The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This and That No. 9 (Pre-Election Edition)

Our next federal election is rapidly approaching and judging from the advance polls we are living in interesting times indeed (remember that "may you live in interesting times" is supposed to be an ancient Chinese curse). If the actual election goes the way the polls are indicating (which is by no means guaranteed) the Conservative Party will finish with the largest number of seats with the New Democratic Party having the next largest and the Liberal Party being significantly reduced in seats.

I am certainly shedding no tears for the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party is the party which has spent all of its existence trying to rob Canada of her rich heritage while arrogantly presenting itself as the voice of true Canadians. The Liberal Party began as the party of free trade, which sought to distance Canada from her British heritage, her loyalty to the Crown and to the British Empire, and to replace Canada's British ties with ties to the American Republic, believing that Canada's destiny lay with the United States. George P. Grant, Canada's most brilliant conservative philosopher, wrote his famous Lament for a Nation in the belief that the Liberal Party had succeeded in this goal, when it and the NDP brought down the Diefenbaker government in 1963 over the Conservative government's refusal to allow American nuclear weapons onto Canadian soil.(1)

While Lester Pearson, the Liberal leader who became Prime Minister after Diefenbaker, probably did not see himself the way Grant saw him, i.e., as working to make Canada a province of the American Empire, he certainly went out of his way to undermine Canada's traditional identity. Canada had become a country in her own right in 1867. The title the Fathers of Confederation chose for our country was "The Dominion of Canada". The word "Dominion" came from the eighth verse of the seventy second Psalm and was chosen as a synonym for "kingdom" which would be less potentially provocative to our American neighbors than the originally proposed "Kingdom of Canada" (see the discussion of this in The Kingdom of Canada, an excellent one-volume history of Canada until 1963, by Manitoban historian W. L. Morton). Pearson, however, treated the term as a synonym for "colony", which was essentially how he regarded Canada's status at the time. He saw our flag at the time, the Canadian Red Ensign (a red background, with the Union Jack in the canton, and the shield of the Canadian coat of arms in the fly) as a "colonial flag" and in 1965 succeeded in having it replaced with the current flag. The so-called "colonial flag" was the flag our armed forces fought under in Canada's most glorious military moment, when we fought, side by side with Britain, against Hitler in a war we entered under our own Parliament's declaration. (2)

Pearson was succeeded, as Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister of Canada, by Pierre Eliot Trudeau. Trudeau, a Quebec law professor and far-left journalist, would have been unelectable had Pearson not brought him into the Liberal Party, made him his Justice Minister, and groomed him to be his successor. (3) Trudeau continued Pearson's program of abolishing Canada's traditional identity and replacing it with a new one, with a Liberal stamp on it. Indeed, the foundations of virtually everything Trudeau did as Prime Minister had been laid in the Pearson premiership. It was Trudeau's government that passed the Official Languages Act in 1969, making Canada officially bilingual, on the recomendations of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism which Lester Pearson had started in 1963. It was Trudeau's government that passed the Canadian Human Rights Act in 1977 and established the Canadian Human Rights Commission/Tribunal. Section 13 of the CHRA would became a major threat to freedom of speech in Canada in the decades to follow. The Trudeau government had already set limits on freedom of speech, however, in 1970 when the Criminal Code was amended to criminalize the distribution of "hate propaganda". This was done on the recommendations of the 1966 report to the Minister of Justice of the Special Committee on Hate Propaganda in Canada, headed by Maxwell Cohen. The Cohen Committee had been commissioned by Guy Favreau, Pearson's second Minister of Justice (Trudeau, who was a member of the Cohen Committee, was Pearson's fourth and final Minister of Justice).

It is important that we understand the connection between Official Bilingualism, Official Multiculturalism (which Trudeau declared in 1971), and mass immigration on the one hand and the loss of political liberty which we have suffered in Canada on the other. The two are very much interconnected. To understand the connection, we need to abandon a notion, that was very popular in rural and Western English-speaking Canada when I was growing up, and remains popular among much of the old support base for the Reform Party of Canada. Trudeau was not acting against English Canada on behalf of Quebec. Trudeau was acting against traditional English Canada and traditional French Canada alike. If anything, he hated the latter more than the former. Remember that the Quebec Trudeau grew up in was the ultra-conservative, Roman Catholic, Union Nationale Quebec of Maurice Duplessis (4). Trudeau, like Pearson, wished to replace both traditional English Canada and traditional French Canada with a "new Canada" in which everybody would be both English and French.

Thus the Official Languages Act declaring Canada "officially bilingual" and the official declaration of Canada to be "multicultural" according to the mosaic model. In the last year of the Pearson premiership, a new "points system" was introduced into Canadian immigration, in which new immigrants would be approved on the basis of their knowing English or French, having skills that we are in short supply of in Canada, and other such positives. That part of the system is non-objectionable but it came with a number of large backdoors that Trudeau was able to exploit in order to drastically alter the demographic makeup of immigrants coming into the country. This was done deliberately in order to undermine the ethnic homogeneity of both the traditional English Canadian communities and the traditional French Canadian communities in the hopes of grinding down both traditional communities in order to replace them with "new Canada". All of this rot about "hate propaganda" was introduced as a tactic to silence critics of the government's policies. (5)

Trudeau left his biggest and most devastating change for last. In 1982, he had Canada's constitution, the British North America Act of 1867, repatriated to Canada and renamed the Constitution Act. What "repatriation" meant was that now the constitution could be amended by Canada's Parliament without it having to be voted on in London. This, in itself, was not the problem. The problem was that Trudeau could not resist adding something to the Constitution which drastically altered its nature. That something was the "Charter of Rights and Freedoms".

Do not let the name of that document fool you. You do not possess a single right or freedom today, as Canadians, as a result of that Charter, that you did not possess prior to 1982. Nor are your rights and freedoms as Canadians more secure as a result of it. The exact opposite is the case. Before 1982, you already enjoyed, as subjects of the British/Canadian sovereign, all the traditional, prescriptive, rights and freedoms of Englishmen. Those freedoms, include the freedom to do whatever you want so long as it is not specifically proscribed by positive law, and rights which protected you against the arbitrary use of government power. All of those rights and freedoms were rendered less secure by the "Charter of Rights and Freedoms". In section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, many of your most basic freedoms are listed (freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of association, etc.) and in sections 7 through 14 your traditional rights protecting you from the arbitrary abuse of government power are listed. Section 33, authorizes the government to pass temporary laws which ignore completely all those rights and freedoms, for a period of up to five years. This is called the "notwithstanding clause". Section 1 of the Charter, also gives the government room to weasel out of these rights and freedoms by saying that they are "subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society".

This is the Liberal Party's legacy in Canada. I will not be sorry to see them lose their influence in this country.

It is unfortunate, however, that their downfall must be accompanied by the rise of the NDP. If the NDP really has risen to 31% popularity in this country that does not speak well of the intelligence of our electorate. I just checked out the NDP's platform over at their website. Jack Layton is saying that he has an " affordable plan" to "get Ottawa working for your family - one practical step at a time". That sounds pretty good. The problem is that Layton appears to have forgotten what the meanings of the words "affordable" and "practical" are.

His first "practical step" is to "hire more nurses and doctors". The expansion of this says that more nurses and doctors will be trained and incentives will be given to doctors who have left Canada to return. Who is going to pay for the nurses and doctors to be trained? "Incentives" translates into money. Who is going to pay for that?

What Jack Layton wants you to think is that he and the government he leads will pay for all of this. The problem with that is that the only resources government has to pay for anything are what it obtains from you and from me through taxes. This is a fact which Layton's program consistently ignores.

His second "practical step" is to "work with the provinces to double your public pension", which again raises the question of where this money is going to come from, and to "offer you more choice over your retirement savings". These are mutually exclusive. If the government doubles your public pension, that means it will have to take more money from you now in the form of taxes. If it takes more money from you now in the form of taxes, that will reduce your choices as to your retirement savings, not increase them.

It gets more interesting when you open up the expanded version of his platform. He promises to "increase the annual Guaranteed Income Supplement to a sufficient level in the first budget to lift every senior in Canada out of poverty immediately", again giving no indication as to where the money to do this is going to come from. The section entitled "Improving Family and Maternity Leave Benefits" is a fascinating example of the ways in which language can be used. He describes his "Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit" as "more flexible and generous" and says that it will "permit family members to take up to six months leave from work to tend to relatives near the end of their lives, up from the current six weeks". Now what that means translated into ordinary English is simply this: that he will pass a law ordering employers to give their employees six months leave to take care of dying relatives. He has managed to describe a law which tells someone that they have to do something as an act of permission which is "more flexible and generous". What an utter perversion of the English language!

He promises to create "25,000 new child care spaces per year for the next four years" and to create "integrated, community-based, child-centred early learning and education centres that provide parents with a “one-stop shop” for family services". The former is yet another expensive promise that Layton will have to pay for out of your pocket. The latter sounds like something out of a dystopic novel, the establishment of government institutions to program your children.

It is disturbing to think that there are actually enough people considering voting for this man that some commentators are actually taking seriously the idea that he might form the next government.

It is not the role of government, people, to provide you with everything that you want but which you do not want to pay for out of your own pocket. That is not the government's role because the government is not capable of filling that role. A government's only resources are what it receives in taxes from its people. The purpose of government is to provide what only government can provide - laws, justice, defense of society against foreign attacks, etc.

It is most likely that the Conservative Party will form the next government. The best thing that can be said about the present Conservative Party is that it appears to be committed to maintaining Canada's ties to the monarchy. "A belief in our constitutional monarchy, the institutions of Parliament and the democratic process" is one of the Conservative Party's "founding principles". As a Johnson Tory that gets my whole-hearted approval.

Sadly, there is very little else I can think of that is good about the present Conservative Party. It was founded by a merger of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Reform Party of Canada/Canadian Alliance. It tends to unite the worst qualities of both of these parties. It has proven to be no friend to those wishing to restore traditional freedom of speech in this country. It has barred controversial speakers like British Labour MP George Galloway and American conservative scholar Dr. Srdja Trifkovic from entering the country, giving absurd official reasons, when it is their controversial speech that is truly being targetted. It was Stephen Harper who appointed Jennifer Lynch Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Lynch defended all of the most atrocious behavior of that body. Stephen Harper and his immigration minister Jason Kenney have shown themselves to be committed to Trudeau's vision of multiculturalism. (6) Stephen Harper continues to declare that social issues like abortion will not be discussed.

So, who do I vote for on Monday?

If only the Rhinoceros Party were running a candidate in my riding!

(1)Ironically, Grant was the uncle of the current leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Michael Ignatieff's mother was Grant's sister.

(2) Pearson, who thus insulted Canada's brave World War II veterans, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1957, for talking the United Nations into creating an army of international busybodies to help the UN more effectively go around the world, sticking its nose into peoples' conflicts where it isn't wanted, and get credit for doing good when it 9 times out of 10 just makes things worse.

(3) "But it was obvious that he was systematically building up Trudeau, by bringing him into federal politics in 1965, by making him his won parliamentary secretary in 1966 and then justice minister in 1967, by orchestrating constitutional, legislative and party happenings to ensure his prominence, and finally by resigning on 1968 at the moment best calculated to benefit him and inconvenience his rivals. At various times afterwards Pearson admitted his role, and the other candidates had no doubt they were up against what one of them, the young John Turner, denounced as 'the Liberal Establishment' and its 'backstage deals'" - Peter Brimelow, The Patriot Game: National Dreams & Political Realities (Key Porter Books: Toronto, 1986) p. 62. At the same time Trudeau was brought into the Liberal Party, two of his far-left friends Gérard Pelletier and Jean Marchand came with him. The trio were dubbed "the three wise men".

(4) One of George Grant's criticism's of John Diefenbaker was that he should have strengthened his government by working with the Union Nationale in Quebec. Grant attributed Diefenbaker's failure to do so to Baptist prejudice against Roman Catholics.

(5) Supporters of our "hate speech" laws will tell you that they were drawn up to combat a threat from Nazism and other forms of violent racism in Canada. This is pure nonsense. A law to combat the threat of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster would make more sense.


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