Every day in our House of Commons, MPs stand and spout the word “democracy” over and over and occasionally – very rarely actuality – “sovereignty”.
There is no doubt in my mind that none of them have the first idea what either word means, but they are buzz words that seem to imply that they are working for Canadians.
This simply is not the case.
Sovereignty: (Canadian Oxford dictionary)
“the absolute and independent authority of a community, nation etc.,”
If we had sovereignty really, then why would all our political representatives have to swear allegiance to the Queen of England rather than to the people of Canada who elect and pay them? Why would we have to abide by so-called Trade Agreements and surrender our environmental protection and laws to international corporate profits?
Democracy: (Canadian Oxford dictionary)
“a form of government in which the power resides in the people and is exercised by them either directly or by means of elected representatives”
The claims are made that we elect politicians to represent us, but actually, most Canadians will tell you that they vote for the party, not the person, and even worse they vote for who they want to be the most powerful person in Canada. We all hope, in vain it turns out, that that person will actually work for Canada and Canadians. They do not. The two parties which have ruled Canada since it began are almost interchangeable today, and the fact remains that party politics require that all MPs vote with their party leader, not on behalf of their constituents, their hearts or their heads. What we have had over the years are two parties which respond to the national and international corporations and banks and we would be better described as a corpocracy, not as a parliamentary democracy
So much for democracy.
Stephen Harper announced in 2006 that we would not recognize Canada when he was through with it, and proceeded to make parliament completely dysfunctional. Corporate welfare and investment deals were his things. He made a point of announcing major decisions overseas, usually on a Friday night; committees of the House of Commons were routinely disrupted by his minions, with the most classic being by John Baird, a Minister and therefore not eligible to sit on any committee, on June 4th 2010
His budget implementation omnibus bill of 2012 gutting or repealing some 70 Acts, simply to make life easier for his corporate friends and donors was an action as contemptuous of the Canadian people as was the behavior that caused his to be the first government in the history of Westminster style parliaments to be defeated on the grounds of contempt of parliament. To prove the contempt point he promptly accused the opposition of causing an election the Canadian people did not want over an already defeated budget. There are many of us who thought that any member of that government should be barred from standing in the following election, but the people of Canada bought into his lies and gave him that final right to destroy Canada without opposition interference.
Democracy? Not on your life. Dictatorship? Absolutely.
Justin Trudeau came in with a fanfare and promise of “sunny days” which most of us thought were for us, but naturally, we were wrong again. Those sunny days were for the corporations at home and more particularly from abroad, which would reap the benefits of a continued surrender of sovereignty through investment deals disguised as Free Trade Agreements. Both CETA and TPP (or whatever the new name is) give foreign ‘enterprises’ or ‘entities’ the same rights as Canadians are supposed to have under the Charter of Rights and freedoms, and yes this was confirmed in writing by the current Minister of Trade.
From CETA under definitions:
person means a natural person or an enterprise;
person of a Party means a national or an enterprise of a Party;
This means that Daimler-Benz or Fiat, for example, under CETA have the same rights in Canada as do you and I. Well, that is, if you know how to obtain those rights which you can be sure they do.
Now we have a federal government which has deliberately created a real rift between British Columbia and Alberta over a pipeline which can in fact not be used for exporting bitumen by boat to anywhere except the USA.
You may ask: “What? How is this possible?”
Article 605 of that agreement states that we can increase the percentage of production of any natural resource, but particularly petroleum products, to either the USA or Mexico, but we cannot later reduce that percentage to either country. Since we only have one customer for the bitumen from Alberta as, according to Rachel Notley the Alberta Premiere, the USA takes 100% of our bitumen production so it follows therefore that all those proposed supertankers from Burnaby BC must head for an American port and not as claimed to another country or customer.
What happens if they try and go anywhere else? Then the USA will take us to a NAFTA tribunal and it will cost Canada billions. In an attempt then to give Alberta a few extra bucks the Canadian people will have to pay through the nose. That is described as being good for Canada. I find it hard to agree with that.
As long as we have two interchangeable political parties in Canada which simply switch the colour of the ruling party every now and then we are doomed to sink further into the abyss both financially and morally.
Thus my question: Oh Canada where art thou?
If we must retain the party system and obtain any form of democracry then we must have a minority government with a large number of small party or independent MPs holding the balance of power who can and will represent their people and will force amendments to bad bills, support good bills and really hold the government of Canada to account on behalf of the Canadian people. Could we do this? Yes, if the people want it we can. Canadian apathy, however, will stop any change.
I left the UK in1967 and came to Canada to have and raise my family. There are now four generations of Canadian Arneys on Vancouver Island, and I fear for their future, especially if BC remains part of a Canada which is becoming increasingly hostile to this province.
Where do we go from here? It’s up to us, not those puppets of big money currently bragging that they listen to us when they do not.