Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Quebec Can Be Successful After Independence

Over the years, many of my sovereigntist friends have asked my opinion on what a post-independent Quebec would need to do to become successful and mitigate the damage of losing so much federal financial assistance.
Let me play the Devil's Advocate and undertake an exercise that few if any sovereigntist leaders or economists would dare, that is examining what actions a government could and should undertake to assure the very best outcome.
Let's start by understanding that there are many, many loose dollars lying around and many economies to be made because quite frankly both Canada and Quebec are operated by big spenders who throw around money willy-nilly, without regard to value or necessity. Belt-tightening won't be the answer to Quebec's financial redemption after sovereignty, but with so much fat to cut, it certainly will help.
It was announced this week that Quebec is running a $4.5 billion surplus, a fantastic achievement by a federalist Quebec government determined to cut costs which paradoxically lends more credence to a viable independent Quebec.

That being said, there needs to be some considerable savings to make up the shortfall, when we consider the $15 billion that Ottawa contributes over and above what Quebec pays in federal taxes and levies, the number that seems to be bandied about by economists who presume to know.
Since Quebec is now running a $4.5 billion surplus, the shortfall becomes more manageable at $10 billion.
I write the following not as a dead accurate financial plan, but rather to expose ideas never discussed or proposed because quite frankly, sovereigntists have always been frightened to describe Quebec after independence.

Here are some thoughts which I hope readers will consider;

1. Negotiate down the portion of the national debt Quebec would inherit after independence.
In discussing the portion of federal debt that Quebec would accept, Jacques Parizeau, before the last referendum, opined that Quebec would accept up to 25% of the national debt.
That figure is nonsense, like asking a divorced couple to split up the debt evenly when, one of the couple is much poorer than the other. At any rate, Quebec would give up any claim to federal assets and be entitled to a set off in any debt assignment. Even if Canada saddles Quebec with just 15% of the national debt, both are getting a good deal, considering that Quebec is a drain on Canadian finances to the tune of $15 billion a year.
Today Quebec contributes about 18-20% of the federal budget (with a population of 23% of Canada) meaning that it pays about $5 billion of the $26 billion Ottawa spends on servicing the federal debt. Should Quebec be successful in accepting just 15% of the federal debt on separation, it would mean an annual saving of a little over $1 billion.

2.Create it's own currency
There's been a lot of discussion about keeping the Canadian dollar as legal tender in an independent Quebec, mostly to calm fears of the unknown, but the idea of having the Queen of Canada gracing the money in an independent Quebec is ludicrous. First of all, removing Canadian dollars from circulation would create a $10 billion one-time-windfall as new money printed is exchanged for Canadian dollars. Secondly, a floating Quebec dollar would reflect reality and should the currency exchange fall vis-a-vis the American and Canadian dollar, it would effectively devalue the cost of labour, something that could make Quebec more competitive, but citizens admittedly poorer. Remember those discussions of 'Dutch Disease,' and it's supposed impact on Canadian competitiveness?

3.Get rid of the armed forces
Part of reducing the Quebec portion of the federal debt is to relinquish Quebec's part of federal assets and nothing fits the bill better than the armed forces. Getting rid of the armed forces would save Quebec four to six billion dollars a year, putting a huge dent in the budgetary shortfall. Quebec could create a small coastal defence force consisting of small littoral patrol boats along with helicopters for search and rescue and coastal sovereignty enforcement, costing peanuts. Dreams of NATO membership and international interventions aren't something most Quebec need or in fact want. This new coastal defence force could be based in the Gaspé, with an important outpost in the Îles de la Madeleine , thus creating permanent employment for regions that will be highly impacted by the loss of federal unemployment insurance payments. As for defence of the realm, Quebec could enter into a defence pact with the United States whereby the United States Armed forces could be provided with a permanent base (like the Philippines) at the mouth of the northwest passage in exchange for providing air cover as a deterrence. The USA would jump at such a chance to extend their military reach.

4.Revamp the Educational system and get rid of CEGEPS 
Sovereignty should be an opportunity to revamp the educational system starting with the elimination of the CEGEP system which has proved to be an abject failure. High school would be extended by a year, thus returning Quebec to the tried and true North American model. It's been a policy of the Quebec government to try and improve graduation rates to mimic those in the rest of Canada, but lowering  standards to encourage enrolment hasn't worked, a costly disaster that has post high school non-achievers lounging in CEGEP for a couple of years before failing out. Universities could easily make up the extra year as enrolment in most French universities is way below capacity. By streamlining the system and raising standards, Quebec could graduate as many students as today with 20% less enrolment, a windfall that could actually pay for free post-secondary education. While tuition could be free for those who take school seriously, layabouts who flunk or drop classes would be required to pay a hefty price for failure, thus encouraging serious students only. One English university would have to close to reflect the outflow of Anglophones, but McGill should remain a pearl, even in an independent Quebec, providing higher education for both French and English students of exceptional ability.

5.Spread the wealth of government jobs
 While Quebec would save an enormous amount of cash after independence because it would no longer send Ottawa  taxes and remittances, the services provided by Ottawa like healthcare and defence would have to be provided by Quebec and those new services should be implemented so as to  better balance out government employment across the province, especially in depressed regions. I am reminded of a visit to Bathurst New Brunswick where I discovered a federal government office making social security cards for the entire country, providing employment in a depressed market.
Those new Quebec government agencies and offices created by Ottawa's withdrawal should be opened in areas that are depressed or otherwise losing federal agencies like Revenue Canada regional offices in Jonquiere and Shawinigan. It doesn't take a lot of government jobs to boost the Gaspé region and other depressed areas which already suffer from massive underemployment. Spreading out government jobs would provide meaningful non busy-work and eliminate stupid make-work programs like cement plants or wind technology manufacturing.

5. Eliminate wasteful busy-work projects
Quebec has mothballed several hydro-electric generating plants because of the lack of demand, while creating make-work jobs in wind generation and co-generation power that cost three to four times more than the closed plants. All wind farms and co-generation plants should be phased out and the technologies abandoned. The re-opening of mothballed hydro power plants would save Quebec over a billion dollars a year. The jobs lost would be compensated with good paying government jobs as described above.
Even with those measures, Quebec would remain with an over-abundance of electricity due to competition, conservation and cheap gas prices.  Measures should be made to increase electricity use in the public domain and perhaps all new residential homes constructed would be required to install electric heating only. While electric cars remain a pipe dream, other public uses of this Quebec resource could be raised as a priority. Even if electricity costs more to use than oil, it's use would be beneficial in the long run considering the spin-off effects.
Think of it like supporting your neighbourhood bakery which employs locals and purchases local raw materials. Even if the cost of the products is slightly more than buying from foreign sources the local economic benefits far exceeding the added price.

6. Temporarily suspend foreign aid
Canada is already a skinflint when it comes to foreign aid, but still spends about $5.7 billion dollars, of which Quebec taxpayers contribute over one billion dollars. A temporary moratorium would help Quebec achieve its goal of financial independence..

7. Review entitlements
Certainly nobody agrees that wealthy Quebecers should be entitled to government subsidized daycare and so an independent Quebec should take the opportunity to revamp all the entitlement programs that includes universality, the idea that subsidized programs are open to all Quebecers, even the rich.

8. Renounce pensions to those who abandon Quebec or Quebec citizenship.
Here's certainly a novel idea that would financially punish those who abandon the new state. Those who give up Quebec citizenship and move to Canada or parts unknown would no longer be entitled to a Quebec government old age pension. It's a bit harsh, but it will have many thinking twice about leaving and the savings on those who do would be considerable.

Now all the above measure would amount to more than the $10 billion required to balance the budget and so amazingly, you'll notice that I haven't even proposed any tax increases which could be left as an ace in the hole should circumstances deteriorate.

The biggest hindrance to sovereignty is not political, but rather economic. If sovereigntists can cobble together a reasonable plan of financial independence, the road towards independence finally becomes realizable.

Friday, June 16, 2017

10 Catastrophic Years after Sovereignty for Quebec

"10 Catastrophic Years after Sovereignty"

So says Premier Philippe Couillard in the National Assembly in a rather spicy dressing down at newly-elected co-leader of Quebec Solidaire and ex-student anarchist, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
According to the Premier, the day after sovereignty, Quebec would become impoverished and would have to sacrifice social programs, public services and this, according to him, for at least ten years. Link{fr}
Actually, I think the Premier is being a bit generous in surmising that the pain of sovereignty would be limited to a decade, but alas that is neither here nor there. 
Convincing hard-core sovereigntists that independence would be disastrous is like telling suicide bombers that there aren't 72 virgins awaiting them in Heaven, it is sadly the same mentality.

I am not writing this piece in order to offer up facts figures and otherwise concrete proof of the economic folly of sovereignty, because I've done it before as have countless others.
 UQAM's Nutty Professor
 PQ To Canada... How's About "Friends with Benefits?"
The Trouble with Sovereignty
The Trouble with Sovereignty, Part 2
Seven Dirty Lies of the Sovereignty Movement

For die hard sovereigntist fantasists, alternate facts, fake news and pipe dreams offered up by cynical and dishonest separatist leaders are just the medicine to countervail the gloom and doom predicted by nasty federalists like myself.
Listening to the likes of ignorant blowhards like Mario Beaulieu or the doufus Martine Ouellet talk economics makes it easy lampoon separatist leaders as dummies, but other, more credible separatist leaders like Jacques Parizeau, Lucien Bouchard and economist Jean-Martin Aussant, all militated for sovereignty under the guise that Quebec would be just fine. It is the dishonesty of the educated and well-informed that continues to irk me to no end.

There have been precious few scholarly attempts by the sovereignty movement to show how an independent Quebec would fare after sovereignty, with good reason as you can imagine, and so Quebeckers have been left to their own devices to figure out the truth.
Over the decades since the last referendum, the message of Quebec poverty after sovereignty has finally sunk in, regardless of the nonsense sovereigntist leaders spew with those on the fence in the debate have largely jumped over to the federalist side, the reason sovereigntist support has plummeted in recent years.

The sovereignty movement has descended into a sad spectacle of the blind leading the wilfully blind with leaders and followers determined to ignore reality with deception and alternate facts.
Arguing economics is almost impossible with die-hard separatists, as they are expert at offering an alternate reality in which the fiction that Quebec sends more to Ottawa than it receives and that Quebec is always short-changed on federal programs.
It plays well to the converted because of the simplicity of the message, the time-honoured 'done-me-wrong' refrain.

I'm reminded of a fishing trip I made with a sovereigntist friend right after the failed referendum of 1995. We ventured up past Dolbeau in the Saguenay region to an area known as ZEC, a government controlled wilderness.
Over the campfire, my friend J.P got around to talking politics and asked me about the economics of sovereignty and if Quebec could be actually be viable after independence. It was an honest question from a friend who viewed Quebec Independence not as a slight towards Canada, but more like a  grown up child leaving the family home to strike it out in his own, with continued love and loyalty to the family.

He started quoting economic numbers, the oft repeated scenario in which Quebec could make it economically with only a small drop in standard of living.
I realized then that it was well nigh impossible to argue the point with someone convinced and so took another tack, a fact something that sovereigntists willingly ignore.

How many Quebecers would leave after sovereignty and what would the economic impact be?
 This is the argument that no sovereigntist will dare broach because it is in essence the straw that will break the sovereigntist dream.

Every time a sovereigntist talks about the economic future of an independent Quebec, ask him or her how many people will leave and you'll get the blankest of stares.  It is the one factor sovereigntist cannot face.

Will it be 5%, 10%, 15% or even more? Nobody knows.
But one thing I know for sure,  anything over 5% will send Quebec over the economic waterfall into the abyss.

Now many sovereigntists have told me that if Canada won't play ball on economic conditions after sovereignty, like open borders and trade, the province can always renege on its portion of the national debt.
First let me say that Canada can very well survive that with the yearly savings on equalization payments to Quebec, easily carrying the additional debt.

But the opposite argument applies, what if it is Canada doesn't play nice?
What if Canada makes an offer to individual Quebecers to move to Canada, with perhaps a five or ten year tax holiday? How much would that accelerate desertions?
What if Canada does the same for business, offering sweetheart terms and conditions which are really no skin off its nose since these businesses are lost to Canada already.  Quebec would be blackmailed into granting the same concessions, further weakening its tax base.

Can it happen? Of course it can.
After the American War of Independence, the British offered loyalists land holdings in Canada as a reward for their service. About 10% of those living in the newly independent 13 colonies left and settled in Canada, some returning to England.

Every time a sovereigntist mouths off over the viability of an independent Quebec, ask him or her how many will leave.
It represents the coup de grace of the sovereignty dream.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Quebec Government Sheds Crocodile Tears Over Anglo Community Destruction

Credit: Aislin-Montreal Gazette
Last January, a senior Quebec Minister Jean-Marc Fournier, wrote to Ottawa, over the Quebec Liberal government's new-found concern over the destruction and assimilation of the Quebec Anglophone community outside of Montreal.
"The Couillard government is "concerned" with the survival of Quebec's Anglophone minority living outside Montréal, fearing that it will be assimilated by the Francophone majority.

In a letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, received by the QMI Agency last January, Jean-Marc Fournier, Minister responsible for La Francophonie, said that English-speaking communities in Quebec's regions are often " isolated, "making more difficult the transmission of their language and culture ".

"Their geographical dispersion, their low demographic weight and the aging of the population are a major factor in their vitality," Minister Fournier also wrote."
Absolutely no mention of the anti-English language policies by every single Quebec government both federalist and separatist over the last 45 years as a contributing factor.
It reminds me of the old joke whereby a son who murdered his parents asks the judge for leniency because he is now an orphan. 
Fournier is actually asking for money from Ottawa to somehow reverse the situation that he and his government artificially created, like a burglar who robs a home and then appeals to the neighbours to  help re-furbish the home. Talk about chutzpah!

The language policy first imposed by the Parti Quebecois' chief Anglophobe, Camille Laurin, in Bill 101 was less about protecting and promoting French and more about destroying the English community in an effort to cull our numbers and diminish our power. If French was promoted and expanded as a by-product, and more importantly used as an excuse to attack English, all the better.
But make no mistake about it.  Laurin was a separatist fanatic who hated the English and viewed the community's destruction as a necessary step in the march towards sovereignty. So extreme was the original text of Bill 101 that René Levesque blanched when presented with the document. When observers inside the PQ pointed out that many of the clauses were patently illegal under Canadian law, Laurin explained that those clauses when ultimately overturned in court would serve to inflame separatist sentiment as the courtroom defeats would be characterized as an attack on Quebec jurisdiction and a collective humiliation of francophone Quebec.

When Levesque finally accepted the final draft of Bill 101, he did so with a profound sense of sadness, he was to his credit an honest and inherently decent human who felt for the Anglophone community. Not so, the rabble of anglophobes in the PQ led by Laurin, who viewed Bill 101 not  as the saviour of the French language, but rather the instrument of the destruction of the Anglophone community. Great fun!

At any rate anglo apologists like Noah Sidel writing in the Gazette must be embarrassed by the Fournier pronouncement that anglophone communities are dying.
Sidel wrote this in his piece denouncing those of us who don't accept our marginalization and humiliation;
"That doesn’t mean we can’t live here and thrive both in our own communities as well as in the larger Quebec reality
Hmm......Not according to the Quebec minister, who tells us exactly the opposite, that English communities outside Montreal can’t live and thrive and ultimately survive.

Mr Sidel begins his attack piece complaining that;
Robert Libman’s June 6 opinion piece “Quebec anglos, Bill 101 and Yosemite Sam” is centred on the old angryphone argument that our community is marginalized because of Bill 101.
And so gentle readers using the 'angryphone' pejorative in describing my good friend Robert Libman is certainly going to elicit an unkind response from myself.
So let the fun begin.......

First a word about Mr. Sidel, a failed CAQ candidate in the last provincial election in NDG, a decidedly Liberal stronghold. Mr. Sidel is disparagingly described in French political jargon as a 'poteau'(pole), a person who runs in a riding and cannot possibly win, but runs to show a party presence by placing campaign posters on poles.
Mr. Sidel could not even beat the Quebec Solidaire candidate and barely came ahead of the PQ candidate with just 1,500 votes, or about 5%. Now 'poteaus' usually run because they are wildly motivated and wish to enter the political game early and seek the experience of actually running, or they run in an impossible riding because they are looking for a political payoff, like a job, should the party they represent actually win. I'll let readers decide on Noah Sidel's motivation.

For Noah Sidel, the slow erosion of English and anglophone rights hasn't touched his personal space because he remains safely ensconced in the anglo friendly environs of NDG and Cote-Saint Luc, two  remaining bastions of English and anglophone vitality in Quebec.
But like the Romans living in a bubble as the empire crumbled far away, (but advancing inexorably,) the realization that the writing is on the wall is hard to appreciate from the vantage point of privilege. The truth is that as long as Bill 101 exists and English and anglophones are treated as a foreign language and community, we are doomed
Sidel goes on to say this;
"Our school system — in particular the English Montreal School Board — is upside down not only because Bill 101 drained our pool of potential students from the immigrant population, but also largely because we’ve disengaged as a community from managing it by entrusting it to commissioners elected by the few and responsible to no one".
Really, I don't know where to start in dissecting this idiot statement. Is he joking?
In 1971 260,000 students received English language instruction in Quebec and today that number is 110,000.  English school after school, after school, after school has shuttered over the years, not because of mismanagement or disengagement by our community, but rather because of diminished enrolment, a direct result of the relentless attack on the English community, not only through Bill 101, but also with the unremitting enmity and disdain focused on us by hostile governments (both federalist and sovereigntist) that chased our best and brightest children out of the province.

At any rate, Mr Sidel seems a bit two-faced, running for the CAQ, a party that wants to strengthen Bill 101, not exactly in keeping with his spoken beliefs.
This is what he wrote on his blog back in 2012
"The PQ is the party of Bill 101 – probably the most restrictive and oppressive law in all Canada, in any context."
How about this pearl from also from his blog;
"I refuse to accept the way the Parti Québécois has aggressively attacked our community for a generation".
Ah, Noah, the Internet's a bitch, where there's no erasing what is published.

After complaining in the Gazette piece that the political system fails us not because of Bill 101, but rather because anglophones send the same people (read:Liberals) back to Quebec City one election after the other, with no accountability or responsibility.
Mr Sidel should remember what he wrote about those hated Liberals in his blog back in 2012.
"Overall, I think Charest did a good job in ushering in a decade of stability in a province that hasn’t really seen stability of this nature probably since just after the Quiet Revolution took hold and just before the Parti Quebecois first took power." Link{fr}
But the above doesn't jive with this 2016 Tweet;

Jean-Marc Fournier's letter to Ottawa is a sad admission of the Anglo reality in Quebec. Those English speaking communities that still exist outside Montreal won't for long.
While we remain safe for now in western Montreal, it is the erosion of our language rights over decades that will ultimately see our community dwindle until the ghost of Camille Laurin and his descendants succeed in doing what they promised, all with the pitiful acquiescence of useful idiots like Noah Sidel.
In closing let me offer one other quote from his blog;
 I’m starting to feel like a PQ government might actually go as far as to start posting those signs "No dogs, no Anglophones " and forcing us dirty Anglos to wear a big A on our sleeves. I’m not even kidding – I don’t take Nazi comparisons lightly. It’s impossible to believe the PQ would ever try to kill anyone, so you can’t go too gar with the comparison… But it’s not hard to imagine a PQ-governed province in which the English language is simply banned.
Oh those archives......
 And so I gather from the last paragraph that Mr. Sidel has a passing interest in this blog so let me tell him directly his smarmy attack on those that seek to defend anglo rights is unappreciated and his name-calling unseemly. His article in the Gazette is no attempt at clarity but rather just another pitiful attempt to ingratiate himself to the leadership of the CAQ, a public affirmation of his fealty and loyalty and public confirmation that he is willing to tow the party line on language.

Like all poteaus, Sidel is to be taken with a grain of salt and his contention that English is doing just fine in Quebec, a lie, sadly confirmed by Jean-Marc Fournier.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Surprise!....Quebec Wants Back Into Canadian Constitution

A lot of Ottawa pundits have thrown cold water on the idea put forward by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard on re-opening constitutional talks with an eye to finally getting Quebec to sign on. Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated that he's in no mood to reopen the painful and acrimonious debate. So stressful and traumatic was the last constitutional round of negotiations in 1982, that the bitter taste hasn't dissipated for those who participated. For those of us common citizens who were around and observed, it was like watching someone getting a tooth pulled.
But however painful, having Quebec remain out of the constitution is a powerful reminder that Canada remains an unfinished symphony, an incomplete country with a constitution that was never agreed upon by one of the founding partners.

For lack of a better analogy it reminds of the Israel/Palestinian dynamic where an imperfect and unfair status quo has become permanent and where there is no movement towards accommodation because one side is decidedly favoured by leaving things alone and the other too stubborn and prideful to engage.
Now I know I'll catch flack for the above, but all I'm trying to say is that there isn't much interest in English Canada in re-opening talks because quite frankly, English Canada and the other provinces see (quite rightly) that there is nothing is to be gained for its side.
But it doesn't make it right and who less than the Prime Minister should know better. Painful as re-negotiation will be, it is a necessary step in making Canada whole.

But the question remains, why on Earth would Premier Couillard embark on what would be on first glance a foolhardy endeavour, fraught with danger and conflict with little chance of success.

Actually, for Couillard any new negotiation remains a win/win, believe it or not.
Success, no matter how unlikely would be the crowning achievement of his Premiership and assure his re-election.
Counter-intuitively, even in failure Couillard and the Liberals would find success, as separatist sentiment would certainly be re-kindled and the old debate of federalism versus independence returning to become the prime election issue, something to the Liberal party advantage.
While the PQ's support would rise, it would come at the expense of the CAQ, marginalized by the debate, being neither here nor there. The Liberals would still muster enough federalist votes to be re-elected.
For the Liberals, moving the debate away from the corruption issue is of paramount importance, because it is over this issue that it remains vulnerable to the CAQ who would, even in a minority situation jump at a chance to partner up with the PQ in forming a government.
A new constitutional accord or a failed constitutional debate both play into this Liberal party playbook meant to steer the debate away from corruption, any way it can.

At any rate, what is it that Quebec wants that Canada is reluctant to give?
Asymmetrical federalism  is what can best be described as different strokes for different folks, that is that Quebec would enjoy certain powers that other provinces do not.

On the face of it, asymmetry sounds rather terrible and unfair, but to Quebec, it is considered the essential component to the preservation of it's place as a vibrant and self-sustaining French entity in Canada.

Our current legislation guarantees Quebec 3 of the 9 judges on the Supreme Court of Canada, a clear over-reach considering Quebec has but 23% of the Canadian population, meaning that based on population, Quebec would be entitled to just 2 judges.
This asymmetrical accommodation to Quebec irks many Canadians to no end and is referred to endlessly as an unfair advantage.
But strangely nobody seems to complain that Prince Edward Island enjoys one of the most egregious displays of asymmetrical accommodation in the division of Parliamentary seats where the tiny island is allotted four members in the House of Commons, grossly exaggerating and multiplying the province's political influence. With a population of just 145,000 people, each PEI member of parliament represents but 35,000 people, while the Canadian average is one member of Parliament for every 103,000. By all rights PEI should be allotted no more than 2 members of Parliament and even this is generous.
The same goes for Canada's three territories which each get one member while the straight math indicates that they deserve one member for the three combined.
These are asymmetrical accommodations that most of us would argue is fair, so let us not get on a high horse and pretend that asymmetrical accommodations towards Quebec are inherently unfair.

I'm reminded of the anecdote which has taken many forms, but this one seems to be one of the more popular;
“They are telling this of Lord Beaverbrook and a visiting Yankee actress. In a game of hypothetical questions, Beaverbrook asked the lady: ‘Would you live (sleep) with a stranger if he paid you one million pounds?’ 
She said she would. 
‘And if he paid you five pounds?’ 
The irate lady fumed: ‘Five pounds. What do you think I am?’ 
Beaverbrook replied: ‘We’ve already established that. Now we are trying to determine the degree.”
So Canadians are not against accommodations or asymmetric federalism, it is just the degree that Quebec benefits that remains the question.
Quebec seeks the right to opt out of federal programs with compensation, the right to control immigration and language in its province and other benefits that quite frankly make little difference to Canadians living their daily lives.
There is certainly a deal to be done, one that will in fact change little, but one would that mean a lot to Quebecers seeking their rightful place in Canada.
I would in fact support practically any deal and accommodations as long as it eliminates the infamous and egregious 'notwithstanding clause' which allows provinces to opt out of portions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by a simple vote in provincial Parliament, thus rendering our Supreme Court not so supreme.

Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Constitution of Canada. It is commonly known as the notwithstanding clause (or la clause dérogatoire in French), or as the override power, and it allows Parliament or provincial legislatures to override certain portions of the Charter. It was, and continues to be, perhaps the most controversial provision of the Charter. Wikipedia
And so gentle reader, before holding your nose and screaming constitutional change 'over my dead body,' one should consider that it is really not that big a deal.
Not that big deal at all.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Delusional London Mayor Downplays Terrorism

"There’s no reason to be alarmed....
I’m reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not the safest global city in the world.
--London Mayor Sadiq Khan,.

Delusional London Mayor Sadiq Khan is playing with words in claiming that London is the safest 'global' city in the world.
I don't know where he gets his stats, but a brief internet search shows that London doesn't even make the list of the top 15 safest large cities. Both Montreal and Toronto made the list and surprisingly even New York City, but no London.  Link

At any rate with two deadly terrorist attacks in London this year that have killed 13 and injured scores, when it comes to terrorist victims London rates worse than Tel Aviv or Jerusalem this year.

Who of us doesn't believe that London, like Paris are the two most dangerous western cities vis-a-vis Islamic terrorism.
Both cities are hotbeds of Islamic fundamentalism.

"Two very different responses from the Mayor of London and the the Prime Minister. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to hold that office, did manage to acknowledge the damage which had been done, but immediately fell back on a well practiced line indicating perhaps a bit more optimism than is warranted. This segment from Fox News includes the Mayor’s comments." Link

President Trump  couldn't resist.

So what response will our fearless Prime Minister Trudeau offer?
Methinks he will ask parrot the nonsense of Sadiq Khan.