Thursday, 2 May 2013

Reading Legislation

The other day Will came home with some news, he pointed out to me that the Budget bill now in front of the House of Commons, bill C-60 and bill C-38 has some disturbing aspect to it. So I went to the Parliament of Canada website to look into it and read the legislation being proposed in this budget bill.

Indeed both bills do away with a lot of government institutions. Some is interesting, like the fact that for the very first time ever since 1914 (when income tax was first instituted) the Governor General of Canada, will have to pay income tax on his salary. Though Parliament gave a substantial increase to mitigate any taxes paid.

Governor General personal Royal Standard

A budget bill in our Parliamentary system is very important because if the Government looses a vote then it will fall automatically, this is the rule for any money bill. This current Harper Government is not going to loose a vote in the House on the budget. However the changes these bills bring are enormous and will have a very large impact on life in general in Canada. One change which has garnered much attention is a provision to insert Treasury Board control over Crown Corporations like the CBC. When the Canadian Broadcasting Corp was created in 1936, like all Crown Corp it had a charter making it independent of government control, though it receives $1.5 Billion from the Canadian public. Now if Cabinet through the Treasury Board can control collective agreement, salaries and budgets this means the CBC would become nothing more than the Official Broadcaster of the Government of the day, a propaganda mouthpiece, hello Mr. Goebbels.

It is no secret that the Harper government does not like the CBC or Radio Canada, they do not dare abolish it all together, that would cause too many political problems.
His government has tried by all means possible to stifle the broadcaster. It is the school of, you criticize me, you are against me. The same has happened to budgets of all our National Museums, who can only function now with the help of armies of volunteers.  In the USA at the National Endowment for the Arts there is a saying: Great Nations deserve great Art. This is something Mr. Harper has not heard or does not believe in. A man who prefers to go to Tim Horton to get a doughnut instead of attending a session of the General Assembly at the United Nation. Who has forgotten that?

The changes to our National fabric are so numerous that one looses count, but if you bother to read Bill C-60 you will see what is coming. This is why I disagree with people who do not vote and claim that it does not matter, nothing will change, life goes on.

Seven years ago, many said that Harper had a secret agenda, now we see the result. A country divided, basically 9 provinces against Alberta. Poor against Rich, old against the young, the natives abandoned to themselves, living in dire condition, neglect so grave the ICRC and the UN have denounced Canada for its ill treatment of the people of the First Nations. Our role in the UN fading into irrelevance, Canada was one of the founding members of the modern United Nations. We lost our seat at the Security Council out of neglect, we may loose the HQ of ICAO in Montreal, established in 1947, also out of neglect. We were kicked out of the Middle East Peace Process because of the extreme bias of the Harper Government towards Israel, not to mention the terrible gaffe of our Foreign Minister John Baird during his visit to Israel recently.
We stepped out of the Kyoto Protocol, not good for Tar Sands business in Alberta said Harper, we walked away of the Treaty on Desertification, again Mr. Harper does not think that helping struggling African Nations is worth it, though our contribution was extremely small at $350,000 per year.

The list goes on, the danger with the Harper agenda is that once division in a Nation take place it is difficult to erase them. Once negativity is enshrined in our political life it is difficult to reverse course. Our country is becoming poorer, we are no longer a rich nation, Canada is now described as a relatively poor country. All this has happened in the last 7 years of the disastrous Harper Government who is fixated on Police, Security and the Crown, harsh prison sentences and sending more and more people to jail for longer terms. An example all military regiments will regain the old names they had before 1930 with the word Royal now affix to all of them. Is this nation building, will it help any of us?

So obsessed Mr. Harper is with security that he has named his own personal chief bodyguard as Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq. The nominee has NO experience and no knowledge whatsoever in diplomacy, no education background nothing to prepare him for such a difficult and complicated position where only a steady hand and a specialist knowledge is required. Being a good police officer is irrelevant to the job.

Reading legislation is educational it tells you much about a government and the mind set that animates it. Not enough Canadians bother to read the website of Parliament, general apathy is what the Conservatives are hoping for.


  1. Oh my, Laurent, this is depressing and familiar. So many freedoms and institutions chipped away are difficult to restore: we have the same problem with too much public apathy to what the Tories are doing. And now the very bad news about UKIP's victories in council elections. I have seen the face of UKIP in the driver who took my ma and I to Priscilla, and it is that of a racist, ignorant untermensch. If only those who are doing this as a protest vote bothered to look in to the sort of people who affect to be representing them.

    1. This is why all eyes now are on the general elections in 2015.

  2. Yes, Canada needs more citizens like you who keep up on the goings-on in parliament! Too many people are apathetic and passive.