Monday, 20 June 2011

Canada, Jobs and Morality

As some of you might have seen on your facebook feeds, there are two main sites going around talking about Stephen Harper's mistakes and another speaking about Canada and Asbestos.

I thought I would dedicate this blog entry to both of these sites and their valiant effort to bring public awareness to topics that might otherwise be "swept under the rug," away from public enlightenment and scrutiny.

So, I give my applaud to and, both sites attempt to portray an opinion and facts to people in ways that grab more of the average reader's attention.

I will be honest, I decided to write this blog because I feel that a really important question comes from this issue. We often hear about environmentalists debating with business about the Progress vs. Nature debate. Should we cut down all of our forest to allow more housing and business to grow or leave it and hold our economy back? However, with the asbestos issue we get a similar question with a very identical structure, but with different actors. We now see our country banning and removing all forms of asbestos, but still mining it for the use of exporting it to developing countries.

Does anyone see any hypocrisy in this?

Lets way in the Pros and Cons for Asbestos:

White Asbestos

Reasons why Asbestos mining should be allowed:
-Quebec has a few mines within it that primarily provide the Asbestos that Canada exports
-Stephen Harper promised Quebecers that he would stand behind them and ensure white Asbestos could continue to be mined
-Around 350 jobs are saved by allowing the mining of Asbestos to continue
-Developing countries often apply White Asbestos to building contracts, often mixing it with other materials to supplement a lack of wood products. Example: Building walls and interiors with products combined with white asbestos.

Reasons against Asbestos use:
-Scientifically proven to significantly increase the chances of developing a few serious forms of cancer
-Although importers of Asbestos guarantee it will be used responsibly, that does not guarantee anything since exposure to anything with Asbestos still increases your chances of developing cancer.
-Over 100,000 people a year die from Asbestos related diseases, these are the numbers reported, overall cancer is killing off many more people.

Apparently, developed nations have come to the reasoning to understand the dangers of Asbestos use in general, yet we are fine when it comes to selling it to other nations who may not have as much understanding surrounding the toxicity of the substance. It is almost as if we are showing our egotism through capitalism, we are supposed to be enlightened, so we will protect OUR people, but if they are barbaric enough to buy the stuff, then we will sell it to THEIR people!

An old product that capitalized on the fire resistant traits of Asbestos

Check out this informative CBC article for more information on the Asbestos issue in Canada:

I look at the facts surrounding this debate and understand that in a time where our economy is suffering, people need to continue putting food on their family's table. Yet, when I see a government that has gone to so many lengths to remove Asbestos from our country, yet continue to sell it abroad...something does not sit right with me. Sure, people rely on this substance to bring in a wage, but is the money truly worth cutting back your life span and potentially your family's life span as a result? How can we even trust that the uses of Asbestos are properly enforced, when our own government does one thing, yet endorses a completely opposite thing?

I want to hear from you(The Readers) and see what your opinion on this is. I know the majority of our buildings and products no longer use Asbestos, but if we are exporting this material to developing countries and a lot of our products are also being manufactured in these countries...does it worry you that Asbestos might somehow make a full circle and return to us?

Not in my country, better dispose of it quick, the Chinese said they will buy it!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Deficit Theory and our Transparency Woes

It is 2011 and our Majority Conservative Government continues on with power. With this power, cliche aside, there comes a lot of responsibility with regards to a deficit our country currently possesses and our standing in the world theater.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Canada is an amazing country to live in. We show the world that multiculturalism can exist and with the proper maintenance can flourish. Everyday our media shows us the woes of other countries with regards to war, racism and structural deficits within their societies. As many Conservative supporters say with truth that our country is at it's best right now. Yes, we are currently weathering the economic crisis much better than some, but I must warn that this is no indication that we are as stable as the government seems to imply.

This is why I must stress the fragile balance that must be maintained in this country with regards to our economic situation and the current budget/deficit. Unfortunately, the Harper Conservatives have not put much effort into maintaining transparency with regards to how they intend to defeat our deficit and continue Canada on a path of progress. On top of this and to make matters worse, much of the speculation of the cost cutting measures are just that...speculation. We have no idea what will be cut and or replaced in an effort to save money and nothing really has come forth to give us an idea except for many tax cuts/breaks imposed by the latest budget. How is this good for Canada and more importantly the people of Canada if our government continues to work behind the scenes and frankly with smoke and mirrors? Granted, Harper won a majority via our political system, which should give him a lot of respect and clout since it is not a task that can be accomplished easy. The problem I have with this however is that I fail to see Harper understanding the true role of his position now.

I mean, as a Canadian citizen born here and raised, is it not appropriate for myself and others to raise concern about such issues? I understand that many Canadians do not really partake in the political system or find other distractions more easy to take up their time. However, I know for a fact that may Canadians moan and groan about their taxes. I for one do not moan about taxes and think you should not either and I will tell you why. We pay our taxes in support of a beautiful and imperfect system we and many others depend on. Under this system, WE have entrusted our money to public servants elected by US to serve US. However, I find it more and more common to see individuals not truly look into the important topics that directly affect our investments. The budget and deficit are examples of issues we should look carefully at. Mainly, how are our tax dollars being stretched to the limit and how are they helping the most people possible?

You may say something in response like: I work hard for my money and I am successful, why should I care about others who look like lazy bums out there doing nothing, my money belongs in my bank account!

Realistically, these people are not wrong in their assumptions about their money, but I would ask them to consider how our country's system has indirectly and directly aided in them reaching the point they are at today. The reality of life is that not everyone becomes a famous CEO or a celebrity or wealthy in general. Some of us get their easy and others spend their entire life sweating it out to reach just 10% of it. All of this aside though, we are equal citizens who are entitled to fair treatment and transparency from our government. This is one of the main reasons that our country is a shining example to the world, why people of other countries risk life and limb to reach our borders and give their offspring a better life.

You may now ask, how do we get this transparency, the government is big, while I am just one man/woman?

My answer....

Yes, I have mentioned this young girl before in a previous post, but her name is not important right now. What is important is that she voiced herself and made it clear to both our standing government and elected officials that people are watching and assessing their performance. The problem however is that not enough people are doing this, which is giving our elected officials of all parties the flexibility to bend their obligations and choose their own speed of performance. If we are to make any question of the illegal actions our government is doing, we need to know about them first, not 10 years down the line and after spending extreme legal fees to access the freedom of information act. In order to bring this kind of action to life, WE the people need to perform the greatest of checks and balances, WE need to address these concerns and make sure the government sees it.

Now, I am not saying go and be violent like the bubs in the G20, no no no...that will only get you a smoke bomb to the face. I am saying be peaceful, for being peaceful is not being cowardly, it is showing you have the balls to get stuff done and cause a disruption through a harder and more organized rally. We need to talk to each other, because Capitalism is a merciless beast that will strike the rich as easily as the poor, unfortunately though with little transparency one can only see it aiming at the middle class and poor since our current stats show the guessed it...getting richer!

Just remember next time you hear something about the budget and deficit that our tax dollars pay for his kittens and their maintenance. 
If Stephen Harper isn't going to be transparent on where he is going to begin the cuts, maybe he should start at home by not adopting a million kittens and raising his own costs associated to their care. Someone should just buy him one of those virtual pet games, he could have a million kittens at a bargain price of $29.99 without all the maintenance fees!

I am quite biased in my posts about Harper, I mean he is a fellow Beatles fan like myself and I should give him more credit since his job isn't to easy, but when I hear everyone say how good our current position is and than also hear Harper say it as he spews out more support for increased military spending. I wonder, there are still many families still finding it difficult to put food on the table let alone pay their mortgage, not to mention many others still out of work with a long list of newly created minimum wage jobs replacing the older and more sustainable ones. Yet, all I see from Harper's budget is more support for the rich and tax breaks that really do nothing to help the middle class or poor, since they further aid the wealthiest in our society. Sure, having more kids play sports is a good way to keep them active and out of trouble, but $70 bucks back from an active tax break really is chump change compared to that, oh what was it again....6 billion going to the corporations?

Be vigilant my readers and understand that I appreciate your interest in viewing my blog and thank you for taking the time to read it all. Once again I will say it, the government is here to serve us and fear us, not to walk all over us and direct our lives. We must utilize the benefits of our social welfare system, but are also tasked with the responsibility to keep it transparent, clean and with a purpose.

Life, Liberty and Good Government...This is the Canadian way!


Friday, 10 June 2011

Rise Up and Abolish the Chains of Ignorance!

PM Harper delivered a speech to a crowd of Conservative party delegates. 2,300 individuals gathered to hear what the Prime Minister had to say about our country, our progress and on the direction his party will be heading.

I am hoping that as many of you out there as possible can have a chance to study and view the wording and supposed aim Harper took in his speech.

If history has shown us one thing, it is that certain individuals can accumulate tremendous power by utilizing the power of fear. Fear of, fear over and fear to look at the changes currently happening in our world.

Something that really stood out from this speech however is the politically driven literature spewed from Harper's mouth with regards to dictators and military spending. Many very charged words such as : Resist, Power Shifting and Change of Force among others were used many times throughout his speech and this causes me a lot of worry and should cause you some discomfort to.

Our country has retained a reputation that I admire and am proud of, a reputation that shows the world we are not war-mongers and that peace is something attainable.

To change the format up a little bit here,  I am going to end my blog entry with a rant/ultimatum to Prime Minister Harper and other politicians who share his fear-mongering backwardness.

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT continue reading if you are categorized as politically faint of heart or are under the age of 6. What you read may incite anger inside of you and or change your entire perspective on the country/world you live in and how it works. Take everything you read here and try to apply it to better yourself and those around you.

To: Stephen Harper: Prime Minister of Canada, I extend to you with the most respect a solemn FUCK YOU!

I do not understand what has happened to you over the course of your life, but I really wish I had the chance to see what you have seen to think that right now Canada as a country needs to beef up it's military and that families are dying for tax breaks. Not to mention, that your actions are legitimate when all they do is laugh at our respected system of Democracy. People bash Depape for ruining a traditional ceremony, she is a young Canadian citizen with a freedom to express herself, what is your excuse Harper? You ass, you think it is right that you can limit and or deface our political systems, our foundations to freedom by thinking that you are some supreme commander now that you have won a majority via the most recent election.

Keep dreaming bub, you like many other politicians who think they can spit in the face of democracy for their own gain and ignore the plight of their people have something coming. You will witness the change that is approaching not only our country, but the entire world.

We have people who cannot afford to live in their homes, feed their children and save for retirement and you think a fucking tax break is what they want!? They do not want, but NEED jobs, Canadian jobs that stay in this country and produce products that are sustainable and can be relied upon. Yet you continue to turn a blind eye as your corporation buddies rake in the big cheques.

You think our country needs to spend money on the military!? No, we need to spend money on the areas we are falling behind on. China for example, the biggest example of a country that can copy everything and stomp on the freedoms of it's people, is leading in many renewable energy markets, this may seem like nothing right now, but in the future it will impact greatly. All the while, we have Canada lagging behind in an area we should be shining in as an example to the world!

If you get a chance to read this Stephen, I hope you will understand that your party has nothing to do with my ultimatum, you could be Liberal, NDP or Bloc and I would still rally against what you are doing. Many people may blindly follow now without regard to your actions, but push them far enough and a change will be coming, one that will see your seat spin. Canadians are not just the corporate leaders or individuals being paid to advise your party, they are the foundation to this country and the foundation to your government.

It is 2011 Harper, wake up and realize the issues right in front of us, because your direction is showing many signs of ignorance and egotism, both of which this country does not need right now!

Friday, 3 June 2011

The Throne Speech 2011

Today was the official Throne Speech of Parliament and the ushering in of an active Conservative Majority and NDP opposition. Although this symbolic ceremony is a highlight of our political system, it was the actions of 21 year old Bridgette DePape that made me extremely happy and overjoyed with emotion!

If you have not heard, Bridgette WAS a page working for the house (someone who assists individuals with photocopying, fetching water, etc). She went onto the floor today and in a bold statement held up a stop Harper sign in front of everyone including the media while the Governor General made his important ceremonial speech.

All I can say is....WELL DONE BRIDGETTE!!!! WELL DONE! This girl has just shown us what a true Democracy is! This is what I have been talking about people, you need to understand that the government should fear its people and not the other way around. I look around and see so many people either not caring about what our government does or to afraid to question it. This young and politically motivated girl has provided us with an example of a liberty we have in this country that we take for granted! While other people die after even opening their mouth about their governments(dictatorships), we sit back and forget about how lucky we are!!!!!

This stunt took a lot of courage and motivation...hell it took a lot of plain old fashioned balls to stand up in front of all of those people and voice her protest to our government. I mean sure, there has been a lot of discussion on the ethics imposed by the Harper government and people have begun questioning it, but nothing close to the amount of questioning as many other countries do.

As a result, I would like to extend an award to Bridgette for having the right mind to uphold her civic duty as a citizen of this country and utilize her freedom of speech. She could have gone to her local MP, but there would be a little to no chance that any protest she made would get to the top, this was an effective and excellent show of ones opinion and I hope Harper got a good look!

If you want to read the entire story, check out the CBC link:

How do you feel about today's simply awesome protest and the strength this girl has shown us?