Is that statement the objective truth? Or is it just leftist vitriol against a revered Canadian political figure?
The 38-year old Enbridge Line 9 was approved today by the National Energy Board to flow tar sands dilbit and Bakken crude through the most populated stretch of Canada. Such a pipeline places millions of Canadians in the path of a pipe with a 90% chance of rupturing. Canadians whose everyday lives may be shattered by the burden of bearing the estimated $1-10 billion cost of cleaning up a spill caused by Line 9.
Needlessly to say, this is the part where democracy takes its course and citizens organize to take part in civic action against the interests of big oil, whose supposed claims of direct economic growth supersede the health and safety of countless Canadians. But it all doesn’t matter. The government has the power to overrule any ruling by the National Energy Board.
Do you smell that? That would be the smell of diluted-bitumen-covered democracy.
The rubber-stamping public-outrage-scapegoats for big oil interests at the National Energy Board can have their pro-oil decisions ratified by the Conservatives and their rare pro-Canadian rulings overruled by the Conservatives.
All of this is combined with the new Voter ID-esque Fair Elections Act the CPC is trying to pass, which would, among other things, seek to limit the amount of forms of identification that may be used by voters. The groups most statistically likely to be affected and rendered effectively voteless happen to be groups that typically do not vote Conservative — students, First Nations, and seniors.
This measure sounds stunningly similar to Voter ID laws enacted in many states in the United States, whereby Republicans seek to disenfranchise minority and youth voters in an attempt to suppress the vote. All of this is done under the guise of eliminating election fraud, which many politicians and media outlets (FOX News) trump up as a huge issue.
That claim is largely debunked as many jurisdictions see zero to single digit numbers of voter fraud. Such is the case in Canada as well.
The orchestrated attempt by the CPC to make elections “fairer” and to reduce election fraud is combatting a non-issue. Eight people have been convicted for voter fraud in the last twenty-two years.
In the end, is it really worth it? Is it worth it to subjugate due political process and oversight in favour of short-term economic gains as in the case of Line 9? Is it worth it to skirt around the democratic values we stand for as Canadians in favour of better results in polling?
One thing is for sure — Stephen Harper and the CPC have run Canada roughly scot-free. Their tactics to undermine Canadian democracy and promote destructive corporate interests have gone largely unnoticed by the population and largely ignored by the media. I’m surely not the only one who’s sick and tired of the direction we’re heading. And I’m definitely not the last.