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Defeating ISIL Will Be A Hollow Victory Indeed, If The Price To Be Paid Is The Loss Of Canada’s Democracy Or Worse At Its Own Hand


me.jpg2In Canada being ignorant of the law is no excuse for breaking it.  This rule applies to all Canadians including the government.  This means that if you break a law that you do not know about this will not stop you from being arrested for said crime, because it your duty as a Canadian citizen to keep reasonably informed and up to date about the laws that you live under. If you are planning to do something in business for example and you are not sure of the laws governing the legality of you are considering, you are required to seek out professional legal advice to ensure that you are not in violation of any laws of Canada before you begin whatever venture you are considering getting involved in. So I would ask what is up Canada with this strong, stable majority Conservative government’s inability to understand either Canadian or international law, or their out right refusal to adhere to either one?

I ask this  because in my opinion the Conservative Party of Canada which has a majority government and holds a majority in the senate believes that neither body of laws applies to them.  They have repeatedly forced through laws that will not pass constitutional mustard, because they violate the both the international safe guarded rights of all citizens of the world as well as the constitutional rights of  all Canadians. These court battles not only represent billions of wasted tax payer wasted dollars that could be avoided if the government first sought out and then took some legal advice before ramming legislation through parliament and into law, but also highlights their view that their majority status puts them above the laws of Canada and in fact entitles them to disregard it totally and change it according to their whim. Of course this attitude and method of creating policy has seen a record number of their new laws and changes to Canada’s old laws  stricken down on appeal to the Supreme court of Canada and also in the courts below it. Since there are a staggering amount of cases in which this has happened to this majority Conservative Party of Canada government, I will just offer these few examples of the latest in a string of key legal defeats for the government:

  1. The Federal Court of Canada ruled that cuts to health care for rejected refugee claimants were “cruel and unusual.” and gave the government four months to reverse the changes introduced in 2012.
  2. June: Supreme Court upholds privacy rights, ruling that internet service providers must not disclose names, addresses and phone numbers of their customers to law enforcement officials without a warrant. This expected to force the government to change bills on cyber bullying (C-13) and digital privacy (S-4) currently before Parliament.
  3. April: In a unanimous ruling, the high court affirmed that offenders can receive extra credit for time spent in custody before they are sentenced, a blow against the government’s Truth in Sentencing Act, which attempted to curb the practice by allowing it only in “exceptional” circumstances. The ruling, which was precedent-setting but did not strike down the law, gave judges the right to apply the extra credit for time served but did not reject the government’s limit of a 1.5 credit.
  4. March: March:  The Supreme Court strikes down section 10(1) of the Abolition of Early Parole Act, which tried to retroactively abolish accelerated parole for offenders who had already been sentenced as a violation of the offenders’ charter rights.
  5. September 2011: The Supreme Court ordered the federal minister of health to grant a Vancouver supervised injection clinic an exemption under Canada’s drug laws so it can remain open. The ruling gave the minister discretion to approve or deny future requests for exemptions, but required the government to balance public safety and charter rights when making the decision.

Is it so hard to believe that Canadians who used to believe that the idea of “democracy” and the phrase, “rule of law” really meant something are now becoming cynical of both and see neither really applying to the governance they are receiving from this government of Canada? Unfortunately in today’s Canada it would seem that the present government feels that the rules, principles and spirit of democracy can be sidestepped, ignored and rendered moot simply by their creation of new legislation. I believe that when a government continually rams through legislation that is constantly in violation of its citizens constitution and charter rights as this government is constantly trying to do that  it is guilty of leading its country away from it being able to lay claim to being  a democratically governed and a law-abiding country, because it is not enough to simply declare to be, a nation must also demonstrate their democracy and rule of law through its actions and treatment of every citizen equally and without prejudice. These are a few of the things that concern me and have me beginning to wonder if  Canada’s boast of being a supporter of democracy, human, civil and religious rights are still true:

  1. This government’s chipping and stripping away of more and more of our rights and freedoms that are the corner stones of Canadian democracy.
  2. This government’s mocking of  our democratic processes with its altering of the Canadian law with its creation of its “ministry of democratic reform.” I believe that this ministry was created by this party to change existing Canadian law that made the governments  continued violations of Canada’s election laws (which were  landing them in hot water). Instead of seeking all party consensus this government did as it has done on so many other occasions and simply rammed the legislation into law, by virtue of the majority they hold in all committees. (senate and parliamentary) The Canada Election Act of old was put in place to ensure fair elections for all political parties; this is not the case with the changes the Conservative Party of Canada has forced into law with their strop, stable majority government.
  3. This Conservative Party of Canada majority  government uses its majority  to force closure and shut down debate using time allocation at least 75 times in this parliament alone.
  4. I see this Conservative Party of Canada majority government refuse to consider and adopt even one amendment from any opposition party into any of their legislation.
  5. I see this Conservative Party of Canada use its majority to make irrelevant and fire the heads of parliamentary oversight agencies like, the head of Elections Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, The Privacy Commissioner, the Auditor General of Canada, just to name a few for doing their jobs.
  6. I see this government refuse to be transparent on anything that it is trying to accomplish, even withholding the cost of the war to degrade and eventually defeat ISIL which we as Canadians are paying for and have a right to know, but something that our allies freely given to their citizens and I great detail.
  7. I see the government passing laws that ask judges who are supposed to uphold the constitutional rights of all Canadians to ignore them if they are to by the police  the RCMP or CSIS

Some would argue that in  order to protect ourselves from terrorist attacks and the loss our, values, religion as well rights and freedoms that we must we must be willing to pay the price for this protection, namely:

  • Some loss of our right to privacy.
  • Some loss of legal rights for example (a)the right of an accused to face one’s accuser, (b)the right to have a judge examine all of the evidence of a case before him or her and decide on its merit and its legality and (c)the right to know that the judge has not allowed for the violation of you civil, human, Canadian Charter or constitutional rights.

I would suggest however that if the price of victory over ISIS is the loss of our rights and freedoms guaranteed us under the Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and all international act and treaties that Canada is supposed to be a willing participant in, then the price tag is too high. What good is there for Canadians if in saving Iraq from ISIL for instance and bringing democracy of a sort to that region for another we have to violate and ignore the fundamental principles of our own democracy? These principles that this majority Conservative government of Canada are doing an end run around  are the core values that comprise the very bedrock that supports and allows for our way of life for any governing party in Canada to try to do away with any of this core is to make us the same as any other people governed by a dictatorship, or authoritarian regime.

Canadians are allowing the Conservative Party of Canada to capitalize on the fear they are guilty of inciting in this country.  I believe that the Conservative Party of Canada has nothing against Muslims and could careless about the plight of Jews or Israelis whether in Canada, Israel or anywhere else in the world; both of these groups are just a means to a political end for the Conservative Party of Canada. I believe that the Conservative Party of Canada has and is still exploiting those fears to such a dangerous level. Canadians are suspicious  and leery of other Canadians and  so divided that the majority of Canadians are willingly being led down the slippery slope of  going along with things that we know are racist, non democratic and in fact have a lot in common with those of Adolf Hitler’s Germany and Joseph Stalin’s Russia.

Since the war on terror began after 9/11 I feel that it is us who call ourselves the civilised nations who have become more like the terrorist we claim we are fighting rather than they becoming more like us.  We are more like them than they have been made to be like us, for instance:

  • The RCMP,CSIS and the police will soon be able to  legally pick up a Canadian citizen and hold said person in a secret location for 7 days without charge, on the suspicion that they may be going to commit a terrorist act at sometime not known and somewhere not known against some one or some thing, again unknown. Does this not sound like what happens in those regimes that we are supposed to be trying to change and the others as strong or stronger than us militarily that we very vocally criticize?
  • The RCMP, CSIS and the police will now be able to spy on Canadian citizens, take down whatever they believe not posted in the best interest of the country without the knowledge of said citizen.  This to me smacks of anti freedom of speech and expression the, like we see in China and Russia for example where the state controls what is seen publicly and what is okay to express publicly.

ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and all the other organizations referred to as barbaric terrorist organisations do commit atrocities against women like kidnapping them and forcing them into marriages and the like, but these atrocities that I agree are despicable and need to be stopped unfortunately are all that separates them from the America led coalition, including Canada, this is what I mean:

  1. Both sides do violent, deplorable things to their captives  in order to extract information, or for some other advantage from them and both side have killed their captives.  ISIL out in the open and bragging and the American led coalition in secret and denying everything like in Guantanamo Bay.
  2. Both side knowingly target innocent civilians and consider their deaths and suffering as collateral damage again one side openly acknowledging and even bragging about and the other denying they do it at all.
  3. Both side say that they are right and are being threatened by the other and are only defending themselves and their very existence.
  4. Both sides now believe that it is okay to enter and cause war in a sovereign country without legal grounds. Although the prime minister and Jason Kenney  seem to believe that it is unlikely that Canada will be taken to court over violating international laws and that it is okay to do because the USA has been ding it for months without legally being  challenge by any international body where crossing over into to Syria to wage war on ISIL is concerned, does not make what Canada is doing legal, it simply puts them in the same illegal place as the terrorists they seek to degrade and defeat.(defiantly refusing to abide international law that gets in their way of accomplishing the political agenda)

What a hollow victory we Canadians will have won if we must lose all of what makes us Canadians to win the mission to degrade and hopefully defeat ISIL.

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This Is What Happens When You Give A Fawning Sycophant A Majority Government In Canada


We elected a prime minister who behaves more like the fawning sycophant Chester than like the prime minister of a independent government of a sovereign nation.

We elected a prime minister who behaves more like the fawning sycophant Chester than like the prime minister of an independent government of a sovereign nation.

What is up Canada? Stephen Harper promised Canadians that he would change Canada so much that Canadians would no longer be able to recognise their own country and I think that he unfortunately delivered on it. I think that Stephen Harper is and never was a proud Canadian, had no respect for Canadian law, or Canadian core values. I do not think any Canadian old enough to vote can say that this is the same Canada that Canadians and all nations of the world used to admire, trust and even envy. Written in this post are some of what I believe we used to be and how we were thought of, but  now have lost due to the changes to the very core of what it was to be a Canadian.  Canada used to be one of the only trusted players in the game of international affairs and we blew it, because Canada’s Chester (Stephen Harper), who shortly after being elected with a majority government, began  surrendering our sovereignty to his hero the USA; because the USA was so big and strong.

Thanks to Stephen Harper, Canada can no longer lay claim to being a fair-minded and neutral seeker of peaceful solutions; a supporter of only solutions  that are arrived at via the negotiation table with all stake holders present and participating, because Canada in my opinion is no longer neutral, or fair-minded.

  • Under the absolute rule of Stephen Harper Canadians will no longer going to be allowed to think, or speak any sentiments that are not in keeping with the governments point of view on the internet, especially where those views are contrary to what the government feels about Israel, or Christianity.
  • The new law fails to address the hateful views being espoused about Muslims and their faith, allowing them to be fair game. I believe that the law in spite Harper will protect Muslims if things get too far out of hand, but Stephen Harper has ensured with his laws that they will be forced to  just understand that: (a) It is members of their faith that are the terrorists. (b) That is just too hard to distinguish between the good Muslims and the bad Muslims, since the good Muslims refuse to cast of their religious garb. (c)They will of course be expected to be patient and understanding while the government stops them from traveling. (d) That it is they who the government will be targeting with their online and digital snooping laws. (e)Finally it is Muslims that will be asked to understand and be patient while they are insulted on the street, attacked on public transit and go through all manner of racial denigration., because this government has decided to make every person with or without mental issues, committing a violent acts against private citizens, security force members, or politician a  radicalized Canadian in the service of an either ISIS or another group it considers to be terrorists.
  • Under the governance of Stephen Harper Canada has unfortunately made it clear through his government’s rhetoric, policies, laws and actions that Canada is no longer interested in continuing in its historically respected  role as a peace broker, but has surrendered to the will of it allies to commit itself to the war against terrorism through the taking military actions on the behalf of those countries it supports, or sees as being important to itself and it allies strategically, or economically. Canada has joined its allies who decided long ago that the way to settle international disputes is not at the negotiating table, but instead preferring to use sanctions, embargoes and a show of military force instead. Embargoes and sanctions serve no other purpose then to achieve through a siege, one-sided unfair agreements that cannot be achieved through what used to be normal diplomatic channels.  As a nation through this government, we have chosen to ignore the suffering that is caused to the innocent people of the countries we are helping to put under siege and spout rhetoric to all who will listen about the importance of  saving  innocent lives unable to share in our values, preaching about the importance of bringing our beliefs and values to the non civilised world; in short what we are saying is that we have found some new savages to civilize, through rape and pillage and total assimilation to our way of life. Our government knows that a siege is designed to deprive a nation of their ability to provide for its people the  amenities of life needed for every day survival(food, medicine and other supplies) until the leader of the country under siege surrenders; but Canada does it anyway. I cannot see how anyone  would not see a siege for what it is which is a deliberate attempt to sabotage a country’s economy, undermine its legitimate government and  strip it of its sovereignty, under the guise of negotiations aimed at achieving a fair outcome for both sides of the dispute. How can Canada still lay claim to always seeking peaceful non violent solutions to problems when the first thing we do now under Harper rule is close down embassies in our country and abroad every time a tough dispute arises between a country will value as an ally, or asset with one we feel we do not have a lot or anything in common with?
  • Canada once considered country who had a conscience and a set of values of its own under the rule of Stephen Harper looks more like a cowardly bully, who will only stand up for what it believes in if the enemy is weaker militarily than it is, or if allies suggest it contribute to the struggle. Stephen Harper is quick to send Canadian military advisors, Canadian fighter jets to kill people with missiles and bombs into countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but like its allies are afraid to act with its military might in situations like: (a)The Ukraine vs. Russia conflict where Russia actually annexed Crimea a part of the sovereign Ukraine and is supporting financially and militarily the dismantling of Ukraine’s sovereignty as a nation by pro-Russian rebels. (b) The Hong Kong vs. China conflict where the free will of the people to vote in fair democratic elections is being denied them by the government of Hong Kong with the support of main land China and has the possibility of escalating into another Tiananmen Square. (c) No military intervention to end once and for all the constant instability in the world that the North Korea vs. South Korea conflict is causing. North Korea has actually threatened the USA and its allies and yet they have not been labeled terrorists as far as I know and the western alliance of which Canada is a member refuses to take action against it militarily.
  • It would seem that the only countries the Western Alliance is interested in fighting is those with a predominantly Muslim population; followers of the Islamic faith and that makes us now not only cowards something we could never be accused of before, but racist in our reasoning as well.
  • As I said earlier when I think of Canada and its relationship with the USA  I am reminded of the relationship between Looney Tune’s  cartoon characters “Spike and Chester”.  In this cartoon  a little dog named Chester would scamper around a big bulldog named Spike saying, “Can we Spike, huh, can we?” Spike would end up back handing little Chester, sending him reeling backwards. getting up visibly shaken Chester would say,” Spike is my hero, because he is so big and strong. “
  • Canada under the leadership of Stephen Harper has become a country only willing to stand up for human rights and freedoms abroad where it can be assured victory with little cost and where there is some economical or strategic benefit and only if instructed to do so by its allies.

Canada used to be the envy of the world for the rights and freedoms that all Canadians used to enjoy, respected for our values and sense of justice and loved for our generosity and compassion,  but I believe that thanks to Stephen Harper, that all of those things  are no longer true when talking of Canada.

  • Under the leadership of Stephen Harper the very fabric of this countries democracy and democratic processes have been made a mockery of and changed, in order to (a) enacting laws that removed any oversight that was put in place as a mechanism to ensure that the government’s executive powers did not overstep their bounds. (b)changing the way one can prove their eligibility to vote in federal elections in a deliberate  move to impede the ability of all Canadians eligible to vote to do so. (c) through what it calls its Fair Elections Act, remove any power the head of Elections Canada had to ensure that the government held fair elections and adhered to the rules, or was punished.
  • Stephen Harper only protects Christians and Jewish people in his laws against hate as is proven in legislation that he and his government draft and the speeches given by  his MP’s and ministers when talking about new legislation to prevent the ability of those on the internet from inciting hatred for Israel, Jews and Christians going as far as to seek arrest and prosecution for those actions, but no mention of penalties for inciting Islamophobia, or the hatred of any other culture, religion or ethnicity, for example. This is not this simply an oversight, this is in my opinion is intentional racism and what would never have happened pre Stephen Harper. When government made laws in the past concerning racism and hate crimes, it did not single out specific groups for special protection we included all groups in the umbrella of the protection.
  • We used to be compassionate as a nation helping those in distress from natural disasters and welcoming of refugees fleeing certain death in their own countries, but of late under the harper government is to discourage refugees from fleeing here and have put in place laws to imprison them should they arrive by sea. (This is a direct attack on fleeing Muslims as it is they in reason times who have been using this mode of transportation and it is they who this law was designed and implemented to deter).  If this is not bad enough Stephen Harper and his government are putting forward a law that would permit the provinces to deny refugees Welfare. How they are supposed to survive while they learn the language and get accustomed to where they now live is beyond me and seems rather mean-spirited at the least and not at all in keeping with our historical compassion and generosity.

It was interesting to see public Safety Minister, Steven Blaney, pretend that we all misunderstood him when he accused the Ottawa shooter of being a terrorist in league with ISIS, telling a reporter asking him why he called the shooter a terrorist, to look up the meaning of terrorist in the dictionary.  This is why I do not trust this government, but more importantly why I believe that this government has betrayed all Canadians and turned away from our core values and turned us into some kind of hateful Nazi like puppets. I know, how dare I say such a thing, but remember very soon in Canada I could be arrested for terrorism, being a terrorist sympathizer, found guilty without my accusers evidence going before a judge, tried in secret and sentenced to jail, by the government and its security agencies for daring to post this on the internet. The Nazis of Germany used the same tactics against the European Jews and look what happened when the people believed in the rhetoric and allowed the fear mongering of politicians make the accomplices in the deaths of over 6 million innocent Jewish men, women and children. Dare we compare us to them?

  • The government has decided to blame everything wrong with this country on radical Islamic thoughts and deeds whether they are born of real radicalization, or of some Canadian so displeased and feeling so trapped with no way out decided to act out violently against the government, or commit suicide in an effort to vent their anger and draw attention to a series of problems that they feel are being ignored and is hurting all Canadians.
  • The government is asking children to spy on their parents and their parents to spy on them as well as asking neighbor to spy on neighbor and then report anything they find to be suspicious activity to security officials.  This all to me sounds more like Nazi Germany, then the Canada that I grew up in.
  • The government is asking that their special police,(CSIS and the RCMP) be able to arrest and detain certain citizens based on suspicion of doing something wrong, or on a hunch that they intend to doing something wrong, without having the required proof to lay charges.
  • The government wants informants of CSIS never to enter a court room, or go before a judge to validate their accusations and so the accused does not get to face their accuser and could possibly end up deported, in jail, only to find out that the person doing the snitching had a grudge against the accused, or was coerced in some manner by the security agencies to give false evidence, was offered a deal by the government to collaborate evidence to get rid of a potentially aggravating, or embarrassing problem that a government would like to go away.
  • The government has decided to turn husband against wife and wife against husband, by forcing them to testify against one another with no regard for the impact this will have on marriages and relationships in Canada.
  • The government has decided to cease passports based on hunches rather than proof that would stand up in a court of law.
  • The government has decided to restrict the travel of Canadian citizens that it deems to be too dangerous to travel, without proof enough to lay charges that would stand up in a court of law.
  • The government has stated that it will punish radicalized Canadians who are going abroad to fight on the behalf of  others, such as what the government considers radical Islamic extremists or terrorists with jail time, possibly loss of citizenship and deportation, but does this apply to Canadian Jews who could be considered radicalized in some cases going abroad to fight for Israel in the Israeli army, or raising money to aid and abet anti Islamic thoughts of hatred, calling for the death of all Muslims, or is this law focussed solely on Muslims and those who would fight in their behalf. I remember Canadian Greeks going back to Greece to fight against the Turks, in today’s Canada would those Greeks be considered radicalized and punished?

In my opinion to get around all of this action it has already been caught doing illegally, this government has decided to do what it does anytime it is doing something illegal and unconstitutional; this government changes the law to support their position without benefit of meaningful debate, or consideration of it constitutionality so that innocent people are caught up in the political and judicial war, having their lives torn apart for years, only to be proven innocent, but with no way to seek legal remedy, or compensation, for all that was taken from them by the government.

There was a time not so long ago before Stephen Harper and his strong, stable, majority Conservative government came to power that:

  • Canadians could travel the world without fear of being attacked by anyone, because Canadians were loved and respected.
  • Canada never had to worry about home-grown terrorists, or terrorists attacks from abroad, because  Canada did not commit terrorist attacks in other countries prior to Stephen Harper.
  • Prior to Stephen Harper Canada donated its foreign aid with no strings attached. instead of only offering aid to those who can repay in some fashion, like trade deals, giving up their water rights or rights to other natural resources, like is the policy now. Canada used to welcome refugees instead locking them up in jail. In short Canada used to be to valuable as a friend to ever consider making an enemy of.
  •  Prior to Stephen Harper things like health care, homelessness and other domestic concerns relating to poverty took priority over balancing budget and although things were not perfect Canadians thought that they were being not only heard but that their basic needs were being met and when they were not that when they voiced their discontent that they were not ignored and their needs became the governments priority.
  • Prior to Stephen Harper killing one’s own soldiers, or taking up arms against one’s own country was considered treason, not terrorism.

I do not know if going back to our old Canada is a possibility anymore, but I think that we have got to try, because it some ways we were the sanity in all of the chaos; the light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of countries facing seemingly insurmountable problems. I think that Canada used to be one of the only trusted players in the game of international affairs and we blew it, because we elected a prime minister Spike’s, Chester, who surrender our sovereignty to his hero, because he was so big and strong and has been getting slapped by Spike ever since.  If there is to be any consolation it is that Chester one day does become the hero when Spike is proven to be not so brave, but merely an untested, untried bully.

First Nations Woman Asks of Steven Harper, How Long Must We Keep Doing This?

October 9, 2013 1 comment

Native Women's Assoiciation of Canada honouring the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.

Native Women’s Association of Canada honouring the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls.

Watching the eighth annual gathering in Ottawa, known as the Sisters in Spirit vigil I was deeply touched by first the question and then the statement of a young  First Nations woman. The young woman asked the question directed at the always absent Prime Minister of Canada, Steven Harper,  “How many more years do we have to keep coming and protesting on the hill to get action and justice for the over 600 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada? The young woman directed her statement also to the always absent Prime Minister of Canada Steven Harper when she stated, “We will keep right on coming back until we get justice for them!”  This the 8th such annual Sisters in Spirit vigil held here, was just 1 of 216 vigils held across the country and abroad.  I can see what these mothers, sisters and grandmothers want of Steven Harper who is a father with a daughter, so why can’t he?

Asking For Justice Again in 2012

Asking For Justice Again in 2012

I was on Capital Hill February 14 2012 for the last annual gathering of First Nation’s Women, Men and children who were standing in the cold praying, pleading and demanding and end to the practice of passing the buck and out right ignoring of the fact that over 600 aboriginal women have disappeared off the face` of the earth, or have been murdered across Canada and not one police force be it local, provincial or RCMP think that this is odd enough to use statistical analysis  to help get to the bottom of this and seem quite satisfied to leave these all as cold case files and unsolved mysteries.  Now this may seem all right to the police, the government and even some Canadians, but it is obvious that it is not okay with the mothers, fathers family and friends of these missing or murdered ladies, because they keep trying and showing up every year and say they will keep on doing it. Why is it that not one person in the government of Canada in the last 8 years at least seems to be able to muster the political will to do anything about it in terms of mounting an investigation directed at solving the mystery behind this tragedy?  We can all acknowledge that it is not Steven Harper’s fault alone that this travesty exists, but it is his fault that he allows this travesty of justice to continue when he could do something about it while he holds a strong, majority Conservative government.  I applaud the opposition parties for making their heart-felt tear jerking speeches, but I would say that in all cases when they had the chance to do something for these women and their families they all ignored the issues, or there would be no need for this protest today.  These deaths and disappearances have been happening since the 60’s there is not one provincial, territorial, civic, or federal party that does not bear the shame of talking but doing nothing for these people.  It is interesting to see the emotional leader of the NDP Tom Mulcair saying things like,

  • “The number of women in the Ottawa area is the same number of native women in Canada”. “If you heard that 600 women were murdered or missing in Ottawa do you think we’d have to have demonstrations to get an inquiry?”
  • That the rally was about reminding Canadians that missing aboriginal women is an injustice all Canadians need to address

but what does this mean in real terms for the families of the missing and murdered women?

bloodtribe_jpeg_size_xxlarge_letterboxWe can all gather at these type of events, pretend to be honorary members of a First Nation Tribe, pretend to give a damn for the day and then go on with business as usual until the next year until once again we don our tear streaked, shameful masks and pretend to care, but that is not what I think these mothers and family members want.  What I think they want is action, an investigation and answers, so that they can stop coming and protesting and finally find closure in this heart breaking struggle.  I think that they would like to lay their love ones to rest knowing  in their hearts and minds that after they have done all that they can for their missing and murdered loved ones and that they finally have succeeded to have the injustices of their children’s loss of life dealt with respectfully, with dignity and with a sense of rightness that they deserve and can no longer fight for  themselves.  In other words talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words. Oh it is nice to have a prominent member of a party, especially the leader of a political party stand up and publicly say that they understand you and are with you, but that alone is just  political photo opt seeking, if the fight for them and for you dies the minute they leave the podium and I think that is what is happening, or why are these protest still needing to go on, with all of the seemingly political will that is out there?

Asking For justice again in 2012

Asking For justice again in 2012

As I said earlier in 2012 I was in Ottawa down for the ice sculpture exhibition and decided to take a few pictures of parliament hill and walked into what I think was the 7th Sisters in Spirit vigil.  I was of course aware of the fact  that aboriginal girls going missing off the reserves in Quebec, near Montreal, because of the posters and billboards, but I had no idea how many unsolved cases where aboriginal girls were missing  and murdered there were, for how long this had been going on, (since the 1960’s)  and that this problem was right across Canada.  I learned this in 5 minutes standing there looking at the posters, listening to the opening prayer.  I have never personally done anything to harm or injure an aboriginal person in word or deed, but that day standing there with those people I felt guilty and ashamed for not knowing enough and in my ignorance having done nothing to help bring their fight out into the open.  If you do not know then you can not help and not knowing enough about something like this is not an accident; it is not finding it important enough to follow-up on; it is believing whether consciously or subconsciously that the problem is not yours and so not really a priority; something best left to them to deal with.

The relatives of the missing and murdered aboriginal girls and women want to know how long must they do this vigil, before they get action?

The relatives of the missing and murdered aboriginal girls and women want to know how long must they do this vigil, before they get action?

I think what we are missing in all of this is that these people are tired of remembering the problem that has existed for too long and want answers and solutions to stop what is still happening when it comes to the many abuses that end up in death and the mysterious disappearing of aboriginal girls.  It is not enough for the RCMP to repeat year after year that they do not keep the type of statistics that would put an accurate count to how many of these unsolved, unresolved cases there really are in Canada. “The exact number remains a mystery. The RCMP says it does not collect data on the ethnicity of missing women.”  Why not this has been an issue since the 1960’s and it is not going to go away so why is it that the RCMP refuses to collect the appropriate data I wonder? Is it afraid that once that type of information is on paper that the public will notice some disturbing trends that if revealed in actual statistical proof could put them in a not so good light?

Asking For Justice   Again In 2012

Asking For Justice
Again In 2012

As I watched I understood for the first time how frustrating it must be; how demoralising it must be to get to a point where you know that your protest will get you absolutely nowhere in terms of a solution to your problem, no matter what is agreed upon; no matter what promises are made, because the only person that can make the call to make things right will never come to the table, because they see the spilled blood of your ancestors, the spilled blood of your children and the disappearance of your children, as not their problem.  To come year after year and be seen as only a reminder that someone should be doing something and knowing by past example that nothing will and not having the choice to do anything else, must cause one’s blood to boil.  I begin to understand the statement now that it is hard for first Nations people to get the rest of Canadians to see them as human beings.  I believe that if 600 other Canadians went either missing, or were being murdered since 1960, the RCMP would have had the statistics and their would have been a full-blown official investigative inquires into the matter.  There seems to be a conscious feeling of so what it isn’t my problem and it isn’t my fault when it comes to the many injustices and hardships that the people of the First Nations face everyday, because of the dishonorable, way we have not held up our obligations concerning treaty rights and land claims.

Ambassador Golberg nAn article in the Canadian Press reads, “Canada’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Elissa Golberg, said, “Canada is proud of its human-rights record, and our peaceful and diverse society,” Golberg told the one-hour session. While no society is entirely free of discrimination, she noted, Canada has “a strong legal and policy framework for the promotion and protection of human rights, and an independent court system.” Canada rejected a series of resolutions calling on Canada to undertake sweeping national reviews of violence against aboriginal women. Goldberg said Canada takes the issue seriously and that provincial and local governments are better suited to getting results on those issues.”  In Toronto, Teresa Piruzza, the Ontario minister responsible for women’s issues, expressed disappointment, saying it is “really a national issue.”  It is this type of denial and refusal to admit our mistakes that does not allow us as a nation to fix the problem and move forward.   Rejecting the truth when you hear it does not make you clean it only serves to prove your ignorance, in my opinion.

Where in all of the emblems around the Centennial Flame are those of the First Nations?

Where in all of the emblems around the Centennial Flame are those of the First Nations?

This picture to me demonstrates what is wrong with our way of thinking when it comes to how we think about the rights of our First Nations People.  It makes the claim that it represents all of the provinces and territories that were in confederation as of 1967, but nowhere on there are the First Nations People of Canada represented. They are not and cannot be considered to be, because they were never asked.   I believe we have always looked at the First Nations People as something that we inherited with the land during our colonization of it, like the air, water, soil and the animals found on it, flying above it and swimming in it.  I do not think that our founding fathers considered the people living here as human beings deserving or entitled to own the  land, but were just another species of mentally superior animal roaming the land along with the others. I am saying that we as a people did not then, and do not  now consider First Nations people  capable of taking care of their own affairs and have always and continue to talk to them and treat them as though they were some mentally handicap wards of ours that we feel obligated to take care of, speak for and make decisions for, despite their protestations and the proof that they can do all that for themselves. If we did consider these people as our equals with the same rights as we have than how do we justify not only our past behaviour, but the behaviour of our present towards them?   On what premise could we come to this land find them living here and just move in and take it for our own? If all of this was a mistake of our forefathers and we acknowledge this as we did and we claim to have changed, than how can we continue to treat First Nations as if they do not have rights; denying them what is in the treaties, denying them access to the courts to fight for themselves, denying them their lands and their right to exist as nations to nation with us, sharing one body of land as we agreed to do?  Why for instance do we look harder for our missing pets and show more care about how and why they died  than we do about the 600 missing and murdered  aboriginal girls?

box2_1100100014610_eng nSaying it isn’t so and thumbing our noses at the United Nations when they say that we are guilty of ill treating the aboriginal people of this country instead of doing something about it makes us little more than hypocrites every time we interfere in a sovereign country’s business using the justification that they are mistreating and violating their populations rights.  We are in fact no better than those we drop bombs on, throw blockades  around, and enforce embargos on  reducing their economies to shambles causing senseless suffering of the people we say we are there to help. When we look at the struggle of our First Nations people to get even the most basic needs that most Canadians take for granted, who are we as a nation and with what justification do we invade and occupy the lands of others? Are those leaders, those countries not justified in calling us hypocrites? I got to ask all Canadians what is up Canada?  This picture depicts another part of the problem.  It makes the claim that giving the First Nations their right to govern themselves as independent nations can only be done if they first promise to abide by all of the laws we have set in place and that they had no consultation and no participation in the making of.  It is kind of like saying that as a country we will grant them everything that they are entitled to by treaty and by land claims, but first they must promise in advance not to avail themselves of their rights, because the availing themselves of their rights will inconvenience us. It is as if we are saying as a nation that we will grant them their freedom, because we know that slavery is wrong, but before we as a nation will be willing to do that, they the people of the First Nations must agree in writing to continue to allow us to make all of their decisions for them and they must adhere to the relationship that we have develop over the years.  Is it not time that we stop stealing from these people who graciously offered to share their lands with us? Isn’t it time we stopped humiliating and subjugating these people who so graciously offered to share their lands with us? Isn’t time we started to see these people as our equals and give them what was agreed upon, but we never delivered on by treaty. Finally is it not time that we show by actions and not just in words that these are not a conquered people but a nation of people who entered into negotiations and signed treaties with another nation making our relationship nation to nation not conquered to victorious, by honoring our treaty obligations unconditionally?  If not I would ask how can you expect the people of the First Nations to sit down and negotiate a deal with a people who have proved themselves to be not honourable and unable to live up to the bargains they have already agreed to?  So in closing I as once again,”What is up Canada?

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