Why I Can’t Vote Conservative Any More

I am an ex Conservative voter. I maintain that I didn’t leave them, they left me.

I have voted for three different parties in the four federal elections I’ve participated in, only the Conservatives twice. The two Conservative MPs I’ve voted for both have my respect. They are good people. They have done great things for their constituents. One of them was such a great MP I debated becoming a party member. The conservatives have done some good things while they’ve been in power. The repealing of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act was a good move. I was writing about it back in 2008. I also have high praise for Jim Flaherty. He was a great finance minister and I feel that the Conservatives successes with the Canadian economy should be attached to him and not to Stephen Harper. I also wonder what he would have thought about Harper criticizing Trudeau that you shouldn’t run a deficit in a recession, when that is exactly what Flaherty did to help the Canadian economy during the recession in 2008.

But, I can’t vote Conservative again.

I can’t vote Conservative because I can’t align my faith and beliefs with it.

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Canada’s Response to the Refugee Crisis

This post has been percolating for over a month now. So sorry it’s a bit long but I like giving facts and doing my best to not misrepresent people. I don’t often include Bible verses on my blog but today I am.

Matthew 25:34-36

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

A few weeks ago I asked my local MP (the Honorable Ed Fast) about Canada’s response to the war against ISIS and the refugee crisis that has been made immeasurably worse because of it. I agree with MCC on this in that a lasting solution needs to be a non-military solution that removes or reduces the reasons for radicalization and works toward peace. I was concerned that the Prime Minister seemed to be advocating for more military action because of the refugee crisis.

His response was:

“With respect to the Syrian conflict, let me correct you by saying that the Prime Minister has not advocated for MORE military action (as you have suggested) but for a balanced approach which includes three pillars: humanitarian assistance (of which Canada is one of the world’s largest donors), military intervention and resettlement of refugees. We do not have any plans to increase our military presence in Syria and Iraq.”

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“Old Stock Canadians”

*update at the end*

So in the debate today Stephen Harper said “Old Stock Canadians” and it’s taking twitter by storm (in that no one outside twitter cares yet, but they might tomorrow).

So I decided to find out what it means. I thought it was a minor dog whistle like “real Americans”. I wish that was it.

Recently it’s been used mostly by Conservatives with the attempted implication that they just meant not recent immigrants.

From Jason Kenny’s speech on Immigration and Multiculturalism at University of Western Ontario in 2009:

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Secret witnesses in Canadian courts?

If you haven’t seen it yet bill C-44 (the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act) is an interesting read (see more here: http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-44/). It does a number of things, mostly putting in law things that are already happening. One portion of it is highly problematic, though others might take issue with different provisions, and that would be subsection 18 – the secret witness section. Here’s the complete text of that section before we get into the problematic part:

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Reply from an M.P.

As you know I sent an e-mail to Nina Grewal (my M.P.) a few weeks ago in regards to the “case” against Ezra Levant before the Alberta Human Rights Commission (you can read my reaction to it here).  A similar case is currently proceeding against Mark Steyn.  A few weeks later I sent a follow up e-mail (just in case my first one got lost in the ether).

Greetings; I would just like to inquire as to what your progress on the matter in the attached e-mail has been.Also.  I noticed the other day that your colleague Mr. Keith Martin has entered a private members motion: M-446 — January 30, 2008 — Mr. Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca) — That, in the opinion of the House, subsection 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act should be deleted from the Act. I was wondering where you stood on this.  While I believe that the Human Rights Act is important, I could not figure out the purpose behind subsection 13, especially after finding out that a single person brought up nearly all the cases in which it was the primary issue.I look forward to your input on this.

Noah D. Arney

Just the other day I received a letter from my M.P.  I assumed it would be one of her mailings which I receive regularly, but in fact she had taken the time to send me a letter rather than an e-mail in response to my questions.  As I posted the original e-mail to her, I also am attaching a transcript of her letter.

6 February 2008

 Noah Arney

(Address removed)

Dear Mr. Arney:

Thank you very much for your recent correspondence concerning complaints before Canadian human rights commissions.

In recent weeks I have read several news articles expressing concern over the decisions of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and several of its provincial counterparts to proceed with complaints against Macleans Magazine and Ezra Levant and the Western Standard.  In the Macleans case the Canadian Islamic Congress alleges that an article published last year, excerpted from Mark Steyn’s book America Alone, “subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and Islamophobia.”  In the other case, the Alberta Human Rights Commission is considering whether or not to proceed with a complaint over a decision by Mr. Levant to publish the infamous Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed.

The federal and provincial governments established human rights commissions in the 1960s and 1970s to investigate complaints of discrimination.  In the case of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Human Rights Act sets out the commission’s responsibilities.  Complaints may relate to employment, or to the provision of goods, services, facilities and accommodation that are customarily available to the general public.  Complaints of discrimination may be made based on race, national and ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted.  The commission also has a statutory responsibility to foster public understanding and recognition of the principles of the Act.

I believe there is still a very important role to be played by human rights commissions.  There are, however, areas where reform may be required; specifically the willingness of commissions to consider questions relating to freedom of speech.  I am worried that by censoring one kind of expression, it will be easier to start censoring others.

I feel it may be appropriate at this time for the Minister of Justice to undertake a broad review of the Canadian Human Rights Act including those sections of the Act dealing with the Human Rights Commission.  A fundamental review by Parliament is needed to ensure that the commission remains true to the intentions of Parliamentarians.

As for Mr. Martin’s private member’s motion, M-446, repealing section 13 of the Canada Human Rights Act, it was just recently tabled and will not be up for debate in the near future.  Enacted in 1977, the original purpose of s. 13 was to deal with “telephone hate lines.”  The legislation was extended in 2001 to cover hate messaging on the Internet (s. 13(2)).

Section 13 provides:

13. (1) It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

I can assure you that when this motion comes before the House of Commons for debate, I will follow it closely and will arrive at a position at that time after careful considering on the arguments for and against its implementation.

Thank you again for writing to me and expressing your views on this important matter.

Sincerely yours,

Nina Grewal

Member of Parliament

Fleetwood-Port Kells

Well.  That was a bit long, but important it.  It’s good to remember that our MPs are just as interested in these matters as we are.  Also, Ms. Grewal is wonderful.  Thank you.