3.1 – Trade De-Regulations

There is a lingering question, in the minds of many Canadians, about The Free Trade Agreement, FTA.

FTA was the single most prominent and controversial issue in the 1988 election, yet today 32 years later, it continues to be railroaded through without any debate.

Because of our representative system of government, FTA became the legal prerogative of 169 Conservative MPs, who did not represent the vision of most Canadian citizens.

The 52.3% of Canadian citizens opposing FTA split the vote between Liberal and NDP parties, who were, at that time, opposed to the FTA deal.

Superseding FTA, in January 1, 1994 the North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA, came into force.

Again, this controversial agreement was mandated without meaningful information, without public debate, and without the approval of the people by referendum.

The ongoing North American Security and Prosperity Partnership, NASPP; the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, CETA; and the Transpacific Prosperity Partnership, TPP, are negotiations without meaningful public mandate.

Because of our representative-parliamentary system, the party in government has the legal authority to negotiate in our behalf. Consequently, a handful of cabinet ministers trump the will of the majority of citizens.

3.2 – Military Interventions

Military Interventions in foreign countries are serious, life and death decisions, yet only a few cabinet ministers, selected by the Prime Minister, and supported by their members of parliament, MPs, are authorized to make decisions for all of us. This decisions to participate in violent interventions of war in foreign countries, are often in conflict with the vision of most Canadians.

Since 2001, year after year, the polls showed public rejection to the Canadian military intervention in violent wars. According to an Angus Reid poll – February 2011, 63% of Canadians opposed Canada’s participation in the war in Afghanistan.

Yet, more than 40,000 Canadian soldiers were sent to participate in that war. 158 died there between 2001 and 2014, plus 70 more, suffering of post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, committed suicide.

Conservative reports of the National Defence Budget, currently being decided by a few politicians, shows an increase from $15 billion in 2006 to $28 billion in 2017. The military budget is not consulted with the taxpaying citizens.

3.3 – Foreign Affairs Policies

Canadian diplomatic, trade, and aid policies, with foreign countries, are arbitrarily decided by the party in government, and these policies are often in conflict with the vision of the majority of Canadians.

For example, religious prejudices, ethnic discrimination, apartheid and even genocide are some of the extensively recognized charges against the State of Israel for the last 70 years.

While a few politicians, within the government of Canada, unconditionally support the State of Israel, this unconditional support is absolutely being opposed by thousands of International human rights and peace activists, Independent Jewish Voices, The United Church of Canada, and some Orthodox Jewish Nations of Israel who question, not just Canada’s foreign policy with Israel, but the very existence of that political State.

The UN has passed hundreds of resolutions condemning Israel’s violations and non compliance, yet a few powerful ministers within the government of Canada, contrary to most people’s wishes, continues to acquiesce with the State of Israel’s human rights violations.

3.4 – Bank of Canada.

According to the Committee On Monetary and Economic Reform, COMER, and the former Minister of Defense Paul Hellyer, the Bank of Canada, BoC, and the Industrial Development Bank (now the BDC), were created in 1938 and 1944 respectively, to lend money to all levels of government and to Canadian industry.

In 1974 the BoC and the BDC joined the Bank for International Settlements, BIS, First Basel Committee.

Soon after, The Government of Canada rescinded Bill 143 in line with the dictates of the BIS. Monetarism forced increased private sector borrowing instead of public money creation.

In 2017, The Liberal Government, without any consultation or approval from the people, created the new “Infrastructure Development Bank”, as a Private-Public-Partnership, P3s.

Author Adam Smith, from Toronto, questions the notion that Canada with a public-owned central bank would needs private investment to fund public infrastructure.

Comer.org and Paul Hellyer, former Defence Minister, and founder of the Canadian Action Party, claimed that the $60 billion/yr. paid as interest-fees, from all levels of government debts combined, to National and international financiers, could instead finance an optimal health care system, tuition free public education, and social housing for all Canadians who need it.

Canadians need to discuss and register their choice on a referendum/plebiscite whether we want to continue paying unnecessary interest fees for our national debt, to local and foreign financial institution, or use our Bank of Canada to finance social projects at little or no interest fees.

3.5 – Health Care System.

Most Canadians and the BC Health Coalition believe that Health Care Service is a human right. Everyone must have access to high quality, comprehensive and universal health care which is publicly funded, publicly accountable and publicly provided.

Statistics and budgets show that federal and provincial governments have been eroding the public health care system, making it vulnerable to privatization.

According to a Canadian Centre for Policy alternatives, CCPA, analysis, “…in terms of health care funding per capita: BC fell from second, out of ten provinces in 2001, to eighth out of ten by 2016.”

There is an obvious disconnect between what the for-profit businesses are lobbying the governments to do, and what most people need.

3.6 – Education System.

Many developed countries enjoy tuition-free education from kindergarten to university; whereas in Canada, our governments claim that we can not afford it, while at the same time they lower progressive income taxes which could be paying for education.

The United Public Education, UPE, a non-partisan coalition of student unions, teacher associations and other groups who represent every level of education in BC, Canada, raise awareness about the chronic under-funding of public education.

3.7 – Social Housing.

The federal and provincial governments in Canada developed legislation in the 1970s to provide financing for Social Housing through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, CMHC.

However, in the 1990s, contrary to the need of a significant number of citizens, who pay more than 50% of their income for housing, the federal government reduced the funds available for mortgages, and eliminated the start up funding for housing cooperatives.

3.8 – Transportation

Most environmentalists, and advocates of the LEAP Manifesto, would like to reduce the use of the “single user vehicle” because of its pollution effects; however, all levels of government keep increasing-budgets for highways, roads and bridges rather than for public transit vehicles and light rail infrastructure.

Obviously, increasing public transit would decrease air and noise pollution. However, governments insist in subsidizing the private automobile industry

3.9 – Campaign promises often not fulfilled.

During the 90’s, the Reform and Conservative Parties campaigned for direct democracy, DD, and recall legislation; however, when a coalition of both Parties resulted in Stephen Harper becoming the Prime Minister, DD and “Recall” legislation were no longer on their agenda.

Despite the 1991 BC Referendum on “Referendum and Recall”, which showed overwhelming public support, 81% and 83% respectively, in favour of the motion.

This above, short list of government practices in conflict with citizens illustrates the imminent need to shift from being ruled by a few party representatives, into Direct Democracy, or citizens’ legislation by referendum.