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, September 10, 2022

Rural ERs on Life Support.

Life-saving efforts highlight importance of rural ERs, says Clarenville doctor

There was an explosion at the refinery in Come By Chance, about 45 kilometres down the Trans-Canada Highway on the isthmus of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula. Eight people were injured, some critically.

What followed was an event that experts say had the potential to overwhelm emergency services in even the busiest cities in Canada, but it was handled swiftly by a collaboration of paramedics, firefighters, pilots and staff, centred on a small eight-bed emergency department in Clarenville. 


I cannot help but wonder how many of our small rural hospitals across SW Ontario and elsewhere would have handled such an emergency. With the hospitals in many community's closed to emergency's due to staff shortages and even mothers expecting an imminent birth being told to travel an hour or more to one of the larger facilities it is clear that something must be done to retain and recruit nursing staff and rural physicians.

Ask the folks in Wingham, Listowel, Chesley, Clinton, St. Marys, Seaforth, Mount Forest, Chesley and even Listowel and many other areas how they feel about not knowing if their local emergency Dept will be available if and when needed.....

Kinda make one want to move to Newfoundland dont it, way to go Clarenville!

Update, the above is even more remarkable given that ........

As doctor shortages force numerous emergency room closures in Newfoundland and Labrador, Eastern Health says it has put extra stress on emergency departments in the capital city.

In a statement, the health authority says both the Health Sciences Centre and St. Clare's Mercy Hospital in St. John's are dealing with "unprecedented pressures resulting in long wait times for patients."



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Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Weakening of Democracy.

 “One of the biggest reasons for the weakening of democracy is the profound change that’s taken place in how we communicate and consume information,” Barack Obama, April 21 2022

In his presentation at Stanford University on Thursday, former U.S. President Barack Obama presented his audience with a stark choice: “Do we allow our democracy to wither, or do we make it better?” Having in a small way over the last decade tried to do my small part in protecting and promoting our Canadian democracy via my writings on these pages but now in my dotage and finding it hard to find the words to express my concerns with where our democratic institutions both here and elsewhere across the world are headed I can but offer a few more of Obama's words for consideration.

One of the biggest reasons for the weakening of democracy is the profound change that’s taken place in how we communicate and consume information,” he said. “Do we allow our democracy to wither, or do we make it better?” Obama asked. “That is the choice.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine "isn't happening in a vacuum, autocrats and aspiring strongmen have become emboldened around the globe. They're actively subverting democracy. They're undermining hard-won human rights. They're ignoring international law."

"Right here in the United States of America," Obama continued, "we just saw a sitting president deny the clear results of an election and help incite a violent insurrection at the nation's Capitol. Not only that, but a majority of his party, including many who occupy some of the highest offices in the land, continue to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the last election and are using it to justify laws that restrict the vote and make it easier to overturn the will of the people in states where they hold power."

But not all problems we’re seeing now are an inevitable byproduct of this new technology. They’re also the result of very specific choices, made by the companies that have come to dominate the internet generally, and social media platforms in particular. Decisions that intentionally or not have made democracies more vulnerable,” “At the end of the day the internet is a tool, social media is a tool. At the end of the day tools don’t control us. We control them. And we can remake them,” Obama said. 

The phrase that got my attention and encouraged me to post this commentary was his description of what is happening mostly via 'social media, that being “ flooding a country’s public square with enough raw sewage that citizens no longer know what to believe,” The full quote, with which as a non subscriber to any 'social media' I fully agree with, follows......

People like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, and Steve Bannon for that matter, understand it’s not necessary for people to believe this information in order to weaken democratic institutions. You just have to flood a country’s public square with enough raw sewage. You just have to raise enough questions, spread enough dirt, plant enough conspiracy theorizing, that citizens no longer know what to believe,” Obama said. (Bannon is a former strategist for former President Trump.)

Once they lose trust in their leaders, mainstream media, in political institutions, in each other, the possibility of truth — the game’s won,” he added.

Enough said, unfortunately I have been unable to post a link to the full text of his speech as I have been unable to find a printed transcript !

Update... Here is a link to a transcript, well worth readung as democracy is indeed under attack!


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Sunday, March 27, 2022

Awaiting Evils End......


As we await the whole of Mother Earth to shudder in destruction by Russia's idiot or North Korea's completely insane leader a fellow senior sums it up in this brief poetic composition.

The world it seems has lost its mind

Leaders so drunk on power to find

To kill mother and child, evil to bide

Sick minds, planet earth, no place to hide.

Eyes of the devil himself, seen of late

Weapons to try, innocent people he hates

Hell is here, the home where he bides

It is time world, let evil find, no place to hide.


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Sunday, March 20, 2022

The beginning of the end?

I recently read an opinion comparing Putin to a rabid dog and saying that he should receive the same treatment given to animals inflicted with such incurable affliction. One cannot but help agreeing with such assessment!

The only question then remaining would be how many of those surrounding him are similarly afflicted and would they also run amok randomly biting anything within their reach?

The only good thing about this all is that it appears to be bringing most of the worlds nations together in a common goal to find a way to stop this genocide, now if we only can come to a similar meeting of minds to deal with climate change, fire, famine, overpopulation and the like we may yet save our world from an untimely end.

We can but hope this is the beginning of a new awakening.

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Sunday, February 20, 2022

The Beginning of The End?

 So now the 'he said she said' (almost exclusively he said I might note) starts, along with the blame game as to what should and should not have be done to end the occupation of downtown Ottawa for several weeks. I will try to not get too specific as to my views as to the commentary from our political 'leaders' of all stripes and levels for the diversity of opinions either actually held or expressed for political gain is so diverse that little can be gained by getting into that swamp!

I will however express some support for the various individuals and organizations that have received condemnation for variously not moving to stop the 'occupation' sooner, more forcefully or will no doubt come under months of unwarranted condemnation. The question that must be asked of those that would poke holes is 'and what would you have done' given that here in Canada (at least for the most part and so far) we permit citizens to gather together and express their concerns with various decisions and activities. Would they perhaps have arrested and seized all those massive cargo haulers before they got to Ottawa in the belief they might not have stayed more than a few hours, or perhaps begged the several levels of government to comply with the demand of a few vocal trouble makers to competently remove all safeguards against covid spreading further than it has already and filling our hospitals with the sick? Let face it getting these big rigs to move when they dont want to leave is hardly the same as moving a crowd of 'protesters' or for that matter towing a few cars, that they were soon supported by a considerable number of highly disturbed people who had no respect for either the rule of law or the impact they were having on the local citizens further adds to the problem.

I will not expand further on these thoughts, you get the general idea, I will however say that by the time the 'convoy' reached Ottawa it had already clearly been infiltrated by a large number of anti everything folks who had nothing to do with the trucking industry and the frustration of a few truckers on having to 'get the shot' in order to truck across the border. One only has to view the more recent videos of the efforts to get folks to clear the area in front of our legislature to see that the whole thing has morphed into far more than a 'truckers protest' and into a right wing nutcase forum. I will also be clear that I support our governments moves to lock the accounts from various largely unaccountable online sites that enable funding to such forums and their seizing of the funds and equipment of those that refuse to comply with lawful request to exit the area and go home. I further support those hundred of officers from all over the country who have shown great restraint in taking hours of verbal and occasional physical abuse from said nutcases and only using minimal force as directed by their commanders when required to undertake their duties.

There will be many who disagree with my point of view but all I am going to say is try and turn off your political biases and look at the actions and impacts of this particular 'protest' and decide if your want such individuals running the country, the province or you local council for that is what eventually this is all about.

Enough said!

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Sunday, February 13, 2022

An Assault on Democracy

“This is the thing about democracy that the convoy organizers, in all their innocence, do not understand: that rights come with responsibilities, and freedom comes with duties. This vaccine mandate is no different than other areas of compelled action – wearing seatbelts, getting the measles shot, showing ID before purchasing alcohol, paying your taxes.”

The above quote is from an opinion article in the Globe & Mail by Omer Aziz In which he loosely links much of the protesters to racist opinions, I am not sure that I totally agree with him on that but it is certainly no longer about vaccination status and trucking. It is indeed now an assault on democracy, not only has it already severely damaged our standing with other nations and our already fragile economy but it has now given a platform to those who would topple our government. And less you believe different political leaders, be them any of the provincial selection or the national ones you have but to ask how they would deal with these insurrectionists in any practical and effective manner. Azis goes on to say......

“They came in droves from all over the country, packed into cars and pickup trucks, cheered on by supporters along the way. They saw their freedoms under attack and converged on the nation’s capital in an attempt to force the resignation of a democratically elected government, using intimidation and threats to showcase their power. Desiring greater liberty, some displayed Confederate flags and Nazi swastikas, defiled national monuments, desecrated the memory of war heroes, and demanded that federal leaders be overthrown.

What I am describing happened in the United States on Jan. 6, 2021, and is still going on in Canada. The truckers’ movement is no longer a demonstration for freedom or vaccine mandates, but a well-funded assault on democracy. As one organizer put it, their mission was to “compel the government to dissolve government.” We must be clear about what took place in Canada last weekend: an attempt to alter government policy by force – while masquerading as a rally for freedom. More dangerously, it was a movement insidiously co-opted by white nationalists and their far-right allies.”

It is indeed an assault upon our very democracy and has little to do with whether a minority of truckers are permitted to cross into the USA without being protected from covid, those that would hold the country and government hostage and ignore the rule of law have no idea where this may lead. Or perhaps the disruption and chaos and a lawless society is exactly what they want …... be careful what you wish for supporters of this blockade....


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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Democracy Under Attack?

Yes, our very democracy is under attack, make no mistake whilst one or two commercial vehicle drivers may have been upset that they needed to get vaccinated to cross into the U.S. the current illegal gathering has nothing to do with a prick in the arm. Its more about other 'pricks'!

Its been some time since I wrote a few words in this long standing blog but recent events have me so concerned about our very democracy that I cannot but help add my support to those who condemn those who would further add to the already difficult difficult times that we all face due to the covid infection. I am so upset by what I hear and read about these would be anarchists that a cannot coherently put my thoughts to paper and thus will simply replicate a few of the words of others who are likewise disgusted by the actions of these trouble makers.

Mark Carney writes https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-mark-carney

But now in its second week, no one should have any doubt. This is sedition. That’s a word I never thought I’d use in Canada. It means “incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.”

Michael Harris writes: It is the naked threat to degrade and make permanently dysfunctional Canada’s capital city, and other cities, unless the government abandons the public health policy it was elected on, and ends all Covid-related restrictions.

What we have here is not a protest but an occupation.

As highlighted at https://nor-re.blogspot.com/2022/02/truck-off.html

Perhaps the best assessment is offered by an infectious disease specialist with the University Health Network in Toronto, Dr. Abu Sharkawy, who says,

the protest is indicative of a larger societal creep, fed by right-wing populists, that has created a movement of people who feel “emboldened and entitled to abuse, threaten and recklessly exercise whatever prejudice is within their hearts.”

From https://politicsanditsdiscontents.blogspot.com/2022/02/the-kidnapping-of-capital.html

We’ve looked from across our border in horror at the crap that has been spewed in the United States, yet now these same forces are trying to inject lethal amounts of that same toxin into our body politic here, all of their own benefit. That is something that no Canadian should be supporting, let along legitimizing, at any point.


The manifesto of this occupation makes myriad, confusing, incompatible demands. They make no sense at all, really. There is no effective way to act on them, even if we wanted to........

This occupation wants its way. And only its way. Not compromise. They are a large, violent toddler thrashing about on the kitchen floor of our democracy. “Give it to me, or I will break shit,” they are telling us. They don’t care about me or anyone else in downtown Ottawa.


This is but a small selection of the views of the majority of Canadians that believe that this 'occupation is an assault on our democracy.

Look around the world folks this is but a refection of the lack of respect for the rule of law and democracy that is creeping into our civilization that will only become more prevalent as pressures from population growth, climate change and political greed build in the coming decades.


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