Is Justice tied to the rule of law?

The state of justice in the USA

And a little now in Canada

Well, Friday 31st January 2020 confirmed what most of us think about the state of justice in the USA.

If you are black person specially or for that matter any person of colour (other than orange that is) and you are lucky enough not to be shot by the police simply because you are black and they feel it their duty to gun you down, you cannot expect a fair trial.  Your colour will always be a prejudice against you and you will most likely go to jail whether or not you are guilty of even a simple perceived traffic violation.

If on the other hand you are what comedian talk show host Bill Maher described as an angry orangutan you will not even receive a proper trial; because in your case there will be no witnesses called at your trial and your obedient republican members of the senate – minus one  (in spite of their oaths which clearly meant nothing) will render a partisan verdict of not guilty.  The interest and support of the US constitution has been abandoned in favour of a man of prejudice, bigotry and white supremacist beliefs who delighted in ordering and boasted about the killing of a man on a peace mission bringing us to the very brink of WW3. Peace in the middle east is not in the interest of either the USA (money) or Israel (lust for power and land), and so any real peace maker had to be gunned down.

Justice demands a fair trial because no man/woman should be above the law, and a fair trial must include witnesses from both sides. Since this was refused then one has to assume that the president of the USA is above the law (so much for their vaunted constitution), or that a fair trial could not and would not be held in this case to prevent impeachment of someone whose desire for personal success is paramount and everyone else is just a utensil.

The not guilty verdict unleashed a barrage of ugly tweets from a somewhat deranged person, followed last week with the presidential pardon of some serious criminals just like him.  I think it is a fairly safe bet that Roger Stone will only serve a few days in jail if at all.

The home of “the brave and free” is now blessed by a devilish reality show host for a president, not some form of mythical god and unless the good people of the USA do something about it they will suffer for many years of agony.

Albert Einstein:

“The world is a dangerous place not because of evil people, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Now regretfully there is an unhealthy discussion here in Canada too, what else can you expect from Canada’s version of the republican party, concerning “whiteman’s law” and the original peoples’ law long preceding the Magna Carta.  Somehow we are arrogant enough to think our modern version is better.

What will it take to get us all to accept that we are all human beings regardless of our skin colour, religious beliefs, orientation, or desire to just live in peace; just let our national pride out when we play games against each other.  Would that be too much to ask?

 

 

Jeremy

Wet’suwet’en

February 2020

We now have our own version of Standing Rock here in Canada, involving real people who live as they have for millennia on unceded territory in British Columbia.

Under the Indian Act, it was decreed that there would be elections on reservations etc., to run those reserves and those who won the brass goose would be called elected chiefs.  Problem is that like almost every politician in North America, they are subject to the bribes or threats of the corporate powers whose only interest is money.  These elected chiefs in Wet’suwet’en,  for whichever of the above reasons, fell in line with the power structure (read corporate right and profit versus peoples’ rights) and here is where the whole problem arises. 

The elected chiefs are there to run their reserves as businesses and in accordance to the scraps given them by federal and provincial money, and even smaller scraps by corporate powers plundering their lands.

The Hereditary Chiefs are there to ensure that the way of life, the land, the waters and the air are not irreparably damaged for those yet to come. They too are the keepers of history and tradition and that includes sacred lands where their ancestors are buried.

The Hereditary Chiefs are not bound by threats of less money or the promise of more money as that is not their way.  Their way is the way of the land as it has been for thousands of years.  Because of their stewardship of the land, air and water it is all still there for their people and they are trying to make sure that it will be next year, next decade and next century.  Don’t try and tell them they can’t get by without money, for money is only a new imposition upon them since the foreigners attacked and stole some of this land a few centuries ago and introduced them to European ways of treachery.

Under the leadership of the Hereditary Chiefs, there are still animals to trap, water to drink and clean air to breathe and life experiences to be taught to the young people; that is all under attack by corporate greed with elected people from Canada and BC in full agreement.  

 Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realize that we can’t eat money  (Native American Proverb)

So what is happening in the unceded territory of the Wet’suwet’en is an affront to all those who agree with and have signed on to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Can you imagine the outcry if the Algonquin territory upon which our capital is built, was to be taken back and turned into a massive amusement park? Oh, actually I suppose it has already if you have a twisted sense of humour, for it is becoming more and more difficult to differentiate between politicians and willful children pretending to have fun.

 If this is what it means when the PM reiterates over and over again that the most important relationship the government has is with our First Nations, Inuit and Metis, then we are in a period of time travelling with Alice through her looking glass.

 What have we become Canada?

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

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

What the heck is going on?

February 7th 2019

 

From: Rule of law, to breaking UN declaration, to recognizing a rebel as an interim president to giving $53 million to that same country.

“Regardless of what goes on in other countries, Canada is — and will always remain — a country of the rule of law,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday.

 No State or group of States has the right to intervene or interfere in any form or for any reason whatsoever in the internal and external affairs of other States. … The right and duties set out in this Declaration are interrelated and are in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.Dec 9, 1981

From the PM’s official website:

News

  1. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Juan Guaidó, Interim President of Venezuela

Ottawa, Ontario – February 3, 2019

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with the Interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. The two leaders discussed the importance of the international community sending a clear message regarding the illegitimacy of the Maduro regime and the need to respect the Venezuelan Constitution. Both underscored the importance that free and fair Presidential elections be held.

The Prime Minister commended Juan Guaidó for his courage and leadership in helping to return democracy to Venezuela and offered Canada’s continued support.  The Prime Minister noted that the Lima Group meeting in Ottawa tomorrow will consider how the international community can further support the people of Venezuela, including through immediate humanitarian assistance.

Juan Guaidó conveyed his commitment to a peaceful transition to democracy, in line with the Venezuelan Constitution, and thanked the Prime Minister for Canada’s role in helping lead the international response to the crisis in Venezuela.

 

CPAC

HEADLINE POLITICS

Canada Pledges $53M in Humanitarian Aid for Venezuela

 

 

I could fully understand this behaviour from Donald Trump who probably wants to build a Trump Tower or Golf Course there and to whom the relevance of truth or consequences has no meaning, but to come from Canada?  

Where is the mandate from the people of Canada for this serial interference in defiance of the UN declaration?  Do we not matter when we are supposed to pay for this instead of real-time problems here at home?  

 Rule of law only applies when it is convenient maybe?

Of course how silly of me….it’s simply an extension of the Bev Oda / Stephen Harper bribery in South America on behalf of Canadian Mining Corporations.   See the “Ugly Canadian” by Yves Engler for full details on that corruption and how much it cost us. Remember that “Surprise” cartoon of Harper removing a Trudeau mask to reveal himself? 

$53 million would supply a lot of mobile homes to Cat Lake or any other reservation with housing mould problems.   It would create jobs for Canadian manufacturers – if there are any still in Canada, I think one somewhere in Ontario may still be building I am not sure or maybe Ford has closed them down by now.  But safe warm houses for our original people is not a priority whereas the future gross profit, at local inhabitants’ loss of rights and homes even their lives, for some Canadian mining corporations is.  

Sounds about right for a crown/corporation owned and run colony.

So what do we do about it?

Our taxes pay for those who make these very poor judgements so maybe we should refuse to pay for MPs who put corporate greed and profit over Canadian wellbeing – and I mean ALL Canadians which includes the First Nations, Inuit and Metis.   Tax time is coming so claim your refunds but if you owe do not submit one penny (?) extra until you get an accounting in writing from your MP as to why he/she should be paid by you and not the crown to whom they swore allegiance.

I hear you say that they will come after you for sure and yes they will, but if 20 million of us do it that would be a rather daunting task and would certainly make a strong point. After all, they like to get paid just as do you even if their $167,000 per year plus expenses (for a backbencher) is three or four times what you make.

When the election is finally called this fall, remember to vote for someone new with small party or independent status and get rid of these crown/corporation owned puppets.  Maybe even run yourself and help bring some semblance of reality to Canada.

 

Jeremy

Canada is back ?????

Sent to Prime Minister Trudeau and other political misfits listed below

Unist’ot’en, Cat Lake and Venezuela

I am very upset and frustrated at the actions taken by the RCMP on behalf of a corporation which has not and obviously does not feel the need to get agreement from all levels of aboriginal leadership before it destroys the livelihood and, eventually I am sure, the homes of those Canadians – the people of Unist’ot’en. What is happening in northern BC is indeed an insult to not only the people who live there, but also to all Canadians.

Even Lord Dufferin stated back in the 1800s that there was “an initial error” in the way BC dealt with the “Indian title” issue. In the talk he went on and said that in Canada, “Before we touch a single acre, we make a treaty with the chief representing the bands we are dealing with, and having agreed up and paid the stipulated price….we enter into possession, but not until then do we consider that we are entitled to deal with a single acre”.

We do understand that in swearing allegiance to the Crown (sic. corporate power and profit) and not to the Canadian people you have in fact abandoned all the Canadian people to please that Crown. Now you are going to ask us to vote you back in again so that you can swear allegiance to a foreign entity again and ignore us until 2023. No wonder you didn’t want anything but FPTP voting.

I cannot understand how thick skinned you must be to state over and over again that your priority is to establish a good relationship with our First Nations, Inuit and Metis, and yet here you are using a national rent-a-cop paramilitary force to stop them from accessing their homes and trap lines. At the same time, that force is protecting and even promoting the illegal actions of Coastal GasLink and their contractors. Clearly, you have no shame, no humility, no understanding of anything but bowing down to the corporate profit which guides what you do.

What is truly sickening is that any alternative government will do exactly the same as both those other parties are as controlled by the Crown and corporate wellbeing as are you. Even a minority government will no longer be a viable alternative, as all members will swear allegiance not to the Canadian people who vote for you and pay for you but to the Crown.

How many times do you have to be reminded that each time you refer to Canada as a democracy in our House of Commons you are showing us your ignorance at what a democracy is or should be, and you are at the same time misleading the House which is supposed to be against the House rules. Canada has never been a democracy and never will be under the present governmental stewardship. We have a parliamentary system that is indifferent to the people which is the exact opposite of a democracy.

Combined that with your acceptance of an upstart as the new president of Venezuela you have demonstrated again to the Canadian people that you are out of touch with us, that you are out of touch with what Canada should and could be, or is this what you really meant by: “Canada is back”..

No State or group of States has the right to intervene or interfere in any form or for any reason whatsoever in the internal and external affairs of other States. … The right and duties set out in this Declaration are interrelated and are in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.Dec 9, 1981

What right, I ask you, do you have to complain about another country’s government and its perceived bad treatment of it’s people when here at home in Canada we have deliberately kept our First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in poverty and squalour on reservations not of their choosing, living without drinkable water and in moldy houses as now is shown to be the case in yet another reservation – Cat Lake. Instead, you self-righteously take your orders from foreigners and their corporations before you deal with the problems we have right here in Canada.

Did you not learn anything by our actions in that disastrous and horrendous war on the people of Libya on behalf of the IMF? American military intervention means bombing what they consider to be an offending country into rubble and oblivion without regard for the civilians killed as happened in Libya. Do you want to take us there again?

All your grand words and talk of perceived atrocities in another country means nothing when you treat our original inhabitants of this fantastic land like vermin, to be pushed aside and extinguished all for the sake of a few worthless pieces of paper.

Yes, I am angry and absolutely disgusted.

I am too old to assist physically but I have and will again donate to and support the Unist’ot’en cause and their right to live unmolested on their un-ceded traditional territories which, up until the European settlers came with gold lust and power in their hearts, have supported their way of life for millennium.

Jeremy Arney

 

“Trudeau, Justin” <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>,
“Goodale, Ralph” <ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca>,
“Wilson-Raybould, Jody” <jody.wilson-raybould@parl.gc.ca>,
“Bennett, Carolyn” <carolyn.bennett@parl.gc.ca>,
“LeBlanc, Dominic” <dominic.leblanc@parl.gc.ca>,
“Freeland, Chrystia” <chrystia.freeland@international.gc.ca>,
“Sajjan, Harjit” <DND_MND@forces.gc.ca>,
“Sohi, Amarjeet” <amarjeet.sohi@parl.gc.ca>,
“O’Regan, Seamus” <seamus.ORegan@parl.gc.ca>,
“Rodriguez, Pablo” <pablo.rodriguez@parl.gc.ca>,
“Lametti, David” <david.lametti@parl.gc.ca>,
“Horgan, John” <Premier@gov.bc.ca>,
“Eby, David” <AG.Minister@gov.bc.ca>,
“Mungall, Michelle” <michelle.mungall.mla@leg.bc.ca>,
“Donaldson, Doug” <doug.donaldson.mla@leg.bc.ca>,
“Fraser, Scott” <IRR.Minister@gov.bc.ca>,
“Farnworth, Mike” <pssg.minister@gov.bc.ca>,
“Scheer, Andrew” <andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca>,
“Bergen, Candice” <candice.bergen@parl.gc.ca>,
“Cullen, Nathan” <nathan.cullen@parl.gc.ca>,
“Angus, Charlie” <charlie.angus@parl.gc.ca>,
“Ashton, Niki” <niki.ashton@parl.gc.ca>,
“McLeod, Cathy” <cathy.mcleod@parl.gc.ca>,
“O’Toole, Erin” <erin.OToole@parl.gc.ca>,
“Bezan, James” <james.bezan@parl.gc.ca>,
“The Tyee.ca” <editor@thetyee.ca>,
The Hill Times <news@hilltimes.com>,
News CBC <yournews@cbc.ca>,
CBC <national@cbc.ca>,
ctv <news@ctv.ca>,
Globe & Mail <letters@globeandmail.ca>,
Toronto Star <city@thestar.ca>

On Open letter to PM TRudeau

Open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

 

Well Prime Minister I watched your presentation of your summer cabinet changes and I must say I was disappointed.

 

Obviously, there is lots of talk and no action with your Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women Inquiry and so your previous Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs needs help.    She needs money, real mental health doctors and some action by the RCMP, none of which she is getting.  To give her the help of Jane Philpott, who was unable to get Health Canada to abandon their ties with big pharma’s profits and help Canadian people will only muddy the waters so to speak.   Action not words PM.  Does the new relationship with our First Nations, Inuit and Metis mean nothing to you?  Perhaps they are just empty words just like 2015 will be the last FPTP election.

 

Do you really imagine that the new Minister of Health will be able to handle Health Canada?  No minister has yet, so to throw another woman under that particular bus is rather a waste of talent.

 

The veterans need more than a sympathetic ear, they also need action.   Re-opening a few offices has achieved nothing as the suicides continue because there are no professionals who understand what these men and women have gone through to supposedly protect our/their country from perceived harm.   They have been indoctrinated by the forces and now need a means of recovering and a way to lead a life with meaning instead of having nightmares over what they have been asked to endure.   We are well aware that Stephen Harper wanted to shirk any responsibility towards them and we do not see any change with your administration.

 

These changes you have made are superficial at best and the real culprits are still practicing complete disregard toward Canadians and their needs.

 

Your Minister of Finance is determined to sacrifice Canada’s commons and sovereignty by giving them away through an asinine Canadian Infrastructure Bank owned and operated by international banks, corporations and investors, while the Bank of Canada already owned by Canadians and mandated to do this work anyway remains as a simple inflation watchdog.  Crazy?  Yes.

 

Your Minster of Fisheries and Oceans, along with the Minister of Resources and Minister of Environment  continue to approve LNG plans such as the one that has been abandoned by Petronas as a bad business case, and what about the hundreds of illegally built dams in BC? or the mad dream of the Howe Sound Woodfibre LNG project when the tankers are too big for the Sound and will interfere with ferry traffic vital to the Island and coastal communities; a dam (Cite C) which is now even less needed than when Petronas was a possibility, and which was condemned by the BC Utilities Commission as unnecessary and unsafe before being silenced and made impotent  by Christy Clark; fish farms continue to poison our wild salmon, and the KM pipe line twinning project is facing opposition from First Nations and the new BC government; yet all is well in your mind and the minds of those Ministers.   Most people in BC simply laugh at your suggestion that dilbit spills in the ocean will be cleaned up in a world class fashion as we are aware that is impossible. 

 

Let us not forget the Minister of Foreign Affairs and her hatred of Russia combined with her love for investment agreements disguised as free trade agreements, which have and will continue to cost the Canadian taxpayer dearly.   She has yet to explain to me how we can export a raw material to Asia when both FTA and NAFTA clearly state that we can increase our supply but not decrease our percentage of that supply to the USA.   Is that in her mandate with the NAFTA negotiations?  Of course not!

 

What Canada desperately needs is a government that listens to the Canadian people and not solely to big corporate interests and as each day goes by it is more and more obvious that we do not have such a government.  What we have instead is a totally dysfunctional Parliament in which lies are more common than the truth and the people of Canada are treated with arrogance and contempt. 

 

Clearly “Sunny days and sunny ways” was never intended for us as Canadians but was intended for the profit seekers among your friends.

 

In this year, when 4 provinces celebrate their creation of Canada 150 years ago, the rest of us are feeling more and more ignored and abandoned.

 

Is it too late to realise that you are more and more like the emperor with no clothes every day Prime Minister?

 

Jeremy Arney

A vision turning into a nighmare

Just a few days ago, I was driving along Lochside into Sidney, BC and stopped at a shoreline watching area to enjoy the large fluffy white clouds and the strange shapes they were creating 0ver the San Juan Islands, and the mainland – Washington State USA at that point.  The sun was shining on them and their whiteness was exaggerated by that.   As the sun slowly sank over the western horizon these clouds lost their glint and started turning grey and dark.   Time to move.

 On my way home I was thinking about what I had just seen and I realized it was a sort of metaphor for Canada since the 1930s.

 In 1974 our world was rosy. We had a small national debt we owed to ourselves, we had been through 40 years of growth and prosperity (even after the end of WW2 which we paid for our share ourselves) with very little inflation and the world was looking good.  The sun was shining on Canada as in our white clouds over the San Juans and their magnificent shapes.

 However greedy and powerful men both here at home and internationally saw the potential of Canada and wanted a piece of the pie so to speak.  At the behest of the World Bank, the Bank of International Settlements was created to protect the interests and profits of the various privately owned central banks of countries around the world, and a series of agreements was created for this protection.  Basel 1, 11 and 111 are not international agreements between countries as most people thought or still think but are private banking agreements to which Gerald Bouey, then Governor of the Bank of Canada 1974,  signed our publicly owned bank into the first of those agreements.  He had no mandate to do so from either the government of Canada or the Canadian people, but I can only assume he was rewarded in the usual manner.   From that point on our national debt has spiraled out of control, no longer owed to ourselves but owned by international banks and investors.  

 In my metaphor the white clouds over the San Juans are losing their glow now

 Over the last 40+ years successive governments, most particularly of some form of conservatives, have signed Canada into multiple deals they call Free Trade deals, starting with the Canada/USA FTA and currently being crowned with the CETA with Europe.   This CETA is the first one that has been openly called an economic agreement, that’s what the “E” stands for, but it is the culmination of years of false Free Trade deals all of which have been designed to allow investors from overseas to claim damages from our Federal government through a corporate tribunal if ANYTHING we do stops them from making a perceived profit from dealings in Canada.  This anything includes laws, or regulations to protect either our environment or our workers and their jobs.  Not only that but Canadian corporations have discovered that if they incorporate in Delaware USA (cheapest place in North America) it allows them to take advantage of NAFTA.   $130 million donated to Abitibi Bowater by Stephen Harper in a perfectly defendable claim against Newfoundland & Labrador that he chose to ignore, and $250 currently being claimed by Lone Pine Power of Calgary.

 By now the white clouds of the metaphor have turned very grey and I leave and head home. 

 Canada meanwhile has been put into a box where our sovereignty is given to international corporations which now control our very country, not only through our monetary debt to them but through our so called “FREE TRADE DEALS” 

 Free?  I think not!

 The current version of a Liberal government is in fact a complete duplicate of the Stephen Harper regime intent on signing away more of our rights and indeed even wanting to take privatization further than even Libertarians could have dreamed about.  Our publicly owned Bank of Canada is to be replaced by a privately sponsored Infrastructure Bank of Canada which will have to give away control of anything in which it invests so we Canadians will have to pay user fees in order to satisfy the need for profit to those banks and investors as well as the compounding interest of our ever-increasing national debt.   Now our prime minister is looking to sell of our airports and sea ports to private operators so the cost of using them both will increase exponentially, and will of course be covered by more user fees.

 By now I am home and it is getting much darker with no sunset to light up the horizon and I am left wondering how “sunny days and sunny ways” had disappeared so soon and left us with a dictator who could exchange masks with Stephen Harper (as shown in that cartoon a few months ago), and no-one would notice the difference.

 It really is time for a peaceful revolt not only for Canada but also in BC where we are desperately in need of a legislature not controlled by the mining, development, housing and oil and gas interests.

 Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep very well that night, thinking of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

 

Jeremy

Trudeau and Bitumen Pipe Lines

Jeremy Arney on Bitumen Pipelines.

 After agreeing to the toxification of the Sacred Headwater Aquafer in NE BC  via the LNG fracking process, and a damn  (Site C ) being built on very unstable foundations and based on absolutely false need, Prime Minister Trudeau made three announcements on tar pipe lines and I offer these comments:

 Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline never an environmentally sound project either for the First Nations communities along it’s route or for BC’s interior and coast including the Great Bear Rain Forest, Douglas Channel or Hacate Strait, is now dead. Thus we can expect Enbridge to use Chapter 11 of NAFTA to claim perceived lost profits in the billions if not trillions of dollars in the near future.  What I can say is that the previous government would probably have just thrown taxpayers’ money in a large volume at them as they did with Abitibi Bowater. It remains to be seen what the Liberal government will do.

 Kinder Morgan’s twinning Project to Burnaby BC has been approved without the promised new improved revue panel and without the input of all people of BC, particularly those who will be affected by a spill, but with some oversimplified reviews by the same unqualified NEB.

This was supposedly balanced by the ‘promised’ Tanker Ban on the northern coast (way overdue and very welcome), and increased spill response capability from the coast guard.  Just what this later will be is anyone’s guess as at yet no method of cleaning up dilbitumen spills in the ocean is known; all that is known is that the dilutent used is toxic, and the bitumen will form into balls and sink. Oil spill booms will do nothing.  The effect this will have upon the ocean wildlife is completely unknown.

Until this problem is solved there should be no approval of this pipeline.  Yes, this product is already moving but with the 7 fold increase in supertankers the risk of a spill also increases by a factor of 7.

 The Enbridge Line 3 is another dilbit pipeline, with a lesser degree of hard terrain to cover and is supposedly a more up to date line into the USA, but again without the promised new review process. 

Question I am always asking is why are we not refining this tar in Canada?  We constantly ship this raw product south at a low price and buy back the refined products at a high price reflected in our pumps all across Canada.

The price of oil (or tar) has gone from $100 a barrel to $30 a barrel and the price of gasoline at the pumps in Victoria BC has stayed steady at $1.13 per liter with a change upwards in the summer.  Simple economics should show that refining in Canada would be a win win situation.  Our cheap exports would be down but so would our expensive imports. It seems to me that our trade imbalance is partially due to this current practice of sell low and buy high on our major export/import products.

 The simple measure of refining our gunk here would make a vaste difference to our economic situation and we could even export refined product at a price which would benefit us all.

 There is another aspect to this that should be taken into consideration.  The percentage of a product we can export to the USA,

 From NAFTA:

Article 605: Other Export Measures

Subject to Annex 605, a Party may adopt or maintain a restriction otherwise justified under Articles XI:2(a) or XX(g), (i) or (j) of the GATT with respect to the export of an energy or basic petrochemical good to the territory of another Party, only if:

 

  1. the restriction does not reduce the proportion of the total export shipments of the specific energy or basic petrochemical good made available to that other Party relative to the total supply of that good of the Party maintaining the restriction as compared to the proportion prevailing in the most recent 36month period for which data are available prior to the imposition of the measure, or in such other representative period on which the Parties may agree;

 

What this means is that we can not reduce our percentage of total Bitumen extracted from the sands and exported to the US, so in order to supply any bitumen to China, for instance, we will have to supply much more to the USA at a rock bottom price to maintain their percentage of our production

 On the other hand we have no history of supplying  refined product to the US as we buy it all from them,  so we are not tied by that percentage problem.   Win – win situation.

 Surely someone in the Canadian government has thought of this bitumen percentage because you can be sure that the US has it well under control, and are just waiting for us to try to export some of their percentage of our bitumen anywhere other than to them.

 Incidentally this was originally in the FTA as well, and obviously too good for the US to relinquish.

 What a mess!

 Jeremy

Letter to Justin Trudeau about TPP and Bank of Canada

Dear Justin Trudeau,

 

May I as the interim leader of the Canadian Action Party congratulate you and your party on your success on 19th October 2015 due largely to the enthusiastic vision of hope and a bright future you portrayed for the country.

 

It was with great pleasure that I heard you say to your caucus:

“Regardless of the committee you’re on, the roles you have, regardless of party demands, regardless of everything else we do, your one job that you cannot ever forget is to be a strong voice in service of the people who sent you here.”

 

This was music to my ears as the Canadian Action Party has always agreed with this but have taken it a step further to say that we will represent all our constituents not just those who elected us. It was very refreshing to hear you say these words and this leads me to this.  On 19th October you and your party were elected to govern Canada on behalf of all of us not just those who voted for you, and therefore we as a whole country should be listened to and consulted on matters of national importance.

 

Since the government of New Zealand finally released the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership, I have been slogging though it paying particular attention to Chapter 28 which is entitled Dispute Settlement. 

What is particularly striking in this chapter, written largely by the international corporations that were invited to consult on this TPP, is that now any corporation within the TPP area can ‘pile on’ with any other corporation which makes a claim against perceived profit loss due to laws or regulations which might hinder that profit. This is done through something called third party:

“third party means a Party, other than a disputing Party, that delivers a written notice in Accordance with Article 28.13 (Third Party Participation)”

Article 28.13: Third Party Participation

A Party that is not a disputing Party and that considers it has an interest in the matter before the panel shall, on delivery of a written notice to the disputing Parties, be entitled to attend all hearings, to make written submissions, to present views orally to the panel, and to receive written submissions of the disputing Parties. Such delivery shall occur no later than 10 days after the date of circulation of the request for the establishment of the panel pursuant to Article 28.7.2 (Establishment of a Panel).

 

Whereas in previous investment agreements, disguised as  trade deals, dating back to the Free Trade Agreement between Mulroney’s Government and that of Ronald Reagan, only the corporations of the two countries in the agreement could launch a financial attack upon the taxpayers of the other country, now we have multiple corporations from multiple countries jumping on each claim.  This means that we simply cannot afford any laws or regulations that would offend any corporation anywhere in the Pacific Rim area.  Simply and astonishingly ridiculous.  Or as stated in the Vienna Convention On The Law of Treaties signed at Vienna 13 May 1959 Article 32 Supplementary means of interpretation, “(b) leads to a result which is manifestly absurd or unreasonable.”

 

It is also manifestly plain that this is nothing to do with a free trade zone as there are tariffs, quotas, import and export licenses, side deals, side agreements and many other impediments to a real free trade zone involved in this TPP agreement, all of which could lead to a dispute if a corporation (with third party hangers on) decides it can and should appeal to yet another monetary award panel due to perceived profit loss. Remember no court of law either domestic or international is involved here. Simply international corporate lawyers deciding how much should be awarded. This is simply a gold mine for corporations at the expense of tax payers of all the countries involved.

 

On page 1-3 of Initial Provisions and General Definitions, under Section B, Article 1.3 General Definitions there are three definitions which throw this entire agreement into the area of the ridiculous, even treasonous, typical of the last ruling regime in Canada.
national means a natural person who has the nationality of a Party according to Annex 1-A(Party-Specific Definition) or a permanent resident of a Party.

person means a natural person or an enterprise

person of a party means a national or an enterprise of a Party

 

To those of us who are aware that we are all actually natural persons, but with careful and considerable forethought that natural person state has been altered over the last few decades as Canadians have been, and are now being, created into artificial people by our government without the rights of natural persons. It is therefore somewhat disingenuous to expect us to accept that a corporate entity from one of the members of the TPP countries has been granted the status of a natural person with all the rights and privileges granted to natural persons, whilst we are not regarded in the same light by our governments. We are simply numbers expected to obey all laws and regulations without question and subject to fines and or imprisonment for failing to do so, but must also pick up the tab for those entities who attack our country for monetary gain..

 

The Canadian Action Party and I agree that this TPP scam should not be ratified and that all investment agreements dating back to and including the FTA with the USA should be scrapped and real trade deals signed in their place.

 

Point I am trying to make here Mr. Trudeau is that you will be globe trotting in the next few months to basically announce to the world that Canada is back as a sovereign country with the intent to be a real player for the people of the world, with the desire to help and be a country that can be relied on to be a good neighbour not a pugilistic war monger looking for a fight.   Is that your intent? I hope so.  Point is how can you do this if at the same time you are signing away our sovereignty and ability to make our own laws and regulations to corporations which care not one whit about people anywhere, only for their bottom lines.  This is what you will be doing by allowing Canada to be part of a faulty corporate investment deal called the Trans Pacific Partnership. 

 

The second point I want to bring up at this time is that both I and the Canadian Action Party applaud your intent to invest in Canada. Austerity never has been and never will be the way to prosperity in fact it leads to the opposite for the people of any country except those at the very top. 

I, and the Canadian Action Party, trust that as you will be using our own bank – the Bank of Canada – to finance these investments at a very low flat rate of interest rather than international banks and investors at a compounding interest rate.

As I am sure you are aware your new government is now under court attack by the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER) due to the Bank of Canada not being used as mandated by the Bank of Canada Act of 1935; you could not do better than to use this incredible jewel we, the people of Canada, possess to return us to prosperity, and receive a dividend from our bank at the same time.   Of course by doing so we will be in line for review panel challenges from corporate banks and investors all over the world because they will lose a very lucrative golden egg.  This is another reason why the Canadian Action Party would excuse Canada from all those investment deals which would enable such challenges on how we finance our own country.

 

I wish you well, and trust that you will bring about that change you often talked about, scrapping TPP and using our Bank of Canada would be two excellent ways to start.

 

Jeremy Arney