The Throne Read (March/April 2007)

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Security Certificates: Unconstitutional

On Friday, February 23, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that security certificates, provided under Canadian anti-terrorism legislation are unconstitutional.

A security certificate permits the government to indefinitely detain those suspected of terrorist activity without allowing the suspects to see the evidence against them. The certificates have existed for almost 30 years, but the process for obtaining them was changed drastically after Sept 11.

While the Supreme Court has concluded that security certificates violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms the ruling had no immediate effect on the freedom of the litigants who brought the case to court: Adil Charkaoui of Montreal, Mohammed Harkat of Ottawa (both released on bail with strict conditions), and Hassan Almrei (detained since October 2001, mainly in solitary confinement). The judgment is of interest to two others, Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohammad Mahjoub, both of Egyptian origin. The Court has given Parliament one year to rewrite the relevant clauses of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act before the decision takes effect.

Pimp my Protester

If you are skilled at holding banners and shouting slogans and have a German-sounding last name, the folks at may need your services. Over the course of the last month, the Germany-based website has gained a certain level of online notoriety for renting out demonstrators for public protests.

Individuals and organizations seeking to employ protesters need only to browse through the various ads for horse-drawn carriages, chicken-plucking machines and private jets offered on the Erento website and click on the "rent a demonstrator" category. The average protester can be rented for as little as $188 US a day. Most of the 300 potential demonstrators currently listed describe themselves as young and attractive. Categories included in the extensive personal information – which at times resemble those found on dating sites – are skin colour and appearance type, which includes choice like "European," "African," "South American" or "Asian."

If you decide that pimping yourself out as a protester is not the career for you, there is still money to be made by exploiting your German heritage. Just send your application to the rent a German network at