The Media Co-op

Local Independent News

More independent news:
Do you want free independent news delivered weekly? sign up now
Can you support independent journalists with $5? donate today!
Not reviewed by Media Co-op editors. copyeditedfact checked [?]

11 facts from 2011 that should change Canada

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Prime Minister or a King?
Prime Minister or a King?

I chose to limit the facts in this article to 11 for 2011. However, it is with great sorrow that I admit I had to work hard to choose my 11 facts from the many others that are worthy of attention since our majority government – with 39% of the votes- took power. I tried to keep the facts as diverse as possible, but they are subjective and based on my involvement with the issues and the extent to which they affected me. They are not be any means exclusive, comprehensive or of the most impact. They do, however, represent the government’s priorities, that are not in the interest of the environment, minority groups or the general population.

1. Lobbying internationally on behalf of the polluting tar sands industry at the UN climate negotiations in Durban and lobbying the EU countries to vote against listing the tar sands oil under the more polluting than conventional oil in their fuel Directive.  The government also was the first to abandon the  Kyoto Protocol. These are just a glimpse of the climate related atrocities committed by this government.

2. Even though crime rates in Canada are steadily decreasing, the government recently approved its Crime Bill. This is an imprudent move and has been heavily criticized; even conservatives from Texas are warning from experience that this approach does not work. This is a bill that will create a minimum two years of mandatory sentencing, further inconvenience marginalized groups and people with mental illness and spend millions on building massive prisons to trap people who don’t belong there which will only create more criminals.

Luckily, opposition is growing and it is not too late to stop this bill from passing the Senate.

3. Harperization of the government. Yes! Bureaucrats have been ordered to replace the words “Government of Canada” on press releases and backgrounders to “Harper Government”. This breaches communications policy and the civil service ethics.

4. Attempting to close down Insite which is the only safe injection site in the country, based in Vancouver that aims to provide a safe space for drug addicts, health care treatments and community support. Luckily, a unanimous ruling from the Supreme Court stated that closing down this facility is a violation of the Charter of Rights and freedoms.

5. Supporting the tar sands domestically, by approving a $9 billion tar sands project without a proper environmental assessment. Meanwhile, Harper and Kent are publicly defending the tar sands, labelling them as ethical oil and hiding numerous warnings on the industry’s devastating environmental impacts.

6. Assigning senate seats to losing MP candidates against all the principles of democracy. Not only our system allows a government to gain a majority with only 39% of the votes, but it also gives this government the right to appoint selected defeated candidates to the Senate.

7. Scrapping the long-gun registry and destroying all its records.  The registry keeps record of all guns owners and is a useful tool to help police in crime investigations. This means that people can own guns with absolutely no records. Here are some relevant statistics related to the registry.

8. Spending billions to secure Parliament Hill. It was once said that Canada will preserve its democracy for as long as Parliament Hill is accessible to protesters and the public in general to voice their opinions and concerns. This vague proposal, announced on December 29th, to spend $8.6 million on barricades for security reasons. While this might sound harmless, it does limit access to Parliament and it I cannot help but wonder if “security” includes the democratic right to free speech.    

9. Killing the wheat board monopoly that stabilizes the price of wheat and ensures farmers are paid fairly for their products. This move went ahead despite a Federal Court ruling it illegal for failing to consult with farmers. 

10. Budget cuts to Environment Canada and environmental networks: The government cut Environment Canada’s budget by $222.2 million, eliminating 1211 jobs over the next three years, largely from the Clean Air Division. This means less scientists and less research on climate and air pollution, not to mention cuts in jobs related to water resources and waste management. Moreover, the government eliminated funding to environmental networks across the country making any form of “moderate” environmental organising or connections between communities on the issue more difficult.

11. Eliminating public financing of political parties. The government quickly reversed the law that allows political parties to be publicly financed during the elections, making it more difficult for parties with little or no wealthy supporters to exist.

Those are 11 examples of many of what the government is doing to change the political nature of Canada. I hope you get to reflect on the current situation, and maybe get you to do something about it. 

Want more grassroots coverage?
Join the Media Co-op today.
775 words
Join the media co-op today
Things the Media Co-op does: Support
Things the Media Co-op does: Report
Things the Media Co-op does: Network
Things the Media Co-op does: Educate
Things the Media Co-op does: Discover
Things the Media Co-op does: Cooperate
Things the Media Co-op does: Build
Things the Media Co-op does: Amplify

Connexion utilisateur

Subscribe to the Dominion $25/year

The Media Co-op's flagship publication features in-depth reporting, original art, and the best grassroots news from across Canada and beyond. Sign up now!