I walked in the rally organized by science students and scientists from the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie and Simon Frazer Universities yesterday from the conference centre to Parliament Hill. The speeches by the scientists from the steps of Parliament Hill with the Peace Tower framed against a blue sky were inspiring. They gave me hope. Hope that ordinary Canadians are waking up to the danger this radical government presents. A government which wants to create a Canada that no one will recognize.
The speeches weren’t political. They were modest, quickly presented but they were powerful. I remember especially the story of the accomplishments of the freshwater lakes research station (now closed) and how its’ research has fought off acid rain by identifying the source of the contaminants and how this one small research station has saved the life of the great lakes several times over during the last 40 years. These scientists are heroes that’s the long and short of it.
Just as the Occupy Movement has identified the crux of our economic woes – are we going to govern for the 99 per cent or the one per cent? The scientists have identified the crux of our democratic problem, are we going govern based on belief or are we going to govern based on truth?
Truth must be based on evidence which arises from the difficult work of cause and effect analysis. Truth based on evidence provides the basis for honest debate and from which new government policy arises. This is what we call democracy. Government based on belief is government by propaganda. We call this kind of government by different names, single party is one, fascism is another.
Right now, it is all about belief, eg. marijuana is a gateway, criminal drug. Jail people who smoke it and sell it. Another belief is criminality is increasing and best dealt with mandatory jail sentences for young and old. Based on the evidence, neither are true. Yet what do have? New belief based laws that require mandatory sentences for crimes that aren’t crimes, prison farms and rehabilitation that have been closed down and longer jail terms for youngsters. This is a recipe for a sick society.
On the other hand, we have a Canadian doctors like Chris Keefer who have had the courage to stand up in their white lab coats and say ‘no’ this is wrong to the Minister who shut down refugee health care. He had the courage to speak directly to the Minister who was hiding beside his podium and had no defense against the charge it is wrong to bring refugees into this country and then deny them the same health care as other Canadians have. This didn’t represent his values or the values of Canadians. Just as it is plain wrong to fire scientists who develop evidence you don’t like, that’s rule by propaganda, not rule by reason.
I was very, very happy to be among the thousands who came to support the scientists on the lawns of Parliament Hill. They made me proud to be Canadian. They gave me hope for I am convinced it is only when ordinary Canadians wake up to the threat this government presents to each and every one of us will we have a chance of taking the country back. For it is a government which wants to invade every aspect of your life from your e-mail, to what you say in private to a friend and whose economic polices no different from OPEC.
It’s a government which is changing our economy to one that is carbon dependent, not carbon free. It’s changing the way we share benefits so the one per cent prosper further and the 99 per cent suffer more. (We can’t even protect workers of the richest corporations on the planet who refuse to pay living wages.) It is changing the way we behave as international citizens. It wants to change our most fundamental values from those based on reason to those based on belief.
It will only be when ordinary Canadians from all walks of life awaken to the threat this radical government presents that will we have a chance to get our country back for our politicians have marginalized themselves by having no courage.