Above all else, Democracy

“curiosity is insubordination in its purest form” – Vladimir Nabokov

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Dismantling Democracy, Harper-Style

Democracy is at a premium in Canada, today.

Not dead, but in grave condition.

While many pages have been written on the Harper Conservatives’ subversive means of undermining Canadians’ rights, privacies, freedom of speech and dissent, few have documented their totality over the nine-year reign.

Until today. Voices-Voix, a non-partisan collective of Canadians and more than 200 Canadian organizations concerned with the decline of democracy in Canada, catalogued 102 cases where the Harper Government attempted to silence dissenters or advocates, free speech, equality and transparency during their nine-year reign.

Their comprehensive report is a worthwhile read for any individuals wishing to be more informed of the dismantling of Canadian democracy. From silencing voices of marginalized communities and public servants, to limiting the compiling and dissemination of knowledge, Voices-Voix thoroughly itemizes and expands on how the Conservatives used domestic and foreign policy, and Canadian security forces to remove obstacles perceived to be inconsistent with their partisan governance.

Interestingly enough, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada, chose this day to release their 32 point plan on how they would return democracy to Canada.

From committing to open and transparent government, to the restoration of evidence-based policy-making, banning partisan government advertising, a real independence for government watchdogs and Parliamentary Budget Officer, and open and fair elections, The Liberals Real Change Plan attempts to reverse many of Voice-Voix’s findings.

Curious timing or logical strategic plan for an opposition party four months before the Canadian election?

There is no Truth without Reconciliation

Truth. That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. (Oxford dictionary).

Reconciliation. The restoration of friendly relations. The action of making financial accounts consistent; harmonization. (Oxford dictionary).

A commission born on July 1, 2009 to unearth the realities of Canada’s residential schools and their impact over 125 year period on the 150 thousand Aboriginal peoples who were forcibly removed from their homes, beaten, abused, sexually assaulted, and denigrated until the Indian was extinguished from their body, mind, culture and souls.

A commission necessitated as a result of the negotiated and funded settlement of several class action law suits brought by residential school survivors against the federal government and several churches.

A commission that shed light on the six thousand plus Aboriginal children who died while in the care of the Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and United Churches entrusted with delivering the assimilation of all Aboriginals into Canadian society.

A commission tasked with finding a pathway for Canada and our Aboriginal peoples. A pathway that would recognize, respect and commence the healing for the three plus generations of residential schools survivors and their families.

That commission delivered an interim report last week. Noting Canada had subjected its Aboriginal peoples to a cultural genocide, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) defined this as the “destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group.”

Continue reading There is no Truth without Reconciliation