Do not pity poor Andrew Scheer.

What happens to a man whose entire working career has been that of a Canadian politician?

 He has stepped down as leader of the opposition which means he loses his free house, free car and chauffeur, chef and household manager.  He also has now to pay for his childrens’ private schooling and to cap it all off he takes a $100,000.00 pay cut!  Wow.  I guess the question is does he get to keep all those goodies until a new leader is elected?  Probably.

 I guess that is what happens when someone relies on the Canadian people for his livelihood. On the other hand. he can remain as a lifelong member of the House of Commons as he belongs to a party which is so well established in his home province that he is not in jeopardy of losing his conservative seat no matter how irrelevant he may be. By the time he finally retires his tax-free monthly pension will be the equivalent of a working man/woman’s annual wage.  Of course, as a US citizen, he could always go south and run for the senate there!

 There was some sort of joke that he would try again to be Speaker of the House, and that indeed would be a cruel joke as he was perhaps the most partisan and weak Speaker in Canadian History as his actions in the Brad Butt affair clearly showed.   To have him return in that position would indeed be an apt judgment on the value the elected representatives have in the so-called peoples’ House.

 Perhaps if he had been paying attention to the mood of Canadians rather than personally attacking his opponent, he would have been PM but he choose instead to be a fool. That should be a lesson to any would-be PM.  The people do have a say in who governs them, or should I say represents the corporate lobbyists to us all, and should be paid attention to.

 

His resignation has caused some speculation about who will take his place, which leads to:

                                            New Leader for the Conservatives?

 Well sure if they want to get anywhere other than opposition, they do need a leader with charisma and pizzazz and that doesn’t mean a constant anaemic smile. But look who the CBC in their never-ending speculating instead of reporting news is presenting as possible replacements.

 Peter MacKay. The man that betrayed his promise and written agreement to David Orchard who for the good of the party was willing to step aside for MacKay to be the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. The deal was that Stephen Harper would not be given the conservative name.  Well, we all know how that worked out, and how no matter what he did wrong – and he did plenty –  MacKay would always have a cabinet seat in any Harper government.

 Stephen Harper himself….Seems he retired only to promote himself as the world’s greatest conservative in case he got the chance to mess up Canada again.  His destruction of the working process of the Canadian Parliament is well documented and here is just one sample. (John Baird claiming the right he would not grant Ms.May as a duly elected Member of Parliament)

 Christy Clark, the ultra-conservative, libertarian who disguised herself as a BC Liberal and couldn’t name a corporate entity in BC which does not love her and gave her oodles of money in her failed bid to remain Dictatress of BC. Now openly supporting any conservative she knows and heaping praise on Brian Mulroney and Harper claiming they were saviours of Canada. Listening to her talk on the Power and Politics Premiers Panel on CBC is, to one from BC, sickening

 John Baird.  Perhaps single-handedly managed to get the CIA anti- Libyan mercenaries to keep fighting so he could arrange to bomb civilians, hospitals, universities, schools and water supply pipelines (and the factories to make more pipes) without any threat of air interference.  Perhaps his greatest asset was that he could escort Loraine Harper to functions when Stephen was out gadding around feathering his private nest al la Mulroney.

 Pierre Poilievre.  The architect of the unfair elections act, designed to stop First Nations and the homeless from voting, and pulling the teeth of Elections Canada to enforce a democratic election system in Canada.  Since being part of the opposition, he has attacked the PM personally too many times to count which is against parliamentary rules but he simply doesn’t care.  No thanks, Pierre.

 Surely there must be some real person of integrity and personality somewhere in the conservative ranks who can appeal to all Canadians of conservative ilk and they don’t need to exhume these people, except Pierre of course.

 But all in all, a very good day for Canada and a very bad day for Andrew Scheer.

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Election 2019 musings

Written in early November and I forgot to post it…..

 

We are told over and over by those who should know better that Canada is a democracy. And yet we have just been shown again that democracy is a word that does not apply to Canada, and indeed the way Canada was formed did not have democracy in mind at all.

The Magna Carta, signed by King John on 15th June 1215, was the start of and the basis for Westminster styled parliaments since that day.  It laid out among other things, rights and privileges designed to curb the Royal power of a king, corrupt or not, and to give power to some of the people – Lords, Dukes Earls etc., and indeed the first parliament was made up of just those people. Rich and influential. But it was a start.

Canada, being a colony of England, was designated a Westminster style parliamentary system as were all the colonies of the old “Empire” now known as the Commonwealth of Nations.  Based as it was on the English system there were but two parties, neither of which had the ability to be democratic as the very nature of this system falls apart under the dictates of party lines.  Ideally, the purpose of our parliament would be to the betterment of all the people of Canada and Canada itself, however, today that concept is as alien as love thy neighbour.

That being said this just past election was as uninspiring as it was dirty. Fearmongering and smears outnumbered even the wildest promises and unsubstantiated claims were flowing freely. The outcome, a minority government, was predicted amid wild accusations of coalitions and one suggestion by Scheer that the looser of the minority race should immediately resign as party leader. How did that work out for you Andrew?

What we got was three parties showing an increase in seats and two showing losses. The Greens increased to 3 members, the Bloq (a party which puts Quebec first within Canada) regained party status; why did the conservatives describe them as separatists when their base in Alberta and Saskatchewan are openly calling for Wexit and the conservatives completely took over that belligerent western section of the country.  The NDP and Liberals both lost seats, but the saving grace for the liberals was probably the inherent distrust of Andrew Scheer who finally owned up to American citizenship (and all that would entail in dealing with half of himself!)  the threat of austerity and an increase in belligerence and bigotry as seen in both Ontario and Alberta. By the way, how did a party which was so critical of Mulcair having dual citizenship with France manage to have a US citizen as its head?

A split and dissatisfied country. A country which made climate change an issue; a country struggling with dissatisfaction with the way politics is conducted and yet not willing to go backwards; a country with a general population scared of adventurous voting, wanting change but not willing to bring it about; a country divided into haters and bigots and religious extremists, and those who want a better world; a country with an indigenous population still suffering genocidal conditions in spite of many words claiming otherwise; a country of huge potential being held back by red tape and bureaucracy, jealousies and fear of the different.

In other words, a paradise in the making if we do this right, or a hell just around the corner if we do not.

 

Jeremy

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Halifax International Security Forum 2019

I tuned into part of this conference almost by mistake and if what I saw and heard was a reflection of the rest of the conference then I have to question why it took place.

 What I saw was a one on one chat with Richard O’Brien, and undersecretary to another secretary of something or another from the US administration. As it appears, he is as really a propaganda humanoid whose grasp of reality seems tenuous at best.

 Let me give an example or two.

According to O’Brien, Chavez and his socialism completely destroyed Venezuela, and socialism is to blame wherever it is practised for the collapse of countries economics.   Clearly, the US administrations do not believe that people should in any way benefit from the tax dollars they contribute to their governments as that should all go to make the wealthy individuals and corporations more wealthy.  Corporate welfare is alive and well in the USA and all is well in the land of the brave and free in spite of the crushing poverty amongst its citizens.   The truth about Venezuela is that Chavez wanted to free his country from the yoke of using the Petrodollar for the Venezuelan oil and instead use the Euro.  That was simply not acceptable to the US which believes it has the “god-given” right to control the world for their own benefit, and sanction after sanction was levied against that country, causing great hardship naturally. However just as they have done in the past and are still doing now meddling in the affairs of other countries causing leadership changes so friendly puppets can be installed who will bow low to the District of Columbia and give what they are told to give, mostly oil of course.   Now after they have crippled the economy of Venezuela they are saying that socialism is to blame and a rightfully and duly elected president must give way to an unelected CIA backed upstart.   Question for O’Brien – if this unlawful change takes place will the US sanctions be lifted the same day?

 So then it becomes ironic that O’Brien claims the USA is the country which answers the international 911 calls when in fact almost all those calls are made as a result of US actions.  Meddling in Ukraine, causing a coup and installing a friendly president on Russia’s border, creating the ability for the Crimea to vote for and then rejoin Russia, and making support subject to Trump’s personal political gain is hardly answering a 911 call. The list of countries destroyed by US political interference carried out by the CIA in the name of democracy rather than personal and corporate profit is a trait that Columbus must have brought with him when his boat eventually landed on the east coast. It has not changed and will not as long as the American people allow themselves to be herded like cattle to pay their taxes and do what they are told.  O’Brien talked about the generosity of the US abroad through their cost of defence which is really the cost of constant wars without which the military-industrial complex would go broke, and that would mean the end of the American economy. He also mentioned how he valued the young people who fought and died for the protection of their country, somehow ignoring the fact that most of them signed up for a paycheque as they couldn’t find work with their BAs and MAs etc. and if they survived they might even get lucky and get a pension. Survival, not nationalism O’Brien.

 Then there was a question about Africa, earnestly answered by saying that the US stands with Africans, wants to help them get free of despicable conditions, despots, civil wars and such, yet the president of the USA calls these countries “shit holes” and asks why he should help them at all.

 Am I alone in wondering how many sides of how many mouths were speaking for the US at this Forum?

 PS.  Naturally I saw and heard Peter MacKay there – perhaps getting ready to make a bid for the Conservative movement his lies and treachery helped to create for one Stephen Harper and certainly not for the people of Canada.

 

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A new bigger cabinet for Canada or is it?

 

 

I watched the swearing of the 2019 Liberal Cabinet with some interest and some great disappointment.

First and most important the same old oaths of allegiance were made to the Queen of the Commonwealth rather than to the people of Canada. Two things on this. First, she doesn’t pay one single solitary penny (or now obsolete cent) towards those who are swearing allegiance to her or to her representative here in Canada who is also paid and a home is provided for by the people of Canada to whom she owes absolutely no allegiance. She is simply a figurehead.   Second, if these MPs are elected and paid for by the people of Canada why do they not consider us allegiance worthy?

As to the cabinet itself it was a huge relief to se that Freeland was removed from the Foreign Office which might indicate that Canada will once again have relationships with all countries, Clearly, Freeland has some very strong views about which countries were and are acceptable to Canadians and I would venture to say that she was wrong in asserting her own prejudices upon us all.  It was and is and should be very important to have some relationship with all countries, especially those with whom we have disagreements.  How will differences be solved if we have to use countries such as Italy for example to communicate our views?   Perhaps if Ms. Freeland had spent more time on diplomatic relationships with those countries instead of taking over trade agreements (really disguised investment agreements) when we had a Trade Minister perfectly capable of doing that job then we would have more friends and fewer enemy states. Our relationships to Russia, Iran, China and Venezuela to mention just a few depended entirely on her whims and prejudices and not necessarily the desires of the Canadian people.  Since we are trying for a seat on the Security Council again then we should have been making friends not exacerbating her enemies.  Her position as deputy PM fills me with concern.

Searching for ministers who had any ties to the west – Alberta and Saskatchewan really – is I suppose a political future reality, but in my view, those two provinces clearly banked on Scheer being elected and lost.  Too bad.  They will be looked after as they are still part of Canada but to pander to their needs when they are so clearly out of step with reality is nonsense.   Oil is different from bitumen, and bitumen is what is extracted from the tar sands not oil. CBC pundits such as Alison Redford and the ultra-conservative Christy Clark seemed to think that oil and gas is still the number one priority for Canada rather than developing clean alternatives asap.  I still have no word from any bitumen export promoters as to where these “new” markets are located.

When CN and CP were sold to private interests any clout with them disappears into corporate profit which is separate from the needs of the Canadian people.   Has everyone forgotten what happened after the Wheat Board was closed (against the grain farmers wishes) and then sold to the Saudis and so no-one ordered rail cars for the grain?  Now there is a strike based on personnel safety – which could end up with another Lac Megantic disaster if not taken care of – and those provinces are screaming for back to work legislation. Oh boy.

Another disappointment is that there will be no return to the use of our own public  bank – the Bank of Canada – to finance what we need as both the Minister of Finance and the PM are both puppets to the big banks, both domestic and international and their profits must be assured no matter how much it costs the people of Canada.

Then there is O’Regan who mishandled how many portfolios (3) s in the last parliament being given even more powers as Minister of Natural Resources of all things.  Must be nice to be a buddy to the PM what?   How he will deal with the likes of Kenny whose redneck, bigoted,white supremacist roots are plain to see will be interesting to watch. I expect him to retreat in tears very quickly.

Overall not a particularly impressing cabinet but I will wait to see what happens.

 

Jeremy

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Alberta and Saskatchewan unhappy again

“Wexit”  !

 

Alberta and Saskatchewan are talking about leaving confederation because they do not agree with social governments, preferring instead austerity for the people and handouts for the corporations which are destroying our earth. Ok, that is their choice as it was the choice of Canadians outside those two provinces to reject that notion.  They seem to feel a sense of alienation when could it be that what they are mad about is that Canadians as a whole don’t think like them; that is to say Alberta and Saskatchewan are the breadbaskets and lubrication provinces that hold the country together financially and should be bowed down to and given everything they desire. Really? Would that have happened under a Scheer government? Yeah, right!  His American side would be clearly in lockstep with Trumpian non-values.

What on the face of it seems like a spoiled brat or two crying and stamping their feet in order to get mommy’s attention actually shows how little Alberta and Saskatchewan have really thought this through.  Alberta is mad because that province has squandered what it had that was created by Peter Lougheed many years ago which was a model for Norway’s fantastic financial situation; and now after years of terrible conservative manipulation in that province, they are in essence broke and landlocked. Instead of reaping the rewards of careful husbandry of their main resource they are now “sans” the Heritage Fund advantage and stuck with a one market product they call oil, which is in fact bitumen.  As long as they call it oil their heads are stuck in the sand from which the bitumen is taken.  One market you ask? Well yes according to the FTA and then NAFTA we can increase our percentage of production of any petroleum export to the USA to 100% but we cannot reduce it at all. Article 605 of NAFTA.

We hear from media and politicians that there are new markets waiting for the bitumen but never are they described.  Notley, Kenney, Freeland, Trudeau, Carr to mention just a few have not been able to give me the name of even one refinery in any new destination country that is wanting this Alberta goop.  So naturally, the question arises: why the TMX expansion if not just another way to ship to the USA?  Meanwhile, Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington State, is as concerned about the possibility of an accident in Georgie or Juan da Fuca straights and the resulting toxic gases release into the local winds as are we on southern Vancouver Island.

Incidentally in this as yet un-ratified USMCA investment deal there is a segment ( Article 32.10) on other investment (trade deals) entered into by one country without including the other two will make USMCA null and void.   How does the US talking a new trade deal with China fit with this? Yet our weak-kneed corporate government will ratify it anyway.

Is the assumption that BC will automatically leave Canada with an arch-enemy? After all, we are under legislated threat of having Alberta cut us off from oil and gas supply.  They want to destroy our interior with clumps of bitumen and toxic gases when the TMX  pipe ruptures and of course the Stampeders always beat up on the Lions, so are we really expected to roll over and join them in their foolishness.   BC, on the other hand, could leave Canada and be completely self-sustaining.  Actually, though, the problem is more complex when you consider the First Nations treaties with Canada, and BC having signed on to the UNDRIP makes it even more complicated.  For some reason, Alberta and Canada have not so signed, presumably because such a signature would hamper the ability to trample on First Nations’ rights.

But what would leaving Canada actually achieve? Both provinces would still be landlocked, and while they could still export grain, wheat, beef, pork etc., it would be through foreign ports, probably charging more with maybe even import/export duties charged, and what would happen to the people of those two provinces about the OAS and CPP, not to mention healthcare? The rest of Canada being the generous people they are would graciously honour the current recipients, but for the rest of you?  The youth of both provinces would not be happy about that now would they?

So back to the discontent within Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Granny used to say “put all your eggs in one basket and if you fall you most likely will not have any eggs”. Well you two, it seems you have fallen and now have not one representative in the federal government between you.  IF this country was a democracy that would not really matter much as your representatives (MPs) would have a voice, but much to the chagrin of many, many Canadians we are not a democracy and there is virtually no representation on behalf of the people in our House of Commons anyway.

The Alberta in which I lived and worked for many years was a relatively happy, friendly and welcoming place. Now after years of conservative rule both provincially and federally the whole picture has changed to where redneck, bigoted, anti-immigration, and yellow-vested supremacists are well represented by the likes of Kenney whose intended austerity measures (anticipated by me anyway) were held back in a budget not delivered until after the federal election. Anyone really surprised by that?

What Canada sorely lacks is love and compassion for each other no matter who or what.  Yes, there are some who have an abundance of both but ……

 

Jeremy

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Electing a minority government is not a bad thing.

Well, the hoopla is well over.

We have a minority parliament, not a coalition as the talking heads keep repeating endlessly as if by them saying it over and over it will come to be.

We have had minority governments before and mostly – that is with the exception of the Stephen Harper years – quite a lot of good was accomplished.  There is no need to be frightened by such an animal, in fact, some small semblance of democracy might just raise its head to smile upon us.  We can but hope.

Meanwhile, those talking heads are guessing what will happen and few seem to acknowledge that the world is not coming to an end. Surely there is real-time news they can report upon until moves are made when parliament eventually meets.

There are some things that stand out for me and I guess the main one is the reaction of one Andrew Scheer.  After claiming that the loser in a minority government must resign as party leader it is clear in his own mind that it only applied to Justin Trudeau, not to him.  He has said he will stay on as leader unless his caucus wants him out, and as there really is nobody to replace him he will stand pat. Wow, what a surprise!

Alberta is, of course, moaning that they will not have a seat at the table, but that was their choice and with Saskatchewan, they will form a solid block of red neck, bigoted, yellow vest supporters who will agree to nothing on principle. It seems that what they wanted was austerity and cutbacks and Alberta got that through Jason Kenny’s budget, conveniently delivered after the election was history.  Typical!  How do you like conservative values now Alberta?  Clearly, any form of democracy is an anathema to you.

But back to CBC and their consummate desire to offer their speculations on what happens next.  No ideas or even suggestions on possible democracy as only a majority government seems to fit with their idea of good governance. The very concept that there will be different opinions on how to do the best thing for Canadians through real debate in committees – even though they have become a time-conscious waste of time since 2006.  Democracy means that what the people need is important and legislation should reflect that rather than pandering to big oil, big pharma and big anything else that wants to make a healthy profit at our expense.   There are people who have no homes, no money and who rely on others for their food.  There are people whose homes are mouldy, who have no drinkable water and whose education and hospital facilities are not even on a par with 3rd world countries; and what land they have is constantly being taken from them for a road, pipeline or mining operation and they do not get a fair share of the proceeds. Their burial grounds, as sacred to them as are the cemeteries in Christian churches, are destroyed by construction crews defended by the rent-a-cop RCMP with no regard to ancient and treaty rights.  What a hypocritical country we are when we preach reconciliation and practice theft and genocide.

Referring to Andrew Scheer again, his new caucus has decided to relieve him of his self-imposed suggestion about the looser resigning as party leader and have agreed to follow his vacuous smile for a while longer.

Yet Elizabeth May, a more parliamentary politician than Scheer will ever be, has stepped down as Green Leader because she promised her daughter she would do so.  Who would you rather trust?

 Jeremy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Canadian Election of October 2019

The day before Voting Day

What a boring, nasty election full of innuendos, accusations and falsehoods, and very little in the way of substantive ideas.  This was not about MPs so much as about the leader of the country. CBC, instead of promoting democracy, furthered the concept of a leader being elected in all 338 ridings. Only in Canada eh? pity.

The spectre of a coalition government has not appeared in Canadian political history until now and has been blown out of all proportion.

Yes the Liberals, NDP and Bloq foolishly announced that they would vote together to defeat Harper’s minority government in a non-confidence vote and form an alliance, not a coalition, to run government which resulted in Harper proroguing government to avoid that situation. An alliance is not a coalition. Remember what he said in the house, prior to proroguing, about what any alliance with a separatist party would do for constitutionality? Typically, he raised the idea again that a party interested almost entirely in what was/is good for Quebec had to be separatist, and that is typical of all western blockheads’ thinking.

Now we have his minion Andrew Sheer (another western blockhead) raising the spectre of a Liberal- NDP coalition because the NDP have flatly ruled out any chance of working with a conservative minority and even though the Liberals have not agreed to the Scheer proposed coalition accusation.  The NDP raised the possibility of a coalition with the Liberals and of course, Scheer jumped all over that as fact in another form of smear tactic against Trudeau.   Typical.

What we have here are two young males still in political short pants (so to speak), one of whom has made some serious mistakes in the last 4 years, and the other who was perhaps the worst Speaker in our History.   One tries to tell us what he has done well, and how he wants to do more, and the other ignores the climate and our aboriginal people, but pours scorn and hate on his rival.  Between them there is obviously no love and perhaps no respect.  One warns of the other and the usual conservative tactics of less tax for the wealthy corporations and more for the people along with service cuts, while the other slams, curses and personally attacks the other.   Children! Grow up damn it!

I listened to one speech, how typical I don’t know as I try to avoid most of them lately, in which Scheer raised the spectacle of Diefenbaker and Mulroney as two shining examples of Conservative PMs.  Wow.   Yes, the Deief gave us the Bill of Rights, but he also cancelled the Avro Arrow once the impossible was accomplished and how much money did we spend on that wonderful plane?   Not sure what the symbolism was meant to be here, maybe that our success is not acceptable south of the border and their discontent must be appeased; so, is that a clue about Scheer?  With Mulroney everything is much clearer.  He gave what was left of our sovereignty to the USA through FTA and blew the national debt up from approx. $93 billion to approx. $440 billion before he gave over power to Campbell.  Another shining example of a true Canadian?   Harper raised it again to just nudging under $1 trillion from approx. $515 billion to give himself a balanced operating budget. Hah!  So, the references Scheer was suggesting in relation to himself was?  

Does it appear that I have no time for Scheer? Well, that is correct. His action as Speaker over the Brad Butt affair still rankles with me and act as a guide to the man he really is as opposed to what he projects.

Does that mean that I support Trudeau? Only if that was the only alternative. His election promise being broken may well have come back to haunt him, and his actions re the first peoples are still seriously lacking.

Neither of these men has any clue what democracy might have been and will not practice it given the chance with a majority. So, the best outcome and the one that seems most likely now is a minority government with the balance of power split between three parties – if the Greens reach party status and I hope they do – and that could actually lead to better governance; that is if the lust for power can lower its ugly head for a while and if our elected representatives can actually work for both Canada and us for a change.

Oh, to be free of the corporate chains Canada.

 

Jeremy

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