Monday, June 22, 2009

Daily Digest June 21, 2009


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.
ARCHIVED at http://cdndailydigest.blogspot.com/

EDITORIAL PAGEs
CORNER BROOK WESTERN STAR -
It's getting hot ... and dangerous 

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD -
Commentary from Calgary: Let us bristle again under broad brush

AMHERST DAILY NEWS -
Public safety vs. an invasion of privacy

MONTREAL GAZETTE -
New cellphone rules are almost 2G2BT
http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/editorials/cellphone+rules+almost+2G2BT/1718055/story.html

TORONTO STAR -
Ontario Tories moving right

Bungling `terror' cases

LONDON FREE PRESS -
Iranians hoping for a better future

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS -
Fathers must never forget that children cannot wait
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/fathers-must-never-forget-that-children-cannot-wait-48721222.html

WINNIPEG SUN -

Will Iggy be forgiven?

CALGARY HERALD -
CHRC seeks more powers
B elieving perhaps that the best defence is a good offence, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has proposed the Canadian Criminal Code be stripped of the few common-law defences available to someone charged under its hate-crime provisions. In a paper advising Parliament --Freedom of Expression and Freedom from Hate in the Internet Age HTML PDF -- the commission appears forgetful of the embarrassing headlines swirling around it and other human rights commissions during the last 18 months. Rather than present a suitable humility, it instead recommended the Code be rendered as oppressive as the commission itself!

It's the regime, stupid, and it does matter

Wealthy will pay to go on sinning

CALGARY SUN -

Stick to the script, Iris

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST -
Science intruding on your thoughts

Here's to you, dads

Postponing pregnancy carries real risks

Tale of the tape shows the undoing of Dion

Secrecy helps trample parents' rights


ISSUES

AF-PAK PROBLEM -
Afghan firefight shows challenge for US troops
http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_16020/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=A8lcsk9O

Afghan insurgents show foreign influence
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/06/marine_insurgents_062009w/

U.S. says Afghan strikes broke rules, orders retraining

Bagram base attack kills US troops

Why US interference?


CANADIAN FORCES -
Flak-jacketed soldiers raise US$6,000 in Father's Day charity run in Kandahar

U.S. Afghan plan has risks for troops, politicians

Influx of U.S. troops may increase Afghan violence: Canada's top soldier
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1713405


CANUSA/USACAN -
NWT industry minister in Washington to discuss U.S. support for Alaska pipeline

Crossfire towns


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS -
Nortel races to sell everything before values plummet further


FOREIGN AFFAIRS -
Iranian leadership feud too close to call 

Iran: A Feast of Foes Bejoin the Famine


HEALTH CARE RELATED -
Vaccinate Canadians under 40 and natives first: experts
http://www.canada.com/news/national/Vaccinate+Canadians+under+natives+first+experts/1718965/story.html

Discovery by Canadian-led team could lead to AIDS cure
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/discovery-by-canadian-led-team-could-lead-to-aids-cure/article1191121/


JUSTICE SYSTEM -
Punish the guilty 
Hound your MPs to pass Bill C-42 to ensure criminals face justice

Too many delays in our justice system 

Top judge hopes for legacy of common sense

Lawyer for Quebec man says good can come from suit against B.C. search team


MIGRATION -
Refugees deserve appeal: MP


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES -
Elliott best bet for Tories

French-English relations in Quebec at a 'happy medium'

EI reform stresses steamlining, training

Premiers should be careful what they wish for on EI reforms


FEDERAL POLITICS -
CTV's Question Period : June 21, 2009 VIDEO

No summer election, but what's next? all 156 news articles »
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090621/question_period_090621/20090621?hub=Politics

Fall vote, anyone?

High-speed rail to foster national unity, Liberal MP suggests

Ignatieff says 'no guarantee' on EI reforms

Thanks, Iggy

Will Iggy be forgiven ?

Stimulus Stink?

Trouble at Transport: Clashes over spending

HILL TIMES COVER STORIES
PMO may be learning nastiness doesn't always work, say political observers
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's willingness to cooperate with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff shows that he may have learned from last year's political crisis.
By Harris MacLeod
Published June 22, 2009

Something tells me an election will be sooner rather than later
Come September, there is no easy fix to an Employment Insurance problem that goes way beyond uniform eligibility rules.
By Sheila Copps
Published June 22, 2009

House makes it clearer when opposition can defeat government
And the government is now required to table a third budget update 'accountability report' the week of Sept. 28.
By Bea Vongdouangchanh
Published June 22, 2009

Federal government continues to 'wrestle' with asbestos issue: Strahl
Ottawa spends millions to remove asbestos from Parliament Buildings, but dumps 200,000 tonnes of it per year in Third World countries.
By Harris MacLeod
Published June 22, 2009

Harper criticized for not 'taking care' of former MPs, top staffers
'I think there's a certain perception that political staff in the Harper government are expendable,' says one top Conservative.
By Abbas Rana
Published June 22, 2009

Ignatieff overplayed hand in political showdown, say Grits and Tories
Summer to play out like a pre-election campaign, but there's a limited number of times the PM and Ignatieff can take their brinkmanship to the edge and maintain credibility.
By Abbas Rana, Harris Macleod and Bea Vongdouangchanh
Published June 22, 2009

Future of Harper's government depends more on economy than it does on Libs
While the outcome was easily foreseeable, the reasons for this made-for-TV-political-drama with a happy ending offers some interesting indications about our national political landscape.
By Angelo Persichilli
Published June 22, 2009

Parliament wants to gut first-ever Parliamentary Budget Office's independence, say observers
Joint Library of Parliament Committee's report on the PBO is a power play to keep Kevin Page in a box, says professor Jim McLean.
By Bea Vongdouangchanh
Published June 22, 2009


PROGRAMMES -
Federal agency guarantees loan to buy Nortel

Streetcar cash: Try a new route

As unemployment surges, Albertans waiting 10 weeks for EI

Tories withhold future war costs, citing national security concerns


PRESSURE POINTS -
Wind power blues


OPINION AND INFORMATION -
Our MPs' spending secrets

History in the marking

Sending out an SOS

Flawed system, not poor leaders, hurting Canada 

A progression of tiny cuts make democracy a sham

Turned-off Canadians tuning out

Ontario can't be Canada's ATM 

Why Tories are worrying about rights tribunal 

Digital divides drive growing generation gaps

Parents of dead soldier felt deceived, marginalized by military

Canada's troubled nuclear industry Ending a dream, or nightmare

Hard sell for Canada after Aussie racism

Canadians concerned about the value of an education: poll
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090621/national/education_skepticism_poll


INFOS -
Iran: Ignatieff veut qu'Ottawa vienne en aide aux blessés
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200906/21/01-877704-iran-ignatieff-veut-quottawa-vienne-en-aide-aux-blesses.php

Journée nationale des Autochtones
52 nations, une journée http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2009/06/21/001-Autochtone-journee-national.shtml


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

ADVOCATUS DIABOLI

This article, A progression of tiny cuts make democracy a sham, is one critical of the current Government of Canada.

John has responded to it. There are those who will agree with him and as well those who will agree with its author.

You are invited to comment in support of John's position or that of Jim Travers, the author.

So that you are not limited to the portions of the article John has quoted the complete text is made available - and access to the thoughts of others in Comments on this story .

         Joe
_____________________
From: "John Feldsted"
Subject: A progression of tiny cuts make democracy a sham

Occasionally I run across a trash pieces masquerading as informed opinion. This one is extraordinary. Let's examine Travers' claims:

·         Parliament lost more of its defining control over the public purse when the Prime Minister slipped $3 billion in public spending behind closed cabinet doors.
That is plainly not possible. The Commons must vote in all government spending, and the government has a minority of votes. There are no 'end runs' or means of 'slipping in' extra spending, let alone $3 billion worth. The accusation is pure fiction.

·         Oversight was blinkered again this week when the new federal budget office was denied the independence needed to probe and explain how Ottawa spends.
We currently have 305 Members of Parliament (there are 3 vacancies) and the primary job of 162 of those MPs is to scrutinize government programs  and spending. The budget office is not elected and accountable, and it is wrong to pretend it is or that it can replace the role of the opposition parties in parliament.

·         Voters' control over their elected representatives was again eroded when Liberals, like Conservatives, saved obedient incumbent MPs from the discipline and inconvenience of nomination contests.
Voters have never had any control over who runs as the candidate for a given political party, and that situation pre-dates confederation.  Candidates are chosen by the party members in the jurisdiction that they hope to represent. There is no lack of democracy in a party decision to support seasoned representatives and there is no law, regulation or rules requiring a candidate selection process at any interval. The accusation is frivolous and groundless.

·         Power is sliding farther away from the Commons and cabinet to concentrate in the Prime Minister's Office as a presidential-style spokesman increasingly becomes the administration's public voice.
This often repeated accusation has no basis in fact. The Prime Minister is spokesman for the government. In order to carry out his duties, he has to be informed of agency and department initiatives, changes and responses to issues that arise. Decisions are made at cabinet level and are announced by the Prime Minister. To claim that the announcements empower the PMO is the equivalent of claiming that pronouncements by Traverse makes him de facto manager of the TorStar. Not on this earth it won't.
 
Many articles contain errors, some deliberate, some inadvertent, but gross errors in four of four key points has to be a record, even for James Travers.  
 
John Feldsted
______________________________________________
A progression of tiny cuts make democracy a sham
 
http://www.thestar.com/news//news/canada/article/654014
Comments on this story

James Travers
Toronto Star
June 20, 2009
OTTAWA
From acrylics to zippers, inventive Canadians are surprisingly good at giving the world new stuff it wants. Now this country is perfecting something no one needs. It's sham-ocracy, the illusion of government accountable to the people.
Even among mad scientists and crazy ideas, sham-ocracy is exceptional. It alone is designed not to function as advertised, to thwart its users. Gears don't mesh, levers disconnect and the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Still, as a folly it's a magnificent piece of work. Its Gothic facades, theatrical forums and mahogany history are as fantastic as any theme park. It whirs and clanks, billows smoke and oozes importance. It's an icon and, all in all, a pretty good show.
No single person, political party or prime minister can hog the credit. Sham-ocracy is as much a group project as a shared burden. Begun in a 1980s Liberal effort to impose coherence and control on helter-skelter departments, agencies and spending, it's spreading like cholera in the time of Conservatives.

Slower than light or sound, its speed is still remarkable. On April 4 the Toronto Star published an essay, available at thestar.com/Travers, pulling apart the cracked and broken links in the chain binding Parliament, politicians and civil servants to citizens. Today the paper begins a close examination of the sorry state of federal governance. Between then and now, the pace of change has been startling, if sadly predictable.
  • Parliament lost more of its defining control over the public purse when the Prime Minister slipped $3 billion in public spending behind closed cabinet doors.
  • Oversight was blinkered again this week when the new federal budget office was denied the independence needed to probe and explain how Ottawa spends.
  • Voters' control over their elected representatives was again eroded when Liberals, like Conservatives, saved obedient incumbent MPs from the discipline and inconvenience of nomination contests.
  • Power is sliding farther away from the Commons and cabinet to concentrate in the Prime Minister's Office as a presidential-style spokesman increasingly becomes the administration's public voice.
Alone, none slices deep. As part of a progression they are killing democracy with cuts so small and sharp they are hardly noticed.
What's left is absurd. Prime ministers with most of the power of medieval monarchs are no longer subservient to Parliament, their caucuses or party. A new professional class of appointed officials and lobbyists is more influential than ministers. Mandarins who once spoke truth to power are silent. Following taxpayer dollars from promise to pocket is an exercise in futility that exhausts the fittest traveller.

Many great inventions are accidental discoveries. Sham-ocracy isn't one of them. Thirty years of Machiavellian schemes, good intentions and bad consequences have knowingly, if incrementally, altered this capital's consuming purpose. Sometime between Pierre Trudeau and Stephen Harper, politicians topping the pecking order began coming here not so much to represent Canadians as to manage them. For too many of the less powerful, public service morphed into staying long enough to plumb perquisites and maximize pensions.

There are as many reasons for democracy becoming sham-ocracy as there are fixes. Over the coming weeks and months the Star will deconstruct them. But at the inquiry's epicentre is a singular concern. In perpetuating a fraud, politicians risk making Parliament another Eaton's, an institution more evocative of the past than relevant to the present or future.
James Travers' column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»


From:Ray Strachan
Subject: Re Wheat Stem Rust (Fungus)

Joe

I found the complete article by Karen Kaplan regarding Wheat Stem Rust (Fungus)
The article was printed June 15 2009.    I simply typed in ,,

Chicago Tribune June 15 2009 Karen Kaplan.

The story comes up immediately. It mentions the fact 80% of world wheat crops
could be wiped.    The caption is " Time Bomb"

Ray Strachan

===================================
From: Rubie Britton
Subject: Please sign the Petition.


Stop the unfair tax grab
http://www.andreahorwath.com/unfairtaxgrab/home.html

Dalton McGuinty's new HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) will hurt thousands of Ontarians already paying more than their fair share of taxes.

A new tax on gas, hydro and everyday purchases like coffee and newspapers will make life even less affordable for middle-class and working Ontarians.

Ontarians don't need another unfair tax. We need to get Ontario's economy back on track with smart policies like "Buy Ontario" and targeted investments that create and sustain jobs.

Join thousands of Ontarians. Tell Dalton McGuinty to stop this unfair tax.

===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich

Subject: sex offenders to get paid for treatment--our tax dollars at work???

Joe--I can't find anything on line but Roy Green has just made the announcement that Peter Van Loan has announced that criminals behind bars that have committed sexual offences against children or adults will be paid for taking treatment.  Have you heard anything about this??
Becky

=====
Becky Here y'are. Joe

Prisoners to get incentive pay under proposal
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/prisoners-to-get-incentive-pay-under-proposal-48239607.html

Subject: Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan not enugh?  Now this could cause GW and  rising tides!!!
NASA moon bombing violates space law & may cause conflict with lunar ET/UFO civilizations

Subject: Canada Day--July 4th???

This is disgusting--Canada Day is July 1st.  But because it falls on a Wednesday they will celbrate on July 4th--coincidentally, that is when the American cottagers will be arriving!!!  Money trumps National pride???  Or is this the next step in the NAU???  It is unconscionable that this is even considered.  So we are 'Canadians of convenience' and when our Founding day has the common sense to fall on a week=-end we will celebrate it then??  Oh Canada--we stand for nothing.
Becky

Canada Day fireworks on July 4
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2009/06/19/mb-fireworks-kenora-winnipeg.html?ref=rss

Subject:  Lack of CFCs cause GW???

I guess I was right about the CFCs?  How many times do the 'scientists' have to screw up before we say enough?  I am tired of being thrown from perceived disaster time after time and being taxed to death for this.  I wonder if all the politicians and scientists shut up would that stabilize the climate???
becky

Ecologists' own goal: ozone saver is global warmer
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6544745.ece
From The Sunday Times
June 21, 2009

===================================
From: Charles Tupper


Leave Iran Alone!

by Ron Paul

Recently by Ron Paul: No More Murderous Rip-Offs

===================================
From: "Mahmood Elahi"
To: "Letters to the Editor" <lettertoed@thestar.ca>
Subject: For refusing to run a minority, Harper should step aside letting Prentice to run the government

The Editor
The Toronto Star
 
Copy to: Mr. Angelo Persichilli, Columnist for The Toronto Star.
 
For refusing to run a minority, Haper should step aside letting Prentice to run the government
 
Re "Flawed system, not poor leaders, hurting Canada," by Angelo Persichilli (June21).
 
Angelo Persichilli is absolutely wrong when he says: "Unfortunately, the system works only if there are two, or at most three, parties at the table. When you have four - or five, including the Greens - you must be the worst of the worst of all political worlds: unstable government and unrepresentative parliaments."
 
Mr. Persichilli may be reminded that Germany has six political parties ranging from extreme right to extreme right and yet Chancellor Angela Markel's centre-right Christian Democratic Party (CPD) has formed a grand coalition with centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) to run the government. Before her, SPD Chancellor Gerhard Shroeder had been running a coalition government with the Green Party. Both governments have been highly stable.
 
Prime Minister Harper's main problem is that he is not willing to run a minority government because it calls for co-operation with other parties. Harper's highly partisan syle precludes any such co-operation. As such, Mr. Harper should step aside and  let a more moderate like Environment Minister Jim Prentice run the minority government. Unlike autocratic Harper, Prentice seems to be more collegial and is better placed to run a minority government. Persichilli should also learn from the inventors of democracy -- the ancient Athenians -- who tell us that democracy is not a tyranny of the majority, but a system of government in which diverse voices of all citizens and their representatives must be heard.
 
MAHMOOD ELAHI
Ottawa.

===================================
From: Tom Brewer
 
I beg to differ with the anti nuclear crowd in Saskatchewan. There can be good come of nuclear research. I dare say if any of the naysayers would not opt for isotopes if one of their loved ones needed them.
 
Nuclear research seems to be clouded in the bad side of its history that being bombs. I suggest we all get our heads out of the sand and realize controlled development/use can benefit mankind. Saskatchewan has the supply... It is assine to think because we are not involved in the development the problem exists for others. Duh!!

===================================
From: "Jacob Rempel"
To: "Jacob Rempel" <yasch@telus.net>
Subject:  It was the GMO --  The FDA knew and kept silent  http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/647.html

FRIENDS:
You may already have this information from Brasscheck or another source.
If so, I apologize for loading it into you mailbox again. If in your opinion this
information is important , please forward it to persons you know.
--- Jacob Rempel, Vancouver.
 
Take a look at this great video I found called:
"The Risks of Genetically Modified Foods"
It's a video in six clips showing
Dr.WilberSmith
summarizing the information in his new book
The Seeds of Deception
You can view it here, clicking on successive clips.
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/647.html
----------------------------------
Orig m essage from:
brasschecktv@aweber.com

Sent: June 19, 2009 To: Jacob
Subject:"They knew and didn't tell"
We all know how utterly corrupt the FDA is, but
sometimes the full significance of this fact doesn't
resonate. This video is a major wake up call.

Short version:
The FDA gave Monsanto and it friends a free pass on genetically
modified organisms. They've helped suppress the science that
shows food produced this way is dangerous. Here are the foods
that are genetically modified: milk, corn, soybeans, canola oil and
cottonseed oil. One simple way to protect yourself is to stop eating
these foods unless they come from a certified organic source.
 
For more information on how to protect yourself from
the corporate/government criminals that are selling
garbage and poison and calling it food, go here:

http://www.TheRealFoodChannel.com
Today's video is particularly important.
Food related illnesses in the Uniited States
DOUBLED between 1994 and 2001.
Did you know that? Me neither.
Here's one of the contributing factors:
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/647.html
 
Brasscheck TV
2380 California St
.
San Francisco, CA 94115
-----------------------------------------------
P.S.
And Monsanto should have its corporate charter cancelled.
--- Jacob Rempel, Vancouver

===================================
From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,  Here is part 2 of the Star's series of Sham-ocracy. Here is a sneak peek of a quote, "

"The tale of what's happened to the Access to Information Act is just as easily the story of Canadian democracy in recent decades as benign neglect, calculated power grabs and public apathy erode principles and institutions."  And one more, "We now know that cabinet has been disempowered," said Savoie, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance at the Université de Moncton.

"Power and influence in Ottawa is centred around court government, around the Prime Minister, around lobbyists, around spin doctors and our democracy has been bastardized, if you like, by lobbyists who only have one interest – their self-interest," he says."
http://tinyurl.com/lpyuve
 
On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 3:36 PM, The Natroses

Hi Joe,  I am surprised that I caught the attention and honored that one would take the time to further expand my points on the erosion of freedoms and rights in Canadian society, and in particular the freedom of expression. Robert Gauthier pointed out their is a big difference as quoted,  " There are essential differences between "fundamental human rights" and "discriminatory rights" that should not be trivialized resulting in a cursory evaluation by a group or commission less than minimally versed is such laws."
As I have discovered, there is a very fine line between human rights and discriminatory rights, where government agencies, politicians, and others have attempted and sometimes successfully to limit our rights, by using discriminatory methods to justified limiting our access to government services. The outcome in society, is that our human rights are being eroded through the use of systematic rules, regulations, laws, administrations that are designed to exclude and limit access to services and participation in a democratic society.
There is a careful dance being played out, where discriminatory methods are being played  on all or certain groups, without completely over riding our human rights or keeping the appearance of respecting our rights and freedoms. Governments often love to use words, such as opportunity tied in with criteria and inclusion. In reality, wide sections of groups cannot take advantage of opportunities, because they did not meet all the criteria, and are excluded as a result. It is a form of discrimination, that flies under the radar of race, gender and religion. Its roots are based on appearance, intelligence, social/economic groupings, and other indicators that are hard to determine; such as civil discourse, personal attitudes and perceived biases that are rooted in misconceptions and  knowledge of the individual. Governments at all levels have taken full advantage of human tendencies, playing one group against another and by doing so, governments can managed the citizens without respecting our rights and freedoms.
There is a series of articles coming up in the Toronto Star, speaking about our democracy and the erosion of it.   
"No single person, political party or prime minister can hog the credit. Sham-ocracy is as much a group project as a shared burden. Begun in a 1980s Liberal effort to impose coherence and control on helter-skelter departments, agencies and spending, it's spreading like cholera in the time of Conservatives.

Slower than light or sound, its speed is still remarkable. On April 4 the Toronto Star published an essay, available at thestar.com/Travers, pulling apart the cracked and broken links in the chain binding Parliament, politicians and civil servants to citizens. Today the paper begins a close examination of the sorry state of federal governance. Between then and now, the pace of change has been startling, if sadly predictable.

Parliament lost more of its defining control over the public purse when the Prime Minister slipped $3 billion in public spending behind closed cabinet doors.
Oversight was blinkered again this week when the new federal budget office was denied the independence needed to probe and explain how Ottawa spends.
Voters' control over their elected representatives was again eroded when Liberals, like Conservatives, saved obedient incumbent MPs from the discipline and inconvenience of nomination contests.
Power is sliding farther away from the Commons and cabinet to concentrate in the Prime Minister's Office as a presidential-style spokesman increasingly becomes the administration's public voice.
Alone, none slices deep. As part of a progression they are killing democracy with cuts so small and sharp they are hardly noticed.

What's left is absurd. Prime ministers with most of the power of medieval monarchs are no longer subservient to Parliament, their caucuses or party. A new professional class of appointed officials and lobbyists is more influential than ministers. Mandarins who once spoke truth to power are silent. Following taxpayer dollars from promise to pocket is an exercise in futility that exhausts the fittest traveller.

Many great inventions are accidental discoveries. Sham-ocracy isn't one of them. Thirty years of Machiavellian schemes, good intentions and bad consequences have knowingly, if incrementally, altered this capital's consuming purpose. Sometime between Pierre Trudeau and Stephen Harper, politicians topping the pecking order began coming here not so much to represent Canadians as to manage them. For too many of the less powerful, public service morphed into staying long enough to plumb perquisites and maximize pensions."

http://tinyurl.com/mrtkz6

I have notice of late, the media is becoming brave and voicing concern on our decline and erosions of democracy, our freedoms and rights. Speaking on issues where few dare to tread, especially when the possibility of  crossing swords with the powerful can lead  to personal consequences afflicted by the powerful. One consequence that I have found in my own personal life, is to be force into silence and inaction, for fear of loosing services that my child is already receiving. I am forced to pick and choose my battles within special education, as an individual. But, if the media in this country was doing its job, I would have no need to pick my battles. If media address the issues of the day, speaking on the behalf of all citizens and not condoning the outright biases and discrimination that is being played out everyday across this country, the continue  and expanded pace of erosion of our rights and freedoms would not be taking place today. It would force our elected politicians, and public servants to respect the Constitution, rather than what is happening today to which laws, administrations and the sub-systems are all working together to work around the Constitution, to limit and deny our rights and freedoms. In so doing, they denied the needed knowledge for ordinary Canadians to make wise and informed decisions.

The Canadian democracy as it stands now, is no better than a communist system. Both gave the appearance of working for the good of the people, but they share a more dangerous trait. The trait of allowing elected or non-elected persons to think they know what is best for the citizens, without bothering asking the people for their knowledge and opinions that will impact their day to day lives. We see this in the federal arm of the Human Rights Commission, where freedom of expression is being written in by using a wider interpretation of their original mandate.

We see this in the public education mandate, where every child is entitled to an education. The very vagueness of the mandate, has led to open warfare between parents of special needs and the school system. It is left to parents to take advantage of the opportunities and to avail of certain rights, but it is not  within the school's mandate to educate and pass on information to the parents, that will affect the decisions of parents and children. As an example that will be my next battle, is using high stakes  testing (CRTs), in replacement of grade nine final exams that are formulated at the school or board level,   in language arts, science and math. I will not go into details, since CRTs, the technical aspect is complicated, but I will go into how standard testing was introduced to the parents, by telling them that the data generated will be used to help and formulate education policies, teaching methodology, and curriculum that will benefit all students. Assurances were also made to parents and the general public, that individual results will not be used to justified or to be included in the make-up of grade averages. The move to make CRTs count and is part of final grades by the education authorities of NL, was done without notification to parents and the general public. In so doing, they avoided debate and the outrage that would come from all quarters especially the group that is composed of the learning disabilities. My child has never passed a CRT, and there is no chance she will passed any written portion of the grade 9 CRT. The reason is, she never received the proper help to overcome her language difficulties, but schools prefer to take the easy route by working around the difficulty. As a result, her writing skills are very weak, and the very same weaknesses will work against her, where her knowledge is no longer being measured. But what will be measure, is her skills in writing and reading; the very sub-set skills needed to write and produced a pass on a CRT.  Furthermore, the problem of passing for a child with learning disabilities is put at a greater risk, when it is being graded by a panel whom do not take into account her learning disability, because she is under pathway 2. Therefore, she is graded under the same criteria as pathway 1 students, and not under pathways where the severe learning learning disability children are found. This set of children, will get special treatment and their CRTs are graded under a special panel.  Education systems are openly discriminating within special education groups where the mild to moderate groupings are not entitled to the same services as the severe groupings. To add salt to the wound, the education authorities have seen fit to imposed a regulation that no parent is allow to see the original copy of the CRT, and  of the work done by your child. I cannot make a case, or even begin to prove my case or make a good decision, when I do not have all information that is available on my child. The CRTs would prove my case, that my child is in need of language skills that is currently not available to her. It would also prove my case, that children who have failed their CRTs or parts of it , schools are not actively working with these children to improve the sub-skills that are necessary to pass any testing. This is where parents are at the receiving end of the subtle biases, attitudes, misconceptions, and the holding back of knowledge within the public education system. It is where parents are subjected to the whims of our educators, their arrogance and sometimes humiliating ways of debasing parent's lack of knowledge and skills, and most of all, the belief that people who work in the education field knows what it is in the best interests of our children. Heaven forbid, if a parent questions their ability, their skills, and their knowledge.

I just touch two areas, but it has seeped into all aspects of society. The real danger is to be quiet and passive about it. The real danger is to fear the consequences when speaking against the wisdom of society leaders. The real danger, is to allow our agencies who exist to protect our rights and freedoms to legislate their way in controlling the thoughts, movements and direction of society, by putting limits on our rights and freedoms. The real danger is allowing those who are above us in position, power and wealth to continue down a pathway, where respect and dignity is not a two-way street, unless it fits into the current scheme of goals and aims of the ones who like to lord over us. The real danger, is to allow others to take care and trust them to respect our rights and freedoms. 
===================================