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

Ukraine hypocrisy in Canadian Parliament

To all Members of the Canadian House of Commons except one.

Some of you were not around the house a few years ago I grant, but your parties were, and as members of those parties you should all be included in this following statement.

You should every one of you, except Ms. May, look yourselves in the mirror and see the face of hypocrisy staring back at you concerning your actions, votes and intonations about the situation in the Ukraine​

You pontificate about so called ‘Russian invasion’, you talk about democracy and human rights as if you know what those words mean, and you claim as a badge of honour being banned from another country. You talk on and on about sanctions both personal and state against Russians and Russia for actions they have or are taking in Crimea, as if that is the greatest crime of the century so far.

Ladies and gentlemen ( I use the terms here loosely) of the Canadian House of Commons it is not.

That crime falls to the glorious parliament of Canada which led the charge against and the invasion and destruction of a country know as Libya.

You all supported that, except Ms. May, and then claimed honour and valour in the Canadian actions of attacking civilian targets from the safety of the undefended air, whilst encouraging the mercenary forces on the ground ( and did those include Canadian special forces units as well?) to rape, kill and torture civilians not matter where they were found, and eventually lead to the capture, torture and death of the leader of the country in a prime example of blood lust.

Yes you backed that action supporting our Foreign office and its  Minister’s ​unwavering support for the ‘incredibly impressive” rebels, against a man who had established in Libya a standard of living so far above what we have here in Canada, that when he annoyed the IMF by threatening their never ending gluttony for money and profits, you fell all over yourselves to get rid of him.

Now after you put that shame of war crimes actions on the conscience of all thinking Canadians you step forward again with your absurd claims of democracy and human rights at the very time when you are taking them away from Canadians here at home through Bill C-23 as one example.

People give you heads a shake and think what you are doing for once instead of what your inglorious leaders are getting you to do.

More and more as one from BC I have the feeling of such disconnect with our so called federal government of fools that I am seriously beginning to accept the fact of BC leaving Canada and stepping away from these absurd situations. Perhaps it really is time to allow BC and Quebec to go as we have become a nation of fools being lead by traitors who are in turn being lead by corporate promises of wealth when they have done the dirty work.

Yes that is you.

Look at yourself and claim it is not so…I dare you…and if you can refute what I claim, then do so by your actions not your pathetic words. Stand up and be counted or else we should abandon this once glorious dream called Canada.

In total disgust at our so called representatives and employees in Ottawa.

Jeremy Arney