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COMMENTARY · 1st April 2012
Merv Ritchie
This past week the Canadian environmental movement and democracy suffered a severe setback; back as far as the foundation of unions and civil rights movement. The release of the 2012 Federal budget exposed a significant change in Government responsibility. No longer is the government of the nation concerned with the interests of the people of Canada. And the truth is neither is the media. But you should decide.

The least reported item from the budget document is a cut to the budget of elections Canada. Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen reported during a media scrum following the release of the budget, it received a cut seven times greater than any other department or ministry. Not only was it the hardest hit office of the government, but to repeat, it was hit seven times harder than the next hardest hit department. This department accepted a guilty plea from the Harper Conservatives following the last Federal Election for breaking the democratic election rules after a lengthy and costly investigation.

The reason the Canadians had to go to the polls and vote again was due to all of the elected representatives on the opposition benches voting the Harper Government out in a motion claiming his ruling party was in contempt of parliament. Yet on the same day the budget was delivered, which cut their offices funding at a rate seven times greater than any other department, Elections Canada was invited to Ottawa to report on their new investigation regarding the alleged election fraud, again perpetrated by the Harper Conservatives. Is it an ‘April Fools Joke’ or the truth that the newly elected majority government slashed the funding to the organization which secures democracy after it exposed the same government for undermining democracy and is investigating it anew?

Enbridge Northern Gateway’s president and CEO Pat Daniel stated Petro China might build the pipeline from the Northern Alberta oil/tar sands region to Kitimat, BC. He stated they are highly skilled, having built many pipelines and the process would be an open bidding affair. Daniels was invited to attend during Stephen Harpers visit to China last month when Harper signed an agreement to protect Chinese investments in Canada by any and all means including against trade barriers, environmental restrictions and Canadians protesting their activities. Included in the Budget was a reduction in the restrictions to foreign workers to work on foreign investment properties and projects. Is it an “April Fools Joke” or the truth that China will build the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and the Canadian Government will be required by law to use any and all means to protect the Chinese workers including military force?

China owns outright and has significant interests in many oil/tar sands properties. It also hosts in China the world’s largest complex of refineries through CNPC (China National Petroleum Corp) and Sinopec (China Petroleum and Chemical Corp). They are expanding substantially while other nations are retracting their refinery capacity. By 2015 China is predicted to be capable of processing over 5 billion barrels of crude annually with over 20 new or expanded refineries, while North America and Europe are reducing their capacity. The USA today is estimated to process 5.4 billion barrels per year but with the expected refining capacity shut downs on the east coast this could drop below 5 billion barrels per year making China the world’s largest refiner in the coming years. One of the specific details of Chinese investments in the oil/tar sands properties is a veto over any upgrading or refining capacity from the properties they have invested in. China also, through COSCO (Chinese Ocean Shipping Corp) and their bulk crude carrier operation Dalian shipping, has quadrupled their VLCC fleet in the last 10 years and more than doubled the size in the past three years from eight to twenty with more VLCC’s on order. Is it an “April Fools Joke” when Enbridge Northern Gateway states they will be “vetting” (securing the safety and viability) of the tankers, which will transiting Douglas Channel arriving at Kitimat to load the oil/tarsands bitumen or will they all simply be new Chinese VLCC’s?

In January of this year Jeffrey Paul Delisle was arrested for breeching his Naval intelligence position with two charges under the ‘Security of Information Act’ that deals with communicating information, which could harm Canada's interests. No one will release any other information; it will all be kept secret. Nothing about what he communicated, who too, or in regards to what country, though the breeches occurred after 2007. The speculation is Russia, Iran or China. On June 22, 2010, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director, Richard Fadden, appeared on CBC TV and with very little misunderstanding exposed China for infiltrating and compromising various Canadian Crown Ministries’ both provincially and federally. Then in 2011 China was exposed for infiltrating the computer systems of not just the Federal Government but also various high profile law firms. Is it an “April Fools Joke” that nothing has been done to sanction China while Canada charges a lone Canadian who, for all we know, may have been advising Russia, the United States or even Canadian officials about China’s infiltration and the Canadian Governments submission to China’s power? We may never know as these details will be kept secret.

The economy of the world changed between the 1930’s and the 1960’s from a gold standard based economy to an oil standard based economy. The price and availability of oil impacts the value of a nation’s currency on an almost daily basis. It is the supply of fuel, and other products derived from crude oil, that sustains and maintains a nation’s economy. Today China has secured the rights to Canada’s petroleum reserves, secured the right to forbid any refining for domestic consumption, secured the right to build the pipelines to ship the reserves to the coast, secured the ships to transport the reserves to the refineries they have built and are continuing to build. They have secured the right to use their own Chinese workforce to extract the reserves and to build the pipeline. And with this most recent budget release by the Stephen Harper Government the Chinese have secured the ability to lower the environmental standards of Canada such that they meet Chinese environmental standards. Is it an “April Fools Joke” that this would then meet the legal requirement that Canada not sell these reserves to a Country with lower standards than Canada has?

China, the least free country on the globe, has become the holder of most of the free worlds debt. Now they have the enviable position of securing Canada’s present and future wealth; Canada's oil reserves. This embarrasingly includes Canada's commitment to protect China's investment.

Is it an “April Fools Joke” for Harper to host the budget reducing the funds available to Elections Canada, those who are attempting to secure democracy for Canada, on the same day Elections Canada appeared to provide advice on the extent of their investigation? Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand stated the following on the threat to our democracy.

"I think it's absolutely outrageous. Whether it was organized, or bigger, or whatever, the fact that electors at least that we know of in Guelph, were misdirected by calls falsely made on behalf of Elections Canada is absolutely outrageous, should not be tolerated," adding, "It's totally unacceptable in a modern democracy."

But he didn’t stop there, he provided further details; eight hundred complaints from 10 Provinces and 1 Territory involving 200 Ridings.

Why would the Stephen Harper Conservatives so willingly sign away everything Canadian including the right for Canadians to defend themselves against foreign incursions? The only reasonable explanation is the Chinese discovered, while infiltrating the various government offices and taking over control of all the computers, Harper was involved in something nefarious such as a sex scandal like the USA Republicans frequently get trapped in. That is if one doesn’t consider the extremist ideology the Stephen Harper Conservatives are following?

A statement retrieved from this Alliance church in regards to environmental groups reads "one of the greatest threats to society and the church today." Is this an “April Fools Joke” or is it true that Harper believes it when his church declares the free market is divinely inspired and that non-believers are "lost." That the ‘God granted dominion’ over the Earth and all life means they can do no wrong; it is all Gods will.

The only real joke is the mainstream media not headlining these issues everyday, on every broadcast, on every TV and Radio channel and the front page of every newspaper. The media used to have as its guiding mantra, writing and exposing to protect democracy. Today nothing could be further from the truth.

As a footnote; as to demonstrate how little governments care about people, an almost sure fire cure for some forms of cancer was revealed and reported on in January of 2007; a full five years ago. The difficulty is there is no profit to be made. Is it not the role of the government to take up the role when profit driven enterprises will not? Is this an "April Fools Joke"? You decide; Read the report here and watch a copy of the news video by CTV here.
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Comment by barryeng on 2nd April 2012
I'm sorry Merv, but I am going to have to stop reading your paper. Not because of bad reporting or anything like that, but more and more I am seeing reports on what Harper is doing that leave a sick feeling in my stomach.

It is not that I don't believe your stories, because I do. It is not because I am not willing to protest, because I am. It is not even that you are the only one reporting these machinations, because even the main stream media is starting to think that something might be wrong in Ottawa. It is simply for my own health.

So, for the sake of my own stomach, and for the sake of the whole health care system, I am going to have to stop reading all these stories that make me feel so bad. Not that the stories are not true, but maybe, just maybe, if I hide my head in the sand, they will go away without my help. Is that even possible?