security Perimeter’ plan which would have seriously
threatened national sovereignty, but initiated the Smart Borders Agreements, which work toward border security without further political integration with the US. Concerns about lost liberties and tensions with cultural minorities came to focus on the Maher Arar affair. The response: an official inquiry, public exoneration and compensation for Mr. Arar, and recommendations for extensive new review and oversight mechanisms – and stricter controls on what we share with the US. The Harper Conservatives came to office critical of the Liberal record, but in practice security under Harper has been in continuity with his predecessor. They too have recognized that the US cannot always be trusted to do the right thing in relation to Canada. So far as governments control the agenda and set policy, both Liberal and Conservative governments have done a reasonable job of responding prudently and moderately, but effectively to the challenges. Operationally on the ground, the new emphasis on integrated security and policing seems to be working well, seen in the success of the arrests of the Toronto 18 terrorist ring two summers ago.

Conclusion: Bearing in mind that there is now such thing as 100% security and it remains an exercise in risk management with limited resources, our government is doing the best it can in the face of difficult restraints.

Hans Ockermueller added some comments and thanked the speaker on behalf of the club.

 

OAK BAY ROTARY OFFICERS
DIRECTORS

President:
Jack Petrie

President Elect:
Neil Rawnsley

Past President:
Tav Macpherson

Secretary:
Victoria Pitt

Treasurer:
David Sills

Administration:
Neil Rawnsley

Public Relations:
Tricia Timmermans

Foundation:
Tav Macpherson

Membership:
Joan Peggs

Service Projects:
Tom Lidkea
Joe Prentice

International:
Heather Aked

Sergeants @ Arms:
Brian Lamb

Attendance:
Lynne Murray

PROGRAMS FOR MEETINGS 2008

February 19

Reg Whitaker: Is Ottawa keeping Canadians safe from terrorism?

February 26 Tara Douglas: Dr. Graham's Homes for Needy Children
MARCH
March 4

Margaret Lucas, President, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce:Leadership in Greater Victoria

March 11  

DUTY ROSTER February 2008

Date
GREETER &
SAY GRACE
GREETER &
INTRODUCE GUESTS
BULLETIN
MINUTES
HOST & INTRO. SPEAKER
THANK
SPEAKER
 
February
19-Feb Murray Mutter Nazar O'Coffey Ockermueller
26-Feb Peggs Patrick Prentice Philip Picken
FEBRUARY Cashier: BEAUVAIS; 50-50 SCHOPPER

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