What if….

One night not so long ago I was in bed thinking instead of sleeping, which I seem to do more today than yesterday and I was thinking thus:

Power in the hands of a few people, or one person, has the ablility to be very destructive. It will overcome common sense, lead to acts of extravagant stupidty, blind ideology, destruction of values and to wars both within a country and in foreign lands.

Over the years checks and balances were created to protect against absolute power, but even those can be overcome as is now happening in Canada, where by mischance both the House of Commons and its Speaker, the House of Sober Second Thought and the courts have all fallen under the control of one man….Or have they.

This led me to write this letter to all the Conservative Party of Canada backbenchers on February 21st 2012:

The letter was entitled “What if”.

An open letter to Government backbenchers.


Some of you will not read this because I am not from your riding, but I hope most of you will as it is not an attack upon you or the government caucus to which you belong.


It is generally accepted that the power of government rests with the PMO and the Cabinet , but that is, in my view, an illusion. The power rests with you the “back benchers” because without your support the government and its agenda cease to be.


I have watched on CPAC as some of you read PMO statements and as you stumble over words like ‘democracy’ or phrases such as ‘represent your constituents’ (usually directed at the opposition members), I have to wonder if perhaps you are in entire agreement with what you are reading. Maybe you are but what if you are not? What if you question this whole represent your constituents thing?


The job of the opposition is to study proposed bills, offer suggestions or amendments to improve them in both the house and committee, or to vote against them if those improvement suggestions are rejected and they believe the bill to be bad for the Canadian people.


I would submit to you that your job as a government backbencher is no different.  I do not think your job is to just rise from your seat and vote when so directed by thePMO.


Being an MP is not an easy job; being away all week that the House is sitting;  being available to your constituents when you are home; sacrificing family life to live in a hotel or lonely apartment in Ottawa; working on committees and keeping up with what must be endless correspondence requires dedication, and I applaud you for that.


But is it not in the interests of your constituents to ensure that legislation is the best it can be for them? You were elected to be their MP.  If we look at the national average then 25% of eligible voters or 39% of actual voters in our current system elected this government. This means that 61% of the actual voters did not vote for you, yes in some ridings this was not the case but I am using the national average.  Does this mean that 61% of your constituents are not represented by you, and if so how democratic is that?


What if you actually went to the Liberal, NDP, or Green people who represent the majority in your riding and asked them what they think?  What if you actually represented your whole riding to Ottawa, not the government to your selected minority of the riding? That is your job, and if you do that why would you ever be rejected by the people or your party?


Democracy in Canada has been dead for years because we the people are not only under represented but are largely ignored except at election time, and it is, I think, because of fear of rejection  by the ‘party’ that causes MP obedience to the party line.  Yet the party of any government is made up largely of backbenchers such as you and without you they have no clout. If by standing up in the House, or in committee, and asking for the best for the people of Canada you feel you run the risk of being rejected by your party I have to ask:


Is this what you would be doing, going against the party or are you actually saying to the leader that you have a voice on behalf of all the people of your riding and you should be heard because your support is very important, actually vital, to the government?


I leave you with this thought. 

There is an opportunity to reclaim parliament, at all levels, for the people of Canada and it rests with you the backbenchers of this government to do this.


You have the power but will you use it?


Thank you for reading this.


Jeremy Arney

Why have Canadian Laws lost thier way


Well it’s not only the new Canadian laws that are totally flawed, but these laws of today are now being carried to a level of total absurdity and political games.


The point of laws is that they should create a framework in which every member of society, or businesses, should be protected from maleficence. Today, with this Harper Government, that is not the case with all the advertisable jingly catchy ACT names designed to make opposition to them anti Canadian no matter how “Harper ideological”  those Acts may be.


Way back the throne, whether regal or empiric, determined everything and taxed everyone and that was simple enough, but of course abused.  Governments were formed from which came the parliamentary system which we were given here in Canada. (This simple precise of history will be criticized by scholars as simplistic but so be it.)


Naturally enough this created a class of crooks called Lawyers, who wrote the laws and enforced them in courts created and peopled by them. Right from the start “legal” language was developed and is still used today, and it is very clear that the interpretation of the laws is up to the judges not to the people. Even politicians don’t understand the laws they enact.


A prime example of this is the current new proposed law in Canada, the omnibus crime bill otherwise known as the Safe Streets and Communities Act, as yet still Bill C-10.   The Minister of Justice and for that matter the entire CPC caucus touts this as being hard on crime and standing up for victims, and indeed Nicholson has spat out to the opposition in the House of Commons many times that his government is the only one standing up for victims.  On the other hand the opposition claim that such a bill flies in the face of decreasing crime in Canada showing that the existing system is actually working, and mandatory sentences and mega jails are a waste of money and has already proven to be ineffectual in any jurisdiction where it has been imposed, particularly in the USA.


So, two diametrically opposed views of the same words? Or just political rhetoric?


Having examined all the bills that were rolled into this one I could not find anywhere where any victims of crime were protected, looked after or even fully recognized with the exception of the victims of acts of terrorism; those victims have been given the right to sue the terrorists ! Good luck with that.

For those whom this government claims this act was intended to defend and protect, ie; drug users, children used in pornography or even molested children there is absolutely nothing in Bill C-10 to ‘stand up for’, look after or protect them in any way.


The language of the bill is of course open to the same interpretation as are all bills (or Acts), and that really is the judge’s interpretation not anyone else’s.  I was watching a senate hearing on this the other day and heard a witness from the justice department talk about the word ‘may’ as opposed to ‘shall’ or ‘must’, and I know that in Blacks Law Dictionary, ‘may’ actually means ‘shall’ or ‘must’ when used in legislation;  but this learned member of the justice department was not saying that at all, as she was claiming that in legislation ‘may’ has the same meaning as in real life.  Goobleygook


Let’s not forget too that in BC where I live the legal system particularly the justice / court side of it is totally broken as shown by this comment:


B.C. Chief Justice Robert Bauman had warned that the  judicial system is nearing a “tipping point” because there wasn’t enough judges and funding to hear cases properly, with 2,500 cases waiting for 18 months and 7,600 cases over a year old, causing 109    cases to be tossed out in 2011, double the year before. (quoted by me not my grammar)


So the anticipated new criminals Nicholson claims are out there will just add to the problem of overloaded courts and too few judges.  Maybe it’s time he just bypassed the whole system and did what they are planning in the USA, which is just have the military pick up anyone without any real reason, trial or proof and imprison them indefinitely. How about that Nicholson, is that next?


There is a part of each bill called definitions, usually right at the front, clause 2 or 3, in which the meaning of words for that particular act are given .  Sometimes that makes sense, but in the case of the Income Tax Act for example ‘income’ is not defined nor is ‘profit’.  My assumption is that by not defining income, or profit upon which the original tax was based, the judges have the power to determine what meaning they choose to allot to those words. 


Why is this so important you may ask?


Well that’s the whole point of Canadian law. It is not simple, it is not designed for the ordinary person to read and understand, although they must obey it; it is designed to trap and ensnare us with double speak stupidity disguised as learned words.


Another contentious phrase is ‘natural person”. 


What is a natural person?

Blacks Law Dictionary  defines a natural person as: A human being, as distinguished from an artificial person created by law.

An artificial person: An entity, such as a corporation, created by law and given certain legal rights and duties of a human being; a being, real or imaginary, who for the purpose of legal reasoning is treated more or less as a human being.  Cf legal entity.

Legal entity: A body, other than a natural person, that can function legally, sue or be sued, and make decisions through agents.


If we were to refer to the Canadian Law dictionary it is a little different:


Natural Person:

A natural person is a human being that has the capacity for rights and duties. compare artificial person ; corporation

Artificial person:

A legal entity, not a human being, recognized as a person in law to whom legal rights and duties may attach eg: a body corporate; see corporation


An association of shareholders created under law and regarded as an artificial person by the courts and thus “treated like any other independent person with its rights and liabilities appropriate to itself,”  A corporation has the capacity of taking, holding and conveying property, suing and being sued, and exercising such other powers as may be conferred on it by law, just as a natural person


This infers that a corporation is a human being ! Well that may be so in the USA but here?


It is interesting to note in the Bank Act that any director of a Canadian Bank must be a ‘natural’ person.


No matter what one thinks about natural or artificial persons, one has to wonder why these distinctions were created and why also none of the legal dictionaries define a human being. It is also interesting that the courts do not want to recognize human beings as natural persons, and seem to indicate that under law both natural and artificial persons are the same thing.  Why then are they defined separately and for that matter even acknowledged in the definitions in laws? More specifically why can only natural persons be bank directors?


Show me any Bill that does not refer to another bill, or two or three ,if  you can find one. Of course this does not include Bill C-1, which is as meaningless as any of them and is never debated nor enacted even though it has been proposed and printed about 41 times !


One more thing which really bothers me is the trend set by this Harper regime to change the focus of law breaking to regulation contravention.  An example of this is the Consumer Product Protection Act, which clearly states that charges will be on noncompliance with regulations and are subject only to Ministerial hearings and dictate.  No access to courts will be available to the offenders because no law has been broken! The Navigable Waters Act was amended to do the same thing so in other words we are changing from rule of law to rule by regulation. In the case of the CPPA it was rushed through with much fanfare and as yet the regulations are still not in place that I can find even now 14 months later.


As long as we continue to enact laws that are based on words that have multiple meanings that are subject to the individual interpretations of anyone who can take the time to decipher them but only the interpretations of the judges count, we will never have the democracy that all MPs, Senators, media and sound bite talking heads say we have but Canadians know only too well we do not.




Jeremy Arney