government of Canada

Which Bills have we now lost Canada?

Here are the public Bills that Parliament essentially wasted its time on this year. All these Bills will have to be reintroduced again next session anew unless the MPs vote to have them resinstated, wasting taxpayer money. The discussions and committees will have to be restarted–  and all the work towards agreement lost. Which ones will you be sad to lose? Proroguing is legally allowable in our system to allow Parliament to be reset, but has been abused in its current use, by a minority government, mid-session, who claims they are seeking to be accountable and transparent.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Please speak out about them!

S-5 An Act to amend the Criminal Code and another Act
(Long-Gun Registry Repeal Act)
First Reading in the Senate (April 1st, 2009)
S-6 An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (accountability with respect to political loans) First Reading in the Senate (April 28, 2009)
S-7 An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (Senate term limits)
(Constitution Act, 2009 (Senate term limits))
First Reading in the Senate (May 28, 2009)
S-8 An Act to implement conventions and protocols concluded between Canada and Colombia, Greece and Turkey for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income
(Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2009)
Third Reading in the Senate (December 15, 2009)
C-8 An Act respecting family homes situated on First Nation reserves and matrimonial interests or rights in or to structures and lands situated on those reserves
(Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (February 2, 2009)
C-13 An Act to amend the Canada Grain Act, chapter 22 of the Statutes of Canada, 1998 and chapter 25 of the Statutes of Canada, 2004 First Reading in the House of Commons (February 23, 2009)
C-15 An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts Third Reading in the Senate (December 14, 2009)
C-19 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (investigative hearing and recognizance with conditions) First Reading in the House of Commons (March 12, 2009)
C-20 An Act respecting civil liability and compensation for damage in case of a nuclear incident
(Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act)
Committee Report tabled in the House of Commons (December 10, 2009)
C-23 An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Colombia, the Agreement on the Environment between Canada and the Republic of Colombia and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Republic of Colombia
(Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act)
C-26 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime) Second Reading in the Senate and Referred to Committee (October 29, 2009)
C-27 An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act
(Electronic Commerce Protection Act)
C-30 An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
(Senate Ethics Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (May 7, 2009)
C-31 An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and the Identification of Criminals Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act Second Reading in the House of Commons and Referred to Committee (November 27, 2009)
C-34 An Act to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts
(Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act)
Committee Report tabled in the House of Commons (December 7, 2009)
C-35 An Act to deter terrorism, and to amend the State Immunity Act
(Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (June 2, 2009)
C-36 An Act to amend the Criminal Code
(Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act)
First Reading in the Senate (November 26, 2009)
C-37 An Act to amend the National Capital Act and other Acts
(An Action Plan for the National Capital Commission)
Second Reading in the House of Commons and Referred to Committee (October 5, 2009)
C-40 An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act
(Expanded Voting Opportunities Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (June 12, 2009)
C-42 An Act to amend the Criminal Code
(Ending Conditional Sentences for Property and Other Serious Crimes Act)
Second Reading in the House of Commons and Referred to Committee (October 26, 2009)
C-43 An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Criminal Code
(Strengthening Canada’s Corrections System Act)
Second Reading in the House of Commons and Referred to Committee (October 29, 2009)
C-44 An Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act First Reading in the House of Commons (June 17, 2009)
C-45 An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act First Reading in the House of Commons (June 17, 2009)
C-46 An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act
(Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act)
Second Reading in the House of Commons and Referred to Committee (October 27, 2009)
C-47 An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to support investigations
(Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act)
Second Reading in the House of Commons and Referred to Committee (October 29, 2009)
C-52 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing for fraud)
(Retribution on Behalf of Victims of White Collar Crime Act)
Second Reading in the House of Commons and Referred to Committee (October 26, 2009)
C-53 An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (accelerated parole review) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
(Protecting Canadians by Ending Early Release for Criminals Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (October 26, 2009)
C-54 An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to the National Defence Act
(Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (October 28, 2009)
C-55 An Act to amend the Criminal Code
(Response to the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in R. v. Shoker Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (October 30, 2009)
C-57 An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Agreement on the Environment between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
(Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (November 17, 2009)
C-58 An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service
(Child Protection Act (Online Sexual Exploitation))
Second Reading in the House of Commons and Referred to Committee (November 27, 2009)
C-59 An Act to amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act
(Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (November 26, 2009)
C-60 An Act to implement the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America
(Keeping Canadians Safe (Protecting Borders) Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (November 27, 2009)
C-61 An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of railway operations
(Railway Continuation Act, 2009)
First Reading in the House of Commons (November 30, 2009)
C-63 An Act to amend the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act and another Act in consequence thereof
(First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act)
First Reading in the House of Commons (December 10, 2009)
ConservativeAbbott.J@parl.gc.ca, Ablonczy.D@parl.gc.ca, Aglukkaq.L@parl.gc.ca, Albrecht.H@parl.gc.ca, Allen.M@parl.gc.ca, Allison.D@parl.gc.ca, Ambrose.R@parl.gc.ca, Anders.R@parl.gc.ca, <Anderson.Da@parl.gc.ca>,  Armstrong.S@parl.gc.ca, Ashfield.K@parl.gc.ca, Baird.J@parl.gc.ca, Benoit.L@parl.gc.ca, Bernier.M@parl.gc.ca, Bezan.J@parl.gc.ca, Blackburn.J@parl.gc.ca, Blaney.S@parl.gc.ca, Block.K@parl.gc.ca, Boucher.S@parl.gc.ca, Boughen.R@parl.gc.ca, Braid.P@parl.gc.ca, Breitkreuz.G@parl.gc.ca, Brown.G@parl.gc.ca, Brown.L@parl.gc.ca, Brown.P@parl.gc.ca, Rod@bruinooge.com, Cadman.D@parl.gc.ca, Calandra.P@parl.gc.ca, Calkins.B@parl.gc.ca, Cannan.R@parl.gc.ca, Cannon.L@parl.gc.ca, Carrie.C@parl.gc.ca, Casson.R@parl.gc.ca, Chong.M@parl.gc.ca, Clarke.R@parl.gc.ca, Clement.T@parl.gc.ca, Cummins.J@parl.gc.ca, Davidson.P@parl.gc.ca, Day.S@parl.gc.ca, Dechert.B@parl.gc.ca, DelMastro.D@parl.gc.ca, Devolin.B@parl.gc.ca, Dreeshen.E@parl.gc.ca, Duncan.J@parl.gc.ca, Dykstra.R@parl.gc.ca, Fast.E@parl.gc.ca, Finley.D@parl.gc.ca, Flaherty.J@parl.gc.ca, Fletcher.S@parl.gc.ca, Galipeau.R@parl.gc.ca, Gallant.C@parl.gc.ca, Genereux.B@parl.gc.ca, Glover.S@parl.gc.ca, Goldring.P@parl.gc.ca, Goodyear.G@parl.gc.ca, Gourdj@parl.gc.ca, Grewal.N@parl.gc.ca, Guergis.H@parl.gc.ca, Harper.S@parl.gc.ca, Harris.R@parl.gc.ca, Hawn.L@parl.gc.ca, Hiebert.R@parl.gc.ca, Hill.J@parl.gc.ca, Hoback.R@parl.gc.ca, Hoeppner.C@parl.gc.ca, Holder.E@parl.gc.ca, Jean.B@parl.gc.ca, Kamp.R@parl.gc.ca, Keddy.G@parl.gc.ca, Kenney.J@parl.gc.ca, Kent.P@parl.gc.ca, Kerr.G@parl.gc.ca, Komarnicki.E@parl.gc.ca, Kramp.D@parl.gc.ca, Lake.M@parl.gc.ca, Lauzon.G@parl.gc.ca, Lebel.D@parl.gc.ca, Lemieux.P@parl.gc.ca, Lobb.B@parl.gc.ca, Lukiwski.T@parl.gc.ca, Lunn.G@parl.gc.ca, Lunney.J@parl.gc.ca, Mackay.P@parl.gc.ca, MacKenzie.D@parl.gc.ca, Mark.I@parl.gc.ca, Mayes.C@parl.gc.ca, McColeman.P@parl.gc.ca, McLeod.C@parl.gc.ca, Menzies.T@parl.gc.ca, Merrifield.R@parl.gc.ca, Miller.L@parl.gc.ca, Moore.J@parl.gc.ca, Moore.R@parl.gc.ca, Nicholson.R@parl.gc.ca, Norlock.R@parl.gc.ca, Obhrai.D@parl.gc.ca, OconnG@parl.gc.ca, Oda.B@parl.gc.ca, ONeill-Gordon.T@parl.gc.ca, Paradis.C@parl.gc.ca, Payne.L@parl.gc.ca, Petit.D@parl.gc.ca, Poilievre.P@parl.gc.ca, Prentice.J@parl.gc.ca, Preston.J@parl.gc.ca, Raitt.L@parl.gc.ca, Rajotte.J@parl.gc.ca, Rathgeber.B@parl.gc.ca, Reid.S@parl.gc.ca, Richards.B@parl.gc.ca, Richardson.L@parl.gc.ca, Rickford.G@parl.gc.ca, Ritz.G@parl.gc.ca, Saxton.A@parl.gc.ca, Scheer.A@parl.gc.ca, Schellenberger.G@parl.gc.ca, Shea.G@parl.gc.ca, Shipley.B@parl.gc.ca, Shory.D@parl.gc.ca, Smith.J@parl.gc.ca, Sorenson.K@parl.gc.ca, Stanton.B@parl.gc.ca, Storseth.B@parl.gc.ca, Strahl.C@parl.gc.ca, Sweet.D@parl.gc.ca, Thompson.G@parl.gc.ca, Tilson.D@parl.gc.ca, Toews.V@parl.gc.ca, Trost.B@parl.gc.ca, Tweed.M@parl.gc.ca, Uppal.T@parl.gc.ca, VanKesteren.D@parl.gc.ca, VanLoan.P@parl.gc.ca, Vellacott.M@parl.gc.ca, Verner.J@parl.gc.ca, Wallace.M@parl.gc.ca, WarawM7@parl.gc.ca, Warkentin.C@parl.gc.ca, Watson.J@parl.gc.ca, Weston.J@parl.gc.ca, Weston.R@parl.gc.ca, Wong.A@parl.gc.ca, Woodworth.S@parl.gc.ca, Yelich.L@parl.gc.ca, Young.T@parl.gc.ca,

NDP

Allen.Ma@parl.gc.ca, Angus.C@parl.gc.ca, Ashton.N@parl.gc.ca, Atamanenko.A@parl.gc.ca, Bevington.D@parl.gc.ca, Charlton.C@parl.gc.ca, Chowo@parl.gc.ca, Christopherson.D@parl.gc.ca, Comartin.J@parl.gc.ca, Crowder.J@parl.gc.ca, Cullen.N@parl.gc.ca, Davies.D@parl.gc.ca, Davies.L@parl.gc.ca, Dewar.P@parl.gc.ca, Donnelly.F@parl.gc.ca, Duncan.L@parl.gc.ca, Godin.Y@parl.gc.ca, Gravelle.C@parl.gc.ca, Harris.J@parl.gc.ca, Hughes.C@parl.gc.ca, Hyer.B@parl.gc.ca, Julian.P@parl.gc.ca, Layton.J@parl.gc.ca, Leslie.M@parl.gc.ca, Maloway.J@parl.gc.ca, Marston.W@parl.gc.ca, Martin.Pd@parl.gc.ca, Martin.T@parl.gc.ca, Masse.B@parl.gc.ca, Mathyssen.I@parl.gc.ca, Mulcair.T@parl.gc.ca, Rafferty.J@parl.gc.ca, Savoie.D@parl.gc.ca, Siksay.B@parl.gc.ca, Stoffer.P@parl.gc.ca, Thibeault.G@parl.gc.ca, Wasylycia-Leis.J@parl.gc.ca,

Bloc

Andre.G@parl.gc.ca, Asselin.G@parl.gc.ca, Bachand.C@parl.gc.ca, Beaudin.J@parl.gc.ca, Bellavance.A@parl.gc.ca, Bigras.B@parl.gc.ca, Blais.R@parl.gc.ca, Bonsant.F@parl.gc.ca, Bouchard.R@parl.gc.ca, Bourgeois.D@parl.gc.ca, Brunelle.P@parl.gc.ca, Cardin.S@parl.gc.ca, Carrier.R@parl.gc.ca, DeBellefeuille.C@parl.gc.ca, Demers.N@parl.gc.ca, Deschamps.J@parl.gc.ca, Desnoyers.L@parl.gc.ca, Dorion.J@parl.gc.ca, Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca, Dufour.N@parl.gc.ca, Faille.M@parl.gc.ca, Freeman.C@parl.gc.ca, Gagnon.C@parl.gc.ca, Gaudet.Ro@parl.gc.ca, Guay.M@parl.gc.ca, Guimond.C@parl.gc.ca, guimom1@parl.gc.ca, Laforest.J@parl.gc.ca, Laframboise.M@parl.gc.ca, Lalonde.F@parl.gc.ca, Lavallee.C@parl.gc.ca, Lemay.M@parl.gc.ca, Lessard.Y@parl.gc.ca, Levesque.Y@parl.gc.ca, Malo.L@parl.gc.ca, Menard.S@parl.gc.ca, Mourani.Ma@parl.gc.ca, Nadeau.R@parl.gc.ca, Ouellet.C@parl.gc.ca, Paille.D@parl.gc.ca, Paille.P@parl.gc.ca, Paquette.P@parl.gc.ca, Plamondon.L@parl.gc.ca, Pomerleau.R@parl.gc.ca, Roy.J@parl.gc.ca, stcyrt@parl.gc.ca, ThiLac.E@parl.gc.ca, vincer@parl.gc.ca,

Liberal

Andrews.S@parl.gc.ca, Bagnell.L@parl.gc.ca, Bains.N@parl.gc.ca, Belanger.M@parl.gc.ca, Bennett.C@parl.gc.ca, Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca, Brison.S@parl.gc.ca, Byrne.G@parl.gc.ca, Cannis.J@parl.gc.ca, Coady.S@parl.gc.ca, Coderre.D@parl.gc.ca, Cotler.I@parl.gc.ca, Crombie.B@parl.gc.ca, Cuzner.R@parl.gc.ca, Damours.J@parl.gc.ca, Dhaliwal.S@parl.gc.ca, DhallR@parl.gc.ca, Dion.S@parl.gc.ca, Dosanjh.U@parl.gc.ca, Dryden.K@parl.gc.ca, Duncan.K@parl.gc.ca, Dykstra.R@parl.gc.ca, Eyking.M@parl.gc.ca, Folco.R@parl.gc.ca, Foote.J@parl.gc.ca, Fry.H@parl.gc.ca, Garneau.M@parl.gc.ca, Goodale.R@parl.gc.ca, Guarnieri.A@parl.gc.ca, HallFindlay.M@parl.gc.ca, Holland.M@parl.gc.ca, Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca, Jennings.M@parl.gc.ca, Kania.A@parl.gc.ca, Karygiannis.J@parl.gc.ca, Kennedy.G@parl.gc.ca, Leblanc.D@parl.gc.ca, Lee.D@parl.gc.ca, MacAulay.L@parl.gc.ca, Malhi.G@parl.gc.ca, Martin.K@parl.gc.ca, McCallum.J@parl.gc.ca, McGuinty.D@parl.gc.ca, McKay.J@parl.gc.ca, McTeague.D@parl.gc.ca, Mendes.A@parl.gc.ca, Milliken.P@parl.gc.ca, Minna.M@parl.gc.ca, Murphy.B@parl.gc.ca, Murphy.S@parl.gc.ca, Murray.J@parl.gc.ca, Neville.A@parl.gc.ca, Oliphant.R@parl.gc.ca, Pacetti.M@parl.gc.ca, Patry.B@parl.gc.ca, Pearson.G@parl.gc.ca, ProulM@parl.gc.ca, Rae.B@parl.gc.ca, Ratansi.Y@parl.gc.ca, Regan.G@parl.gc.ca, Rodriguez.P@parl.gc.ca, Rota.A@parl.gc.ca, Russell.T@parl.gc.ca, Savage.M@parl.gc.ca, Scarpaleggia.F@parl.gc.ca, Sgro.J@parl.gc.ca, Silva.M@parl.gc.ca, Simms.S@parl.gc.ca, Simson.M@parl.gc.ca, Szabo.P@parl.gc.ca, Tonks.A@parl.gc.ca, Trudeau.J@parl.gc.ca, Valeriote.F@parl.gc.ca, Volpe.J@parl.gc.ca, Wilfert.B@parl.gc.ca, Wrzesnewskyj.B@parl.gc.ca, Zarac.L@parl.gc.ca,

Independent

Arthur.A@parl.gc.ca,

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Canadians unite. It’s time for accountable and transparent governing respectful of human rights.

I don’t usually delve too deeply into Canadian politics and legislation, but I’m starting to think that big change is in order in our system. It’s not a matter of removing Harper from office. Many aspects of our government are shameful but it lies not only with the one party. Separating into polarizing options is doing no one any good. We don’t need separation in politics, we need to come together to say that things must change. The whole system needs an overhaul for it is inequitable and flawed. It is undemocratic and that needs to change. We have an appointed representative of the British Monarchy overseeing and signing all our laws with enormous privileges. We have leaders who think they can all hijack politics to forward their own agenda. We have representatives who think they can hide their actions and be unresponsive to our inquiries even though they are there supposedly representing us. I’m sad to say that most of my letters to government go without response. Sometimes I do receive a stock form letter in return thanking me for my inquiry. I  try to always ask questions and to be respectful (it can be really difficult!), but in all my years of sending, I’ve received less than a handful of actual responses, and none that ever answered my inquiries.

Our government cannot continually ignore us if we do not let them. They are responsible to us and must hear our voices, even if they disagree with what is being said. They are supposed to answer to us, they are supposed to represent our interests– and how can they do that if they aren’t even listening to what we need and want. We are wasting money left, right and centre on personal power projects and padded bureaucracy. We are allowing corporations to take the reigns and whisper in the ears of our politicians with fantastic lures. This is not democracy people. My voice is not being heard, and I am not alone in this. I have yet to meet someone who I can say is truly confident in the government and not highly uncritical of at least parts of the political system. We do have to compromise and come up with a solution that works the best for everyone and we are not always going to like every aspect of it, but it should at the very least, be fair and open. We need to work together and open dialogue instead of shutting doors and walking away. There is a better system, but we will never know unless we make it happen ourselves.

The government reps talk of accountability and transparency– but I see none. I see sneaky manoeuvrings and a lot of cries of outrage from those who cry to cover up their own transgressions.

Now I’m nowhere close to being an expert in Canadian politics, but I know the system we have is undemocratic and unfair in many ways. No, I’m not a member of the Liberal Party. I’m not a Conservative. I’m not NDP or in the Green Party or Bloc Quebecois. I don’t subscribe to partisan politics mostly because I don’t like what any of them really have to say and find very few I’d ever fully put my name and confidence behind. I also believe that standing too firm on anything can quickly progress to fanaticism or hypocritical behaviour and I’m no fan of that either. I dread election time with petty attacking ads that skirt the candidate’s own goals, record or previous accountability. Didn’t their mothers ever teach them, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all? To me, this attacking just shows they have probably have no moral ground to be running themselves and no real goals that they are going achieve other than their own personal agenda.

I want politicians to tell me what they are going to do for me, other Canadians and those abroad; how they are going to do it, with what money and then I want them to actually stick to it. Is that too much to ask for? What are they going to do to better my life and your life and everyone else’s lives? What are they going to do to represent my values that I care about in government? How are they going to better our international relations and increase all our well-being? How are they going better our human rights record and democracy?

I also want them to be held accountable for what they say.

If they make a promise– they had better follow through (or have an excellent, justifiable excuse for why it can no longer possibly happen!). If they don’t, then they deserve to be removed from office– immediately. Simple as that. Maybe massive turnover for a few sessions of those who faulted would set those who felt arrogant and power-hungry in place.

What I’m curious about is this, with all the wonders of technology that are now in existence– the massive connectivity of people that allows us to voice our opinions instantaneously with millions of people around the world in real time– do we really need these people to make all our decisions for us in the first place? Should they not be making more of an effort to reach out to us and discover what we want and need as Canadians? Is there not the possibility of real time discussions on issues initiated by the government to the people and polling that could be done continuously online in an open manner to have a better sense of real democracy ensuring the politicians must hear our voices? Could our politicians not actually engage with us about real issues and poll us on our feelings using different types of real-time systems? How much time do they spend each and every year actually working and listening to us and how much time do they spend scrambling trying to secure their own future positions? Why can we not use our own voices to make them listen to us. Use them to rally together and speak out against injustice? Find ways to connect and pressure governments to listen to our voice?

The voice of the people? Hardly. Sometimes I feel like our voices are lost. Or maybe there are only so few speaking.

I write letters and speak out, but do the powers that be actually listen? Do they actually track the number of responses and take notice? Does it get handed to them on a slip of paper by an aide and is then filed under “G” for “garbage”? Do they engage in conversation with those who they represent, or do they hide behind canned responses crafted and forwarded by aides?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently asked the Governor General to prorogue Parliament. This means they are shutting down Parliament until March, dumping loads of Bills that are mid-progress and still in discussion and all committees that have been formed this session to discuss issues. Bills and committees that they have possibly spent months debating and working on and hammering out details that would make them more agreeable. They will now have to start over and all the Bills be re-introduced and discussed anew and they get paid for two months away from Parliament. This stands in our system as a legal political move so that if all business has been dealt with for the year, Parliament can rest early. It has happened an apparent 105 previous times as we are constantly told. It is now being used as a dodge so that the current government can give themselves time away from their shameful Afghan torture scandal and refresh the House with a crony Senate appointed so that they more likely to agree with the PM’s views and vote accordingly.

This government is not the first to do such. In fact, Stephen Harper himself shamed Chretien for using it years ago, saying “The government will prorogue the House so that it will not be held accountable for its shameful record”. The same is true now. Hide from torture Mr. Harper. Hide from possible international war crimes and take the time to hide the evidence and gain back public opinion with your lies. Stack your House full of cronies who will follow you down the rabbit hole dismantling our democratic rights. The people will not stand for it.

Or will they? Do they even care anymore? Is there even a responsible alternative to choose? It seems many politicians lie and do very little work, and the ones who do are lost in independence and discounted for going against the party-line. What’s worse is that we so often sit back while political atrocities occur. We let the MLAs work only 81 days since November of 2008 (must be nice!) and don’t seem to even notice or care. We ignore Bills and committees that are discussing our human rights and our futures and driving our Canadian values behind the voice of profit and corporate greed. We so often stay silent.

Why do we feel so apathetic? Why do we not speak up?

I think I know why. Because we are lost in it. There is so much going on around us and so many lies being told, we don’t know who to trust. We don’t understand how the system even works because it is so lost in legislative process that we can’t begin to comprehend or concentrate on it unless we are daily involved and we just don’t have the time or energy to care. We have no idea what’s really going on behind closed doors, what propaganda is being spouted, what back deals are happening, where endless budgets are really going, and whose friends stand to make great profits. There is little way to truly find out even if we wanted to. We have no idea even the political jargon behind the legislation when it sits in front of us in its pure form and have trouble understanding the point of some of the House debates we watch on tv. And so many newspaper articles barely touch on the full details of what’s happening preferring short slamming pieces that do not begin to really discuss the issues behind what’s going on or affected by legislation, and every channel spouts the same three lines instead of logically looking into arguments and doing real journalism. So instead of potentially looking foolish, or being called into a political argument we are afraid of losing, we stay silent. We sit back and not voice what we are really thinking and nothing changes. It’s not enough to vote. It’s not enough to write letters.

We need to not be afraid of our government. Our government needs to be afraid of us. If we do not understand what’s going on, we have the right ask our representatives about it and we deserve reasonable and clear answers that explains the details. We deserve the details of what’s going on with our money and our political power. We deserve the details of breaches of international law. We outnumber the politicians and our will and well-being should count. We need to act with non-participation if necessary and show them again that we have a voice that must be heard. Imagine if civil workers and unions all striked at outrages of democracy. Refused to work. They would need to listen or their economy would collapse. We have the capability of this power, and so often we forget, or can’t rally together enough to make that power felt. We let the status quo reign and stay silent while we lose more and more control over our own lives.

Why don’t we all take a prorogue from our own work until our government goes back to work. Shut down the system and tell them “no”. Be responsible and transparent.

Instead we attack each other with personal degradation and insults along party lines.

We need to engage in conversation and come together for all our futures. We are not that different, you and I. The more we talk, the more we can see this.

“You disagree, ok, well what part do you disagree with and why?”  If we logically break down the arguments and reveal real objections we can come to a compromise. We need to discuss alternatives. THERE ARE ALWAYS ALTERNATIVES! We need to compromise and discuss and come to reasonable solutions like adults.

Come on people! End rant. 🙂

Speak your voice:

House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0A6
Canada

The Prime Minister – pm@pm.gc.ca

The Foreign Affairs Minister- cannon.L@parl.gc.ca

The Leader of the Opposition- Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca

Other party leaders in Parliament-  Layton.J@parl.gc.ca; duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca

Find your Member of Parliament here.

And find your MPP here.

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Actions are taking place all over Canada. Check out http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=227662474562 for details of rallies happening in your city or start your own!

Corporate Accountability: Political action to stop human rights abuses by Canadian mining, oil and gas companies.

It is about time!  Finally, the government of Canada is seeing the light and is attempting to mandate the corporate social responsibility of the Canadian mining, gas and oil extraction industries necessary to stop their involvement in major human rights violations around the world. This bill, if enacted, would help to ensure that corporations engaged in mining, oil or gas activities who often receive significant financial and political  support from the Government of Canada act in a manner consistent with international environmental best practices and with Canada’s commitments to international human rights standards. The Act gives the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Trade the responsibility of holding corporations accountable for their practices by submitting annual reports to the House of Commons and the Senate for review and allowing for a formal complaints procedure for those who have been wronged. Essentially, it is enabling a process to help catch Canadians committing crimes around the world and to prevent human rights abuses from occurring by the hand of certain Canadian corporations.

Sadly, this bill almost didn’t make it to the third reading with 137 votes for and 133 against in Parliament… only one Conservative party member voted for this bill while almost all of the rest of the Conservative party (132 of the 137 “Nays”) voted against it.

Profits should not come before people and companies should be held liable if they are committing abuses around the world to make their profits. We have laws against these types of abuses here in Canada and have signed countless international covenants against them, so why should some be allowed to get away with them just because they happen on foreign soil or because they bring in massive profits in tax dollars? Why should the government of Canada support companies if they are helping to commit crimes around the world? This makes us all guilty!

WHY ARE WE CHOOSING ECONOMIC SECURITY OVER THE RIGHTS OF HUMAN BEINGS? THAT IS CRIMINAL!

Why do some stand against this bill? Well, one position is that it will “diminish the international competitiveness of the Canadian mining industry” and possibly “drive Canadian companies to seriously consider relocating their head offices and listing outside of Canada”. Frankly, if companies are not willing to be socially responsible enough to ensure that they are not committing major human rights abuses– then I say– GOOD RIDDANCE to them!

I do not want one cent of my tax dollars going to help support their abuses. It is disgusting to me that we live in a world that gives us little choice but to use human rights abusing products to be part of our society, mostly without our knowledge and I would be thrilled if allowed the choice to choose those that are human rights abuse free.

And as for the claim that it will diminish the international competitiveness of the industry– I say being free of human right abuses gives them a new competitive edge and added marketing capability. How upset are people to learn that their products are made in sweat shops? The mining, oil and gas industries are responsible for much more far reaching and atrocious abuses. Imagine the marketing potential if the government supported the ones who made the effort with a seal of “free of human rights abuses”?  It also will make Canadian industries the new standard for the world and a shining example of what is possible; that the industry does not have to be human rights abusing and that we can buy products such as metals without having to feel guilty.

Do we really want an industry that has a hand in committing awful crimes around the world to continue that practice? Does the profit to be had really mean more than the lives of those who are being wronged? Well, according to at least 133 members of our government (because I would also tend to include those who abstain), it does.

Please take the time to review this issue and write to your politicians about it. You can read about some of the human rights abuses associated with the mining, oil and gas industries here.

If you want to write to the government (and I’m hoping you will!), here are some people to try writing to:

John McKay, MP. Liberal Party of Canada, MckayJ@parl.gc.ca– responsible for bringing the bill to Parliament.

Kevin Sorenson, Chair, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, SorenK@parl.gc.ca
Angela Crandall, Clerk, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, faae@parl.gc.ca

or Write to:

House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0A6
Canada

The Prime Minister – pm@pm.gc.ca

The Foreign Affairs Minister- cannon.L@parl.gc.ca

The Leader of the Opposition- Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca

Other party leaders in Parliament-  Layton.J@parl.gc.ca; duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca

Find your Member of Parliament here.

And find your MPP here.

Here are some sample letters for you to use:

If your MP voted for, or abstained on the Bill:

Date:

Dear

Re: Support for Bill C-300 on Corporate Accountability

I am writing to let you know that I strongly support Bill C-300, an Act respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries.

I am appalled by regular reports that Canadian mining, oil and gas companies are involved in human rights, labour, and environmental violations around the world and by the fact that these companies often receive financial and political support from the Canadian Government. The current government’s response to these concerns is its “Building the Canadian Advantage” strategy. This voluntary approach is completely inadequate.

Bill C-300 responds to the urgent need for a stronger regulatory framework to hold Canadian mining, oil and gas companies accountable, in Canada, for human rights, labour, and environmental violations overseas. Bill C-300 has garnered support across the country and internationally. It is supported by the Canadian Network for Corporate Accountability (CNCA), an organization which includes Amnesty International Canada, the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, Friends of the Earth, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund, the Canadian Labour Congress, KAIROS – Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, MiningWatch Canada and many other organizations. Bill C-300 has my support as well.

I urge Members of Parliament and the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to support Bill C-300, recognizing that Bill C-300 reflects and responds to the recommendations that were made to the Government of Canada by the earlier Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2005.

Yours truly,

(your name and address)

If your MP voted against, you can try this:

Dear Mr.,

I am writing to let you know that I strongly support Bill C-300, an Act respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries. I am absolutely appalled and disgusted to learn that you voted against this bill. How can you vote against protecting the human rights of people? How can you choose economic security over human rights? Against what we as Canadians stand for? You do not represent your constituency by this vote, instead, you do us all a disservice as Canadians. This will not diminish the international competitiveness of the mining industry– it will give us a competitive edge and added marketing potential and set us as a standard for the world.

We should not be supporting, either financially or politically, companies that are responsible for major human right abuses around the world. We should not leave this to voluntary cooperation– because it is NOT enough to stop the abuses from happening. If it is illegal to commit these crimes on Canadian soil, then these companies should not be permitted (and even encouraged through our support) to do so on foreign soils. This is absolutely appalling and I am deeply disturbed that you have voted it down in Parliament. I am disgusted at your lack of compassion for the violated and lack of responsibility in this issue.

Bill C-300 responds to the urgent need for a stronger regulatory framework to hold Canadian mining, oil and gas companies accountable, in Canada, for human rights, labour, and environmental violations overseas. Bill C-300 has garnered support across the country and internationally. It is supported by the Canadian Network for Corporate Accountability (CNCA), an organization which includes Amnesty International Canada, the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, Friends of the Earth, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund, the Canadian Labour Congress, KAIROS – Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, MiningWatch Canada and many other organizations. Bill C-300 has my support as well.

I urge Members of Parliament and the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to support Bill C-300, recognizing that Bill C-300 reflects and responds to the recommendations that were made to the Government of Canada by the earlier Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2005.

Yours truly,

(your name and address)


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