A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Israel V Palestine

The conflict between these two peoples has been going on for decades and I will not pretend to understand the history of how they reached the point where so many of a civilian population came to be slaughtered or displaced with so little accountability. I will just say that it is a sickness that seems to be spreading across the globe and I fear for the future of mankind not just where conflict is now ongoing but world wide in general. Read on and if you are not bothered you are not listening!

Israel declared war after Hamas gunmen stormed across the border on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking some 240 hostages. More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's war to destroy Hamas and more than 53,000 have been wounded, according to health officials in Gaza, a besieged territory ruled by the Islamic militant group for the past 16 years. ….............

Israel's offensive has been one of the most devastating military campaigns in recent history, displacing nearly 85% of Gaza's 2.3 million people and leveling wide swaths of the tiny coastal enclave. More than half a million people in Gaza — a quarter of the population — are starving, according to a report this week from the United Nations and other agencies. ….......

Israel says it has killed thousands of Hamas militants, including about 2,000 in the past three weeks, but has not presented evidence. It says 139 of its soldiers have been killed in the ground offensive.....................

From https://www.cbsnews.com/news/israel-hamas-war-gaza-airstrikes-southern-offensive/

Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people[a] in whole or in part.

In 1948, the United Nations Genocide Convention defined genocide as any of five "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group".


War is an intense armed conflict[a] between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias.


You decide, I know where I stand!

Merry bloody Christmas........

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Friday, January 13, 2023

Re Ontario Green Belt Reduction

I can but say that I share these concerns and the following communication from ALL the Ontario opposition parties says it all.......

Bonnie Lysyk
Office of the Auditor General of Ontario
20 Dundas St. W., Suite 1530
Toronto, ON  M5G 2C2

January 11, 2023

Dear Ms. Lysyk,

Over the last few months, we have independently raised concerns with the government’s decision to remove 7,400 acres of land from the Greenbelt to allow for development on what was protected land. Today, we are writing to you together to ask that your office conduct a value-for money audit and an assessment of the financial and environmental impacts of the government’s decision to remove lands from the Greenbelt and repeal the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve Act.

The removal of protections from these lands has instantly shifted wealth to property owners, who have likely benefited substantially from the rezoning of this land from undevelopable agricultural land to developable land. For example, about 4,500 of the 7,400 acres of Greenbelt land formerly belonged to the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve (DRAP) and had easements protecting the land as farmland in perpetuity under the DRAP Act. These easements represented a multi-billion-dollar public investment in Ontario's natural and agricultural systems by the people of Ontario, who gave up enormous profits when the Ontario government sold these lands at discounted prices on the condition that they forever remain farmland. The removal of these easements means these speculative profits will now flow to private landowners, with no compensation to the public.

Removing protections from the DRAP lands also has potential environmental impacts. These lands are adjacent to Rouge National Urban Park, and Parks Canada has raised concerns that the removal of protections would have a detrimental impact on park lands and the local ecosystem. In their submission to the provincial government, Parks Canada wrote, “there is a probable risk of irreversible harm to wildlife, natural ecosystems and agricultural landscapes within Rouge National Urban Park.”

Hundreds of concerned Ontarians and stakeholders shared similar concerns through the Environmental Bill of Rights consultation process. The consultation showed broad opposition to the government’s decision to remove land from the Greenbelt, including concerns regarding anticipated negative environmental impacts. Many groups identified that the Greenbelt plays an important role in Ontario’s ability to address climate change and emphasized the importance of protecting natural areas.

Given the strong likelihood of negative impacts on the environment, we are requesting your office investigate the environmental impact of the removal of these Greenbelt lands on agricultural and natural systems. Additionally, we are requesting a value-for-money audit investigating how much public wealth has been transferred to property owners and whether these land transactions are in the public interest.

Collectively, we are very concerned with the impact that the removal of these Greenbelt lands will have on the future well-being of our province. We thank you for your time in reviewing our request and would be happy to meet with you and your team to further discuss our concerns.


Marit Stiles, MPP John Fraser, MPP Mike Schreiner, MPP
Incoming Leader
Ontario NDP
Interim Leader
Ontario Liberal Party
Ontario Green Party



source: media release, Ontario Green Party


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Sunday, January 1, 2023

A Life of Learning.......

 After 75 plus years of life learning on this planet we call Earth the last 40 or so with a computer of one kind or another on my desk, almost 20 of those with the ability to share my thoughts on that newfangled thing call the 'internet', I thought it was time to take stock of my life. I suspect that given the necessary reduction of interaction with others outside of close family over the last year or more during the Covid thing that many folks much younger than I are rethinking their place in this world.

Some folks who have deeply religious or political convictions may have retreated into those polarizing beliefs, certainly many of our neighbors south of the border seem to be heading in that direction and demonstrating the danger of not thinking for ones self and following the heard. Personally I have never had strong political or religious beliefs except to think that perhaps a blind belief in either one (or both) may do more harm than good. This is not to say that we do not need a stable governing system and our democratic one is IMO about the best, but when it becomes too polarised and confrontational it defeats its purpose.

Much the same can be said of religion, although I can hardly speak authoritatively about it only recently having found that there is a definition of my 'beliefs' (or lack thereof), not that I am much for 'labels' the following sums up my thoughts fairly accurately

Humanists believe that human experience and rational thinking provide the only source of both knowledge and a moral code to live by, they reject the idea of knowledge 'revealed' to human beings by gods.

Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities.

Most humanists would agree with the ideas below:

  • There are no supernatural beings.

  • The material universe is the only thing that exists.

  • Science provides the only reliable source of knowledge about this universe.

  • We only live this life - there is no after-life, and no such thing as reincarnation.

  • Human beings can live ethical and fulfilling lives without religious beliefs.

  • Human beings derive their moral code from the lessons of history, personal experience, and thought.

Humanists reject the idea or belief in a supernatural being such as God. This means that humanists class themselves as agnostic or atheist. Humanists have no belief in an afterlife, and so they focus on seeking happiness in this life.

Apparently I may be an atheist but not an agnostic (damn labels again eh).......

An atheist doesn't believe in a god or divine being. ... However, an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it's impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist.

I am not sure about that last bit for we learn more and more about the universe around us as our scientific and technical ability evolves, will we ever know all there is to know ...not a chance, but lets keep looking and sharing our finds with all of mankind. I don't know about 'divine beings' whatever the definition of those are, but I am totally convinced that other intelligent beings exist in the universe both less evolved than us and much greater. The question remains whether we manage to evolve much more before we destroy the ability of our world to support the life that developed from space dust over millions of years. Intelligent human beings, there are days when I start to wonder!

What may you ask brought on this introspective, my small handful of regular readers will know I have had very little to say on these pages in the past year or so, its not that I have nothing to say, for even if our situation federally is reasonably stable (for just a short while longer by the look of things) there is more than enough disasters building provincially in various governments across our country to comment upon. Its more that as I gradually move into my dotage I find that my mind outruns my ability to get my thoughts down on paper (actually on computer, my expressions are as old as my body) before have forgotten what I was going to say. I suspect this happens to most 'old' folks sooner or later and we know that for some folk it deteriorates into a total loss of memory and thinking skills, I sure hope I am not headed there and don't think I am but am acutely aware that I am not as 'sharp' as I was 5 years ago. I am sure my major stroke back then, from which I had 'a miraculous recovery' over the following year, has quite a bit to do with both my current thinking and what I view as my gradual inability to 'find' the right words at times.

I will leave you with this thought which sums things up quite nicely......

There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.
Donald Rumsfeld:

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