Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bill C-300 Corporate Responsibilty

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This is correspondence that I had sent to some elected officials who had yet to indicate how they would vote for Bill C-300.  It was tabled in light of confirmed reports of humanitarian and environmental abuses by Canadian mining corporations in Central and South America.

The response I received from my local Conservative MP is a good indication of the ideology they are willing to uphold.  It illustrates how they avoid answering or dealing with legitimate issues.  They use tactics that confuse the issue by using inflated figures, mis-information and irelevant facts, smear opponents by insinuating that they want to take jobs away from Canadians, and find ways to smear NGO's and blame them for bringing forth any legitimate issue.  And then they blame opposition memebers for trying to score political points, when in fact their own rebuttles are about trying to score political points, it's just completely hypocritical!


From: Blaine Cameron []
Sent: October 26, 2010 10:49 PM
To: Ignatieff, Michael - M.P.; Coady, Siobhan - M.P.; Bagnell, Larry - M.P.; Bennett, Carolyn - M.P.; Dryden, Ken - M.P.; Goodale, Ralph E. - M.P.; Hall Findlay, Martha - M.P.; Rae, Bob - M.P.; Regan, Geoff - M.P.; Poilievre, Pierre - M.P.

To Whom it May Concern,

As of recent Canada has been sent a message on the world stage, I refer to our recent failure at the UN. Canada's image has been tarnished, we are no longer seen as the humanitarian diplomat with the moderate voice. We are now seen as an opponent to these values, an abuser and opportunists. It seems corporate interests have taken precedence over ethics, human rights and environmental stewardship, this is apparent here in Canada and abroad.

One of the perpetrators are Canadian mining corporations in countries such as El Salvador and Mexico. Haven't the poor people of countries like this already suffered enough environmental and humanitarian abuses from their own governments? And what does this say about us as Canadians when it is corporations from Canada that now take part in such despicable and cruel acts that destroy people, their lives, their lively hood and their environment? I am ashamed to call myself a Canadian with such blood on our hands and a Government that does nothing. These corporations can, and should be forced to, act ethically and in an environmentally sound manner. Doing so does not take away their ability to have a viable enterprise.

Are we monsters or human beings, will you take the high road or the low road when it comes time to vote on bill C-300. Will you vote to protect the weak and the environment or for the corporate minning lobby whom engage in profiteering at any cost? I hope you take the high road of ethics, imagination for the plight of others and your ability to reason that destruction of the environment does a disservice to all humanity.


Blaine Cameron


date Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 11:17 AM
subject RE: Your correspondence - Bill C-300


Canadian companies are world leaders in corporate social responsibility (CSR), because they know that a commitment to CSR is a commitment to their own success.

Ignatieff MP John McKay has introduced legislation that unfairly targets successful Canadian mining, oil and gas companies – a key pillar of our economy.

The legislation aims to bring so-called “accountability” to Canadian mining companies in developing countries. In fact, it would, among other things, subject Canadian companies to grievances lodged by foreign interests.

If the Coalition has its way, many Canadian jobs will be lost in an industry that contributed $40 billion to Canada’s economy in 2008 and which employs 351,000 workers. During the thick of the global recession, overseas contracts kept the mining industry afloat.

At a time when the economic recovery is still fragile, why does the Coalition want to make it harder for Canadian companies?

Canadians want a Government focussed on the economy, helping to preserve and create jobs. Our Government will continue to fight for working families and communities. Canadians don’t want a Coalition willing to score political points—siding with international special interest groups—at the expense of Canadian jobs.


Pierre Poilievre, M.P. Nepean-Carleton
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
LPRelated articles


from Blaine Cameron
date Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM
subject Re: Your correspondence - Bill C-300

Honorable Pierre Poilievre,

You could not have sent a more disappointing letter that is completely ideologically based and does not address the issues of unethical behaviour perpetrated by Canadian mining corporations. Profits would be effected very little if environmental, humanitarian and ethical concerns were incorporated and imposed upon these companies. Using numbers to justify the destruction of people and communities gives one real insight into your lack of humanity, you and your party have been blinded by your ideology. When one adheres fanatically to an ideology they soon become willing to do anything to uphold it.

To say that this legislation unfairly targets these corporations is laughable. Unfair is what happens to people and communities that are negatively effected by the actions of "some" of these companies. The figures you've thrown at me are for the combined industry, I'm sure not all mining, oil and gas companies act unethically. If you would argue fairly and present relevant facts, by breaking down the figures for the companies in question, then I'm sure your figures would be much smaller.

You then confuse the issue by indicating this bill is the work of international special interest groups, this is false and misleading. But you take it further with fear mongering and the unfounded statement of what a threat this bill is to jobs, that is a blatant attempt to score political points. Ensuring Canadian corporations act ethically is not a special interest, it's a humanitarian and environmental issue. Backing corporations even in light of unethical conduct, well that is called siding with special interests, and it is completely transparent.

And then you frame your entire argument with the fragile economic recovery, I didn't realize ethical behaviour was dependent on an economic situation. So basically if times are hard economically than humanitarian and environmental abuses are acceptable and even encouraged, especially those taking place out the sight of Canadians, let alone in our own backyard. I seem to recall tough economic times in world history, and if memory serves me right on many occasions humanitarian abuses took place under the guise of economic measures, nationalism and self interest.

We all want economic prosperity and jobs, but not at the expense of the environment and human rights!

Blaine Cameron

dateWed, Nov 10, 2010 at 12:14 PM

subjectRE: Your correspondence - Bill C-300


Thank you for taking the time to write back.
I have noted your comments.


Pierre Poilievre, M.P. Nepean-Carleton
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
LPRelated articles


Just note how Pierre Poilievre does not even dispute the fact that Canadian mining companies are in violation of environmental and human rights!  Is this really how us Canadians want to be represented?  I can only see that we have lost our way, we are caught up in the new world order.  That being of corporate controlled governments with no ethics, and an insatiable appetite of profits for the few.  And to legitimize it the World Trade Organization with it's disembodied rulings that favour corporations over real people's lives, communities and the environment.  And it's not just effecting poor people in foreign lands, it effects us here in North America.  Corporations are permitted to override environmental regulations, labour laws and municipal decisions.  And if these considerations interfere with their profits then they can sue nations for those projected profits!  Our government is not working in our best interest!
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

War, what is it good for!

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If you don't support war, then you must be a terrorist! This attitude has prevailed for a long time in the US and logically that same mantra has bled into the Canadian psyche.  These day's it seems, with the authorities that be, any protests against war is seen as an act of aggression towards the state and these individuals are labelled as a terrorist threat.  Any dissent or questioning should be squashed!

But why would people be against war?, to me the answers can be simple and complex. The simple and obvious answer is the human suffering that occurs, the more complex answer has many aspects to it. One, of many aspects, of why I'm against war is that most wars are about control of resources or strategic occupation, such as Iraq. In this particular instance one can't overlook the fact that the US put Saddam in power and supported him even with knowledge of his crimes against humanity. The invasion of Iraq was clearly not for the citizens, and 911 was used as an excuse to attack, with the added incentive of fraudulent claims of weapons of mass destruction. The west had the legal prerogative during the Gulf War to get rid of Saddam but did not do so, and instead an illegal attack was perpetrated in 2002

Now Afghanistan is somewhat more justified, but when you look at it's history you see how previous wars led to the Taliban taking power and terrorist operations occurring there. It began with the Soviet Unions long history of supporitng Afghans governments and sales of arms to them. Then in 1978 a pro communist coup takes over the government. A conservative Muslim and anti-communist insurgency group, the Mujaheddin started to become prominent in rural areas and prompted the Afghan government request of Soviet support and troops. The Soviet Afghan war ensues and soon afterwards the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia provide funds and weapons to the Mujaheddin. Eventually the US trains them and supplies them with ground to air anti-aircraft missiles. The conflict soon ends with the Soviet's withdrawing and the signing of a peace accord between the Soviet's, US and Pakistan.

But afterwards the US, after supplying arms and training to defeat the Soviet's, does not stick around and help rebuild this war torn country. So basically they used them to fight the Soviet's, and once that was completed they just left. I don't know about you but I'd be left with a bitter taste in my mouth. This leaves a weakened government in Afghanistan and eventually the Taliban, seeing an opportunity, take over. Also seeing an opportunity is Osama Bin Laden, the war torn poor and disenfranchised are ripe for stirring up anti-west sentiment and is prime grounds for terrorist recruitment. Eventually this and other similar actions by the west leads up to 911!

So if the right thing had of been done from the start, and the US stuck around in Afghanistan and helped rebuild the country they helped destroy, I'm 100% sure 911 wouldn't have happened. But the US's intent was not to intervene in the Soviet-Afghan war on humanitarian grounds, it was about taking away perceived Soviet advantage and expansion, It was strategic. The Afghan people were just collateral damage in the cold war games of the major powers.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all the major powers have an economy based in arms manufacturing and sales, this includes the US, UK, France, China and Russia, and continues to this day. And they love to sell to just about anybody, and more often than not both sides in 100's of conflicts occurring around the world get arms from these major powers. And what a coincidence all these major powers hold veto seats in the UN. One draws the obvious conclusion that vetoing UN resolutions to intervene in wars is good for business. Maybe these are the real terrorist's?

I believe we need to help bring a stable political situation to Afghanistan and are now forced to do so, but if we never look at how situations come to be, then how will we ever learn not to repeat history. War should be an absolute last resort by all mean humanly possible if at all. Rarely is it ever justified!

Take time to consider the other (person), then you can walk towards the path of peace.


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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rude and crude, eschewed |

Minister of the Economic Development Agency of...Image via Wikipedia
Our current representation is not working in Canada and our Parliament system should work more like that of Britain, Australia and Europe where coalition governments are the norm and are a better reflection of the citizenry's will. This idea in Canada that a 38% representation of the current government is a mandate to govern is absurd, especially when the majority of Canadians, 62%, that voted did so for the opposition parties. These absurd circumstances are due to our current first-past-the-post voting system, we need to change it to proportional representation. Proportional representation would better reflect the votes of Canadians in the House of Parliament. This would help limit or eliminate the current adversarial and attack type campaigns and parliamentary sessions that are currently occurring. In my opinion one big obstacle to this is our proximity to the US, the only democratic nation to have a two party system. We don't have their system, so why are we trying to emulate it! We are constantly inundated, through media & entertainment, with American ideas. It's not hard to see our current PM's affinity for that system, the divide and conquer model. In the end the US system polarizes people and leads to a very poisoned political atmosphere, much like we are starting to see ever since the right is only represented by one party. Instead of the current state of affairs we could have a political system that is based on co-operation and civility, more like it used to be. I want to be Canadian, not American, am I the only one?
Rude and crude, eschewed
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

G8/G20 Communique: The re-arrest of Alex Hundert – Why the police should be charged with obstruction of justice |

SecurityImage via Wikipedia
Alex Hundert was participating as a panelist at a University speaking engagement and is arrested for violating his bail, which states he can't participate in public demonstrations. Last time I checked a public demonstration involves a public exhibition of the attitude of a group of persons toward an issue, or other matter, made by picketing, parading, etc..,. I do not believe the police are really that stupid that they cannot distinguish a speaking engagement in a university lecture hall with that of a public demonstration? I think you have to pass certain criteria to become a police officer, and I believe a relative level of brain activity is one of them. So that being said why else would they arrest him? I would have to agree with the author of this article that the police, agents of the government, are obstructing justice, silencing any dissenting voices and are slandering these outspoken individuals as criminals/terrorists. Once you can malign them as such in the public eye, then dismissing anything they have to say is seen as justified. What better way to silence any criticism.

G8/G20 Communique: The re-arrest of Alex Hundert – Why the police should be charged with obstruction of justice
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where are we going?

Enjoy CapitalismImage by @boetter via Flickr
I've just started reading Margret Atwood's book "Oryx & Crake". Basically it's a fictional story that takes place in the near future and deals with a post apocalyptic world with glimpses into the past showing how things came to be. Through global warming, super bugs and genetic manipulation mankind has brought about the collapse of modern civilization and entered into a dark age.

It reminds me of a creative writing assignment I had in grade school in the early 80's, at the time there was talk of the hole developing in the ozone and continued talk of global warming. So I decided to write about a possible future where the ozone is almost completely depleted on earth and the temperature has greatly increased. In it one can only go outside if they take extraordinary precautions to protect themselves from the sun. Now this was a fictional story about one possible future if we didn't take action to resolve this issue. Thankfully action was taken on one front, that of banning CFC's which were the leading cause of ozone depletion. Now it won't be till approximately 2065 before the ozone returns to the same size as 1980 levels, even though progress is slow the actions were necessary and will pay off.

But I digress, what I'm really trying to get across is that we need to entertain these possible futures, and amazing writers such as Atwood are doing that. The intent is not to scare but to acknowledge that this is a possible future if we continue doing some of the things that we are doing.

Part of what these stories deal with is the old idea that man shall have dominance over all the creatures of earth. This idea comes from Genesis 1 where god proclaims to man "fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth". Sadly this thought remains with us today and we most see it being exercised by corporations, governments and society when natural resources are harvested and the genetic code is manipulated. Now these acts are not necessarily a bad thing, if done properly and with a certain level of respect, humbleness and caution. But more often than not this is not the case, it's done with blatant disregard of known negative consequences or just blindly pushing forward in the name of capitalism and progress. The proclamation outlined in Genesis 1 has brought out an arrogance within our societies, this idea that we must subdue nature and twist it to our will instead of living in harmony. It's as if we are at war with nature. It’s as if we have a psychotic relationship with it, we are of nature, it is what sustains us, destroy it and we are sealing our own fate! Until this shift in thinking occurs within society around the world we will only see further degradation of our earth and thus our own degradation. The examples are glaring and all around us if you choose to see it, from the worst environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, to collapsed fisheries, record levels of extinction, more severe weather more often, drought, flooding and human suffering. Any government and/or economic system should serve us and our environment, instead of what is and has been occurring, we and nature are serving capitalism!

Don't get me wrong about religion, it can and does have positive messages about how to treat one another fairly and good advice on how to live, but as well with in it some very dangerous ideas dwell. This can also be applied to science, some great discoveries are contained with in it, but also some very dangerous things. This is especially true in this day in age where corporations are using science for their own purposes, it is being perverted by their inherently selfish wants and needs, more and more Universities are funded by them and research is being compromised. Genetic manipulation of our food crops and the human genome is occurring with out full knowledge of the consequences. Most is occurring with corporate profits in mind and governments are happy to oblige. Genes are the very essence of all life on earth and should be handled with the up most respect and caution, not by trying to fit it into voodoo capitalist economic models. True science is about discovery for the sake of knowledge and better understanding, it's true intent is not for profit.

All this to say, we need to explore all the possibilities and consequences of these new discoveries. We need to use all our human qualities, common sense, ethics, imagination, intuition, memory and reason to proceed forward in the right way. We cannot regress to old ideologies that have resulted in the destruction of the environment, war and human suffering! We need to expand our consciousness to include the other, and from this perspective I believe we can do the right thing to make this a better world.



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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Canadian Government knowingly threatens Canadian Sovereignty

Money_200-Euro_152738-480x360Image by Public Domain Photos via Flickr
As many would like to believe our government is looking out for the best interest of all Canadians and protecting our soveriegnty.  And to prove this a government offical would likely point to the recent purchase of F-35 fighter jets, which to my knowledge, no official can actually explain exactly how they protect our soverignty!  Not to mention they can't fly as far an an F-18, nor as fast, and we got less units, 65 F-35's vs 138 F-18's, and we  paid more!  What exactly is the threat that we face and how does this purchase meet our requirements, these questons have never been fully answered.  This inability to inform/communicate is worriesome in itself, but what Canadians should really be worried about is the 'comprehensive' free trade agreement being discussed with the European Union.  In this agreement European corporations would get the ability to acess and privatize public services right down to the municipal level.  And the EU is asking that bans be placed on local preferences for public spending by cities, hospitals, school boards and other public services.  How is that protecting Canadian sovereignty?  One can only be left with the answere that it is not protecting Canadian sovereignty!
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Canadian immigration, Conservative xenophobia |

Sorrowful Tamil refugees on Sri Lanka, Septemb...Image via Wikipedia
Canadian immigration, Conservative xenophobia

After reading this article it is really disheartening that one could speak so highly of immigration, and the tremendous positive effect it has had on shaping Canada, and then to hear a year later the exact opposite in slanderous remarks that these Sri-Lankan's must suffer before any due process has been completed. The lack of humanity and the two-faced statements of this should be cause for alarm. Let's not forget history and where such xenophobia leads! We are humans and have a capacity for memory, imagination and ethics, let's use them and learn from our history, put ourselves in the shoes of others and treat them fairly.

These kind of xenophobic statements leads me to believe that the thought process is something along these lines "What Canadians feel, at a base level, is that these people don't look like them or have the same customs and are therefore alien." Now the conservative think tanks, with either this pessimistic view of us or through transference of their own lowered consciousness, build on that idea buy creating an atmosphere of fear surrounding this, once in a blue moon event, ie..,. a boat load of refugee claimants. They cloud peoples minds with the idea that these people are not only bogus but are terrorists and are abusing our good will, and that it's already going on and these are the people to blame for all our nations and world problems.

Now they've created an us and them scenario, we are now the victims, not these people coming from poverty, war and totalitarian governments. This makes it easier for the conservative government to implement their ideology in immigration policy, they are protecting us Canadians from these would be terrorists, we no longer feel a human connection to these people so it makes it easy to treat them harshly.

This also allows the current government and neo-liberals to skirt around the fact that many economic policy's and so called free trade agreements around the world, implemented by the the first world nations, help create situations that lead to an exploitation of labour markets, resources, land and people. This exploitation leads to an ever increasing amount of desperately poor and disadvantaged people and to fewer and fewer people who hold all the wealth and power of the world! It's only logic that people will try and escape desperate and impossible situations by any means necessary to something better. And until governments and those of us in the first world recognize these facts and find positive and constructive ways to allow all people to live a reasonable standard of life, than the influx of refugees will not subside.


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Harper's attack on the census: Bad news for the poor |

Typical scene in an alleyway, in the downtown ...Image via Wikipedia
Harper's attack on the census: Bad news for the poor |

This article really get's to the heart of how manipulative, calculating and cold the Harper Conservatives are! They are transparent if you look at them with any scrutiny.
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Canadian government adopts America's fear economy |

G20 Riot Police in formationImage by chris.huggins via Flickr
Canadian government adopts America's fear economy |

It really is reassuring to find others see what I see. In North America, with a few exceptions (G20), it is unacceptable to violently suppress the population, so governments have resorted to control through fear. This is not science fiction, this is a well documented means of control, just visit your library and look up social engineering, there are many books from as far back as 1800 - onwards.

Recent example; why would the US start an illegal act of aggression against Iraq (well documented fact based in reality) instead of going after Bin-Ladin? Well what better way to keep fear in the population than have this psychopathic mastermind on the loose, and then create more fear with false claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (by the way the US had every legal right to invade Iraq during the Gulf war but did not). Then with the population in this state of fear/distraction it is much easier to slowly erode civil liberties, help your corporate buddies get ahead in the world, cut social spending, health care, enact tighter and tighter restrictions on peoples free movement, ramp up military spending to protect from the ever present threat that could strike at any time (again helping you corporate buddies out), selling arms so more war and suffering can be inflicted on anybody that gets in the way of progress. And if anybody with in starts to question this line of thinking, as we saw immediately after 911, just call them a terrorist/traitor, or say your either with us or against us, this shuts them up pretty fast! Nothing like good old jingoism to rally the haters! "stink rising from the patriots nest. doing what's best, kicking in the face of a mothers son" Daniel Lanois.

Ohh and let's not forget a good oldie, marijuana. A substance on par with alcohol, both have negative health effects and addictive personalities abuse both. But the US government has to create fear and ignorance around marijuana, notice how no proper science is done on marijuana, other wise it would likely debunk all the myths the government has placed on this substance. Humans have had conscious altering substances around for at least 3,000 years or more, and it has yet to bring an entire society to it's knees. It's all just fear mongering by those have to control everything and distract the population while they do what they wish. Governments and corporations are in bed together and need to control and distract the population to mitigate any interference they cause to the power structure.

I've seen the conservative agenda from the beginning, Harper really took a shining to Bush, just like Tony Blair. Harper has the same public relations/spin Dr that served with Bush, so we clearly see his tactics when he dismisses anybody who disagrees with him (as if they are beneath him), the misinformation that get's spouted by the Conservatives and the US like policies that Harper has adopted. Such as the get tough on crime election platform and policy (even though crime is not a pressing issue in Canada, just look at the stats...oh wait we'll have a Tory puppet at the helm of Stats Canada soon!), cut off funding for women's advocate groups (but maternal health of third world is important, just not here), increased projects for building more prisons in Canada, manipulation of information (ie..,.Stats Canada debacle), continued underfunding of public health (services and wait times are unacceptable, not to mention no mental health care), ditching of Canada's honorable peacekeeping role, increased spending for military which gets us less jet fighters than our current retiring fleet (not to mention Government officials seem to have no idea what role they are to play, or that our navy is in a deplorable state of affairs), greater rights for corporations overriding that of citizens. But not to place all the blame on the Conservatives the Liberals have had a hand in a lot of this as well, they are not much better.


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shortened Censu Form equals less democracy and more spin Dr's

Canadians Against Against Prorogation | Vancou...Image by jesssloss via Flickr

This is just further evidence of this minority governments campaign of miss-information, ignorance and disdain for democracy.  When will Canadians wake up to the transparency of this government, who clearly want to fashion Canada after the US, with it's divisive politics that polarize the left and the right, engineering of information that is purposely miss-leading and ignorant, and dismissing any descent as radical and is therefore to be feared.  That's not the Canada I was raised in!

Although it is heartening to see that honour and integrity still exist within the Public Service.  Munir Sheikh, now former head of Census Canada, is a man with these qualities, he obviously is not just working for a pay check and he believes his work to be vital.  So much so that when he sees how it is being undermined, by the changing of the census form to a shortened voluntary one, he resigns.  He is saying that this is unacceptable and that he cannot work for a Government that limits the understanding of our society, he is making a bold statement and is giving up his career to do so.  In his resignation, posted Wednesday on Stats Canada's web site, he indicates that the resignation is due to the voluntary census form and that it will not work!  Thus M.P. Tony Clements claim, that Stats Canada recommended the changes, is a lie.  Mr. Sheikh is someone who deserves our respect as he truly embodies the name Public Servant.  Hopefully he is a catalyst for others who see how wrong this is but who may not have the courage to speak out against this decision and other dismantling of our democracy.  One can only imagine what this Conservative Government would be like if they ever had a majority!
Many are speaking out against this, public and private institutions, citizens and community organizations.  They, along with Mr. Sheikh, believe the change will skew results and lead to bad information. And who better to be a judge of what will and will not work than Mr. Sheikh, he was a career Public Servant since 1976 and this was his job!  To add insult to injury, the Government frames this decision  as if it was a pressing concern for Canadians.  I heard one opposition M.P. address this so called "ground swell" of support from Canadians, he basically said "it's not as if neighbours are meeting at the local Tim Horton's saying, geez Census time is coming again, I don't want to do it, it's so invasive to my privacy, but I also don't want them coming to get me!".  This Government is relentless in it's spin, misinformation and lies!  Yes it's a mandatory Census form, yes it's long and time consuming...,.that's the cost to being a citizen!  It provides real life details, details that are true and can actually be used by the citizens to hold the Government to account.  But maybe that's it right there, It holds the Government to account!
The change to the form is especially detrimental to minorities, people who don't have the same power as others to make their needs and concerns heard.  Our democracy is based on majority rule, but with certain guarantees for minorities, precisely for the reason I just mentioned.  The mandatory long form has very pertinent questions that deal with income level, health, access to services, living arrangements etc...,.all of which help inform government policy.  I myself am part of a minority as I have a disability, muscular dystrophy, I don't hold as much power as a majority person and this form is one way that people, like myself, can have their situation documented and thus bring about policy's that help improve certain aspects of our lives or better way's to implement services.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

The prescribed nonsense of modern life, disparity and terrorism

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I suppose people want to believe they are with the good guys and are fighting the good fight.  But the reality is not so, and for most the idea of looking at it straight on would cripple them.  Are we sheep or are we human beings?

So much of what we enjoy here in Canada and other first world nations is dependent on the subjugation and suffering of those in the third world.  Even with in our own nations we have an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, the have and the have not, those on the outside and those on the inside.  This relates not only to class divisions but also to politics.  Private special interests of corporations dictates our politics, laws and our societal ethos more so than the actual needs of Canadians, the environment, and a just and fair world.  As the G20 leaders are so quick to dismiss, the economy is indeed central to all these goals.

Our current economic system is based on the belief that resources are infinite, which is a rather infantile imagining of the world.  Even children, if given a brief overview of the system, could point out that there is a limited amount of resources contained within the planet.  Yes there are renewable resources, but the main resource currently being exploited is oil and it is not renewable nor infinite.  Not to mention the huge environmental and health costs involved in it's extraction and use.  Economists don't like to factor in these kinds of costs, colateral damage as they would call it, just another ugly truth that would expose their pseudo religion as a fraud.  You may claim this statement as rhetoric, but with the way economists adhere to economic teachings it's as if it is sacred text.  And as history has shown, recent and past, it is a bust and boom cycle that benefits those at the top, and then those of the lower and middle class are hardest hit!.

The World Bank, setup to supposedly help troubled economies, or others such as the European Union come into these nations and dictate that pensions, salary's, and social services be cut before they will lend assistance.  Basically, because of the high risk dealings that financiers, economists and bankers engaged in, the people have to pay and the elite feel no pain. On top of this we see corporate welfare, such as in Canada where corporate taxes were reduced by 13%, and in some provinces an increase in taxable items was instituted (HST in Ontario and BC) on the citizenery.  All of this is in line with neo-liberal economic policy's that Stephen Harper, and every other first world leader, adheres to so religiously.

We also see an exporting of labour and manufacturing to third world nations where the labour market and environment is more easily exploited, so we here in the west can buy really cheap stuff.   But at the same time this undermines any production here and thus undermines our labour market, a market where we see the poor having to work multiple jobs with less and less benefits and/or further reliance on social assistance.  Social assistance that does not permit the participants to eat healthy creating a cycle of poverty and a burden on an already underfunded health care system.

Lets not also forget the economy of arms, weapons and machines of war.  If we look at the world and see all the conflicts going on, well somebody has to make all theses weapons, sell them and thus make a profit.  Whom do you suppose that somebody is, Cuba? Afghanistan? Burma?  No, it is first world and emerging economies such as the US, Canada, UK, Russia, China, India etc..,.  And man business is good!  They get to sell arms to both sides of a conflict, they are such swell guys to sell to everybody like that!

It is the exploitation of third world nations, the disparity of wealth and self interest that is the breeding grounds for attacks against the first world.  Are these terrorists or freedom fighters?  And this question isn't just one to be asked of "them" but of ourselves as well.  All we have to do is look at the evidence and history to see the shortsightedness of self interest, greed and ignorance.  What we need is character and integrity "Most people can bear adversity.  But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power".  Robert G. Ingersoll.  We in the first world nations have the power, maybe I'm jaded and pessimistic but what I'm seeing is that we are  greedy and don't want to give any of it up.  And if we can't see the suffering right in front of our face, then as the saying goes "out of sight and out of mind".  The biggest part of the battle, of bringing these truths to light, is how do you combat the constant bombardment of the material life that is sold to us, which apparently leads to ultimate happiness & fulfillment, as well as the propaganda put forth by corporations and governments (they are pretty much one in the same).  The idea that we are so righteous and good, and that it is the other that causes all the problems.  The problems, more often than not, are self inflicted and/or purposly engineered to keep power where it remains and the subjugation of everyone else.  As a wise sage once said "You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.  You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."  The Matrix.  There is a better way that will lead to equity for all, a clean environment and peace.  The choice is with the individual, "emancipate your self from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind." Bob Marley.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GM plants and foods, the risks to Canadians

Diagram showing development of pesticide resis...Image via Wikipedia
For this blog I've pasted some correspondence I've had with my local MP regarding GM regulations in Canada and how inadequate I believe them to be.  It's literally from a general concern emailing through the Canadian Biological Action Network  "" with my name and contact info inserted, so you'll need to start at the bottom in order to follow the correspondence properly.

Blaine Cameron

 to PoiliP

Pierre Poilievre,  M.P.; Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture:

Thank you for your prompt reply.  I would like to address the response
you have provided from Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture.
There are a number of woeful oversights in the regulation of
genetically modified plants that lead me to believe that they are
inadequate in protecting biodiversity, public health and the

Firstly the designation of novel foods is simply a product of industry
lobbying, this designation is a mechanism to avoid that particular
product from being scrutinized and studied scientifically.  As to my
knowledge it simply states that if the genetic modifications to a
particular plant is not significant (a very relative term), then it is
considered the same as a similarly unmodified plant and thus does not
have to be subject to further scrutiny.

Secondly there is no requirement for these genetically modified
plants/novel foods to be labeled, again a clear indication of industry
lobbying, this leads one to the belief that regulators must believe
the Canadian public to be of limited intelligence.  If any individual
has an adverse reaction to these modifications they have no way to
track the source of what it is that is causing this reaction.  This
leaves the government and industry free from any liability, no way for
the public to verify the safety of these GM/novel foods, and no choice
in what it is consumers are buying and eating.  And if one looks at
groups involved in the development of the "National Standard for the
Voluntary Labelling and Advertising of Foods That Are and Are Not
Products of Genetic Engineering", we see that the majority are from
the food industry and related individuals who have a principle
interest in getting the products to market and profit earnings.
These are not necessarily those who are concerned with public safety,
choice and the environment.  As well one cannot help but think the selection
of these groups and individuals is the result of industry lobbying, lobbying
which benefits industry and elected officials.

Thirdly most of the GM crops being approved are Round up Ready.
So the claim of reducing pesticide usage is simply not true.  These
particular crops can withstand high amounts of pesticide usage, and
most individuals who have taken a basic science course or through
simple observation can tell you is that pests can and will develop a tolerance,
and thus higher and higher amounts of pesticide will be required to
control them.  Simple farming techniques such as crop rotation or the
technique of placing plants near by that insects find more desirabl
than our crops.  These are just two environment friendly examples among many
that can help reduce or negate pesticide usage.  Many municipalities in Canada
have banned cosmetic pesticide and chemical fertilizers due to the scientific
and common knowledge ofthe damage to the environment and human health.
Why would our government at all levels continue and encourage it's usage on the
very foods we ingest, and it's usage on the vast swaths of
agricultural land that are part of
the environment that sustains us?

Finally as to the claim of producing healthier food alternatives to
Canadians, in the way
of cooking oils with lower amounts of trans fats, this is simply not
necessary as healthy
cooking oils already exist.  Oils such as safflower, peanut, olive,
sunflower and
flax seed oil (I've left out corn and canola oil due to the fact that
these crops generally
have high amounts of pesticides sprayed on them due to the fact that
they are Round up Ready).
The other oils I've mentioned are low in trans and saturated fats and contain
polyunsaturated and/or monounsaturated fats which are good for us.
Again one can not
help but see the hand of industry lobbying playing a part in the
statements that your
Ministry has put forth.  Creating a need where none exists in order to
increase industry profits
and opportunities.

I am disheartened at how little the Canadian public is being served by
your Ministry
and the related Ministry's involved in the development of the
regulation of GM plants and food.
A Government after all has the sole purpose of serving all citizens,
not just a select few with
special interests that only benefit them while at the same time
putting Canadians, the environment
and biodiversity at risk.

Genetic manipulation, forcibly inserting parts of DNA of unrelated
species into another,
is not the same as traditional breeding and cross pollination.
Traditional breeding and cross pollination only work with related species.
This idea, that the techniques are the same, is used by Government and industry
 to further the argument that all is okay with genetic manipulation,
as we've been
doing this thousands of years, which is simply not true  We need to
behave conservatively
and error on the side of caution, we are after all talking about DNA
the very makeup of all life on earth!


Blaine Cameron.

On 7/6/10, <> wrote:
> Blaine Cameron
> Blaine,
> Thank you for your comments concerning modern biotechnology and food safety.
>  Like all Canadians, I share your interest in Canada having an abundant and
> safe food supply.
> I want to send you this information that comes from the Hon. Gerry Ritz,
> Minister of Agriculture:
> Canada has one of the most stringent and rigorous regulatory systems in the
> world. This extends to crops or foods that are modified or contain genetic
> modification—all of which must undergo a comprehensive science-based
> approval process involving both Health Canada and the Canadian Food
> Inspection Agency (CFIA).
> Canada’s regulatory system for products of agricultural biotechnology is
> designed so that every possible precaution is taken. The safety of new
> products is carefully and cautiously assessed before they can be cultivated
> by a grower, used in livestock feed or made available to the consumer.
> Agricultural products of biotechnology require three separate safety
> assessments and authorizations prior to commercial use. The CFIA assesses
> the safety of the end product for release into the environment and for use
> as a livestock feed, while Health Canada assesses the safety for use as food
> and its effect on human health.
> Over the past number of years, Canada and several other countries have
> carefully considered the topic of mandatory labelling for products of
> biotechnology. While broad mandatory labelling policies may be in place in
> other countries, it should be noted that there are issues regarding the
> practicality and enforceability of these requirements and the number of
> claims that may actually appear on food.

> I support the principle of providing consumers with credible, useful and
> clear information about the foods they buy. Recognizing that consumers
> wanted more information regarding the application of specific techniques of
> genetic engineering, federal departments and agencies (including the CFIA
> and Health Canada), along with consumer groups, food manufacturers, grocery
> distributors, provincial representatives and farm organizations,
> participated in the development of the National Standard for the Voluntary
> Labelling and Advertising of Foods That Are and Are Not Products of Genetic
> Engineering. This standard can be viewed at

> It is important to note that Health Canada could require mandatory labelling
> for foods, including those derived through biotechnology, where there are
> health or safety concerns that could be mitigated through labelling, or to
> highlight a significant nutritional or compositional change.
> A list of novel foods that have been assessed for safety and approved in
> Canada can be found on the Health Canada website at
> . For further information about how the Government regulates products of
> agricultural biotechnology and how the CFIA assesses these products for
> safety, please visit the CFIA’s website at
> .
> The CFIA has three main priorities regarding the commercialization of new
> crops: to contribute to a safe food supply for Canadian consumers, to
> determine whether new products pose an environmental risk, and to ensure
> that varietal identity and, where applicable, agronomic, disease and end-use
> quality requirements for the various crop kinds are met. As part of the
> environmental safety review, the potential for cross-pollination with
> traditional crops is assessed, as is the potential environmental impact of
> cross-pollination, should it occur.
> As noted previously, Canadian laws require that genetically modified crops
> undergo safety assessments and be authorized before they can be cultivated,
> used as food, or used as livestock feed. When needed, specific conditions
> that support the responsible and sustainable long-term use of a genetically
> modified crop are applied at the time of its authorization for cultivation.
> The CFIA is responsible for regulating the environmental release of
> biotechnology-derived plants, which must undergo thorough safety assessments
> before they can be commercialized in Canada. These safety assessments
> consider the following five criteria: the potential of the plant to become a
> weed of agriculture or to be invasive of natural habitats; the potential
> consequences of gene flow to wild relatives; the potential to increase the
> activity of a plant pest; the potential impact on non-target organisms; and
> the potential impact on biodiversity.
> It is also important to note that biotechnology applications can contribute
> to advancing the sustainability of agriculture by creating solutions not
> only to increase food production, but also to respond to a number of
> environmental challenges and risks to human health. Around the world,
> biotechnology developments in agriculture are already helping to do the
> following:
> • conserve water and adapt to climate change;
> • reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizer and improve soil conservation;
> and
> • produce healthier food alternatives for Canadians, such as cooking oils
> with lower amounts of trans fats.
> Sincerely,
> Pierre Poilievre,  M.P. Nepean-Carleton
> Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
> and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
> LP
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: June 30, 2010 11:01 AM
> To: Poilievre, Pierre - M.P.
> Cc: Ritz, Gerry - M.P.; Atamanenko, Alex - M.P.; Easter, Wayne - M.P.;
> Bellavance, André - Député
> Subject: Please Support Bill C-474, Support Canada's Farmers
> From: Blaine Cameron
> To: Pierre Poilievre
> Re: Please Support Bill C-474, Support Canada's Farmers
> Date: Wednesday 30 June 2010
> Cc: Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
> Cc: Alex Atamanenko, NDP Agriculture Critic
> Cc: Hon. Wayne Easter, Liberal Agriculture Critic
> Cc: André Bellavance, Bloc Québécois Agriculture Critic
> Dear Pierre Poilievre, MP
> I am writing to ask you to support Private Members Bill C-474 in order to
> protect Canada’s family farms.
> Bill C-474 would support Canadian farmers by requiring that “an analysis
> of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new
> genetically engineered seed is permitted.”
> This Bill is important because the introduction of new genetically
> engineered (GE) crops can cause economic hardship to farmers.
> On June 7, the House of Commons Agriculture Committee heard a clear
> message in support of Bill C-474 from alfalfa growers represented by the
> Manitoba Forage Seed Association and Manitoba Forage Seed Council as well
> as the president of a forage seed company. Kevin Einarson from the Manitoba
> Forage Seed Association told the Committee, “Bill C-474 is the first step
> in offering some protection in the future for Canadian family farms. Market
> acceptance must be made a part of the evaluation process.”
> All three of the witnesses stated their opposition to the introduction of
> GE alfalfa because it is unnecessary and would ruin their markets. The
> issue is also highly controversial in the U.S. where the Supreme Court
> ruled on July 21st that it is still illegal to plant GE alfalfa in that
> country, until the USDA finishes its environmental review.
> Farmers are at risk when GE crops are commercialized in Canada without
> also being approved in our major export markets. For example, flax farmers
> in Canada are paying the price for unwanted GE contamination that damaged
> their export markets. Flax farmers, like alfalfa growers, foresaw that GE
> contamination would close their export markets. This is why they took steps
> in 2001 to remove GE flax from the market. Despite this measure, farmers
> were not protected.
> It’s the government’s responsibility to protect Canadian farmers from
> predictable problems caused by the introduction of new GE crops that have
> not yet been regulated in our export markets. Bill C-474 would help our
> government meet this responsibility.
> Pierre Poilievre, please examine the important testimony from alfalfa
> growers to the Agriculture Committee. Please support Bill C-474 to make
> sure that alfalfa growers and other farmers do not face the same market
> harm caused by GE contamination that continues to hurt our flax farmers.
> Yours Sincerely,
> Blaine Cameron
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Israel can do no wrong: Harper's policy |

President George W. Bush (center) joins Mexico...Image via Wikipedia
Israel can do no wrong: Harper's policy |

What a shameful state of affairs, Ignatif has as little back bone as Harper! Even at a minority Government Harper still manages to represent Canada as a shameful nation to the world. We used to be the good guys, the diplomat who tried to bring to people to the table to resolve their issues! Now they sit back and make weak mouthed statements about acts of aggression! Harper and his, former Bush, media/public affairs officer make simplistic statements that are intended to be divisive, misleading and call on narrow mindedness and ignorance!

Our so called leaders are cowards who don't want to upset any portion of their voting base, they are only concerned about retaining what little power they have or obtaining it, they don't stand for any noble and humane cause, only business as usual!
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Israeli attack on Gaza flotilla

DSC_7943Image by asterix611 via Flickr
Today, on CBC radio's The Current, I listened to an Israeli military official (who was on an Israeli ship at the time of the incident) talk about how the activists were waiting on deck of their ship at 4 in the morning with metal bars. He called this a premeditated attack on the Israeli commandos, insinuating that blame for this incident lies with the activists. He also indicated that the Israeli commandos had instructions not to shoot, locate the captain of the ship and indicate that he was on a course for Israeli waters where they had no permission to be and to change course. I have a hard time swallowing this individuals version of events.

First of all lets put this in proper context, the flotilla of ships (carrying aid and relief supplies, not weapons) were in international waters. Just so we are clear this means Israeli commandos boarded the ships illegally. If Israel was so afraid weapons were on board why not just check the ships when they dock at port. And if the intent of the whole exercise was to simply tell the captain, in person, to change course then why not bring a ship up along side that of the humanitarian ship and ask permission to board in order to discuss the situation. But instead they show up on military helicopters and repel an elite fighting force, that would be the commandos, on to the deck of the ships with guns in hand. I don't know about you but nothing says "we just want to talk to the captain" then forcibly boarding with military force in international waters!

Again let's not forget they boarded by helicopter, last time I listened to a helicopter I could hear it coming from a mile away, and that's when they are at a considerable altitude, let alone coming in just above the deck of a ship! So of course their were people on deck of the ship to defend it from forced boarding by military commandos! Yes the Israeli soldiers fired because people on board were defending themselves and their ship, and attacked the military commandos. But the Israeli's precipitated the confrontation by using military force against civilian humanitarian activists who had no fire arms or proper weapons. Premeditated my ass!!

Their is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, regardless of where one lies blame or what circumstances led to this deplorable state of affairs. If you cannot see this then your bias is clearly blinding you from the truth of the matter. These humanitarian workers, as it has been evidenced, were simply trying to help the civilian population of Gaza with basic day to day medical supplies and devices, and to bring attention to the crisis. Wow what a dastardly devious bunch of people these humanitarian activists must be to perpetrate such a heinous act, delivering aid supplies!!!
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blind Progress

Tar-sands-collageImage via Wikipedia
There is a word that is being arbitrary'll thrown around often these days, and is used to shut up anybody who questions the currently prescribed narrow definition of progress. Any resistance to the inevitability of prescribed progress is to be interpreted as fear and ignorance. The word used is "Luddite", it is the new weapon in the arsenal of those who don't open dialog but shut it closed.

Luddites came about during the early days of the industrial revolution, in response to owners of the new machines/factories who suddenly excluded the hard working professional craftsmen. What the craftsmen proposed was an approach to progress that was employment conscious and societally aware. It was a common sense approach, it was sophisticated and it accepted complexity and took into account consideration for the other. The factory owners and public institutions didn't listen to this reasonable approach, they opted for the bottom line instead. This resulted in unbearable social and work conditions, poorhouses, huge never before seen slums, labour defined entirely by commerce, violence between authorities and citizens, use of military force against civilians, civil wars, the rise of communism and then fascism! It took society a hundred and fifty years to recover from this!

Now again we are back to a simplistic corporate view of technology, no matter the human cost. The new narrow elite (those who own the technology, professionals, managers and technocrats) accuse their opponents of Ludditism. This is there security blanket, they are scared of a citizen-based society, they desperatly hold onto the simple formula of technological and economic, the trickle down approach. Expertise and analysis is now the new metaphor for debate, one that does not desire or recognize shared knowledge. Debate should be about common sense, ethics, memory, imagination and intuition.

Instead everything is cut up into separate isolated self referencing compartments. This creates secret languages within institutions and corporations. Introverted language/dialect that only specific experts can interpret, thus excluding the citizenry and debate.

The accusations of Ludditism is a rejection of a careful, prudent, complex and intelligent approach towards progress. What we now have is a steady rise of the continuously poor and homeless and a part-time labour market. A market that only favors companys, corporations and shareholders, while for most it means a need for more than one job per person. We have to stop focusing on the well being a single segment of the population..,.ie the middle class, and consider all within society. If Ludditism means a careful, prudent, complex and intelligent approach to progress, then call me a Luddite by all means!


B Cameron
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