Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Politics’


Watching media and social media feeds during this time of c-tine, one can begin to think the entire human race is like Hugh (The Borg) in the Next Generation coming out of the collective for the first time, or the last Dalek in the Ninth Doctor’s only season, unable to process too much information and emotional spectrum choosing destruction instead. We are at a crux as a society, for c-tine has caused a pause from the keeping up with the Jones’ mentality, and removed the excuses of no time to look into things or letting someone else do it. The challenge of the time is that some are still existing in the hard dualism of one side having to be completely evil so you can be completely good, not wanting to be okay with the gray, or compromise or discussion or seeing outside of our own ego-centric personal fable.

And if what you’re hearing is the emergence from adolescence-emergent early adulthood as a species, you would be correct.

Just going to take a walk about into some thoughts as it has been a while since I’ve written, so grab a cuppa and join the thought meanderings.

First we as a society, whether we want to admit it or not, are moving through grief. That is why we are seeing such a ramping up of denial and anger as those that do not want to process through the emotions they are feeling and need social support that is now at a distance, or unwilling to reach out to the professional supports available. Just think over the past 131 days what should have happened– year book signings in schools, graduations, end of year celebrations.

Within our own family it was to be our daughter’s first Pride in Alberta, and due to covid we are unable to be there. Each summer my kids do the small town parade tour both being in (fundraising for kids charities) and watching as activity with their grandparents they were unable to be a part of. My daughter was to be in her second summer at Pine Lake Christian Camp (though thankfully they have thought outside the box and provided a summer of online activities, but still not the same), she was finally a part of a choir and band and the concerts have been cancelled. After my own health journey I was back into a new vocational journey only to have it up ended.

Learning curves, losses, new ways of connecting. All these pieces play a role. They create grieving that we have to acknowledge and process.

Then the world around us has the same pains. Yet some factors attempt to aid, others do not. This moves into thoughts of our political culture.

It always amazes me that the governing party in Alberta and our Premier normalized workplace harrassment and bullying, dehumanizing of the opponent and actually pay online trolls to continue. They laugh openly and mock in the legislature, but hyper fixate when someone outside their party uses the same tactics.

Image may contain: 1 person, meme, text that says "DID WE SKIP THE MURDER HORNETS BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE WE SKIPPED THE MURDER HORNETS"
Though the storm cycle foes show our alien gods, Thor, trying to keep us inside so the world can heal.

Do I agree with this degeneration of behaviour, and the illustration for what is appropriate it gives to the young? No.

Do I feel the frustration of others and lowering themselves to the level of bullying of the ideological conservative in Canada (and yes our last Federal election in Canada showed this as well)? Yes I can, sadly in moments I to may have, but really we need to make “raise the bar of decorum”.

Words are empty without actions.

Truly though, it has to come to a collective good. Which means all those involved cannot be on the path of seeking wealth and power through politics, but see it as a vocational calling for public service to fulfill the constitutional guarantee of peace, order and good governance.

It feeds into the understand of that tax money is a collective of the citizens to be used for the citizens, these investments in society through infrastructure, government entitlements, public services (road crews, utilities, health care, education, etc) create the type of space and health that attracts investments from businesses. It is also understanding that natural resources do not belong to the government or to the corporation but as Premiers Manning Sr. and Lougheed understood and created the roadmap successfully adopted by other jurisdictions, but to the citizens and for their stability.

Can we get back to a collective healthy narrative of belonging and care, that strips populists from the centre stage and relegates the extremists on either end of the spectrum back to the rubbish bin the sentiments belong in?

For my province’s response to Covid, stripping our CMOH of the power to override political lack, and instead places the politician as supreme. It has made a Trump-lite response that is seeing a trending/ramping up to wave 2 that is impacting those under 39 years old the most, and of course to cover up the failing of the plan by not following medical research and best practice to fight the virus, coupled with an ideological drive for American style for profit health care and deciding our medical community and doctors are the enemy during a pandemic. This has led to nearly half of doctors looking to work elsewhere. We finally recovered from the Klein area lunacy and lack of doctors, only to have these extremists start the cycle again.

But to shift the focus (of the daily announcements attacking the way and quality of life of Albertans) the game of destroying public education continues, with the Minister announcing a return to near normal school in the fall with just a deflection that schools and their boards are to figure it out, and false announcements which is re-announcements of pre-pandemic funds that were to be used for off set infrastructure fixes. In Calgary at least our high schools are at or over capacity, yet they are to be expected to physically distance—uhm. The Alberta government aid? PSA posters and videos. The minister has no answers, refuses to release a costed plan, or the full recommendations of the CMOH. This is just in the typical streams, for the complex medical kiddos nothing has been said or even thought of. Makes me wonder if this is just not the continued, passive-aggressive social eugenics at work. Hoping the pandemic eliminates the oldest and most disabled so the cuts goes unnoticed.

And then the recent minister of the crown in Alberta calling police on protesters outside his Edmonton office. The bill tabled to remove the constitutional right of protest that even hate groups have filed court challenges against. It definitely feels for a Canadian that we are living in a bizarro world, and need to listen to our government through a bizarro translator (that is hear the opposite of the words said).

Which brings us to the fun on the Federal stage, the one place that if not for the Federal government my neighbours vocally hate, we would have had no support throughout this time of pandemic and economic disruption. The new entitlements like CERB, that conservative premiers are decrying as a disincentive to work, for a full time 40 hr week the $2000 a month works out to about $12-13 dollars an hour…If your companies are not paying minimum wage, and providing research based safety for employees during a pandemic that is on the marketplace and not on a government entitlement supporting citizens like they should during this time. It is also important to explore what a universal basic income can be, let’s change society during this time.

Also I would be remiss if we did not touch upon the WE fiasco. You can google and see the media frenzy around it, as well as posturing from Opposition parties, and the polls. The governing Liberals took a hit in support but it is now rebounding.

What is the crux? From my reading, is that a sole sourced contract was awarded to the WE organization to administer a pay-volunteer program for youth (about $10/hr). Should it have been administered through the already existing government agencies? Yes, but this is a practice of governments to use non-profits to create distance. We see it in Alberta with things such as the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

WE needs a full audit on how monies are used, as any non-profit should have (especially those receiving government monies), there needs to be accounting and rationales for expenditures and subsidiaries. For those who want to hyper fixate on the pay for speaking of members of the Trudeau family, explore closely, look at the locations, and expenses covered. As well, some speakers get paid, some do not. I have been paid by WE many years ago for an event in Calgary.

As for the ethics around PM Trudeau and Finance Minister Morneau, with known ties to the non-profit being in the room when the decision was made. Yes, they should be cited for an ethics violation. When Minister Morneau had pointed out to him the $41,000 that needed to be repaid for travel, he remediated immediately. Does it show our finance minister is wealthy? Yes. Does it show corruption? Possibly, but more chequebook oversight.

Now for the calls for resignation or the opposition parties will trigger an election? Do the opposition parties truly think this will turn out well sending us into an election during a pandemic? The Liberals have brought us through the pandemic, maintained our triple A credit rating, and continue to govern. Andrew Scheer, conservative party leader who resigned but stayed was caught misappropriating funds so where is his ethical stance to lead and govern? Honestly, Government, call the bluff. I would easily vote for a rock ran as a Liberal in my riding (yes I would throw out my normal process) to send a message on politicking over collaboration.

But WE has opened up the idea that we need to follow trails and take audits seriously. We also need to ask what should stay in the realm of government agency ad not be handed off. In Alberta our reminder of this is the safe-consumption site in Lethbridge which was not AHS, but rather the non-profit ARCHES, and the question of $1.7 million. In honesty, they knew the government was not ideological supportive of their approach even though it is evidence based. The onus was on the non-profit to ensure everything was above board, this is a warning to the sector that needs to be heard, and to government that citizens need and want transparency and accountability.

Finally, masking. Sigh.

The fact “Christians” are front and centre against it saddens my pastor soul. Obviously they have missed the love your neighbour piece of the Great Commandments of Brother Jesus. For mask protect our neighbour, everyone wears them that can (our medically complex may not be able to, but if everyone else is should halt spread enough) so, ifyou’re a Christian, sorry it is not a get out of masking card. Want to stand on civil liberties or the “why wasn’t it needed at first?” Uhm… Smoking by-laws, seat belts…

Which is why my heart sang when my local city did what our province refuses (though with a Premier trumpeting “herd immunity” the failed Sweden.UK experiment, and Trump cures, what do you expect):

Image may contain: text that says "TEMPORARY FACE-COVERING BYLAW Exemptions: Children People with Where old CTrain ublictransit, sucha ataxi indoor spaces, includ- ofCalgary puildings Bylaw takeseffect: Aug.1 Aug. Whileating drinking ina food beverage premises Vhilenagig athletico activity receiving services, visitto dentist such GETTY IMAGES Face covering REQUIRED persons indoor vehicle. covering 6M2020 business owners operators required display signage public entryways vehicles $100-$200 Fine failing mask display proper ignage Gotocalgary.ca/covidfor entireli SOURCE: exemptions ndothe CALGARY DARREN FRANCEY POSTMEDIA"

Also wanted to do a quick touch base on this concept of “new terrors emerging”. No it is not new, BIPOC have always been needing equity, equality and justice. We expect our police to work outside the scope of their practice far too much, and need to create a system that provides the professional tools and individuals necessary for societal health both on the prevention and intervention. Also it needs to be a system that allows for worker health, not the ideology that is prevalent of “do more with less”.

As well, the concept pedophilia is a growing concern in our world. It has always been a concern. Historically in Canada the Truscott false conviction illustrates the abuse of power to cover up abusers (as well as Graham James, residential schools, religious abuse stories). Ensure what you use to source the fight are true, not nutbar conspiracies. Child sex-trafficking (I still cannot unsmell the Calgary trickpads I did rescues in), recruiters online, in malls, and schools, and child sex tourism (honestly, rape) have existed for centuries, in the 90’s there was attempts to put laws in place that were enforceable. It is not new that pedophiles seek mainstream acceptance by piggy backing onto know entities, whether it is attempts to be accepted into the sexual spectrum (and removed from the diagnostics as a disorder) or to use the ideas of non-profits, unions, or community leagues to normalize. It has been on going, just look at the despicable history of orgs like NAMBLA…which first entered the conscience of mainstream due to Andrew Vacchs Batman novel in the `90’s that opened up the fight against this darkness.

Like with everything, it is being open and honest with the stories, the trauma, the horror, and then saying never again. This time though we need to mean it. We as a soceity need to let authentic truth stand, and then agree to end the darkness by letting our light shine through.

During this time I encourage you to take time to unplug. Be with yourself, and those close to you. It can be a time of reflection, as the concept of Sabbath, there is underlying constant anxiety we may be unaware of, but in the new pause… figure out/discern what the next chapter of your life is meant to be? What are the passions you hold? Interests? Hobbies?

Discover who you are.

Discover your passion.

Now, plot twist time.


Control + Alt + Delete for many with computers that was how you would escape the screen freeze or blue screen of death. Then have to answer the question if you wanted to restart in safe mode. Alberta thought they were doing that when the United Conservative Party was elected to governance just over a year ago. The traversing of change, the needing to re-invent our economy, and create space for belonging for everyone had stalled many out in the change process in anger and denial.

That was preyed upon by a high centralized bully culture.

Is it the best governance? How many voters have voter remorse as our world class institutions were decimated, the world rebuked our oil and gas sector for the draconian ways we scaled back to, and diversification was cancelled. With announcements of Premier Kenney tomorrow (Monday) around diversifying our economy, one has to simply wonder is it relabeling NDP era policy as UCP to try and win back support, knowing the shenanigans’ of this government I would side on yes.

In the midst of cancel culture though, it raises the question what about governance and politics? Why do we accept shady business and almost zero accountability for actions and behaviours? Have we defaulted to our “colour” must win at all costs in striving for power and be damned the consequences to ourselves and neighbour? Data points to yes.

The ideological lock chain does not help out world, our neighbour or ourselves. It locks us into false dichotomy for solutions with no robust discussion on topics and research. It leads to school yard tattle tale gotcha moments that can deflect from the ongoing ineptitude in governance for all Albertans (insert your context here as I am sure you have examples). The rallying cry for engagement has always been the least you can do is vote.

NO! That’s not the least you can do, showing up and putting an “x” beside the party name, as you say it’s the leader not the local representative doesn’t matter—oh but it does. For when the leader with the centralized power is off base, it is the local members that need to hold them to account, and within the Westminster System have the power to replace.

Knowing the character of the person wanting to represent your party is important. Do they show up for debates and events? Do they live locally and have their kids in the public institutions? Are they a parachute candidate from somewhere else? A paper candidate or flag bearer (just letting their name stand on the ballot)… all these things are important and need to be understood, for if we move beyond gotcha, to the ability to demand better choices we begin to engage. In the last federal election the Greens and Cons played games with voters with the gotcha era pretending to fire candidates, and then election day people were shocked they were still on the ballot, once confirmed you are confirmed. Know our system, the local constituency associations need to take seriously a candidate search and are the main point of vetting for the best to represent… are they doing their job?

What if the ballots were party blind? No parties listed, just names, how would you choose your representative? You’d actually have to get to know them, and the volunteers behaviour would reflect directly on them…those that espouse ableist, rascist, queer hate, misogynistic views would be held to account. Also, knowing they could not fly under the party colours how much more seriously would the local EDA’s take the vetting? Would all parties be fielding full slates? Or would their be times if a candidate had to be of good character and active in the election period to stay on the ballot (i.e. 3 debates planned must make 2 or are deleted)…would we get a better crop (and I do believe a ranked ballot would aid the process even more).

Cancel culture when used well and targeted appropriately can bring about positive change. It needs to hyper focus on our political systems, demand better choices, push media to remove the voice of opinion from policy, and close off the options for populist-extremism on either side to be shuttered away, to create space for robust discussion of the issues, and the big questions on why and how? The voice to strip the centralized power from the First Minister’s office (Prime Minister and Premier), to re-empower the local representative, remove the party whip, and allow the local voices to come together to create consensus policy for the whole.

The least we can do is to open the conversation and share why things matter and are important, to create a space for healthy, robust debate and dialogue so that come election day, it is not an adversarial approach to save our own fragile egos that our team needs to win like some Stanley Cup play off round, but be able to say the local candidate with the best ideas is the one that was voted for and elected.

Ready to do the least for the vote?

If you’re interested in being a part of the reboot of our province, I encourage you to check out https://rebootalberta.com/


Education. Business. Entertainment. Sports. Religion. Child Welfare. Politics. Persons with Disabilities support systems. Justice System.

Jesse Stone: Men may know somethings.

Molly Crane: Rape is something women know.

-Jesse Stone: Stone Cold T.V. Movie (2005)

#Timesup. #Metoo.  On one night…January 24, 2018 3 prominent Canadian politicians went down as the lid was blown off the badly kept secret of abusive misogyny in politics. I state badly kept, because the greater country may act like they did not know, but that is because they have been ignoring that which they did not want to know. They have ignored the voices that are being called out for complicity—that were ones shouting from the rooftops. The signs were so easily there, from a premier in 1934 booted from office; to how such Canadian politicians as Sheila Copps and former PM Kim Campbell were treated to name but a few.  This past week a Claresholm town Councillor having her life threatened in her own home by an invader for being political, check any female politicians twitter feed to note the abuse and stalker-like behavioural patterns.

Many astute commentators pointed out it is not a partisan issue, but rather an institutional issue.

Yet, sadly,  it does not surprise me. For the same power over people structures that allow this abuse to be ingrained generation over generation that it is acceptable and our voice does not matter. That perpetuates forced silence of the abused. The #Metoo movement is re-telling an ancient, and modern story. We saw it with the bravery in Sheldon Kennedy breaking the silence over sexual violence in hockey. In the persons with disabilities world silence breakers. We first saw it with the monsters revealed preying on our daughters in classrooms, and now showing that predators come in both genders (although how Riverdale got away with putting forward Archie-Miss Grundy as a relationship and not what it was—teacher rape of a student, though there was some minor redemption with the Black Hood story-line of season 2. But be honest with yourself, it could not have been played off as a relationship or affair if it had been Veronica and Mr. Weatherbee).

Spotlight and the breaking of silence around Cleric abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. That we know statistically is the same within all religious systems, where power works to silence the abused (regardless of gender or sexuality). We can hypothesize the sexual violence against women based on report versus non-report, against males it is harder because of the societal constructs working against it (note the Archie-Grundy myth perpetuating). But the story is not different it is the use of power.

It is a multi-generational trauma highlighted in the TRC in Canada; yet we need to understand it is a generational trauma passed down through thousands of years of conquering/colonialism that stretches at the very least back to the Roman Empire, but probably pre-dates that.

It is a society knowing homelessness, addiction, violence, mental illness and crime are symptoms of something deeper but would rather deal with the symptoms than the actual cancer.  Root cause missed in entertainment with stars blowing out, crashing mentally, overdosing, or doing 180’s that made no sense…the bread crumbs were there if we only wanted to know…

Same as the pain from acting out athletes, or the children of religious sexual violence.

But it is a system that allows Bountiful, B.C.’s pedophile community to declare themselves polygamous. A system where the person is commodified, and not seen as truly a whole person.

Yes, we are more open about talking about sexual violence than we have been in the past. In the past, though there were those in families or communities that worked hard to try to protect the young from it being passed on. Even as simple as a matriarch or patriarch refusing the grandchild to sleepover knowing the other was a predator. Neighbours that would become sanctuaries for children or others in need.

            Why does it continue?

Because we allow our voice to be divided. We allow the command, power and control to continue setting the story. We can speak of #timesup, but without unity of those abused by the corrupt structures of power …speaking as one to shatter them…it will all to easily be lost as a news story and relegated to just another news cycle ala school shootings in the U.S.A., or the annual story that churches should really do something about misogyny.

I wish I could say this is a problem of the last 100 or so years. Yet it is a problem heightened in the social media world of Millennials and Generation Z where they see the power abuse structure as so normative that social media is used to terrorize, commodity individuals until they believe their only option for safety is death. Let that sink in for where we are at in human history.

For I have contemplated these verses many time in my ministry. Told time and again that they were to be read in light of his Easter Resurrection, yet today in history I am convinced more than ever they speak to our world transformation. The foundations we are to shake:

18On account of this, the Jews demanded, “What sign can You show us to prove Your authority to do these things?” 19Jesus answered, “Destroy thistemple, and in three days I will raise it up again.”20“This temple took forty-six years to build,” the Jews replied, “and You are going to raise it up in three days?”…

-John 2:18-20 (Berean Study Bible)

The Temple of Jesus’ day was corrupted: used by the powers to be to oppress, abuse, commodity of human beings and use the people. Sound familiar?

His Mother, Mary of Nazareth and his earthly father, Joseph, led the way in showing what could exist with true equality and a new way. The way Jesus taught. One of full inclusion, equality and love for all in the human family and creation.

That is what verse 19 is truly about. Shattering the corruption. Tearing down the temple and rebuilding what is truly meant to be. Or in our hashtag world to the monsters and predators in one unified voice: #timesup.

And the response is the one that is still heard today by the command and control power structure—this took so long to build what are you going to do in 3 days.

Well according to ancient myth poetry of Jesus’ people, in the first 3 days of creation the Holy Mystery, well, she birthed the very good foundation of the cosmos.

Today, let us join voices together across all those who have been abused. Let our voices that are new to the fight, or have been battling longer unheard than any not lose sight of the goal. Let us join our voices together without labels, in the truth that we need to stand firm in. Let us shatter this corrupt temple, and yes…let us build the world where we all belong, we are all honoured, and we know true love of self and neighbour.

Join in tearing down…so that together we can birth the new hope that this light is shining.

The statement for this day is not do we believe. But rather do we stand firm that this must end.

Is it not time to build a world we keep paying lip service to.

A world where all are safe and belong.

A world where the true cause of pain has been exorcised and light truly reigns?

Are we ready to stand with our neighbour against those that prey?

02church_CA0-articleLarge


OTTAWA — New Democrat MP Charlie Angus — a no-nonsense “character” by all accounts — is expected to announce a federal leadership bid soon, sources say. The race to find a leader by next October is empty so far. B.C. MP Peter Julian recently stepped down as House leader to consider his own candidacy, but…

via Charlie Angus, ‘socialist punk rocker with a big heart,’ expected to announce federal NDP leadership bid — National Post – Top Stories


Regular followers of my writing will know the last free e-book I tossed up centered on reflections around the Good Samaritan parable from the Christian Gospels. The ethos of the story is simple, a question given to reflect on: Who is My Neighbour?

In the early 1900’s it led J.S. Woodsworth who was superintendent of the Winnipeg Shelter to reflect on this, as his shelter aided immigrant and refugee resettlement into the Canadian prairies. It was the question that led to decisions to march in the General Strike and go to jail.

Now it is time to raise this question as a nation again. For one drowned Syrian boy has sparked outrage in the world about the refugee crisis in Syria. In contemporary/modern western world fashion it is not about vision and answering the call of our shared humanity, it is about managing the spin, the “economic and political cost”; what is the numbers game we should play. In some circles it is creating the divisive debate of whose taxes will pay? It is about choosing between refugees and our current Canadians living in poverty and without homes of their own.

But what if this ancient story held a deeper truth for us in building our national and local communities. Who is my neighbour? Go and do likewise… Provide aid, provide shelter, provide H-O-M-E. Cross international borders, drop stereotypes, and see that at our core we are a shared humanity. Quit stating the issue as helping our own first, and then possibly the other later. It is not that type of issue, or that type of answer.

Help both, nay, help all in need to have a home, and an ability to grow into a new hope, a new community, because of a simple principle of love in this global family.

The question for us as politicians avoid our door steps, a try to duck questions at debates, are we willing to hold the candidates to account to a higher level of dialogue, a higher level of vision…how are they going to build a New Canada where we do not FEAR but WELCOME the strangers at our shores? Where the neighbour in our community is helped before they lose hope and home?

What is the Liberal? Green? NDP? Conservative? Add your own political colour of the rainbow true vision for building a nation that will leave the world in awe for its wonder, inclusion, kindness, empathy, love and beauty? As Tommy Douglas once said, “dream no little dreams” Let us raise the level of debate in our great nation from one of management to one of vision and accountability as citizens of our city, province, country and world.


Canada

Canada (Photo credit: palindrome6996)

MPs vote to repeal hate-speech sections of human-rights act.

Once again Alberta politicians prove our ignorance in regards to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, moving this private member bill through a majority government by the Conservatives saying that not being able to communicate hate via telephone and internet impunes our guaranteed Freedom of Speech in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms…uhm…We do not have Freedom of Speech in Canada, we have Freedom of Expression in Canada, and what this stipulation in the Human Rights Act was enforcing was that right, here is the repealed section:

http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/proactive_initiatives/hoi_hsi/qa_qr/page1-eng.aspx

Charter of Rights and Freedoms here:

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/charter/

Here are our fundamental freedoms:

Fundamental freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.

Taking a basic Grade 11 law class in Public School will help one understand these.