The Practices of Selective Justice and Governance in Canada
This essay was first published in 2014 in Canada and was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner for consideration by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Canadians are still waiting for restoration by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Liberals. This has not yet happened, albeit now Canada boasts a large deficit within a time of recession in the nation.
As a result of the Prime Minister Harper Conservatives' decade Canada's compassionate programs and virtues were slashed. Tough on crime legislation passed, scientists were not rehired, science libraries were not re-opened, science funding was not restored, environmental protection laws were not restored, declarations were not signed at the U.N by Canada on fair right to housing and sanitation for Indigenous people. As a result, there is still no national housing policy, the laws of the U.N. are not binding, and homelessness is at crisis levels. Canada is not reporting to the U.N. on the plight of the working poor and homeless in the nation.
Apparently, none of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission on Indigenous Rights have yet to be implemented. There was a Reconciliation Commission and an Inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous, however, all of this is paper and proposed policy and no budgetary commitments mentioned in the Minister's Speeches have been disclosed as yet but there is a notable investment in overall funding for Women's Rights in Canada.
Although the U.N. Declaration on Indigenous Rights was signed in 2007, it only represented political a commitment to adopt it, but has no legal enforcement. A declaration is not legally binding, unlike a treaty or a covenant. In May 2016, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs announced Canada is now a full supporter, without qualification, of the declaration, however, the key commitment in funding in 2019 is in First Nation Reserve water infrastructure but not ongoing maintenance for it; reports the Human Rights Watch Report, Canada in 2019.
2017 Speech to the U.N. Progress Report on Indigenous Rights.
- Speech for the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs at the United
Distinguished guests and colleagues, I'm honoured to be here on the traditional territory of the Lenape people and all the indigenous people who have walked these lands.
Progress on Gender Equality and Women's Rights...
On the topic of gender equality and women's rights and protections, the United Nations Peace Operations and the Advisory Group of Experts of 2015, review suggests changes in conflict may be outpacing the ability of United Nations peace operations to respond effectively to women's issues. Any reforms must include gender equality and women’s leadership as central ingredients.
At the 2019 Women Deliver Conference, the Government of Canada made investments that promote the empowerment of women and girls and people of all gender identities and expressions:
- Raising Canadian funding to support the health of women, children and adolsescents to $1.4 billion annually on average by 2023, including an average of $700 million for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) each year, positioning Canada as a leader willing to uphold and defend the rights of women and girls.
- Announcing a $325 million call for proposals for projects that address reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, including SRHR and nutrition in vulnerable communities around the world.
- Providing up to $750,000 to build on the findings of the Feminists Deliver Conference and Trade Show, a parallel event held in Vancouver during Women Deliver, and drive real progress for women in British Columbia by promoting a feminist approach that targets the most marginalized communities.
- Enhancing its investment in the first-ever Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, which aims to double the number of women entrepreneurs in Canada by 2025.
- Investing $10 million in national cervical cancer research, which will be matched by the BC Women’s Health Foundation, recognizing that cervical cancer rates for Indigenous women are 92% higher than non-Indigenous women.
Veterans' agencies were apparently not reportedly reopened nor was there evidence of restoration in health and pension funding for them regardless of many suicides.
The year after this publication in 2015, the United Nations presented 169 recommendations for Canada to take action and correct, on human rights violations and inequalities in the nation. Canada accepted 122 of the recommendations in which two of my own recommendations are beginning to be amended notably a willingness to reconcile injustices with the First Nations and a raise on minimum wage but 'only' in the province of Alberta. How about the rest of Canada's working poor living on minimum wages in 'have not' provinces?
There are policies and mandate promises but much of it is not supported by funding and investments. Lack of reporting and dissemination of the annual Federal Budget for Canadians to decipher is required not only for Human Rights organizations but for politicians, journalists, reporters and civilians. A country in major recession, across the country the poverty, suffering, unemployment, business closures, homelessness and lack of affordable housing is evident.
Selective Justice and Governance...
The law shapes politics, economics and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people. Law’s blindfold indicates an objective standard that justice should be impartial and meted out objectively, without fear or favor and regardless of money, wealth, power or identity. This is an ideal that has not been realized even in developed countries like Canada. Statistics, trends and observances reveal disturbing social, economic and judicial disparities. There are practices of selective justice and governance maintaining hierarchies and inequalities in Canada.
Canada‘s state of affairs is on the verge of national crisis. The OECD noted that poverty has been steadily on the rise since the mid 90s. According to Statistics Canada, affected groups include single parents and children, immigrants, aboriginals, people with disabilities and seniors. Over 300,000 Canadians will experience homelessness each year and on any given night 30,000 are homeless due to a lack of laws controlling the costs of shelter in Canada. There are no limitations on the amounts land lords can charge on rents across the country.
CBC reports the average price for a home in Canada is $406,372. The base price to purchase a modular home (trailer) is about $93,000 which is the cheapest option and does not include land. With the average national income at $27,600, many cannot afford to own their own home and are stuck in the rental market. The government of Canada refuses to regulate or control the rental market. It is inflated to the extent that 33% to 50% of household income is spent on housing, rental or owned. Most of Canada ’ s population resides in urban centers where the highest rents apply and only 19.7% resides in rural areas.
Instead of solving it, government divides funding to groups to examine, define and quantify homelessness. The problem was rising in the 1980s at crisis levels in 2005 and a report did not become available until 2013 from Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. While bureaucracy takes its noble time waiting for a flow chart, 1,350 people die each year while others are at risk of starvation, frost bite and suicide. It is so complex for bureaucrats to comprehend. This is a typical response to any `public issue’, yet the government can easily allocate multi-billions to corporations in a single year or send emergency funds overseas for wars or disasters- without a feasibility study. Canadians freezing, starving and dying on the streets- do a seven year study. It is an insult to intellect.
Canada still has no National Housing Strategy which is crucial. Housing has been declared a fundamental right under the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights and Canada ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1976 which states standard of living and housing in Article 11. Canada made announcement in 2008 it would set aside funding of 387 million per year for five years to remedy homelessness. There is no evidence of this investment in any budget or report since that this writer could locate. The UN noted that Canada is not reporting its activities to remedy homelessness.
Poverty: 30,000 homeless individuals on any given night across Canada.
Suffering on the Streets of Canada
Income Inequality: 40% of homeless persons also have a serious illness.
The Alberta Provincial Government in Canada requires a 13 page application and full disclosure and a permanent residence to qualify for social assistance for one month. No address- no assistance. Alberta will, however, readily pay for a one way bus ticket just to get the poor out of the province. In this oil rich province, many do not benefit from the oil field industry. In the meantime, fires and explosions kill more than 200 and injure more than 5000 oilfield workers,workers who risk their lives for high salaries, each year due to risky exposure or explosions related to dangerous gases like H2S, Hydrogen Sulfate reports Occupational Health and Safety.
Other contributors to poverty and homelessness include illness, lack of job security and very low minimum wages across Canada. Today, it is estimated that 40% of homeless persons also have an illness of some sort. A shopping complex can be built in less than six months but not affordable housing. What kind of example is this? We can’t even eradicate homelessness in the richest province?
Canada without Poverty reports, the cost of poverty is $72 to $86 Billion annually. This is considerably less than the 2009 bail-out investment government provided banks at $114 Billion in a single year. What would this type of investment do? A simple $1,000 increase in the annual income (wages, subsidy, tax break, grants) to the poorest 20% of Canadians would reduce the loss of productivity, illness and the cost to the criminal justice system which predominantly deals with the low income population. (8) The justice system is not advocating for laws to eradicate poverty in Canada in support of reducing needless crime and suffering. Poverty and homelessness has lead to higher court convictions among low and middle income groups in Canada. This is connected to income inequality. (1)
Government investment and bail outs of corporations out spend all social programs combined.
Income equality is the extent to which income is unevenly distributed in a country. Income inequality studies by the Conference Board of Canada have revealed the rich have become richer and the poor, poorer in Canada. Canada receives a ‘C’ grade on income inequal ity and ranks 12 th out of 17 peer countries. Since 1990, the richest group of Canadians has increased its share of total national income, while the poorest and middle income groups has lost share. (4) Debt levels are on the rise and the average Canadian ho usehold’s debt to income ratio is at a new high of 163.4 % or owes $1.63 on every dollar earned.
To keep up with cost of living and market prices, people are financing themselves into stress and debt. At the end of 2013, the average Canadian owed $27,485 in non-mortgage debt which demonstrates disposable income is expensed each month. Canadians are living now off credit and future income- lessons taught by banks and government. The market makes life unaffordable with high profit margins up to 500% on products and services while the government deregulates the market and credit card companies and banks facilitate the financing of it. It is a trap for the tax payer and consumer. The minimum wage is $9.94 per hour in Alberta, the richest province in the country with monthly income at $1893. Coincidentally, the largest multinational corporations are paying the lowest wages here. The top 20 low wage employers include Walmart, McDonalds, Sears, Wendy’s, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Target and Starbucks…to name a few. This is fair?
When there is a boom or increase in income in anyway, the market quickly snatches it up by increasing the cost of rents, food, goods and services. For instance, many companies track when pay days occur or when the G.S.T (sales tax credit) is paid and raises grocery prices at that time and lowers prices during other weeks. It is hard to keep the Christmas spirit, when the market increases by 7.7% and inflation is up 122% at that time of year reports PNC Wealth Management of 2013. There seems to be ineffective enforcement of Consumer Protection Acts and legislation in Canada. The Competition Act in Canada ensures businesses thrive and grow but critics complain that laws are ineffectively enforced. Who ensures Canadians thrive and grow?
Crony Capitalism: The top 5% get richer, and the middle class and poor become poorer.
Social Welfare vs.Corporate Welfare. Is there really any debate?
It is also a serious matter of Social vs.Corporate Welfare. Institutional forces and policy favor Canada’s already affluent 5% of the population. After the onset of financial crisis in the late 2000s, government bank rescues starkly depicted a system where affluent bankers were bailed out and ordinary citizens lost their houses and jobs. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reported banks alone received $114 Billion from government. (5) Citizens attempted to access information through requests to the Bank of Canada but were denied- apparently banks are protected from transparency and would not release it. The Auto Bail out itself was a $4.74 Billion in loss for tax payers to GM and Chrysler cost 810 million. (5)
If CRA demands disclosure and accountability, a citizen is held liable through threats of garnishee and legal action. Citizens have little recourse or defense. Furthermore, in 2009, this specific year, the Conservative Government also announced a $64 Billion deficit as a result of these bail-outs. In 2013, there was still a deficit of 18.7 Billion but you know the books will be balanced for the election where predictions estimate an $800 million small surplus for 2016. How predictable. When times get tough, evidence demonstrates there is favoritism. It is not the recession anymore, but for struggling Canadians, every year is a recession.
Institutional forces such as policy, another form of law, protect and support only certain groups. There purposefully exists a lack of laws and deregulation of the market economy. Government supports institutional forces like the decline in protective unions, stagnant minimum wages, deregulation, bail-outs, loans, subsidies, grants, tax credits and national policies that favor corporations and their share holders. These institutional forces are clear examples of corporate welfare in action. (4) Failing banks, corporations and markets need not qualify for tax payer financial support yet tough restrictions are upon the average citizen who cannot rely on neither banks nor government to bail them out of debt or crisis.
Wealthy hierarchies proliferate inequalities where some are more equal than others.
'Some are More Equal than Others’ according to Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prize Winner in Economics (6). “ There is a deliberate ‘ lack ’ of laws and government policies that maintain hierarchies and inequalities. The market is legally permitted to substantially gain due to ineffective enforcement of competition laws, inadequate financial regulation and the provision of ‘corporate welfares’, and subsidies to corporations. ” Plus our government runs high deficits always due to corporate welfare but the citizens are footing the bill for it. This perpetuates the cycle of favoritism where corporate interest and well-being overcomes that of the citizen.
If, however, a citizen, due to health, hardship, high costs of living, unemployment or old age receives social assistance, pensions, subsidy, food banks, a grant, debt assistance or declares bankruptcy this is deemed a ‘hand out’ and they are condemned to be ‘freeloaders’ on the system. This is considered social welfare. Yet consistently throughout their lives citizens ‘invest’ the most in government through payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, employment insurance taxes, pension taxes, profit taxes and portions of business taxes. (6).
The average Canadian pays about 40% of their annual income on taxes and 30% to just cover basic needs. Canadian government, except at election time, purposefully runs high deficits and there are deferred taxes put upon the citizen consumer to pay for it. Citizens are footing the bill…actually financing the political party’s special interest budgets. Citizens who do not balance their personal books, run high personal debt loads, finance or do not pay their taxes on time on the other hand are heavily regulated, scrutinized and considered irresponsible. Who is being fiscally irresponsible exactly?
Furthermore, Stiglitz validates, “ The most affluent pay higher income tax but rates have not gone up and capital gains are taxed at ‘less’ than half the rate of all other incomes. Tax havens and loop holes are additional laws favoring hierarchies such as international and off shore bank protections. These are real examples of practices not accessible to other income groups, put in place by the bankers, lawyers and lobbyists that serve them so well. ” (6) Providing regulations on shelter costs, the market and guaranteed income levels by raising minimum wage so they finance less and carry less debit load would improve overall quality of life for everyone. People would not occupy homeless shelters, prisons, court rooms and mental hospitals because they would be liberated from poverty caused pathologies.
Help liberate Canadians from poverty caused by corporate, financial and political pathologies.
While the distracted citizen works to stay afloat, taxed to the max, human rights and civil protections are eroding away. In 1999, 2009 and again in 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council has provided yet another 169 recommendations to improve human rights in Canada in light of its abuses and neglect of Canadians. Issues included national poverty, homelessness, violence against women and aboriginals, corporate accountability, national security and women’s equality.
Canada accepted 122 of the recommendations but change often means more studies and time has proven issues continue to be tied up with years of bureaucracy. Canada is also well known as a nation of ‘pilot projects’ that creates short-term remedies to serious long term problems.
Impaired and removed, human and civil rights are not easily repaired. This takes decades of litigation and funding citizens do not have. The Harper government dismisses claims and any need for citizens to approach supranational human rights organizations for help. (9) Why not? Injustices within Canada require international intervention. Help!
The Council of Canadians reports, refugees are targeted with Bill C-31 which strays from the rule of law blatantly violates the U.N Convention and other international rights besides the cuts to basic and emergency health care which is cruel and inhumane. Furthermore, it reports betrayal to the First Nations in abandonment of the Kelowna Accord and reconciliation efforts, dismantling of the CSIS Inspector General and the Military Police Complaints Commission. Canada opposed the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the General Assembly Resolution on Human Right to Water and Sanitation and refused to sponsor controls on executions.
The government spent millions in aggressive and obstructive litigation regarding prisoners while its own citizens cannot even secure an attorney or adequate defense due to funding cuts obstructing justice in Canada. The rights to fairness and a defense are taken away. (10) The Department of Justice Act guarantees government ongoing funding and access to legal services, however, there are no provisions in the constitution or any act that guarantee the same freedoms to citizens in Canada.
This implies that the Canadian Government is more privileged and deserving of legal aid and justice than its own citizens. Is the law also meted out without fear and favor? In Canada, it is true, that with disturbing frequency, innocent persons are forced to accept ‘guilty plea bargains’ because they do not fit into a provincial legal subsidy program so low only few qualify. This leaves low and middle income individuals without constitutional access to legal aid or a defense. This trap unethically increases conviction statistics and jail terms. The Canadian Government and its attorneys have a fiduciary trust by the public to maintain and defend civil liberties in Canada.
More Police: Experts say, however, this has little or nothing to do with the decline of crime in Canada. It is political positioning.
TO SERVE AND COLLECT:
Government is forcing policing to become biased and capitalistic. Canada has reversed its policy against using information extracted by use of torture. The government directed CSIS, the RCMP and the Federal Border Agency that they may use information obtained by torture and share it with other federal agencies. This violates the UN Convention against Torture and sets precedence in this country that not only is policing biased it is permitted to be violent.
The University of Calgary Faculty of Law also reports there has been a heightened awareness in Canada that police and other law enforcement officials have engaged in racial profiling. The Human Rights Watch also published a report in February 2013 outlining the physical and sexual harassment of aboriginal women by police especially in British Columbia. This is a clear indicator of how the Harper government has approached the ongoing epidemic of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. Some say the issue has been studied to death which is typical in Canada, and yet no viable strategies have been implemented.
The Statistics Canada Report, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Uniform Crime Reporting Survey for the year 1962 - 2012 reveals a shocking truth. Total Crime rates in Canada in 2012 are at the same level as 1972. The highest point of total crimes in the past fifty years was in 1992. Since, trends indicate a steady decline. Property crimes are at the same as level as in 1972 as well. Violent crimes have remained fairly low since 1962 with a slight increase in 1992 and have declined to 1982 levels. Chart 3 demonstrates the crime rate and the Crime Severity Index CSI declined in 2012. Chart 6 depicts the CSI declined steadily and considerably since 2003 among the Prairie Provinces. The ‘other’ crime category remained very low yet slightly increased due to variables in police reporting.
Crime has been steadily and annually declining, but nonetheless, police strength has been increasing up 7% since 2002. (11) Crime was markedly declining ‘ten years’ before 2002. Why the continual increase in policing since 2002? On May 15, 2012, there were 69, 539 police officers in Canada, 115 more than in 2011. Regardless of the ten year decline in crime, the Harper government still introduced a series of legislative measures imposing tougher punishments. Experts say, however, this has little or nothing to do with the long term trend of declining crime in Canada. (12) It has to do more with political positioning and publicity.
In defense of ethical police, however, forces have been turned into glorified security guards protecting the market, businesses and infrastructure first- before the citizen. It is a protection racket for the capital racket. The police exist to s erve and protect ‘people’ but are now being forced to serve the state and its special interests instead. Police are paranoid of the citizen and citizens are paranoid of the police but we are all in the same boat. Government creates rifts between police and the public that result in suspicion and distrust. W5 produced a report called ‘To Serve and Collect’. With high increases in traffic video surveillance and diversion of police forces to by-law enforcement, police have also become yet another resource to e xploit as a money making machine. The message to meet quotas has been clear,” Write tickets or good luck getting that promotion.”
What is also alarming is the rise of private security forces amounting to 140,000 security guards presently licensed in Canada- double the amount of police. With property crimes at 1972 levels, how does the private sector warrant this doubling in private policing? ‘ The market economy is also creating concern through increased surveillance. There are cameras in practically every public place, many streets and businesses as well as live patrols. About 1,000 complaints were filed against private security guards and companies over the past five years in Canada. (13) Crime rates were low in Canada long before this level of mass surveillance existed. This is simply… unjustified.
Exerting influence with public funds is a conflict under the Accountability Act.
Change by Choice…
How does Canada rate compared to the top countries? Canada ranks 8th according to Forbes best countries in the world- but Forbes does not know what we know. Countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark reduce inequalities with supportive public funding including extensive parental leaves, free daycare, free education, wealth distribution and income equality incentives. This also includes substantial investments in public health care, diversity and gender equality. It should be noted that natural resource wealth is also distributed among the population. It is not about right or left, it is not about socialism nor capitalism- it is about responsibility to citizens. Where does all this public funding come from?
Take Norway for a case example which charges oil companies 70% of their profits, meaning 70 cents for every dollar is reinvested in government and returned to their citizens. The Norwegian Ministry ’s philosophy is that oil reserves belong to the state and ultimately to the nation. The Canadian government, especially Alberta, does not collect royalty profits (yet). The Alberta government typically collects more in gambling and casino revenue than oil company royalties. Less than 10% royalties is collected but only from companies operating in Alberta’s tar sands who sell it all off to foreign interests.
This leaves Canadians to pay high gas and oil prices and leaves them with little more than pollution and toxic sludge. It is fantastic for oil companies and a crap deal for Canadians. For instance, companies like Exxon Mobil make over 100 million per day from global operations- they can afford it. Norway did it, charged the royalties and the oil companies stayed anyway and are investing more than ever. Norway carries no debt and the country’s Government Sovereign Wealth Fund supplied totally by oil and gas royalties, is projected to be worth 1 trillion dollars by 2020. (18) This is responsible government.
Canada can be tough on crime and criminals … but cowers to enforce simple royalty taxes and corporate profit taxes or cut billions to corporations that would eliminate national debt, poverty, homelessness, settle aboriginal claims, increase quality of life for everyone ultimately lower crime and much more. Government, however, is quick to cut public services first like health care, education, legal aid, social assistance, aboriginal supports, arts, science, recreational and cultural funding and so forth. Yet, it increases corporate welfare, subsidies, loans, bail outs and tax breaks by the billions each year?
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A HOMELESS CORPORATION?
Corporate welfare is not ‘direct’ economic development or job creation. In fact, national joblessness reports 18,000 fewer full-time jobs this year. Canadian citizens and small businesses are left to sink or swim, so should corporations. Have you ever seen a homeless corporation? If a Canadian can`t get financed the government certainly won`t help them. Fair is fair. A free market economy is supposed to operate ‘without’ government intervention . This is favoritism, market manipulation and selective governance.
Crony Capitalism: I rub your back, you rub mine. Wink. Wink.
Corporations get hand outs from governments all the time.
In 1996, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein passed the Business Financial Assistance Limitation Act to stop loans, loan guarantees and subsidies to big business. This law was the result of losing over 2 billion to corporations. If a corporation needs a hand out or loan and can’t get one from investors, shares or banks, is that not a high risk financial move? How are high risk financial moves actually endorsed by the federal government?
Subsidy programs are hidden within other programs with grants, loans and tax credits buried within departmental budgets to remove risk from capitalists and put it on the tax payer. In Canada, this is politely called ‘Financial Stewardship” by Industry Canada, the International Trade and Investment Department, the Canadian International Development Agency and many other departments. Their budgets are approved as part of the greater federal budget and pushed through by politicians.
Politicians: Empty promises that continually fail Canadians regardless of the party or platform.
Consistent and Persistent Bureaucracy
Enclosed below are details revealed over a year of unveiling the expenses of the 2013 Conservative Party Federal Budget. Note, this budget was `somehow` approved by the official opposition-the New Democratic Party. Incidentally, the NDP and Liberals did not call a vote of no confidence on these issues. Critics call the opposition`s passivity a loss for all Canadians.
Among many suicides within the military they closed supports down including 9 Veteran`s Affairs Offices across Canada. To add horrific insult, there is only provision for more military funerals in this budget of $6 million from 2014-16.
The 2014 Budget released in February has yet to be analyzed by sources but one must note that the Canadian Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty who prepared these budgets, immediately resigned from Cabinet and died shortly after from heart attack on April 10, 2014.
Crony Capitalism: A form of corporate and government racketeering.
Canadian Corporate Welfare
-$200 million to the film industry in corporate welfare and tax credits
-$19 Billion for the Bill C-10 Plan for More Prisons
-$9 Billion for new F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets
-$1 billion to the Strategic Aerospace and Defense Initiative
-$460 million to the Venture Capital Action Plan
-$10 million for Loblaw Group of Companies
-$250 million for the Atlantic Investment Tax Credit
-$350 million for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
-$250 million for the Western Economic Diversification
-27 million for the for the Strategic Aerospace and Defense Initiative ($110 mil over 4 yrs)
-$920 million for the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario
-$92 million for Forestry Businesses
-325 million for Green Technologies
-$37 million in grants for Business Product Commercialization
-$7.5 Million for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee
* Based on research of the 2013 Budget
Canada's Compassionate Programs and Virtues Slashed...
-$23.3 million funding cut to housing subsidies to Canada Mortgage and Housing
-$319 million funding cut to Katimavik Youth Program (C.I.D.A)
-$165 million funding cut to Aboriginal Affairs Department
-$88 million funding cut to Environment Canada
-$1 billion funding cut to municipalities
-74,000 people lose jobs in social services and healthcare -Public Service Alliance Canada
-3,577 jobs cut at National Defense
-2,491 jobs cut at Canada Revenue Agency
-18,300 full-time market jobs down regardless of corporate welfares
-62% cut to Social Development supporting homelessness
-35% cut to Statistics Canada
-24% cut to Veterans Health Care
-Over 2,000 Scientists dismissed to date
-Hundreds of science programs terminated
-24 Federal Libraries shut down
-Closure of 9 Veteran Affairs Offices (There is $6 million added for Veteran Funerals in 2014-16) -Terminated-
The Health Council of Canada -Unreleased figures: Cuts to Interim Federal Health Program for Refugees Inhumane
* Based on research of the 2013 Budget
Change needs to happen now, and within 'our' lifetimes.
Politicians tow their party’s line - it is a comfortable place to be- until an election. Voters have lost confidence in their government as campaign promises devoted before election rarely materialize after it. Partisan economics prevail and budgets are cut and rebalanced at the last minute at the time of election- always at the expense of the public. If a corporation can fund and materialize a new Walmart, Tim Hortons or bank in six months- why can’t the government, why again can’t the government solve problems as efficiently?
Partisan economics prevail and budgets are cut and rebalanced at the last minute at the time of election- always at the expense of the public. Historical influences, elitist loyalties, scandal, cronyism, no confidence votes and rivalries plague all the political parties- all breaches of public trust. This hampers democracy with bureaucracy.
Reading the news, it seems politicians aren’t taking citizens too seriously. Too many lengthily focus groups, expensive studies, commissions, litigation and legislative processes are nothing but deterrents and denial. History has proven this inherent inefficiency often means the players may change but ‘modus operandi’ does not. Change needs to happen now and ’within’ our lifetimes.
Social Justice Groups and Activists must hold government accountable with the Accountability Act.
The competition for the strong hold of power, wealth and status maintains these hierarchies, with no political party ever resolving inequalities. An examination of political trends and track records over the past two hundred years reveals Canadians are caught in a tug o war of the personal and business interests of each party who each possess special interests in Europe or the United States. The Conservative Tories’ loyalty is to Britain and the Crown, while the Liberal Party’s interests are to the south in the U.S. Both parties who have held majority governments are riddled with track records of lies, scandals and corruption. The N.D.P. has had scandals of its own and lost confidences in the provinces where it holding a majority is unlikely.
Billions in surplus each year belong to Canadians but our wealth is continually redirected everywhere but where it is needed the most. Reinvested and misdirected away from tax payer coffers, often to the point of national deficit, votes are financially bought and swayed. Their inherited political agendas and loyalties guide law and policy development. Towing the party line means no member should rock the agenda in the citizens’ defense without reprisal. Lower level politicians and public servants may enter government with good intentions only later to discover they are muzzled because of party politics, antics and confidentiality agreements. Enough is enough.
Abolish slavery class systems which exploit the working poor which only serve to benefit the wealthy.
Canadians are overworked, underpaid, regulated, audited, patrolled and under surveillance.
According to Marxism, imperialism is a natural feature of a developed nation where capitalism inevitably matures into monopoly capitalism. This is now known as globalization. Political and economic lines become blurred as interests are turned to foreign multinational corporations and globalized conglomerates forming financial monopolies within our country.
Once in power, political parties become monopolies as well, with their own agenda and cronies that tag along for the ride. Focused only upon wealth, the party machine leverages the country and its resources while Canadians are disheartened. Canadian`s are thrown a bone like a small tax credit or rebate, while their inheritance, environment, equalities and futures are sold and cut. Citizens deserve better.
The majority of people are now part of a massive worker class whom government is dependent upon. The citizen has learned he/she cannot depend on the government when they hit tough times. What is certain, is the way political parties tend to ignore and deter citizens and censor the media. Face it, all the party members, regardless of affiliation, are friends making deals to keep each other employed, influential and in power. If the opposition were really intervening, there would be strong laws to protect public funds.
If the police cared about people and the future of this country, instead of loyalty to the party at hand, the laws that are in place would be fully enforced. This is rare. The Senate Scandal, yes a few million, is a drop in the bucket compared to what is dispersed under buried and hidden budgets and programs. Someone should order an annual pre-budget independent audit of that.
Bluntly put, their report cards- suck! There is dissent from the military, veterans, nurses, minorities, refugees, immigrants, public servants, parents, scientists and the Indigenous. The Occupy and Idle No More Movements’ protests communicate everyone`s dissatisfaction to the world. People are reaching out to the United Nations for intervention. Canada's virtues and values, liberties and compassionate programs are being slashed by politicians and the budgets of 2013-14 prove it. Evidence and facts support there is cause for alarm.
Dis-empower old hierarchies and monopolies on resources.
Citizens should demand laws to regulate and veto political parties, special interest spending and end special agendas.
Advancement of ‘non partisan’ constituent representation, civil litigation and restorative justice is required. International and national advocacy and intervention must pressure government to be accountable- so must the oppositions. The more publicity- the better. If everyone donated time and energy to civil rights and civil litigation as much as they do to charity in this country- Canadians would gain considerable ground. Government has created laws, bylaws, acts, rules and policies regulating practically every aspect of civil life.
Canadians are overworked, underpaid, regulated, audited, patrolled and under surveillance. Law and counter civil litigation is the most logical recourse. Voting any elite permanently out of parliament should be the next step. It may be wise to keep a minority government permanently in place to prevent the abuses of majority governments. Organized and strategic voting could keep a minority government under control regardless of the party until new laws are put in place.
Organized and strategic voting, citizens should demand laws to regulate and veto political parties, special interest spending and end special agendas.
Courage: Challenge unwelcome norms in our society.
Prime Minister, Ministers and Members of Legislature and Members of Parliament must not allow confidentiality or gag orders or the party line to interfere with democracy, transparency and accountability to Canadians. Citizens have the power with – choice. They have the greatest role to play in the demand for equalities, civil liberties and a healthy quality of life for all. Reflect upon this disturbing history, the facts and the prominence of selective justice and governance. Revolutions do not require sticks and stones, but the ‘courage’ to rally together to challenge unwelcome norms. Some should never be considered more equal than others in Canada.
1. Insist upon a Federal Corporation Financial Assistance Limitation Act to stop loans, subsides, grants and tax breaks to corporations
2. Insist the RCMP and police start aggressively enforcing the Competition Act and the Securities Act, the Consumer Protection Act and Accountability Act with financial audits and criminal penalties
3. Hold government accountable to meet all the standards and conventions on Human Rights and Freedoms as set forth by the United Nations
4. Create a National Housing Policy to meet with requirements of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms
5. Under the Accountability Act, Governments cannot use funds to exert influence for votes therefore an independent public financial audit be conducted of each department annually
6. Amend the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms to include Housing and Shelter
7. Hold government accountable to create laws that directly properly regulate the rental and housing market
8. Hold government accountable to invest immediately in homelessness and housing shortages in Canada.
9. Insist upon guaranteed income levels by raising minimum wages to $16.00/hr in each province
10. Insist upon social assistance program reform to provide adequate and temporary financial relief
11. Insist provinces raise disability amount benefits unilaterally to the sick and disabled
12. Insist provinces apply and collect sufficient profit royalty taxes and environmental taxes on all energy and natural resources accessed and/or disturbed by corporations
13. Insist government take an international and national representative and responsible position on climate change and environmental protection
14.Insist government provide transparency reports on all foreign and national investments, budgets and programs
15. Insist a full stop to the War on Science, Scientists, Libraries and Knowledge and the farming out of research to corporations
16. Limit the power of government through strategic voting and keeping a minority government in place
17. Work with Justices, attorneys and civil rights advocates to quickly develop laws to limit the power of majority governments
Essay Foot Notes and References:
1. The Persistence of racial inequality in Canada: http://www.thestar.com/opini/editorialopinion/2012/03/20/the_persistence_of_racial_inequality_in_canada.html]
2. Vancouver Police asked to explain the huge Disparity: http://www.vancouversun.com/Vancouver+police+asked+explain+huge+disparity+ticketing+between+wealthy+impoverished+neighbourhoods/8487433/story.html
3. Racial Disparities in the American Criminal Justice System: http://urbanpoverty.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/files/2011/01/Ronald-Weich-and-Carlos-Angulo-Racial-Disparities-in-the-American-Criminal-Justice-System.pdf
4. The Conference Board of Canada- How Canada Performs: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/society/income-inequality.aspx
5. Banks got $114B from governments during the recession http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/banks-got-114b-from-governments-during-recession-1.1145997 Final Jeopardy: The Practices of Selective Justice and Governance in Canada 20
10 Things You Might Not know About Poverty in Canada: CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/strombo/news/10-things-you-might-not-know-about-poverty-in-canada
8. Canada without Poverty: http://www.cwp-csp.ca/poverty/the-cost-of-poverty/
9. Canada Government Criticized for Dismissing UN Human Rights Concerns http://iranto.ca/En/index.php/news/canada-news/171-canada-government-criticized-for-dismissing-un-human-rights-concerns
10. Common Causes: Human Rights Policies eroding under Harper Government http://www.canadians.org/fr/node/3472
11. Statistics Canada, Police Resources in Canada 2012 http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-225-x/85-225-x2012000-eng.pdf
13. Surge in Private Security Guards raises concerns over rights http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/surge-in-private-security-raises-concerns-over-rights-1.1335730
15. Review Canada on Scrapping Welfare: http://reviewcanada.ca/magazine/2012/12/scrapping-welfare/
16. Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Omnibus Crime Bill: http://ccla.org/omnibus-crime-bill-c-10
17. CBC: Canada’s prison population at an all time high : http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada-s-prison-population-at-all-time-high-1.2440039
18. Desmog Canada: If Canada is Oil Rich, why are we so in debt? http://desmog.ca/2013/02/28/if-canada-oil-rich-why-are-we-so-debt
19. Politicians now more likely to be business men than lawyers: http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/02/01/politicians_now_more_likely_to_be_businessmen_than_lawyers.htm
© 2017 Claudine Chaboyer