Confessions of an agent of foreign influence

I couldn’t agree more with beleagured Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director Richard Fadden’s warning that agents of foreign influence walk among us.

We certainly must be vigilant that Canadians don’t betray their country by coming under the influence of a foreign power. Canadian decisions must be made by Canadians, for Canadians. The influence of foreigners must be avoided at all costs.

We have to clean house, and the best way to do so is to identify all those Canadians who have accepted money, goods or services from foreign powers. Hey, gift grabbers: those trips and cheques don’t come for free. Fadden’s saying that foreign powers want something in exchange for their largesse, and he should know: he’s the highly respected head of a highly respected spy agency.

So, in the spirit of patriotism and to prove my loyalty to our Beloved Country, I welcome the opportunity to confess my sins.

I am an agent of foreign influence.

Over the past year, I have accepted money – thousands of pesos! – from the Government of Mexico to “study” in that foreign country. While there, I met with government and business officials who discussed with me how Foreign copyright works in Mexico. I now have in my head their thoughts about what copyright law should look like; I fear I will never again be able to think pure, Canadian thoughts about copyright.

And they didn’t just give me money. The Government of this Foreign Power provided me not just with a plane ticket (on Mexicana!) to get to Mexico, but paid for my return ticket to ease my re-entry into Canadian society. They even let me fly Air Canada, undoubtedly so as not to arouse suspicion.

If that weren’t enough, they also provided me with free access to their health-care system. And, as the capper to their plot to turn me against my Country, somehow the Mexican Government managed to structure my time there to make me think that Mexicans are a great bunch of folks who live in a fascinating country with a climate that will certainly tempt me to defect when the temperature in Ottawa (which I love with all my heart) hits -40 Celsius this February.

It gets worse.

I’m not working only for Mexico. I’ve also accepted gifts from the most powerful country in the world, the United States of America. Tempted by a professor who is doubtlessly a double agent for this most powerful of Foreign Powers, I applied for and won a U.S. scholarship to study in Washington, D.C., for a summer.

Even though my loyalty is for sale to anyone who can help me finish my dissertation, I was shocked by the brazenness of this program, which goes by the innocuous title of The Washington Center, and brings together students from across the U.S. and (horrors!) around the world! In thinly veiled indoctrination sessions featuring U.S. Administration officials, congressional representatives and other luminaries, these propaganda-mouthing Foreign Influences baldly claimed that the whole purpose of the Washington Center was to “build understanding” among “Americans” and “our friends from other countries.”

It was terrible. The Washington Center actually places students at the heart of the U.S. political system (they placed me at the very centre of power, the Library of Congress), where they “learn about U.S. democracy” (read: are infected with Foreign Ideas) and make contacts (read: meet their handlers for when they return home). One American woman claimed publicly – where was her shame? – that these internships created links between the U.S. and other countries. If, down the road, a U.S. representative had a problem with Canada, for example, she could contact her Canadian ex-intern, who would likely be in a position of influence, to get a better read on the Canadian situation.

Incitement to treason? Or definitely incitement to treason?

A reasonable, if unpatriotic, person might argue that these lines of communication work both ways, but let’s be honest: Canadians aren’t the type of people who try to influence other countries. It’s the outside world of Foreign Influences that is trying to influence us away from our True Canadian Way.

Copping to my treasonous ways isn’t enough. Richard Fadden didn’t have the stones to do more than cast suspicion on all B.C. provincial and municipal politicians in a way that makes it impossible to clear their names (though I’m betting that if your skin burns easily, Fadden wasn’t talking about you).

But have no doubt about the size of my stones. I’m not afraid to name names.

The rot of Foreign Influence runs deep in the Canadian government, and the name of the treasonous government organization at the heart of the conspiracy to turn decent, pure Canadians into Agents of Foreign Influence is a little-known government agency called…

International Scholarships.

Administered by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (hey guys: you’re not fooling anyone by sticking “Canada” at the end of your name), International Scholarships’ Foreign Governments Awards Program puts unsuspecting Canadians under the thrall of such Foreign Countries as Russia and Norway!

It’s disgusting. For God’s sake, their website shamelessly boasts that they will put Canadians in touch with Foreign Governments offering Foreign Money to go to their Foreign Country and learn about their Foreign Ways. Oh, sure, International Scholarships also offer money to foreign students to come study in Canada, but that’s just so foreigners will be able to experience our character-building freezing winters and guileless ways. There’s nothing sinister about that.

Thank you, Richard Fadden, for helping me recognize the error of my ways. From this day forward, I will no longer accept money from Foreign Governments and will think only Canadian thoughts. I renounce my treasonous past and undertake to act only in the best interests of Canada, standing on guard against Foreign Influence, real and imagined, in defence of the Land of the Brave and Home of the Free True North Strong and Free.

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