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HILL: The week democracy died

To begin, allow me to make a passing reference to the many personal scandals that Mr. Trudeau has brought upon himself, some of which either resulted in precedent-setting ethics convictions.

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WHAT will it take?  Seriously what WILL it take for Canadians to wake up to their own government’s blatant disrespect for Parliament and outright attack on our democracy?

In an open letter to Canadians on November 4, 2015, when, reflecting on a major promise he had made during the recent election, brand new prime minister just-in power Justin Trudeau stated: “We committed to set a higher bar for openness and transparency in Ottawa. Government and its information must be open by default. Simply put, it is time to shine more light on government to make sure it remains focused on the people…”

Reassuring words, however, let’s examine his track record since taking office nearly six years ago.  

To begin, allow me to make a passing reference to the many personal scandals that Mr. Trudeau has brought upon himself, some of which either resulted in precedent-setting ethics convictions or barely avoided such.

His dismissal of a young reporter’s claim that he groped her as “people can experience interactions differently”, his numerous and now infamous incidents of wearing racist brown and blackface makeup, the widespread international scorn and derision heaped upon him for channeling Mr. Dressup in India, his Christmas vacation on the Aga Kahan’s luxurious private Caribbean island…

Or when his impatience and childish temper-tantrum resulted in Elbowgate on the floor of the House of Commons, and who can forget his flippant, sarcastic comment to an indigenous woman who interrupted a Liberal Party fundraiser to protest about poor living conditions on her reserve.  Ahhh, you can’t buy memories like that. Wait a minute, I guess as a taxpayer, you and I have.  

Now let me focus instead on some of the times over the past five years that he has used his MPs to filibuster, obfuscate or otherwise delay Parliament’s attempt to get to the truth on a wide variety of issues of concern to Canadians.  Or flagrantly, and arrogantly dismissed legitimate questions from the opposition or reporters.

Remember a company named SNC-Lavalin?  It was discovered for five years up to 2009 they made illegal donations to the federal Liberal Party totally over $110,000.  The Liberals allegedly learned of the illegal activity in 2016 but failed to make it public for three years.  Some openness.

Around the same time, the Ethics Commissioner found ethics laws had been breached when Prime Minister Trudeau and his staff attempted to undermine an impartial decision by federal prosecutors to apparently “save jobs” at this very same company.

When pressure didn’t convince the Attorney General to offer SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement, MP Jody Wilson-Raybould and her supportive cabinet colleague, Jane Philpott, not only lost their cabinet positions but were expelled from the Liberal Party.  Then when the Justice Committee was about to get to the truth of what really happened, the Liberals used their majority to shut down the investigation. Transparency? You be the judge.

Do you recall that exactly one year ago Prime Minister Trudeau announced his government was contracting the WE Charity to deliver $912 million that would pay students to volunteer over the summer?  

When it was revealed Trudeau family members had been paid hefty fees to speak at WE events, and the Prime Minister had not recused himself from the cabinet decision to award WE the contract, the public backlash was predictably damning.  Rather than see the investigation, and criticism continue, PM Trudeau simply prorogued parliament to shut down any further exploration of the facts. Transparency like mud, eh?

While I could go on and on with other examples, I’m rapidly running out of column inches so I must get to the point.

So we come to this past week and a parliamentary full-frontal assault on free speech as contained in Bill C-10 which was not only rammed through the House of Commons with the use of time allocation, but likewise the almost unprecedented use of this closure process to shut down debate on amendments at the committee!  

These tactics resulted in the Liberal Speaker of the House of Commons being forced to rule the “secret amendments null and void” because Conservative MPs had been granted no time to consider or debate them. Zero transparency.

Now the latest blow to open democracy from our dictatorial Prime Minister.  For months the opposition parties have been raising legitimate questions about a Chinese couple that were scientists at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and the export of samples of the Ebola and Henipah viruses to the lab in Wuhan, China.

The opposition parties for once united and demanded to see unredacted documents. Such a demand from our country’s parliament supposedly represents the highest law of the land, but Iain Stewart, President of Public Health Agency of Canada, refused.  

Over the protest of Liberal MPs, the opposition passed a motion to have Mr. Stewart appear “before the bar” in the House of Commons. The first time since 1913 a private citizen has been so summoned. Yet he still refused to turn over the documents. Why the Sergeant-at-Arms didn’t immediately arrest him I don’t know. In 1913 he would have been. 

The result? Our Liberal government then files a lawsuit in federal court against their own Liberal Speaker of the House of Commons! 

The reason is obvious. This is a Prime Minister so convinced that he doesn’t answer to Parliament (or anyone else) that he will do anything to delay complying with its lawful order.

Instead he will call an unnecessary election, hoping he can reclaim his majority so he will have sufficient votes to bury this as he has everything else over the past five years.

Transparency? I think quite the opposite Mr. Trudeau. 

Have Canadians learned nothing from history?  

Lack of transparency = lack of accountability = corruption.  Or worse. 

Hill is the interim leader of the federal Maverick Party

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Kieran

    July 1, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    COSMO KRAMER,

    PPC ideology is bernierism. Have you ever heard how Bernier duped LPOC in 2019?

    The less Ottawa dictate we have here, the more space for our own politics remains. This is the most feasible way. While WIPA is trying to win Alberta and conduct their referendum (how many years will it take, you think?), we still need someone to defend people of the West in Ottawa. All people of the West – no matter what ideology those people follow.

  2. Dennis

    July 1, 2021 at 10:47 am

    So Claudette, How many times has there been attempts to change the constitution? How successful where those attempts? Wildrose is not about Rolling Over. Wildrose is about taking control of our affairs and gaining our Independance from a dysfunctional constitution that was written 150 years ago By Central Canada, For Central Canada. If you are Albertan it is worthwhile to look at the history that is driving this movement. The maverick party sounds good but its Alberta Independence that must drive this bus. The rest will follow in due course. WIPA, government By Albertans, For Albertans.

    “So Dennis you just roll over without trying. Then quit crying about poor AB if your not willing to at least try. As someone said I would rather die standing then fight on my knees. The referendum is the first step and any party willing to take this on, has my vote. I already have my Maverick membership and will do what I can to leave Chanada”

  3. Claudette Leece

    June 30, 2021 at 5:44 am

    Angus sure next to Trudeau and his band of thieves a drop in the bucket. Enjoy your time with Trudeau, he’s been such a great PM 😂😂😂

  4. Claudette Leece

    June 30, 2021 at 5:42 am

    So Dennis you just roll over without trying. Then quit crying about poor AB if your not willing to at least try. As someone said I would rather die standing then fight on my knees. The referendum is the first step and any party willing to take this on, has my vote. I already have my Maverick membership and will do what I can to leave Chanada

  5. Dennis

    June 29, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Any Albertan who believes the constitution can be changed is dreaming in technicolor. As long as Quebec has the final veto, change will never happen unless it is in Quebec’s favour. As far as Alberta is concerned, we have only one choice left and that is separation. A vote for the Wildrose Independance Party of Alberta in 2023 is our way to rid ourselves of the dysfunctional and corrupt system that has taken over Canada. Go to Wildrose.party, but a membership, make a donation (cause this costs money) and get involved with your local CA. An investment in the future of Alberta.

  6. Pamela Bridger

    June 29, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Quebec mafia thugs have been controlling Quebec, and by proxy, Ottawa. Skippy doesn’t even try to hide it. Both Bombardier and SNC are fronts for money laundering and other nefarious purposes. If Alberta wants a seat at the table that’s meaningful, they’ll have to remove the thugs first.

  7. Aynus Rand

    June 28, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Hey Jay Hill! How much Canadian taxpayer $$ have you taken as salary, allowances etc. in your career? How about Deb Gray & the pension she said she’d never take? How many millions have you & Deb taken — so far?

  8. Cosmo Kramer

    June 28, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    Bill McCann is right. Looking at the Maverick Party’s (kind of a dumb name) guiding principles it is all about western representation, fairness, equality, etc. All good stuff but which can still be found in the guiding principles of any party (sans Western rights). Lacking is any stance on the government abuses and mismanagement of the Covid-19 situation.

    Glaringly lacking is any political ideology. The front page states it is not about liberal vs. conservative. Sadly it is and in Canada we do not have a party that represented conservatives for a long time. Andrew Scheer even boasted that the conservative party has not been conservative for many years. In contrast the other political parties do have political idealogies. Liberals and conservatives embrace Fabian socialist and globalist principles. The NDP embrace these principles with a cup of Marxism thrown in.

    A party without an political ideology is like a house built on sand and will just flounder and follow the latest trends and react in accordance with the mainstream media narrative. That’s why I think the Maverick party has no future and Albertans would be wasting there time with it.

    I am not only for Western rights but western (at least Albertan) separation. Federally such a party does not exist. Albeit without western sovereignty, the only conservative party that has a stated conservative ideology guiding it is the People’s Party of Canada and their ideology is libertarianism. They have also been vocal in government abuse/overreach/corruption/human rights violation/missmanagement in the Covid-19 crisis. This is the only viable federal conservative party. Provincially I will support the Wildrose Independence Party.

  9. Stew James

    June 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Jay Hill democracy died along time ago…confederation!
    Did you just wake up!

  10. Deb

    June 28, 2021 at 11:20 am

    We are no longer a nation. The nation of Canada via Justine Trudeau and the Liberal Party offered us up to the global governance and it’s agenda’s. We now have to listen and follow unelected officials in the World Health Organization, the UN Agenda’s 21 and 30, as well as The World Economic Forum. Our democracy is being eroded a little at a time. Bill C-10 will allow them to make sure we only get one narrative, theirs.
    Freedom of Speech no longer applies. Proof Dr. Francis Christen’s loss of his job for voicing his professional opinion. Canadian’s better sit up and be more aware of what is happening. You are not going to like what all the leader’s of the world at The World Economic’s Forum’s meeting’s at Davos Switzerland have planned for our future. I really like the life I have now, I have worked hard to have my name on a title of land, and own my place of residence, I enjoy working for my pay check and taking care of myself. I enjoy my freedom and my privacy. I say No, to The World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset”, cause I won’t like owning nothing, renting everything, being dependant on government funds, a credit system, or your surveillance system, or living in your smart cities. I could never give up eating beef let alone replace it with bugs. Wake up people.
    We need to take our nation back.

  11. Shepherdess

    June 28, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Sadly these great and needed types of editorial opinions will be criminal once C-10 and now C-36 (which the government “brags” is worse than C-10) are passed. Then where will we find the truth?

  12. Bill Mccann

    June 28, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Maverick is just another swampy political outfit. They do not support ending unconstitutional lockdowns, they do not come out against Vax PP. Only PPC ban both those.

  13. Sunrae

    June 28, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Well said, Jay…! The growing popularity of the Maverick Party in the West is testimony to your words as they reflect the perspectives of fellow Western Canadians. As a now-retired and former Albertan that experienced the senior Trudeau’s antics, I’ve given up any hope at reconciliation between Ottawa and “the West”. The Maverick Party is the optimum means for us to stand firm by our beliefs and aspirations as they relate to us, including making our own way into the future one way or another. We are working hard in Manitoba to increase awareness and support…Keep up the good work!!

  14. K

    June 28, 2021 at 9:07 am

    This is not my country. This is not my home.

  15. Kelly Carter

    June 28, 2021 at 7:58 am

    Thie Liberal government has been the most corrupt and least transparent in Canadian history. Trudeau himself is deeply corrupt and ethically bankrupt. I do not understand his continued popularity in the GTA and Quebec, especially considering there are several alternative choices. He will get his majority, and Canada will decline ap further towards becoming a third world nation.

  16. Joc2257

    June 28, 2021 at 7:39 am

    Citizens of the West know all of these scandalous proceedings and backroom goings on but the way the political system in this country was structured and run, the voters needn’t even go to the polls as all the major parties eat off the same table and use the same napkin to wipe their faces.

  17. Mars Hill

    June 27, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    This is not a Canadian problem, it’s a world wide problem and will be fixed very soon.

  18. de Cosmos

    June 27, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    The Trudeau Liberals have principles, and if you don’t like those, they have others.

  19. Dave Symington

    June 27, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    Mr Hill’s views are so true about Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. They are not representing Canadians. It is so sad seeing so many politicians lie and abuse the system to gain power and control. There is no opposition. They are all following status-quo. If you’re an MP that stands up for Canadians and criticizes corruption and bad policy, they are ostracized and kicked out of the party. Warning other MPs to toe the line or you will be next.

  20. Steven

    June 27, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Go Maverick !!

    Mr. Hill hits the nail squarely on the head when it comes to Justin Trudeau. Trudeau’s ethics are not inline with truth at all. More in line with a corrupt, divisive, pretender.

    When you look at Justin Trudeau, well, all I see is an evil deceitful man.

    Justin is a disgusting human in every way. He says one thing then does the other. Like faking his remorse on Residential Schools while litigating against First Nations Residential School survivors. The West Block had a segment on that this morning 27 Sunday 2021.

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Energy

VENKATACHALAM & KAPLAN: Oil and gas production is essential to BC’s economy

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors.

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Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan of the Canadian Energy Centre

British Columbia has been producing oil and natural gas since 1952. In fact, as of 2018, BC produced 32% of Canada’s natural gas production and 2% of Canada’s conventional daily oil production. British Columbia collects royalties from oil and gas development, supporting the economic prosperity in the province.

Want to know how important the oil and natural gas industry is to the BC economy? Using customized Statistic Canada data from 2017 (the latest year available for this comparison), it turns out oil and gas in BC  generated about $18 billion in outputs, consisting primarily of the value of goods and services produced, as well as a GDP of $9.5 billion.

As for what most of us can relate to — jobs — the BC oil and gas industry was responsible for nearly 26,500 direct jobs and more than 36,100 indirect jobs (62,602 jobs in total) in 2017. Also relevant: The oil and gas sector paid out over $3.1 billion in wages and salaries to BC workers that year.

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors. That included $600 million from the finance and insurance sector, $770 million in professional services, and $2.8 billion from the manufacturing sector, to name just three examples.

Spending by the oil and gas sector in BC is not the only way to consider the impact of the industry. Given that a large chunk of the oil and gas sector is next door in Alberta, let’s look at what Alberta’s trade relationship with its westerly neighbour does for BC.

BC’s interprovincial trade in total with all provinces in 2017 amounted to $39.4 billion. Alberta was responsible for the largest amount at $15.4 billion, or about 38%, of that trade.

That share of BC’s trade exports is remarkable, given that Alberta’s share of Canada’s population was just 11.5 percent in 2017. Alberta consumers, businesses and governments buy far more from BC in goods and services than its population as a share of Canada would suggest would be the case. Alberta’s capital-intensive, high-wage-paying oil and gas sector is a major reason why.

If Alberta were a country, the province’s $15.4 billion in trade with BC would come in behind only the United States (about $22.3 billion in purchases of goods and services from BC) in 2017. In fact, Alberta’s importance to B.C. exports was ranked far ahead of China ($6.9 billion), Japan ($4.5 billion), and South Korea ($2.9 billion)—the next biggest destinations for BC’s trade exports.

BC has a natural advantage for market access in some respects when compared to the United States. For instance, BC’s coast is near to many Asian-Pacific markets than are U.S. Gulf Coast facilities. The distance between the U.S. Gulf Coast and to the Japanese ports of Himeji and Sodegaura is more than 9,000 nautical miles, compared to less than 4,200 nautical miles between those two Japanese ports and the coast of BC.

The recent demand for natural gas in Asia, especially Japan (the largest importer of LNG) and price increase for natural gas, presents an exciting opportunity for BC oil and gas industry. The IEA predicts that by 2024 , natural gas demand forecast in Asia will be up 7% from 2019’s pre-COVID-19  levels. 

Be it in employment, salaries and wages paid, GDP, or the purchase of goods and services, the impact of oil and natural gas (and Alberta) on BC’s economy and trade flows is significant.

Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan are with the Canadian Energy Centre

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Schuler the black sheep of the Manitoba Tory family

While piously bleating about responsibility in a pandemic, these sheep are cleverly deflecting from their sinister stand on something they don’t support — one’s right to medical privacy.

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One Manitoba MLA — the only one of 57 — has the courage to fight for the right to protect private health information. 

The rest are either timidly silent or scampering to microphones to vilify this flock member for daring to not run with their sheep in-crowd. 

Progressive Conservative Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler is on the verge of getting ousted from Premier Heather Stefanson’s cabinet and banned from the legislature for refusing to reveal his COVID-19 vaccination status.

Stefanson decreed a COVID-19 vaccination mandate effective December 15 for everyone entering the building.

Years of hard work — Schuler was first elected in 1999, won five subsequent elections, and has held impressive posts — suddenly matter not. 

What about the constituents who democratically elected him to represent them? Pfft. Nobody cares.

Like health workers, teachers, oil workers, police officers, firefighters, restaurant employees, Manitobans from all walks of life who won’t comply with questionable, harsh forced mandates, Schuler may be deprived of a right to earn a living

And the lone elected voice of reason in perennial COVID-19 hysteria will be muzzled. 

The right to work is now taken away just because something irks elected officials. Not providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination irks them so much they casually destroy careers and lives.

Maybe Schuler’s vaccinated. Maybe he isn’t. He says it’s nobody’s business but his.

“As stated in the house, no one in Caucus is opposed to vaccinations, however, my personal health information is a private matter and I do not discuss my personal health information publicly,” said the Springfield-Ritchot MLA in a written statement to Western Standard.

He refuses media interview requests. Can’t blame him.

The Winnipeg Free Press polled all MLAs about their vaccination status. Aha! Schuler and Seine River PC MLA Janice Morley-Lecomte were outed for refusing to cough up personal information. Morley-Lecomte buckled to pressure and confirmed she’s vaccinated.

No one appears to have a problem with media infringing on liberty and freedom by giving itself licence to poke into something that — until COVID-19 was sacred — an individual’s right to keep health information private. 

In this COVID-19 madness, the obliging media increasingly oversteps boundaries it’s supposed to protect.

Angus Reid recently found 70% of 1,000 Canadians surveyed believe employees should be fired if they refuse to be vaccinated. That means they must reveal vaccination status which is private health information.

Would those surveyed feel the same way if a reporter chasing a story asked them about that embarrassing rash in private places, an abortion, reliance on anti-depressants, or any other medical conditions?

If so, it would be useless to run to one’s MLA for help. Readers revealed to me that one Manitoba MLA flippantly told an oil worker who refused the vaccine for religious convictions to just go get vaccinated. He lost his job. Another MLA coolly told a constituent to go hire a lawyer if she didn’t like the rules.

Schuler’s vaccination status commanded new attention when it was revealed that a 70-year-old assistant in his constituency office died of COVID-19. 

No details were provided on whether the assistant was vaccinated or where she contracted COVID-19. 

But NDP house leader and justice critic Nahanni Fontaine pounced, calling for Schuler to be booted from cabinet, saying it would be “unconscionable” if he remained.

To his credit, Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said it would be wrong to jump to conclusions about the tragic death, but yes, Schuler should be tossed.

Health Minister Audrey Gordon told media she’s a “vaccine ambassador.”

“I’ve always tried to lead by example in my life. I’m a vaccine ambassador, and if others want to follow my lead, I strongly encourage them to do so,” said Gordon, who with two other cabinet ministers was outed for violating mandates whilst frolicking at a gala sans masks and social distancing.

Schuler has been participating in question period virtually for a few months. The chamber already only allows MLAs in who have received two doses.

Nonetheless, Stefanson imposed a tougher rule — get vaccinated or get banished. 

Back to the NDP’s Fontaine who told the Winnipeg Sun MLAs must “step up.” 

“And if MLAs don’t stand up, who the heck is supposed to step up?”

Oh, the irony of chastising an MLA who is doing exactly that. Schuler is stepping up heroically, not only for himself but for all being bullied into sharing personal information.

Former Ontario privacy commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian recently told Blacklock’s Reporter she rejects vaccine passports in any form.

“You’re talking about people’s personal health information. That is between your doctor and yourself. Now all of that has changed … I find it abhorrent,” said Cavoukian.

“People’s health status is considered to be the most private, sensitive information they have … The problem is privacy protection measures, once they are lifted in an emergency, are seldom restored.” 

Schuler appears to understand the sinister ramifications of that. This is about more than him.

The premier and MLAs who choose to represent only Manitobans who dutifully obey them may silence him.

While piously bleating about responsibility in a pandemic, these sheep are cleverly deflecting from their sinister stand on something they don’t support — one’s right to medical privacy.

Baaaa….

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

LOGAN: It’s time to divest from Suzuki

“It’s time to send a message to Suzuki where it will hurt the most – his donors.”

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Eco-alarmist David Suzuki has become more than just your everyday environmental activist — he’s become a well-known Canadian brand.

And it’s a brand that helped create the David Suzuki Foundation, which in 2020 raised more than $13 million for various environmental causes.

But what happens when the namesake of your charitable foundation not only feeds into, but repeats the dangerous rhetoric being employed by extreme environmental groups like Extinction Rebellion?

It was at an Extinction Rebellion event in Victoria in November that Suzuki crossed the line between peaceful activism and extremism.

“There are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on,” vowed the 85-year-old activist, best known for hosting CBC’s The Nature of Things.

And he wasn’t ready to back down following the outrage sparked by his comments, telling Victoria’s CHEK News it was “absurd” for people to think he was inciting violence and didn’t regret his comment.

“I meant it. I said it. I regret that the media … would take the context of that article, which was a fine report, and put the headline that totally slants it as if I’m inciting violence,” Suzuki said.

The Foundation that bears his name was quick to distance itself from the co-founder’s comments, saying Suzuki wasn’t speaking on their behalf.

Suzuki eventually apologized for his remarks, saying they were said out of “extreme frustration,” and not meant to support violence.

But despite the apology, Suzuki refused to condemn Extinction Rebellion’s defense of his own comments, which only further raised the temperature.

“Not only will pipelines be blown up, but we can be certain that world leaders will be put on trial for treason or worse — be killed,” said Extinction Rebellion’s National Action & Strategy Coordinator Zain Haq, doubling down on Suzuki’s comment.

It’s time to send a message to Suzuki where it will hurt the most — his donors.

You can send a letter today to the David Suzuki Foundation’s largest donors telling them that his violent rhetoric is unacceptable. Just click on this link.

If activists like Suzuki won’t hold themselves accountable, you can do your part to make them accountable to the people who write their paycheque.

Let these companies and foundations know that it’s time to divest from Suzuki!

Guest column by Shawn Logan with the Canadian Energy Centre

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