Voting reform in Canada?

In Canada we have been presented with an opportunity to bring some real democracy to our political scene, and it appears to me that we are going to pass on that opportunity.

We have a three party system here with a Quebec only based party and a fringe party – the Greens – making up the MP mix.

We have 22 registered political parties in Canada so how is it that only 5 parties are sharing the MPs?

The answer is as old as the hills really and that is power and money.

We call our system of government parliamentary democracy, which in essence means that we have a parliament that represents the people, but does it? Oh there are facts, figures and percentages quoted often to support the concept that it does, but how often does your MP manage to get anything done on a national level with which you approve or even give consent. I will not deny that on an individual problem they may be able to get help for you from the government,. But that largely depends on the MP and the party to which they belong. I remember when I approached Dr. Wallace who was for years a progressive conservative MP for Oak Bay about a problem he flatly told me there was nothing he could do because he was not a member of the government. That is a perfect example of lack of willingness by an MP to act democratically on any level simply because he was not a member of the government. Point here is that all our members of Parliament claim democracy for Canada when in fact we have probably never had such a state.

What we have had since our inception is a two or three party system of governance which is entirely partisan and self serving for those parties. From this we have developed a very finely tuned system of preserving that status quo.

Before we take a serious look at the voting itself, lets look at the process leading up to that vote.

The ability to have a candidate in every riding depends on the money available to a party to develop the machinery at every constituency level, and today that is only partly through individual donations from people and corporation. After each election EC refunds to five parties a large portion of their expenses thus giving them a huge bank account to run the next election. Is there some logic behind this? Of course not from the people of Canada’s point of view because they are paying for it, but from the parties who have developed this system of huge expenses and refunds it makes perfect sense that in essence the taxpayers should pay for their election expenses.

To illustrate what I mean, in 2011 there were 17 parties which had candidates in the election. Of these only 5 parties received a refund from Elections Canada to the total tune of $33,262,653.00.  (see table below from  EC website).

This money came from EC and who pays for EC? Yes that’s right you do. The remaining 12 parties received nothing and had all exhausted their finances and had to rebuild for 2015.

Then in the actual campaigns themselves at almost every town hall across the country “all candidates meetings” actually means the Cons,. Libs, NDP and Greens (and of course the Bloq in Quebec). For a smaller party to get on the stage is an extreme rarity. Even in 2015 when the conservative party candidate did not bother or was told not to to appear at town halls in Esquimalt BC a communist candidate who attended the meetings was totally refused entry to the stage or to even make a presentation to the attendees. The “rules” of participation are set by the holder of the town hall (ie a church or Chamber of Commerce) and are not governed by EC. There is only one way to change this and that involves the people of each riding to walk out of a meeting that does no offer every candidate the same opportunity to speak as would happen in a democracy, or in fact would be suggested by the “all candidates” designation. Problem is that these small parties have some very people oriented and good ideas and therefore must be excluded in order to protect those who only speak the party line.

Advertising is very expensive and here again the Broadcast Arbiter has stacked the deck to favour those major parties and give them the lions share of the advertising that CBC must carry free during an election. Small parties get on average 5 minutes each split between radio and TV, whereas those parties which can well afford to pay for their own get 80 – 100 minutes of free time. This is of course upside down and only further hinders democracy here in Canada.

What this all means is that some 17 registered political parties in Canada are largely excluded from the election process by design.

If this exclusion continues what difference does it make how the vote is conducted?

However that process is being looked at by both a special committee which is working hard and has done so to their credit all summer. Following a decade of completely dysfunctional committees this one has an opportunity to show Canadians that MPs can actually work together for Canadians. After much nonsense about a referendum from the Conservative party members of the committee they too have finally realised that this subject is important, and have started to actually take part rather than distract from the mandate at hand. Problem is that the whole subject is being conducted on the basis of there only being 3 parties, along with the Bloq and Greens, to be considered. In other words any proposal will simply remix the mix we presently have which is no longer functional as far a democracy is concerned.

For example STV allows for up to 5 candidates to be chosen for a larger constituency, so here in Canada each constituency would have an Lib, Con, NDP, Green and one other member of parliament- if that figure of 5 stands and that is not likely as it would open the door for a small party outside Quebec.. Now that sounds like stalemate to me, and anyone who knows chess knows that is not a great outcome.

MMP allows for party list to be chosen from as a secondary feature but that list would perhaps only be presented by a party with a 5-10% of the vote at the last election…so we are back to a list from 3 parties only as even the Greens did not manage 5% of the vote in 2015.

See how this is like a mathematical loop?

All we will get from this as it is playing out so far is a shuffling of the three party deck.

Seventeen small registered parties thought that sunny days and voting reform would help them to finally have some small level of representation in our Canadian House of Commons, to represent their members views and definitely bring new ideas to a stale establishment stuck in the mold of indifference to the people and acquiescence to the corporate lobbyists.

I fear that once again this chance at a new democracy will be sidelined in favour of partisan party politics and in defence of what those parties have.

I am still wondering why the Minister in charge of all this did not appear in Victoria as advertised but instead went to Saturna Island with a total population topping off at 350. Lack of venue? Maybe but we have a magnificent legislature building here in Victoria which is only used for about 7-10 days in any BC Liberals calendar year and I am sure that could have been a very good venue.


Jeremy Arney


Elections Canada Online | Total Paid Election Expenses and Reimbursements, by Registered Political Party – 2011 General Election

Total Paid Election Expenses and Reimbursements, by Registered Political Party – 2011 General Election

Registered political party Number of candidates Total paid election expenses ($) Authorized limit of election expenses ($) Reimbursement ($)
Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada 7 39,024 467,969 0
Bloc Québécois 75 5,344,678 5,373,818 2,669,961
Canadian Action Party 12 16,954 840,226 0
Christian Heritage Party of Canada 46 41,960 3,202,184 0
Communist Party of Canada 20 8,680 1,358,384 0
Conservative Party of Canada 307 19,457,420 20,955,089 9,728,710
First Peoples National Party of Canada 1 0 62,702 0
Green Party of Canada 304 1,924,478 20,764,345 962,239
Liberal Party of Canada 308 19,483,917 21,025,793 9,741,959
Libertarian Party of Canada 23 154 1,743,667 0
Marijuana Party 5 0 339,676 0
Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada 70 3,511 5,162,705 0
New Democratic Party 308 20,319,567 21,025,793 10,159,784
Pirate Party of Canada 10 1,207 757,193 0
Progressive Canadian Party 9 1,424 765,502 0
Rhinoceros Party 14 0 982,437 0
United Party of Canada 3 0 241,407 0
Western Block Party 4 0 333,955 0
TOTAL 1,526 66,642,974 105,402,845 33,262,653

Concerning Canadian Parliament Committees

Concerning Canadian Parliamentary Committees.

I have watched in frustration too many committees both in the House of Commons and in the Senate which are, under this government, completely functions in stupidity.
So I went looking for what committees are supposed to do and looked in both “Beauchesne Parliamentary Rules and Forms” and of course “O’Brien and Bosc”.

From the former I read:
Page 190 Chapter 15 (2)
“Committees receive their authority from the House itself and that authority overrides that of any committee” …Journals Dec 1 1964 pp 941-7

And (3)
“The speaker has ruled on many occasions that it is not competent for him to exercise procedural control over the committees. Committees are and must remain masters of their own procedure” , Journal Dec 1973 pp709-10
510. It is the duty of all committees to give to the matters referred to them due and sufficient consideration.

From these I deduce that it is Parliament, in the form of the House of Commons (or the Senate I suppose) that gives authority to the committees not the government of the day. But today that authority is usurped by the Harper government majority in all committees in both houses of parliament, and as such committees do not have the mastery of their own procedures any more, nor are they capable of giving matters referred to them sufficient consideration, simply because the Harper government will not allow it. There is such a rush to get things rammed through under this Harper Government that committees cannot spend time to really examine that which they have been entrusted by parliament to examine, amend or even reject. More than the questions, the answers, or even the attitude of the chairperson and members of the committees, is the constraint of time. More and more the chairperson is reminding members that their time is up when they are only just getting the presenters (specially the Ministers when they bother to appear) to the point of giving real answers. How can they make a real decision if they can’t get the answers they seek because they don’t have time? Does this lack of time come from the PMO or parliament? Is it not time for committee members to stand up and ask those questions not only of the chair of the committee but of parliament itself. Combine this lack of time with the lack of ability to make amendments or even suggestion there is an inevitable air of frustration appearing because members cannot fulfill their mandates.

On the matter of “In Camera” sittings, a very common practice today…
Page 199 (1)
“A committee having the right to exclude strangers at any time, it may be inferred, has the right to sit in private and have its proceedings protected by privilege. The publication of its proceedings in that case would be an offense which the House could deal with upon receiving a report from the committee.”
The purpose of the in camera sittings is to allow the members to feel free to negotiate, discuss, deliberate and, sometimes, compromise without the glare of publicity which might add to the difficulties of agreeing to reports when it is desirable for those proceedings to be treated in confidence. The final decision of whether to sit in camera, however, rests with the members themselves” …. Journals June 21 1955 pp781-2

To say the least, interesting.

Then from O’Brien and Bosc comes this quote to open the chapter on Committees:

“Experience has shown that smaller and more flexible committees, when entrusted with interesting matters, can have a very positive impact on the development of our parliamentary system, upgrade the role of Members of Parliament, sharpen their interest and ultimately enable this institution to produce much more enlightened measures that better meet the wishes of the Canadian people.”
Yvon Pinard, President of the Privy Council
(Debates, November 29, 1982, p. 21071

Obrien and Bosc has pages of information on the various committees and their functions, which I will not reproduce here but can be seen at:
for anyone who wants to check it out.

It is interesting to see how far we have come in the last few years from functional committees to complete dysfunctionality.
By this I mean that committees were established all those centuries ago to ensure that all elected members had a say in what happened, and what was right and good for the people of, in this case, Canada. Rules were established to ensure that partisanship was not prevalent, and even in the original ‘Committees of the Whole’ in the UK any member could talk as often as he wanted, provided he kept to the subject.

Thus it was with some interest that I tuned in to CPAC today (Friday 6th April 2012) to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates and there were two consecutive quests: Robert Marleau, a past clerk of the HOC, and John Williams a past MP and past chairman of that committee.
What they had to say rang a strong bell with me as I have believed for some time now that the HOC and Senate committees are a total waste of time.
I do not believe that in this 41st parliament either a motion or amendment proposed by the members of the opposition has been accepted, and all amendments or motions (including going into camera) from the government side have been automatically accepted.
So when the above gentlemen suggested to the members of this committee that they could indeed serve their constituents and help to keep the government answerable to parliament (under whose authority they actually exist) my interest was peeked.
It seems that this particular committee has some teeth, should they choose to exercise them, to hold government accountable as to why they are carrying out, or demolishing, certain programs and can indeed call the Ministers into the chamber of the House of Commons to answer their questions in front of the House on any sitting Wednesday at 1 pm.
What I found interesting in this committee was that there only appeared to be one excessive disciple of Mein Herr Harper, and the questions asked by members indicated a genuine interest in doing something about the present partisan nonsense that exists both in this committee and all the others.
Both Marleau and Williams suggested to the Committee on Government Operations and Expenses that they should examine their mandate and decide what they wanted to do to be effective. Williams suggested they should go in camera to do this.

Of course I had to check out their mandate and I found it had changed a bit since 2006 – what a surprise !

In 2006 this is how it started:
The mandate of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates enhances the traditional “government operations” committee mandate that focused on central agencies, with two innovations:
• First, it reflects recommendations of the 1998 Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (Catterall-Williams Report), by locating, within a single committee, broad responsibilities relating to the supply process, and financial reporting to Parliament by government organizations.
• Second, it reflects the new importance of information and communication technologies, as an aspect of government operations having potentially transformative impacts on all aspects of governance.

Then in 2011 that had disappeared and was replaced with this:

Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates Then (OGGO)

Contact Committees | Contact OGGO | FAQ | Site Map | Subscribe | Text Mode
41st Parliament, 1st Session
June 2, 2011 – Present
Select a different Session ▼

About this Committee
Pursuant to paragraph 108(3)(c) of the House of Commons Standing Orders, the mandate of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates includes primarily the study of:
• the effectiveness of government operations;
• expenditure budgets of central departments and agencies;
• format and content of all Estimates documents;
• cross-departmental mandates – programs delivered by more than one department or agency;
• new information and communication technologies adopted by the government;
• statutory programs, tax expenditures, loan guaranties, contingency funds and private foundations deriving the majority of their funding from the Government of Canada.
The Committee is specifically mandated to examine and conduct studies related to the following organizations, whose operational responsibilities extend across the government:
Central Agencies and Departments
• Privy Council Office/Prime Minister’s Office
• Treasury Board Secretariat
• Public Works and Government Services Canada
Organizations Related to Human Resources Matters
• Public Service Commission
• Public Services Human Resources Management Agency of Canada
• Canada School of Public Service
Other Organizations
• Office of the Governor General
• Public Service Labour Relations Board
• Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat
Crown Corporations
• Canada Lands Company
• Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
• Canada Post Corporation
• Defence Construction (1951) Limited
• Old Port of Montréal Corporation Inc.
• Public Sector Pension Investment Board
• Queens Quay West Land Corporation
• Royal Canadian Mint

Bearing in mind that all the authority of this committee is from parliament, not the Government, there is potential here for some good if the members were to decide to look after the interests of Canadians and ensure that by choosing a few programs and concentrating upon them and determining if they are effective, or why they were cancelled etc., and forcing the Minister to defend his/her decision in the House perhaps we could see a change in some of the more ideological decisions this Harper government is making. Question is as always will Harper allow it to happen, or will he insist that his MPs are obedient to him, not loyal to the House and therefore Canadians?
Can you really see this committee being allowed to look at the ‘cooked’ books of the Privy Council, the PMO, the Treasury Board or even the office of the Governor General (cooked or otherwise)? I don’t think so either.

The fact is that time and again in this 41st parliament committees are a joke when you consider what they are supposed to be.

On about 12th March comes this:
Concerning C-11
“This week’s “clause-by-clause” review had left 39 amendments on the table: 17 from the NDP, 14 from the Liberals and eight from the Tories. Geist’s personal blog has a quick summary of the proposed amendments by party, but upon the conclusion of the review, the eight government amendments were successfully added while the 31 opposition amendments were effectively shelved.” Chase Kell of Yahoo News.

This summary of Bill C-11 committee states well the practices of present committees and their partisan destruction of both parliamentary ideals and what little democracy we have remaining here in Canada.

So what is my summary? The basic context of committees developed over the centuries is sound, but the makeup of them in Canada today is absolutely unbalanced and thus not representative of the Canadian people and thus the parliament of Canada. Let’s not confuse the parliament of Canada with the government of the day. 39% of the people who voted in 2011 did so for the Corporate Party of Canada and thus they should have no more than 39% of the members of the committees, and the chairpersons who should be none voting. Percentage of votes would be a better representation on decison making committees than number of seats of various parties, specially when there are two parties represented in the House that are excluded from committees.

This would have two results:
Firstly, bad legislation for the people of Canada would be rejected at this level and therefore cause better legislation to be proposed for Canadians by this present government.
Secondly, there would be ample time given to actually examining the Bills that will make a difference in the lives of Canadians resulting in the will of the people having a better chance of being complied with.

The chances of this happening under any government of Canada, never mind this one which is ideologically bound to destroy Canada anyway, is very unlikely as no government has the gumption to put itself up for real examination by the people of Canada, which is of course the basis of democracy.

Unfortunately we do not have democracy here in Canada.

Jeremy Arney

23rd April 2012

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

The Chretien Government for example was called that by the media, MPs of all sides and the people of Canada specially those who could not bear the thought of a Liberal Government.

I have not been able to find where that name went any further than what was really a nickname.

The “Harper Government” on the other hand has letter head for governmental communications, instructions from the PMO to refer to the government as the Harper Government, and of course media branding as well. All back benchers for the government refer to “our” government or even “this conservative” government and I feel sure that is because they cannot use the name Harper in the House.

So why am I going through this exercise?

Well I suppose it is because the Harper Government does not reflect the views, morals or concerns of the Canadian People either here at home or to the world generally. I have no need I think to list where we have lost our way internationally, but I believe it is because the Harper Government is based completely on an ideology which is in turn based on international corporate needs and regulations, and trade deals that are not in Canada’s best interests, nor those of the Canadian People.

So I reluctantly acknowledge that the government we currently have is not the Government of Canada, but is indeed the Harper Government. In a way I am glad because I would hate to think that any Government of Canada would openly and proudly use its military to destroy another country (Libya) simply because the corporate IMF told it to do so.
I would hate to think that a Government of Canada would be so inept as to be unable to get a seat on the security council of the UN; nor so determined to sabotage and disrespect the world’s attempts to get some control over climate change simply to protect a filthy development in Alberta.

For these reasons and others too numerous to list here I would say that on May 2nd we elected for better or worse a majority “Conservative” Government for Canada, based on election lies, contempt and disrespect for the Canadian People. However we did not elect a “Harper Government” and frankly I refuse to acknowledge that this Harper Government is in fact the Government of Canada.
As we are stuck with this Harper Government which is determined to completely change Canada as we have known it, by its leader’s boast, let them do their worst as we cannot stop them, but let it be known that the damage is being done by the Harper Government, not the Government of Canada.


Musings of an old man from last year

Maybe to go another way?

I have been wondering what is really
wrong with our system of politics here in Canada, and it leads me to realize some
very simple truths, probably the biggest of which is that:


Today’s government is not for the people
and hasn’t been for some years now.


Oh I know there are those who say I am
just supporting some sort of corporate takeover conspiracy, and maybe they are
right, but let’s really look at what has gone wrong.


There was a time when members of the
House of Parliament or the Provincial  Legislature were representatives of the people
of their ridings , a throw back to the “good old days” of England when they
represented the landowners who spoke for their surfs…! Far from ideal but for
that time it worked as well as any system had.


Even the American system with it’s checks
and balances for the three levels of government, Administration, Congress and
Judiciary was a great idea for a republic.


So again what happened?


Groups of elected people (mostly men at
that time- in fact probably all men) got together for each other’s ideas to be
presented and accepted by the level of government, simply put,

I like this, that, your idea and will support you. Will you also support my

It seemed that this lead to the eventual
formation of like minded getting together to make life easier than canvassing
every other member, and thus the development of parties that started the
wielding of power as each party sought  to have the final say.

Naturally this had to spread to the
voting public so that each party could come up with a proposal or “platform”
from which the voters were asked to choose. Of course by then the concept of
party leaders was established and we were on the slippery slope to where we are
today where one man controls the lives of every man woman and child in Canada, even if
he does not have the majority of Canadian behind him. Nor does it even matter
if he chooses to promote the benefits of corporations over the people, he is
the supreme “God” of Canada as he can make and break the rules with impunity,
and thumb his nose at the people because he really only needs them at an
election time of his choosing.


How far we have come from:


Our self
governing Dominions are united by the ties of a common allegiance to the Crown:
but the Crown has become the symbol of the people’s sovereignty.

According to our
concept and practice of government, the King reigns to execute the will of the
people who rule.  The strength of the
Empire rests upon the eternal foundation of liberty expressed in the ideal and
consummation of autonomous self-government which is vested in the people of the
self-governing Dominions as of right and not of grace.                             – Sir Robert
Borden. 29th
December 1914

Obviously in his day it was the King and
now it is the Queen, and her present representative described it this way:


Our executive is
the Queen, who doesn’t live here. Her representative is the Governor General,
who is an appointed buddy of the Prime Minister.

Harper  June 1997


In an address to the Council for National
Policy (an American republican group) at which he also said:


“Canada is a Northern European welfare state
in the worse sense of the term, and very proud of it”.

The History of the party system in Canada shows
that the system only works when the interests of the people are the same interests
of the ruling party. Our current government is a prime example of what can
happen when those interests are diametrically opposite to each other.


So is there a solution?


Yes there are two that immediately c0me
to mind.


One is the Single Transferable Vote used
in some other countries and retained for instance in Ireland although the politicians
there wish to get rid of it.  This is
relatively cumbersome and like all voting today, subject to the ability of
certain  interests to manipulate the
outcome in the voting machines.


The other I find much more


Abolish all party politics.


Yes that’s right no parties at all.

No pre-ordained leader for whom to vote
regardless of the quality of the local candidate.  

No overall platform, just the
constituents and their candidates who wish to represent them.

Now we are getting to the quality of the candidates
and away from the lying ability of the leader of some party or another.

So you ask what then when the members are
elected what happens?   

All members of the House of Commons elect
from their fellow members 15 members to head up the various cabinet posts.   There are no party lines and no need for
shadow ministers or critics as those ministers would be reporting directly to
the House of Commons, not just blindly and obediently following the PM’s


Those 15 members select from the
remaining members two person,


One as Speaker of the House, and


One as Speaker for Canada, that would be
the Prime Minister although he or she would not have a ministry (no change
there) but would represent Canada and her people to the world through the
decisions of the ministers with the House of Commons members’ approval. Each
event the prime minister attended would be with the minister responsible for
that event.  In the event of weddings,
state funerals etc., he would be accompanied by the governor general. Another
useless position? Maybe, but a certain level of pomp and ceremony is good.

In the event that a minister or even the
“Prime Minister” lost the confidence of the House he could be replaced by a
simple vote in the House.


This same system should and could also
apply to all provinces, but with a smaller cabinet in the various legislatures.


If we are to return to the Canadian
People having a say in the way our Government works then we must have the
control to be able to stop the government when they want to do anything against
our wishes.  


Simple question…Whose country is it? 


I think it belongs to the people – all
the people not just a few.


To whom does it belong now?


Harper as PM, and his corporate buddies.


I welcome improvements to the idea.


Jeremy Arney

A Look at the Canadian Parliament in February 2011

Perhaps now would be a good time to do some evaluation of what the Canadian Parliament is all about.

We all know the concept that MPs are elected by the people of Canada to act on their behalf and to represent Canada to the world.

Is it working?

From my perspective as one of those people of Canada it is not.

We no longer have representation in Parliament, rather we have political parties which tell us what they will do for us and do not complete on those promises. One reason for this is that those parties respond to lobbyists and financial backers but not to the people.

We have a government now which is thinly disguised as Conservative, but is actually the Reform/Alliance coalition party and destruction is what they are doing to Canada and the Parliamentary structure. When Peter MacKay was elected leader of the Conservatives it was with the written agreement that he would not join with or amalgamate with the Reform/Alliance party, however he did so within months because the Reform/Alliance party needed a marketable name and he needed a cabinet seat. Talk to or read David Orchard on this subject, as he was the one who negotiated this agreement during that leadership convention.

This duplicity is still very much in evidence today, because it is the original foundation of the Reform party.
Lets look at the name Reform…Re…form.

What in their view has to be reformed?

The country? Yes
The concept of people having a say in government? Yes
Accountability to the people? Yes
Freedom without accountability for multinational and domestic corporations? Yes
Increased power to ministers (really the prime minister) to destroy what has been built up over the years? Yes
Destruction of any safeguards built into the system of government regardless of the wishes of the people? Yes
Change the Rule of Law? Yes
Build up police and military presence to achieve a police state? Yes
Removal of personal liberty to say and write the truth as seen? Yes
The ability to look after our own health using natural real foods and herbs? Yes
Acceptance and harmonization with anything American as we HAVE to join them and become part of them? Yes
Destruction of our rivers, lakes and the very lives of our indigenous people by mining and oil corporations, not only here but around the world. ( This has been going on for years so there is no change in policy here except the rate at which it is happening, and the deregulation of environmental concerns) Yes

Why does this all have to happen?

That is the question that can only really be answered by those who are doing it. However I think it is all to do with financial greed and power.

Perhaps the question should be more why are we allowing it to happen?

We no longer control our country, our destiny or our lives. Oh yes we can still go out and buy a new car, house, groceries etc., because the banks are manufacturing money out of nothing and allowing us the use of that money. But jobs are still shrinking, value for work done is not rewarded in any meaningful way, pride in country is at an all time low unless we win the world championship in something of course. What we will win a championship for is indifference to our country and our world. The security council fiasco showed that clearly.

It is a gloomy picture I paint, but as long as we are RULED, and allow ourselves to be RULED, by a man who is full of contempt, and I often think hatred, for anything Canadian we are faced with this gloom.

We have the power in this country to recover from almost anything except the destruction of our liberties. Our Parliament can be changed to represent the wishes of the people and thus free democracy can be returned to Canada. As long as we have an adversarial party system that allows hate and even fear mongering along with outright lies at election times and then allows it to become part of the process in the House of Commons we will not have any form of democracy, nor will we have people who want to take part in it. This apathy due to lack of real choice will complete the destruction of Canada as we know it.

Provided we have freedom to do so we can achieve anything.

Those very freedoms are under attack by the Reform/Alliance coalition party because these freedoms are so dangerous to them.

At the time of re-writing this (I originally did so about 6 months ago), there is a series of freedom movements going on in the middle east, peaceful and democratic in intent and where force has been used, as in Libya, it has been condemned by the world, which watches to see what will happen. This government is unable to respond in a positive way, because it does not know how to deal with people anywhere, only Israel, corporate lobbyists and their bosses.

There is a lesson here for the Canadian people who are tired of all this hypocrisy; we can take our country back if we want to. We can do it through the voting system or we can take to the streets. It is up to us to choose whilst we still can.


Jeremy Arney

Letter to Glenn Thibeault re Bill C-36, an act respecting consumer product safety


I was listening to question period today 26th November 2010 and was absolutely blown aware by the ignorance of what you said.

One thing is clear to me and that is that you have not read this Bill C-36, and that you have not talked to your constituents about all the ramifications of this Bill.

You, it would appear, along with all opposition MPs have been terrified into agreeing with it simply because of it’s Election type name. Imagine trying to explain why you would vote against such a bill…shamefull! Yet if you had read it you would have had to ask your constituents if they really wanted you to surrender the right of our parliament to make regulations, or even the right to approve of those the Minister of Health will be instructed by the PM to bring in from foreign governments, bypassing parliament. You will be hard pressed when the people realise what you have done to even justify the reason for parliament anyway, because we will be regulated from overseas, and you can bet that Monsanto will have no desire to pay your pension.

You have heard all this before from both myself and many many others and yet you chose to ignore us and go ahead with this treasonous Bill C-36, and it is on your head along with all the other MPs who bowed in fear to Harper instead of standing up for the Canadian people and also Canada and saying “No. We want safe products but not like this Harper.”

I remind you of what you said in question period:

Mr. Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, across North America today marks Black Friday, the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Bill C-36, Canada’s updated product safety legislation, passed by the House with all-party support, is being held hostage in the Senate for a second time in the past 14 months. Canadians need up to date product safety legislation now. Our children should not be opening toys this Christmas laced with cadmium.
Will the Senate again be obstructionist and act in contravention of the House, or will it respect the will of the House and pass Bill C-36 before the holidays?
[Table of Contents] Mr. Colin Carrie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, Canadians should have confidence in the consumer products that they buy and the best way to do that and to ensure that countries and their importers comply is to pass our Canadian consumer product safety bill, Bill C-36. We are eagerly awaiting the passage of the bill in the Senate and we hope this time around the Liberal senators will not hold it up.
[Table of Contents] Mr. Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, it is not the colour of the unelected senators’ tie, it is whether they will respect the will of the House.
The protection of our children should be paramount to the government. Parents have a right to know that the products they are giving their children are safe and toxin free. This is why the government needs to ensure that Bill C-36 is passed before Christmas.
Will the government show some leadership and tell its unelected bagmen in the Senate to adopt this important legislation for the safety of our children?
[Table of Contents] Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I find it absolutely astonishing that the NDP, on one hand, would complain about the Senate of Canada and then, on the other hand, not agree to support our legislation to reform the Senate.
We have been trying to get the NDP and all opposition parties to support our reforms to the Senate for many months. I cannot find anything more hypocritical than a member of the NDP saying, on the one hand, that the Senate is bad and yet he will not try to make it good.

We can ignore the last answer because it is hardly worthy of a petulant child never mind a parliamentary secretary, but I would suggest that if the ammendments made by the chamber of sober second thought 11 months ago were incorporated by the government from the old prorogued Bill C-6 to the current Bill C-36, they must have had some merit. I suspect you were not even aware that they had been so incorporated and thus my questions to you are:

Why did the senators have to make those ammendments last year?
Why was the Bill sent to them in an unread, uncritised form last year – and this year too for that matter?
Why are you critising them for doing what you should have done in the first place?
Are you suggesting that they should blindly accept everything you send them unchecked and unread?
Are you perhaps a little jealous of the fact that they can read Bills and try to make them better for Canadians, including your constituents, whilst you are stuck with your leader’s dictates.

Bill C-36 passed through your House of Comomons committee a few short days ago in 2 hours and 50 minutes including clause by clause, which means that for the second time all members of the House of Comnmons were indifferent to what the bill actually says. Fear not Thibeault, the Harper people on the Senate committee are refusing to even consider anything at all, so it will get through there in minimum time too. Clause by clause is almost done now and I am sure the regulations are just waiting in the wings for Royal Assent, and publishing in the Gazette
The stench of fear emmanating from the House of Commons today is almost palpable, as you in the opposition cower and grovel, not what you were elected to do. This is a minority Reform / Alliance coalition which has the rest of you scared of your shadows, and just like the Republicans to the south of us they are running rings around you with lies, deceit and misdirections, arrogance and indifference. You of the opposition just let them do it.

This falsely named bill is not necessary inspite of what you claim, and will do absolutely nothing to hasten recalls certainly not in time for Christmas, though Codex Alimentarious may be with us by then thanks to you, and maybe just before another proroging of parliament to make sure it is well established, along with imported regulations, before parliament resumes some time next year.

Perhaps due diligence on your part will protect your children this christmas.

Read the Bill just once and maybe you will see for yourself because I am tired of pointing out the sections to you and your fellow MPs to no avail.

Your indignation rings very hollow Thibeault, and you have made me mad.

Jeremy Arney
CAP candidate for SGI in 2008 and proud of my desire to represent Canadians to Parliament, not Parliament to Canadians.