Thursday, January 31, 2013

Governance & Omnibus Bills

Our Canadian government is broken.

Our representatives believe they are in power to better themselves rather than the majority of Canadians. We elect them and they immediately start working at their own agendas or the next election. It matters not what their constituents voted them in for, nor what they promised during the election.

The Harper Government has spent it's entire mandate working for the betterment of corporations and the 1%. Omnibus bills have become commonplace during his tenure. The only reason for this type of law making is to hide or obfuscate pork barrel politics. Most of our elected representatives have not read all of these bills carefully. Most don't even know what they are really voting on. They cannot possibly spend the time necessary to research and define a position on all the issues in each Omnibus bill. That is why the government pushes them through! (Trust me, just vote for it!)  Does anyone out there know exactly what bills were included in the last two Omnibus bills?  Go ahead, try to find out what all is included in any of those bills. (Hint:  NOT!)

Omnibus bills in Canada are supposed to be used for related issues. Our government uses some pretty loose definitions of "related". For instance, anything can be related to the "budget". Anything they do is related to "government". That basically negates the rule regarding "related issues" doesn't it?

Bill C-38 is an Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures. The "other measures" in the title should itself indicate that those issues were not related to the budget. A cursory look at the Bill indicates that those other measures were not. Part 3 contains certain measures related to responsible resource development. The only budget that involves is those of corporations trying to duck their environmental responsibilities. (OH! Now, I see the relationship!)

This blog started out with a general complaint and I got stuck on the Omnibus bills. I guess we'll have to visit the other issues, of which there are many, in other posts.

Thanks for your time,


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On the Canadian Economy

It's only my opinion but I believe our current economic policies are unsustainable.

Capitalism has perverted our democracy. Too much power has been ceded to the rich. Lobbyists run the country instead of the politicians we elect. Our rights are sold out to powers outside Canada.

Our government follows the Bilderberg Group (Too many Canadian politicians have attended their meetings) who propose a world government ruled of course by the rich. Why this is not treason escapes me.

The rich have lobbied their way to lower taxes than you and I pay. They now insist we lower the safety net we as Canadians have built through years of hard work. The rich believe their contributions to be of greater worth than our labour. I disagree. Why is money (interest & stocks) taxed at a lower rate than labour?

You want fair taxation? We need to drop all the special deductions and exceptions from the tax code.
Only a completely open, progressive tax system will provide the tax base required to relieve the debt burden presently crippling our economy.

Given all the taxes imposed on us in Canada, federal, provincial, gas, liquor,  property taxes & HST, most of us are paying close to or over 50% of our initial incomes. Don't forget to add in your costs for health care (free health care right?), bogus environmental charges,  license fees, excise taxes, EI & CPP.

Given the above I have to wonder where all the money is. If everyone is paying that much there is no way we should be in a deficit situation! So who is not paying their share? I know I have, throughout  my working life. Now in retirement, all I see is the government trying to reduce my pension, increase my taxes and reduce our benefits.

I'm no economist (thank god) so I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do think there are ways and means for Canada to continue to allow for the safety net we pride ourselves in providing the less fortunate in our society. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why are we in Mali?

Corporate Welfare in Mali

Canada has invested a billion dollars in development dollars since 1962.
The following companies / organizations have or have had investments in Mali.

Canada's International Development Bank
Hydro Quebec International
Transelec /Common inc
Lambert Somec
Dessau Associates
Sulzer Canada
Barrick Gold
Etruscan Resources
Goldbelt Resources Ltd.
Canada Pension Plan

Since 2006, instructors from Canada's Department of National Defence and the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre have provided training there, in concert with Mali, France and other European partners.

Here's a fact about the money we "give" to countries like this:
Over 65% of funding is stipulated for the procurement of Canadian goods and services. That would seem to make these disbursements really for the betterment of those companies receiving the contracts.

With our economy hurting as much as it is, I don't think more corporate welfare is in our best interests. The Harper government wants to cut our social programs in order to continue to provide more gifts to corporations. Apparently our government is willing to put Canadians at risk in order to perpetuate this gifting.

The present government of Mali is a Military Junta who took power only in December of 2012.
This military coup followed one from January of 2012.

Personally, I don't want to support any military junta in any way, and I don't believe that protecting corporate welfare is in the best interest of Canadians.

(Information garnered from Wikipedia)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Canadian Political Party?

 I really find that people like to complain about what is happening in our country without ever offering any alternatives. What ideas and or policies would you put forward if you were running the country?

A few of my ideas for a new political party follow:

·         Education
The only way that Canada can compete with the world successfully is by ensuring that Canada’s workforce is the smartest in the world. The only way to ensure that is to provide the education that our children need to compete. Kindergarden to University.

·         Armed Forces
Canada’s Armed Forces will be needed in tomorrow’s world. Sad but true.
Nothing we can do about that except hope for a better world and prepare for the worst.

·         Employment
We have about 10% of the population who cannot find work. We believe education is the key to ensuring the reduction of unemployment.

Drugs are not a criminal issue they are a Health Issue.

·         Economy
The idea of progressive taxation is an acceptable burden on the citizens of a free country. This provides some relief to persons at the lower end of the economy without putting too great an onus on those at the higher end. We do need to revisit this issue as the rules have become too favourable to the rich.

      Representation needs to be equal for all areas. When you elect a person to government you should expect them to represent your area and your concerns. Every vote needs to be a free vote. Voting controlled by any party is an insult to the idea of equal representation.


Politics as usual?

What do you do when none of the people and parties who are running your country are capable of actually working together for the betterment of the people in your country? What do you do when you believe that those same politicians are actually harming your country? When you believe that the politicians are at best incompetent, more likely corrupt in every way?

What do you do when you believe that those politicians are completely ruled by greedy corporations? When their actions over the last 50 years or so have worked in concert with big business and the 1%, to tilt the playing field so that today it’s impossible for the average person to even stand up let alone compete.

Apathy seems to be our national pasttime – not hockey! It’s only a day dream but why couldn’t the 99% get their own party? What is stopping the great majority of Canadians from getting the government they want? I know I’ve had more than enough of this insanity. 
Our Canada needs to redefine what Canadian priorities should be. What Canadians want this great country to be in the 21rst century. What they (that's you) want to leave your children and grandchildren.

I think we need a Canadian “Spring”. What happened in the Arab world was the awakening of those people to the inequality their leaders were imposing on them. No, the degree of outright tyranny is today not comparable to that being wielded in our country. But it is only the degree of tyranny that differs. Anybody remember Vancouver? How about Toronto and the G20? Did Vic Toews call you a child molester?

Canadians do not need to riot in the streets to achieve the effect they want. We need to get involved in our own governance. We need to excite the 40% of us who don’t vote anymore. Government needs to reflect Canadian interests more than corporate interests.

In order to achieve this (What I think will be a better Canada) we need a paradym shift in the direction our governments are taking. A change in how we view the relationship between rulers and the ruled. The government of Canada needs to govern the country not rule our lives. Our government should be protecting citizens before corporations. No one in Canada should go without food or shelter. 

I believe that we can change all of the above and make Canada the best place in the world once again. I believe that a new political will is moving through the world and Canada. 

The problem I see is that none of the political parties here are willing to divest themselves of their masters. We need a new political will to do what is right for the country not just some of the people living in it. We need a government who will do what is right for Canadians not just themselves. We need a new political party that will look out for Canadians before themselves.