Reclaiming Canada

By Kristoffer Envik

moraine_lake.jpg

If you are Canadian, you probably know that there is an upcoming election, if you aren't Canadian; you are probably following the election in hopes that Canada will stop being so apathetic and vote Harper out.

This year will be my first time voting federally, and it is the most important year yet as there is so much at stake. The simple fact that Harper won the last election fraudulently should alarm most Canadians, but I believe we are simply too apathetic; all bark and no bite.

Many either don't know or don't care how he won fraudulently, as long as they get their tax rebate or child tax check in the mail. For starters, he prorogued parliament twice in 2008 and 2010 to avoid a vote of no confidence. A lot of people have heard of the robocall scandal, where people not on the conservative voting list were called and told their local voting stations had moved. On top of that former MP Dean Del Mastro has recently been sentenced to one month in jail for violating Canada's election law; talk about a bunch of crooks.

Harper was found in contempt of parliament in 2011, appointed a number of senators that are now at the heart of the Senate spending scandal, and in 2012 the Conservative party pleaded guilty to election overspending and submitting fraudulent election records, now known as the In and Out Scandal.

There is no possible way for me to cover all the fraudulent activity of the Harper regime in one article, but other atrocities commited by Harper and his goons include:

Bill-C51

Blurring the definition of security to potentially include peaceful protests, restricting freedom of expression basically turning the government into 1984's Ministry of Truth. It also raises privacy concerns, considering the act would allow federal institutions like Health Canada and Revenue Canada to share private information with the RCMP.

Defining terrorism vaguely, their attempt to remove all terrorist propaganda from the Internet will ultimately censor freedom of expression on the internet, violating online civil liberties. 

Removing protection for all bodies of water in Canada

These bodies were formerly protected by the 1882 Navigable Water Protection Act. (Over 2 million lakes, and over 8,500 rivers).

The original Navigable Waters Protection Act protected the lakes from any construction that may interfere with navigation of any body of water in Canada. This included dams, bridges and other blockages to transportation popping up without the government’s approval. Now, government approval is not needed.

The new "industry-friendly" Navigable Protection Act was launched in 2012 and eliminated these protections for the majority of water bodies in Canada.

The government presented and explained the new 2012 Jobs and Growth Act showing 97 lakes, 62 rivers and 3 oceans that will be protected.

Silencing scientists

Namely Pat Sutherland whose discovery of Helluland (Known as Baffin Island) would change Canadian history as we know it. On July 3, 2015 the Canadian government posted a video on YouTube about the Franklin Expedition. It was a show of Canadian exeptionalism, with the comments disabled as if they knew they would receive backlash from the public.

I live in a predominantly conservative city in Canada, which isn't surprising given the number of churches and the high elderly population. Living here has helped me learn the key to defeating the conservative votes in Canada; we need the youth, and the aboriginal community to get out and vote. At one point aboriginals had to give up their "indian status" in order to gain the right to vote. Indian is politically incorrect, a term used by Columbus "who was not the first European explorer to reach the Americas, and thought he was in India".

It is not widely known in Canada that the existing Indian Act, has laws that were written in 1876, and if read to the public would come across as barbaric. In the Indian Act “Status Indians” are wards of the Canadian federal government. Canada has now become infamous for our human rights records, and refused to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Harper was previously quoted saying "You won't recognize Canada when I'm done with it.", and he's right, I don't recognize the Canada I once knew. For years now, I've struggled with the term "Canadian", it's getting tougher and tougher to say I'm Canadian. Our only glimmer of hope is in this election. We need another government that will say no when required as Jean Chretien did, and to quote him on the matter, “Unfortunately, a lot of people thought sometimes that we were the 51st state of America. It was clear that day that we were not.”.

This election is your chance to take back the Canada you once knew with your vote; or you can not vote, or vote conservative and enjoy a world where Saudi Arabia is a leader on the United Nations Human Rights Council, and Canada is infamous for their human rights record.

Kristoffer Envik

Chilliwack