Fascism and Contemporary Canada. Locating The Present Conservative Government Led By Stephen Harper. Part Two: The Strangulation Of Democracy in Canada. The New Global Partnerships.
Calling it the Conservative government of Canada is probably a big mistake. Canadian Conservatives are learning that mistake. The Conservative government of Canada is, rather, a gathering of goons determined to end democracy in Canada and to replace it with a police state, a “new thing”, a partnership of global corporations and an “inside junta” of compliant Canadians – backed by an increasingly violent police force. (See Part Four, to come.) The Conservative government of Canada will not do an Adolf Hitler. He famously burned down the Reichstag (the German Parliament Buildings) in 1933. In the confusion that followed, he blamed the Communists and seized dictatorial power. We know the rest.
“The Conservative Government of Canada” is not about to burn down the buildings on Parliament Hill. Instead, they are burning up democracy inside Parliament … and outside of it. The Opposition Parties, for the most part, sit – almost quietly by - as if unconcerned.
Even the one sharp eye on Ottawa affairs, Green Party leader Elizabeth May – in an attempt to see the gathering of goons and trained seals as a normal political party – recently wrote a piece, “The Third Prorogation” for The Island Tides newspaper (Aug 29, 2013, p.3) claiming it was … okay. The prorogation is, in fact, being undertaken in an attempt to cover up the fascist legislation of the Spring, to erase the Senate Scandal involving top Senators and top people in the PMO (which means, remember, the PRIME MINISTER’S Office), and to allow the government in power to pretend it is adopting “ a new look” and a new attitude to governing.
Elizabeth May suggests the prorogation is pretty normal and not something to sweat about. That would be true, perhaps, in pretty normal times. But these are times when the government in power is violating Canadian freedoms and smashing at parliamentary democracy every day. It CANNOT be going for prorogation (the ending of a parliamentary session and the beginning of another) innocently. It does not act innocently in any matter that concerns the conduct of Canadian democracy.
“The Senate Scandal”, by the way, is part of “the new order”. Following Adolf Hitler’s “cool” practice to stay within the law, to use the law, to twist the law, Stephen Harper took over what was for him the hated Senate and set it to work to help destroy parliamentary democracy. That is why the Scandal matters so much. It was not just a scattering of egotists feathering their own nests. It was the working out of an anti-democratic strategy to use Senators as Party Henchmen charged with fund-raising, Party propaganda, and other questionable activities.
It was a part of the strategy to keep Canadians off balance and to build “the new order” in Canada. As in past history, relentlessly and tragically, the Opposition tries to see the gathering of goons as a “normal” government. The Senate became, for the Conservative government of Canada, a place to locate active, unscrupulous, full-time campaigners and actors for the Party Lie. The 2006 Election Fraud was overseen, remember, by two or three Conservative Senators who barely escaped being fingered, and charged.
The ‘big name’ Senators being thrown under the Party bus at present appear to have been told by the prime minister and his coterie in the Senate to do what they wanted, to spend what they wanted, and to fiddle accounts as best suited to cover-up. That may well be the reason Stephen Harper rarely speaks the truth about the Senate Scandal.
The Senate is just one card in the neo-fascist deck … which produces apparently incomprehensible tricks almost daily. Remember the 2006 election fraud – proved against the Conservative Party of Canada? Remember the 200 page ‘booklet’ issued to teach Conservative MPs how to prevent Parliament from operating, to show how to stack Committees? Remember the 2011 Election Robo-Call frauds (still festering, still being covered up)? Remember the allegations of document tampering at the highest levels – Tony Clement over G8 business, Bev Oda and the Kairos’ (aid group’s) document? And the Conservative altering of a report by then Auditor General Sheila Fraser to steal praise for the Liberals and apply it to the Conservative government?
Remember the on-going destruction of institutions and laws that can fairly inform Canadians about the state of the country: the long-form census process destroyed; the already bad whistle-blowing legislation destroyed; the gagging of science researchers; the attempt to kill environmental review; smear campaigns against organizations and individuals who disagree with Conservative policy; the slashing of CBC; the “lap-dogging” of the RCMP and the RCMP Commissioner; the destruction of the Experimental Lakes Area program; the slashing of emissions-monitoring from power plants, and of the regulation of lakes, of fish stocks and oceans; and – to be discussed in another column – the refusal to test for nuclear contamination in Canada and the on-going, untiring effort to erase the First Nations from Canada, thereby destroying a search for fairness that began with The Royal Proclamation in 1763.
Think … just think of Forest Ethics Advocacy and Clayton Ruby, distinguished legal mind, taking a case against the Conservative government for attempting to strangle debate on public issues. The new rules set out for National Energy Board hearings are blatantly repressive and a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Forest Ethics argues, and they want the Federal Court of Canada to throw them out. The case concerns the most simple and basic rights of Canadians to be heard, to express their ideas and opinions freely about major developments in the country. The Conservative government wishes to strangle that freedom….
All the above – and more - has been evident to Canadians, even though as a scatter-gun attack on Canadian democracy. What is the purpose? Where is it leading?
It is leading to a partnership, a coalition, an integration of chosen Canadians occupying (elected or not) government offices uniting with global corporations seeking to exploit Canadian resources without regulation and to use labour in Canada stripped of rights and protections.
Is the goal clear? At one level the on-going integration of Canada with the U.S.A. seems to move steadily ahead. Spokespeople for Canadian government habitually refer to an alliance with the U.S.A. in which they see Canada as a faithful, subservient partner. There is, undoubtedly, a preference for international agreements in which the subjection of the Canadian people to global corporate demands is connected to U.S. corporate participation.
The recent, strange association of Verizon and the Canadian government reveals that. Who began the overtures? It may well have been the Canadian government – otherwise Verizon probably wouldn’t have moved so quickly and easily out of plans for Canada. That would mean the Conservative government of Canada didn’t want to punish the big three: BCE, Telus, and Rogers Communications. It wanted to replace them by bringing in a U.S. global corporation larger than all three put together. Verizon could lower the cost to users. steal the market, wipe out the Big Three … and then raise rates and pauperize employees.
Despite the apparent no-questions-asked U.S. connection, the wily gathering of goons that acts as Canadian government at the present wants all the hatches battened. What if the U.S. loses its position in the world and becomes, in fact, bankrupt, or is unable to head up organizations to exploit resources and people? Or goes soft on neo-liberal repression? That’s where the (almost secret) other economic giveaways to foreign interests are being negotiated. That’s where the strange and secretly negotiated potential resource ownership of Canadian riches by Chinese exploiters comes in (FIPA) – with Canadian claims adjudicated by business panels appointed outside Canada with greater power than Canadian governments.
That’s where (secret from Canadian parliamentarians) The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes in – with the proviso that the U.S. could be shifted out in a crisis. That is where the recent bizarre and disturbing agreement between Canada and China to share military information and activities comes in. Those lines are out even while the giveaway to European corporations is being negotiated. (CETA).
Only Russia seems to have been left out of the race by the Conservative government of Canada to give away power over Canadian wealth and over the right of Canadians to decide the structure of their economy, their laws and patterns of behaviour. With consummate diplomatic bad taste Stephen Harper and John Baird regularly insult Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.
That may be because the present Conservative government in Canada finds itself considerably Right of the government in the U.S.A. That awakens Canadian cabinet members to think of other alliances more congenial, more committed to repression and the erasure of human rights. China looks attractive ….
And … this government surfaces apparently bizarre policies and statements of non-fact that seem to be simply looney. Consider: the Conservative cabinet has declared a serious mismatch between skills and jobs. As a result various kinds of “temporary worker” influx become credible, more permanent foreign worker influx does, too, and with the new Canada Job Grant program, the federal government appears to be doing something large – as well as putting money in the hands of employers (always a policy of this government).
Wonderful, except Don Drummond, economist (and others) say it’s all cosmetics. “He hasn’t found a shred of credible evidence that Canada has a serious mismatch between skills and jobs.” (Carol Goar, The Toronto Star, 08/26/13). Nor can anyone find any plan for serious federal representatives to meet, listen to, and consult with provincial counterparts on the program!
It gets worse. The Lac Megantic catastrophe sets out Conservative government policy for all who wish to read it. Policy, there before our eyes, is to shred regulation, shred information available to Canadians, destroy scientific information sources, and to close down oversight. Then when a Lac Megantic disaster happens, Conservative government cautions everyone to be patient, to wait for the scientific evidence to come in (as Stephen Harper did on the site), to depend on the regulatory body that many believe the federal government has gagged, bribed, and strangled.
Behind the scenes, Port Metro Vancouver is preparing for a gigantic increase in tanker traffic out of the port of Vancouver. Even bragging about it’s capacity! The port has, in fact, dangerously, “600 kilometres of shoreline bordering 16 municipalities and several aboriginal communities”. (Barbara Yaffe, Vanc. Sun, Aug 26,13). Ocean dumping of oil of all qualities is almost impossible to manage – as the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and the Exxon Valdez spill have proved. Canadian dollar insurance demands are, anyway, useless. And the amount of oil spill allowed for in present ‘regulations’ is a joke.
Guess who presides over regulation there? You guessed it: Transport Canada, the lapdog of the present Conservative government which – with that government’s approval – set up the conditions to level Lac Megantic, kill dozens of its citizens, pollute the area disastrously – and possess no way to force the evil-doers to pay for clean up. It’s called Conservative government protection of the Canadian population while working for large private corporations. That is completely consistent with Elizabeth May’s allegation that the federal government is using taxpayers’ money to “subsidize oil-pipeline environmental studies that should have been” completed by Enbridge, darling of the Conservative government (“Tories …”, Vanc. Metro, Sept. 5, 13).
Corporations around the world wear the same face. They exploit the natural resources belonging to others. They pauperize and repress local labour and remove the rights of the resident population wherever they can. They fight regulation of every kind. They buy governments or make partnerships with them to provide for invisible transfers of profit. They care nothing for culture, for the environment, for people, for history, for the survival of the planet. They care about wealth. They want to rule the world, without impediment or regulation. The Conservative government of Canada wants to help them rule the world without impediment or regulation. In the process of reaching that goal – as the present Conservative government of Canada knows - Canada and Canadian democracy must, in effect, be erased.
And so, with perfect logic, the present Conservative government of Canada is working to erase Canadian democracy ... as a start.
The Straight Goods
Cheers Eyes Wide Open