Oh Canada!

I’ve been lucky enough to take the past week off to do some sailing and take time to think about what has been happening recently in Canada and the rest of the world. I was encouraged when the Green Party Leader Elizabeth May presented over 60 amendments for consideration by the House public safety committee. Several additional amendment’s from the both the NDP and Liberals, along with testimony of over 50 witnesses over left a glimmer of hope that C51 would be amended to provide the security we need but not at the price of civil liberty and Canadian freedom. What we ended up with however were a very few amendments presented by the conservative party that addressed a few of the issues but still left us with a bill that is likely unconstitutional and leaves open a broad interpretation that allows gives significant power to CSIS to act inside Canada. For a  fair analysis of C51 see the article by The Walrus (http://thewalrus.ca/bill-c-51-the-good-the-bad-and-the-truly-ugly/) . The parliamentary process should be about democracy, with the committee structure there to provide the inputs of the representatives ALL Canadians, not just the party in power, who after all, represent barely 50% of the population of this wonderful country.

While all of this is going on, the Government also pushed through the extension of the military mission in the middle east and extended the mission to include bombing inside the sovereign state of Syria. We used to be a country that stood for international law, and now we are preparing to bomb another country, under a pretext that ISIL has declared war on Canada and they are in Syria (among other countries) so we have the right to bomb them. By that logic, if there were a confirmed ISIL presence in any country, we would have the right to bomb that country as well.

The world is facing significant challenges and threats to safety and liberty. Canada is a country that has always stood on the side of international law and humanitarian action.   Our current Prime Minister has put our history behind us, suggesting that rural Canadian should arm themselves for personal safety, ignoring calls for an enquiry into missing aboriginal woman, putting our underfunded and small military forces in harms way when in reality, our few planes are but a flyspeck in the grand scheme of military action, but a great chest beating opportunity for Harper and his fellow hawks.

With the lack of attention to missing and abused aboriginal woman, our economy sliding to recession, inflation increasing, why not spend some time looking at some of the key issues that define us as country, where we value people, and try and build a positive future.

Oh Canada, I am ashamed of us, we can do better, and we must do better. Lets be the great Canada we can be and embrace core Canadian values of helping others, coming to their aid with humanitarian support, and focusing efforts internally to make a just and liveable place for all Canadians to live and thrive.


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