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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

An Urgent Crisis?

Its pretty clear where the Con's stand regarding the ever increasing threat to life as we know it on this planet we call Earth for all 63 of them in the House of Commons voted AGAINT a motion declaring a national climate emergency.

The motion describes climate change as a "real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity," notes how it is impacting Canadians, and states the need to pursue clean growth methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The House has voted to “declare that Canada is in a national climate emergency which requires, as a response, that Canada commit to meeting its national emissions target under the Paris Agreement and to making deeper reductions in line with the Agreement's objective of holding global warming below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius."

Not 24hrs later we have this....
Well, that puts an end to any Liberal pretensions of being a progressive party. No progressive would have done what they did today - green light the Trans-Mountain (Trudeau Memorial) pipeline expansion.
The hilarious part is that the announcement came just hours after the House of Commons passed a motion declaring Canada is in a climate emergency. The Tories voted against it, the Liberals waited almost a day to trample all over it.

I suspect it will all be sorted out at the ballot box come September (as it always is) but which way that is going to go is anybody's guess, it seems this 'poll' asking about voter intentions says much the same,

Accessible Voters – Asked whether they would consider voting for each of the federal parties, 44.3 per cent would consider voting Liberal, while 43.6 per cent of Canadians say they would consider voting Conservative. Four in ten (38.4%) would consider voting NDP, 37.0 per cent would consider voting Green, 8.1 per cent would consider voting for the People’s Party and 30.0 per cent would consider voting for the BQ.

I don't know about 'considering' voting Green, I think perhaps it has now become essential, they cannot perform miracles but at least they are more aware of the challenges facing us than the others seem to be.

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Long Hours & Many Miles

“The hours are long, the workload can be overwhelming. The people you work for don't always like you and, after four years, they can fire you without saying why.” so says the opening commentary in a recent article highlighting the retirement of some Mps this coming fall.

"I didn't realize just the amount of time it would take away from the family," said Rodger Cuzner (Liberal, Cape Breton—Canso). "That that was probably the greatest surprise, but it's one that comes with taking on the responsibility and taking on the job." Cuzner had a gruelling travel schedule: up at 4 a.m. on Mondays to catch a flight to Ottawa, midnight arrivals back home in Cape Breton at the end of the week, criss-crossing his rural riding on weekends to attend community events. "It's all-consuming," he said.

Retiring MP Brad Trost (Conservative, Saskatoon—University) who endured a similar weekly commute between Ottawa and Saskatoon, said he was surprised by the daily grind of parliamentary business. "I had the vision that there was going to be a lot of meetings. I just had no clue how many meetings there would be," said Trost. "We do meetings beyond meetings, and meetings about meetings here in Ottawa."

What struck me most I not so much the long hours and endless meeting required in legislature business by the job, that is perhaps a greater burden than many of us who are not involved first hand realize but after what appears to be long days of such activities for SOME Mps their week then is book-ended by traveling time to and from their home riding and family. From Cape Breton to Saskatoon to Kootenay to the Northwest Territories these MPs must put in many hours commuting back and forth to Ottawa where some of the fellow MPs are just a relativly short travel time away.

It strikes me that there is room for more use of virtual commuting where by distant representatives can attend meetings and even the proceedings in The House by teleconferencing, Sure there will be times when personal face to face meetings are necessary but surely given the way many world wide bushiness operate nowadays daily face to face meetings are more traditional than necessary? Many such meetings are already broadcast where such discussions are public and the technology exists to have private or semiprivate discussions in the virtual reality world, such accommodation would free up our MPs to be more responsive to and have a better understanding of their local populations concerns.

Perhaps by the time the renovations to the House of Commons are complete the whole place will be but a museum where tour guides can say “Once upon a time this was where MPs traveled hundreds of miles just to listen to the government and opposition argue about who said what to whoom.”

Just asking!

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Sunday, June 9, 2019

List of List's, Cuts, cuts, cuts....

Ontario Premier Mr Frord has said he is on a mission to 'reduce waste' by any means possible (except by removing himself) and he most certainly is reducing the programs and supports available to us peons that rely upon government to help for everything from health and welfare to education to environmental protection and many more 'essential services', much of which is now apparently deemed 'non essential'.

A number of organizations, journalists and individuals have been attempting to document all the cuts to services, departments, organizations and government funding in general that have taken place 'For the people' in the last year under this new dictatorial regime some of which I will list below. Many of you who are not in thrall by the conservative mindset will have seen one or more of these ever expanding lists which will now increase quietly behind shuttered legislature door until the very end of October AFTER the upcoming federal election. Those of us with a cynical bent (and that includes myself) would agree with those who have said that such a long summer break is designed to assist his buddy and fellow right wing ideologue Andrew Scheer by seemly not pissing off more folks that might otherwise make the mistake of supporting that piece of work.

I think it more probable that he simply wants to stay away from ANY accountability for his actions past, present AND future by governing from behind closed doors where we will hear of what longstanding 'services' have been removed by edict over the summer after the fact …... Ontario you have just been screwed by an expert who appears to rule by antagonism as one observer put it!

Anyway if you have not read any of The Lists here are a few but I would suggest you dont inhale unless you want to overdose and end up on the floor screaming and kicking....

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Friday, June 7, 2019

The uncountable Ontario 'government' !

“The Ontario Progressive Conservative government plans to adjourn the House for an extended summer break on Thursday, in a move that would leave Queen’s Park empty until after the next federal election.
The Ford government will table a motion on Thursday to extend the summer break to Oct. 28, more than a month longer than the original return date of Sept. 6.
“Since June 7th, 2018, the Ontario government has moved at an unprecedented pace,” it said in the statement.

No friggin kidding, something akin to a mad man with a machete running wild among us poor natives who were desperately trying to hang on to the few supports available or those not on Frords elite list.

They have been governing like a dictatorship right from the start , now they can go another three months without even the semblance of any accountability whist bombarding us with lies and BS and promoting the equally corrupt federal Con artists...

What me biased? You better believe it, and my previous days of measured and reasonable commentary are over, I am now thoroughly pissed at the state of politics in Canada and more particularly in Ontario and such will be reflected in future 'rants' on these pages.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Are these 'senators NUTS?

I have returned briefly to tell these mostly Conservative Albertan Senators to get their collective heads out of their collective arse's ... do they really think a few dollars in a few Alberta pockets will compensate for the destruction of the flora and fauna of the west coast that will result from the first inevitable major spill. Never mind the cost of the impossible clean up, the economic cost to the area (oh wait you don't give a shit, its not your area), Never mind the death of irreplaceable sea life that is already threatened world wide.

Read on if you can stomach it!

A federal ban on tanker traffic off British Columbia’s north coast has been defeated in a Senate committee, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead in the water.

On a 6-6 vote, the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications recommended not to proceed with the controversial Bill C-48.

The federal Liberals’ bill, otherwise known as the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, would ban tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude or persistent oil from stopping or unloading along B.C.’s northern coast.

Senator Doug Black said the development was “a good day for Alberta and for Canada.”

The committee voted 6-6 to to reject recommending the bill. Because of the tie vote, the recommendation failed.

Alberta independent senator Paula Simons voted against it, along with five Conservative senators. Five other independents and one self-identified Liberal voted in favour.
Canadian oil industry.

Conservatives in the Senate said voting down the bill is a win for Canada’s energy industry, leaving open the possibility of exporting Canadian oil from northern B.C. ports.
Despite the recommendation, the bill is not dead yet. The Senate still must vote on the bill.

The legislation has already passed in the House of Commons but not in the Senate.

Extracted from https://globalnews.ca/news/5282395/senate-committee-recommendation-against-bill-c48-oil-tanker-ban/

Senators ... go take a swim in an Alberta tailing pond and then come back and tell us how little risk there is to allowing massive tankers to traverse this narrow and challenging, largely unpolluted navigational waters

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