Editorials

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Council of Canadian Government!!
Post-election Canada and the New Liberal Government
By William Doyle-Marshall
Tears of joy and disappointment have been wiped off many faces. Lawn signs and other campaign material are being removed to be stored up for another run at this four-year game. Yes, that’s what veterans do because election campaigns cost lots of money and we finance the undertaking in the hope that next time things will be better.
While Stephen Harper goes off and do whatever he wishes in his retirement members of the new parliament would have to fix everything he broke and that starts with a lot of things that are non-partisan, Elizabeth May, the lone Green Party Member in parliament, says. They would have to think of repairing the damage and rebuilding the kind of country they want, starting with cooperation in the parliament, May believes. This chore is now in the hands of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal team; the Conservatives without Harper; Thomas Mulcair and his reduced New Democratic Party line-up and the one-woman Green Party of Elizabeth May.

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Anxious Canadians listen to promises!!!!
Political parties made promises as they campaigned to gain voters’ confidence. We heard what would be done to improve living conditions of First Nations’ communities; raise in minimum wage to $15.00 an hour; environmental improvements; rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement; they will do something for students about debt and possibly abolish tuition, money will be spent on infrastructure, culture and sensible economic development initiatives. Now you the voters (who are the employers of these politicians) in government and opposition have to keep very close tabs on their affairs. Your involvement here is essential. The term ‘holding them accountable’ must have serious meaning. And yes, there are things you can do. Get community groups together for action. If every citizen takes a small step and let these parliamentarian know they are on probation, things will be better.

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Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi and Frances Littman

As far as Elizabeth May is concerned it’s time for all Canadians to make sure they are thinking about the collective well-being of the country as a whole not the middleclass versus the billionaires class, versus the poor. Simply put, it is time to pull together. “So in that spirit we are advocating something that I think is a brilliant notion: the Council of Canadian Governments,” May contends. It exists in Australia that is a lot like Canada – Commonwealth country with divisions between the State governments and federal government.
The Green Party Leader visualizes federal, provincial and local government around the same table to serve all the big goals. Canada currently has no energy policy, no transportation policy, no education policy, no cultural policy, no housing policy, no manufacturing policy. “We have adhocary with each level of government pulling in different directions. No wonder people think: how come I am paying taxes municipally, provincially, federally and those levels of government don’t seem to be willing to work together,” she observes.
The Council of Canadian Governments would be all about pulling together: federal government, provincial, territorial, representation from municipal government, not every Mayor in Canada but a good representation at a seat at the table for First Nations, Metis and Inuit leadership looking at all big picture questions. Then when we establish a goal, we are all pulling in the same direction.
“It doesn’t need to open the constitution to do this, it just needs to say that maybe the constitution as devised in 1867 doesn’t work all that well in 2015. So we think our ideas are good ones. We hope and actually I am quite certain other parties will follow and pick up on these ideas.
The Green Party’s platform in regards to short term and long term on refugees and immigrants: calls for an overhaul of Canada’s policy. There are 50 streams to be able to come into Canada and we need to be able to help to streamline policies when we have refugees and when we have immigrants so that the process for them to become citizens, there needs to be a way, says Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, the unsuccessful candidate for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford. She insists there is a need to ensure that the skills and the education that immigrants and refugees are bringing are recognized quicker. Trudeau said unequivocally since his election, his government plans to welcome 25,000 refugees by next year. But May would prefer 40,000.
“We have always been a country of humanitarian and helpers,” Hunt-Jinnouchi contends. She told a Victoria gathering she needs only to put herself in the situation of the women and grand ma’s running with their children, running from the war and having bombs and shellfire on them. She regrets Canada was part of starting that. “We dropped four air strikes so we can’t be involved in war and not expect people are going to try to find peace and shelter. So it’s very mixed messaging and like no other time our Prime Minister is putting that fear mongering with smoke screens about niqab and whatever to get people afraid,” Hunt-Jinnouchi continues.
October 22, 2015