Some of your readers will probably recognize that there has been opposition to the Harper government’s passage of Bill C-38, described by the Conservatives as a budget bill but incorporating many changes to laws that have nothing to do with the budget.
Some will have heard that EI is being undercut so that it’s harder to qualify in as-yet-unannounced ways, even though the Employment Insurance program belongs to Canadian workers, who contribute to it along with their employers.
Some readers will have heard that taxpayers born after March 31, 1958 will have to defer their Old Age Security pension from age 65 to age 67, in spite of the parliamentary budget officer’s conclusion that there isn’t a valid fiscal reason to do so.
Maybe a rumour has filtered through that we don’t get to make our views known anymore on big projects that affect the environment, like mines and pipelines, or that the Fisheries Act only applies to commercially “important” species, which feed on the unimportant ones that aren’t protected at all.
The Bill is over 420 pages long and contains over 720 clauses. It amends or repeals some 70 statutes, besides Canada’s environmental assessment laws and the laws that protected fish habitat.
It dismantles the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, the National Council on Welfare, Rights and Democracy, the Public Appointments Commission and the Inspector-General who acts as a check on CSIS, and many others.
Canada’s democratic freedoms are being stolen by this government in the same way that they stole the last election. Now that they have a majority in Parliament and the Senate, it’s become blatant.
You young people who think fascism is an old-fashioned concept confined to Europe in the 1930s, be warned — it’s alive and growing right here and now in your own beloved country. We all need to recognize it and work to destroy it.
A fitting celebration of Canada Day would be to wise up and wake up, instead of just firing up the barbecue.