The world around us
Although there are many critics of our Constitution, few have read it, and fewer still understand it.
The primary culprits are our political parties. They ignore provisions of the Constitution because they inhibit their actions and focus on political partisanship and power struggles. They have no intention of serving Canadians or our society. Each party is fixated on acquiring and wielding power.
We do not currently exist in a lawful democracy. Our governance is much closer to a third-world nation where powerful warlords fight bloody battles to achieve supremacy. We have not gotten to a shooting war, but we are treated as obedient followers, not individuals with rights and freedoms.
Our Senate must be politically neutral and styled following the Constitution:
In relation to the Constitution of the Senate, Canada shall be deemed to consist of Four Divisions:
3. The Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island;
4. The Western Provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta;
which Four Divisions shall (subject to the Provisions of this Act) be equally represented in the Senate as follows:
Ontario by twenty-four senators; Quebec by twenty-four senators; the Maritime Provinces and Prince Edward Island by twenty-four senators, ten thereof representing Nova Scotia, ten thereof representing New Brunswick, and four thereof representing Prince Edward Island; the Western Provinces by twenty-four senators, six thereof representing Manitoba, six thereof representing British Columbia, six thereof representing Saskatchewan, and six thereof representing Alberta; Newfoundland shall be entitled to be represented in the Senate by six members; the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut shall be entitled to be represented in the Senate by one member each.
Formatting the Senate as a secondary political partisan battleground was not envisioned when the Constitution was written. We must reconfigure the Senate to comply with the Constitution.
- Mackenzie King was elected prime minister with a minority government in 1921. He called an election in 1925, hoping to win a majority for the Liberals. Instead, the Conservative Party under Arthur Meighen won 116 seats compared to 101 for the Liberals.
- Despite the loss, King retained his grasp on power with support from the Progressive party, which had 24 seats. King’s Liberals remained in power even though the Tories represented more ridings.
- A year later, King’s Liberals were hit by scandal. The Customs and Excise minister, Jacques Bureau, promoted a known bootlegger to a senior ministry position during Prohibition in the United States. Bureau also protected customs officers accused by the RCMP of smuggling alcohol.
- King announced Bureau was stepping down because of ill health and immediately appointed him to the Senate.
- King was losing the support of the Progressives and facing a non-confidence vote that accused his government of corruption. To avoid that vote, King asked the governor general, Lord Byng, to dissolve Parliament. The Conservative government established at Byng’s invitation lasted only five days before falling on a non-confidence vote.
- King accused Byng, the Queen’s representative, of interfering in Canadian politics in the resulting election campaign. Voters agreed and, ignoring the Customs scandal that sparked the row, elected 128 Liberals and Liberal-Progressives, compared to 91 Conservatives. King remained prime minister until 1930, was voted out and then back into office from 1935 to 1948.
- The politician who sparked the crisis, Jacques Bureau, remained a senator until he died in 1933.
King’s contention that the Governor General (Executive Branch) ought not to interfere with the
power of politicians is spurious nonsense supported by every political party and government since. While the exercise of executive powers has always been and should continue to be rare, the GG’s power to rescind any political appointment provides Canada
with the equivalent of an impeachment process.
PM King held a grudge and, in 1940, seized an opportunity to weaken the Executive Branch. Canada was at war. The Secretary to the Cabinet had retired. King passed an Order in Council merging the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet into one office reporting to the Prime Minister.
Government operations since violate our Constitution.
The Constitution states:
11. There shall be a Council to aid and advise in the Government of Canada, to be styled the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada; and the Persons who are to be Members of that Council shall be from Time to Time chosen and summoned by the Governor General and sworn in as Privy Councillors, and Members thereof may be from Time to Time removed by the Governor General.
The Privy Council must be politically neutral as the Clerk is also Head of the Civil Service. The Privy Council must work with whatever party is elected to govern.
The GG selects members, not the Prime Minister. Ideally, the Privy Council should include representatives from all political parties and other persons the GG deems useful in providing insights into government operations.
All deliberations of the Privy Council are deemed to be secret, and Privy Councillors must swear an oath to maintain that secrecy. Privy Council meeting minutes and documents cannot be accessed through the courts.
Cabinet affairs are also considered secret but can be reviewed by the courts on application. If a judge deems that the release of the documents is in the public interest, they must be made public.
Current governments strive to apply Privy Council secrecy to Cabinet affairs, opposite of the transparency political parties promise but never deliver.
More to come in Part 3.
The Canadian Constitution is a unique document that deserves to be revered. It came into being to resolve bitter political rivalries that rendered the Province of Canada, formerly Upper and Lower Canada, ungovernable.
Another factor for confederation was the end of the American Civil War in 1865. The Canadian colonies knew that the US had a large, experienced federal army that might invade and add to its territory. The French-speaking residents
of the former Lower Canada were concerned as if an invasion succeeded, the US was unlikely to grant them the privileges they enjoyed under the 1774 Quebec Act.
The US Constitution, which came into effect 90 years earlier, in 1779 was extensively consulted. The US and Canada would exist as neighbours, and Canadians would expect similar rights and freedoms enjoyed by their neighbours.
The Canadian delegation and the British government wanted to preserve the Westminster form of governance, familiar to all.
What emerged was the framework for a Constitutional Monarchy. The Monarch, represented in Canada by a Governor General, became the Executive Branch, the Senate and a Commons (together) formed the Governance Branch and a Judicial Branch.
The Senate consisted of four divisions: East, Quebec, Ontario, and West, to ensure that legislation passed by the Governance Branch did not work against the interests of any division.
The Attorney General is Head of the Judicial Branch and required to be politically neutral along with the Judiciary, Senate, Governor General, Privy Council (advisory to the GG), and the Civil Service.
Appointees to public office serve at the Monarch’s pleasure, and their appointment can be rescinded for malfeasance.
Various subjects were set out as responsibilities of the federal government, and a separate list set of subjects as the responsibility of provincial governments.
The constitution is based on several unwritten principles:
- The Executive, Privy Council (advisors to the GG), Senate, Judiciary, and Civil Service must be politically neutral, ready to work with whatever government the people elect.
- The Senate was divided into four regions, the West, Ontario, Quebec and the East. Each region was responsible for ensuring that legislation passed by the Commons did not unduly interfere with the interests of regional residents.
- Residual obligations not set out in the lists of subjects in either the federal or provincial domains were considered to be in the federal domain.
- Governance should be at the level closest to the people governed.
In reading the constitution, one must be mindful of the meaning of language in use when it was
written. English and French are living languages that evolve; words used in 1867 have a different interpretation 155 years later.
Section 91 notes: “And any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in this Section shall not be deemed to come within the Class of Matters of a local or private Nature comprised in the Enumeration of the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces.”
The intent is to confine federal jurisdiction to subjects enumerates and avoid interfering in local subjects assigned to the provinces. It follows that if a subject not enumerated was of a local or private nature, the federal government should relegate the subject to the provinces.
The same principle applies to provinces that should give to municipalities (or whatever other designation internal jurisdictions are given) governance over subjects the internal jurisdiction can manage.
The major flaw in the constitution is that the original draft made no provision for how the document was to be amended.
Amendment provisions became an issue with the passage of the British Statute of Westminster on December 11, 1931. The Statute granted Canada independence from British regulations and the freedom to pass, amend, and repeal laws within an autonomous legal system. Provinces and the federal government could not agree on a means for amending the constitution at the time. Consequently, amendments to the constitution had to be approved by Britain until 1982.
After considerable political wrangling, a formula for amendment was agreed upon and was the central provision of the 1982 Canada Act. Unfortunately, the bar for modification is set so high it is almost impossible to meet. It could be employed in a confederation where political infighting did not trump common sense and reason, but that is still a Canada of our dreams.
I will deal with how we went wrong in Part 2.
Here is a hint: The lists of subjects enumerated as either federal or provincial are misrepresented by politicians as “powers.” They are not powers over the people of Canada; they are obligations to the people of Canada.
For example, Parliament must provide Militia, Military and Naval Service, and Defence. It must ensure that we have a robust enough military to protect our sovereignty and prevent an invasion of our lands and waters. That is not an option; it is an obligation.
Canada documented more cases of COVID-19 during the first 40 days of the Omicron wave than it did during the entire first year of the pandemic, according to data from CTVNews.ca’s case tracker.
This would be news only if it were accurate. It is sensationalized trash.
Many provinces and Territories don’t update COVID statistics on weekends. Jan. 10 fell on a Monday, so several jurisdictions reported three-day totals, not the numbers for that day.
Total case counts are a poor metric for tracking COVID. The case counts include deceased persons. I am sure the families and loved ones of the 544 people who died from COVID during the first ten days of January are bewildered to learn that their deaths are treated by CTV news as “new infections.”
Case counts also include people who have tested positive for COVID and recovered. No doubt, the 276,984 people who recovered during the first ten days of January are delighted to know that their brush with death is treated as a new infection.
During the first ten days of January, active case counts increased by 13,423 or 32.6% of the total case increase. Active cases represent those who have tested positive for COVID and are awaiting an outcome.
Health care people are now telling us that because system elements are overwhelmed, they can’t accurately track new infections, and the actual numbers are much higher than the reported numbers. Provinces are catching up on COVID reporting.
Over the past five days, January 10 to 14, provinces have reported an increase of 180,211 total cases (misrepresented as new infections), including 530 deaths and 235,943 recoveries for a net reduction in active cases of 56,268.
Recently the Chief Medical Officer for Alberta admitted that they have been fudging ICU patient numbers. This is no surprise. Medial people try to keep ICU numbers high to avoid losing beds to administrators trying to limit costs. This happens in every jurisdiction.
We started COVID combat to save lives. Beginning in October and increasing until today, the intent has shifted to protecting our health care systems. Provincial governments that fund health care have created huge bureaucracies to oversee health care administration that have failed us.
Measurements of hospitalization are also inaccurate. People are admitted to hospital for many illnesses and injuries. Many, but not all are COVID victims. The same goes for ICU admissions. Not everyone in an ICU is there for COVID. All deaths are not attributable to COVID.
We do not have the infrastructure or human resource depth to deal with an epidemic. Governments move slowly as their feet are filled with lead from shooting themselves in the feet. Decades of working to minimal health care standards to save money have come home to roost.
Few people are aware of the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sectorwritten in 2006. Our government tossed it in the trash and used an unprecedented and unproven approach to combat COVID. We exist with the results in a surreal society we no longer recognize.
There is no indication that we will defeat, let alone eliminate COVID in the foreseeable future. Closing or limiting access to businesses, community and recreational facilities and places of worship are not independent; they support isolation regulations and discourage people from interacting with others.
Isolating, vilifying and demeaning the unvaccinated as the cause of failure to limit COVID spread is a despicable distraction from the failure of our institutions. Scapegoating a segment of our population to avoid political accountability is the refuge of unethical politicians.
It is not possible to continue to isolate people as a COVID countermeasure. Extending emergency legislation month by month for 22 months is ridiculous. Extending lockdowns, venue capacity restrictions and isolation regulations for two to four weeks at a time are not viable. Governments are hoping for some natural change to covid spread instead of looking for ways to live with the threat.
Our mental health suffers, and additions, depression, despair, fear and hopelessness are taking a toll. Development of our children is hampered. Our economy sits in ruins, and staff shortages threaten essential services. We appear to be on a dead-end highway with no off-ramps.
COVID is a wake-up call that has revealed severe deficiencies in the institutions and systems we depend upon, and we are not responding rationally or reasonably. The heart of health care is almost dead and due for a quadruple bypass operation:
- Increase health care funding in the order of 15%. More may be required. We need to catch up on decades of governments financially starving the systems. Health care will be more expensive, but nothing near what has been spent on a failed effort to combat covid over each of the past two years;
- Put professional administration of health care back in facilities. Medical people are not trained in administration or human resources and must stay out of the wheelhouse. Bureaucrats are even worse;
- Provide for private delivery of health care services. That will generate mush needed private investment in land, facilities, equipment and supplies;
- Reduce the size of government health care bureaucracies by 90%. We need to ensure billings from public and private delivery facilities match an approved fee scale adjusted to consider the costs of land, buildings, equipment, supplies and land taxes.
The Post Millennial
January 3, 2022
A video of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on a Quebec-based talk show went viral on Sunday. It showed Trudeau saying that people who don't support the vaccine are often racists and misogynists.
Trudeau appeared on the La Demaine des 4 Julie on September 17. This was during the 2021 federal election campaign, during which Trudeau turned vaccines into a political wedge issue.
In the interview, Trudeau said that "there are people who are opposed to vaccines, that don't believe in science, that are often misogynists, racist."
A government fear campaign must be powerful enough to ensure compliance with its regulations and a really good campaign will entice people to beg the government to save them from the peril they face.
Covid is invisible, and it is challenging to portray microscopic bits of protein hiding in the shadows to leap on passing people, choke off their ability to breathe and kill them.
Pre-vaccines, all of us were running the same risk of infection. Our Prime Minister was searching for a visible enemy to blame for government failures to diminish the spread of covid.
Vaccine mandate resistors were visible, vocal and ripe for exploitation. They were portrayed as enemies of society to be vilified and shunned. They became the reason why efforts to curb covid were not working.
Unvaccinated people became social outcasts with our willing participation. No one considered the ethics of creating social outcasts or whom else the government might designate for special treatment.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s initiation and endorsement of this approach to our family members, friends and neighbours is a cynical manipulation of the masses. Too few have spoken out against this unethical and unacceptable treatment of free citizens living in a democracy ruled by law.
Our rights and freedoms cannot be overridden by bureaucrats without proving that the incursions are demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. No effort to justify Charter incursion has even been attempted.
Our standards and values as a society are damaged. We are not the caring, compassionate, empathetic, tolerant and understanding people we claim to be. Out governments have thrust us a long way back down the social evolution ladder.
Our Prime minister and Premiers have ignored their constitutional duty to show clear cause for their incursions on the rights and freedoms of some people more than others, and the freedoms of the majority. The Charter exists to limit the coercive power of governments and may never be ignored.
This just in: Trudeau says Canadians are 'angry' and 'frustrated' with the unvaccinated
No, Prime Minister. You are angry and frustrated and set up those who resist vaccinations as our enemies. You cannot shift the blame for your failure to limit the spread of covid to a small group of designated people who exercise no control over us. Vaccinated people are infected and going to hospitals. Health care workers are infected and unavailable for duty. We have fewer people to care for increasing victims.
Beating on the unvaccinated does not resolve the health care problems we face. Booster shots are not immediately effective. Vaccines are not immediately effective, have proven to have limited effect and are not the solution to covid infections. We need solutions, not more empty ranting.
This will be my last post on covid. We have too many people commenting and too few solutions. The web of deceit will collapse during 2022 as people wake up and realize they have been duped.
While the Omicron virus variant appears to be particularly contagious, and total case counts are rising rapidly, it does not seem as potent as its predecessors. Hospitalizations and deaths are not increasing at a similar pace.
Omicron may not be more potent than the common flu. If so, people will suffer a few days of discomfort, with one difference; they will also create covid antibodies and immunity to the disease.
Most Omicron infections are among the unvaccinated. If they suffer mild disease and develop immunity, they may no longer need vaccines.
It is increasingly apparent that mRNA therapies are not ‘vaccines’ and have a limited effect on boosting immunity that diminishes as time passes. Vaccinated people are
When politicians make plans, angels giggle.
Our Prime Minister has just announced that boosting vaccination efforts is a top priority for 2022. Events and realities will probably knock his focus for a loop.
Testing facilities in several provinces are overwhelmed, and testing is confined to essential workers and vulnerable people. Since people with coronavirus symptoms can’t get tested, where are the caseload numbers coming from? Nothing is adding up.
Case counts are an inaccurate metric for measuring covid spread as they are an accumulation of active cases, recoveries and deaths with built-in double counts of components. During the holiday season, provinces are reporting numbers sporadically and then many only report partial numbers. Some report case totals only without reporting component parts. Until provinces can catch up on their reporting paperwork, covid statistics are meaningless. For example, Quebec reported 47,741 recoveries on Monday, January 3rd, resulting in a decrease of 32,463 in active cases. The media only reported the 15,293 increase in total cases as ‘new infections and 15 deaths (which also reduce the active case number) which is rubbish.
Ontario is leading the way by making a fourth (!) booster shot available to vulnerable people. The mRNA therapies are not functioning as promised. People with two shots of the treatment are not protected. We are being blamed and isolated because we remain vulnerable to infection. We seem to be on a gerbil wheel running from covid strains but getting nowhere.
Some provinces report Omicron outbreaks in congregate residential facilities after promising to protect these facilities from future episodes.
Health care officials have announced that most of the face masks we use are inadequate, and we need better quality, better fitting masks to protect us and those around us. That is evidence that masking has been used as a placebo for nearly two years.
Health care officials are now telling us that we should use rapid test kits for covid and if we test positive isolate since we cannot get a PCR test. In addition, they tell us that it is our responsibility to advise close contacts that they have been exposed since contact tracing facilities are overrun.
If contact tracing facilities are overrun, no one checks to see how many of those who tested positive for covid have recovered.
Essential service workers, including hospital staff, are calling in sick and not available for work. They have stuck it out for two years, taking risks most of us can avoid, and fatigue is taking its toll. We can’t expect our front lines to suck it up and carry on indefinitely.
Health care officials and the governments they advise continue to pretend they can control covid spread. Failure to recruit and train backup staff for hospitals, testing facilities, contact tracing efforts and congregate residential facilities have come home to roost.
While this madness continues, our economy continues to be bludgeoned by covid regulations, and our cost of living is increasing rapidly. Two years of unrelenting fear-mongering have taken a terrible toll on our society. People are afraid to go to the supermarket for increasingly expensive food and supplies. The fear factor is palpable.
Governments are infamous for promising to save us from some invented hobgoblin. Covid is real, not some invention, but has been treated as something our governments can deal with. Omicron has proven that health care and government fixation on forcing mRNA therapies on everyone is not viable for reducing covid spread. Two shots and we are immune is unethical fiction.
Huge government bureaucracies respond ponderously to evolving situations and are notorious for failing to plan forward. We are paying a massive price for government incompetence. We can only hope that Omicron is benign and helps develop the herd immunity that mRNA shots failed to deliver.