Monday 15 January 2024

Outlook 2024

 


Outlook 2024: The Culture Wars Will Go On

What does 2024 hold for Canadians?  There is the economy.  For most of us, that means, "Do I have a job?" and "Does it pay enough?".  Seniors on fixed incomes struggle with rising costs.

There is tax.  We pay a lot of it.  We despair as we know our government does not wisely and fairly manage our tax dollars.  There will be no tax cuts in 2024.

Young people at the stage of leaving home don't imagine owning a home or having a family, as did their parents' generation, because we have entered the new economy of 2024 and things don't seem to point that way anymore.

Economically, the New Year means understanding new, emerging financial trends. Since the Bank of Canada's interest rate acts like a thermostat for how hot the economy and inflation run, the current 5% central rate is going to stay around for quite a while to moderate the consequences of the Liberal’s bad spending habits.  Many Canadians will be required to renew their mortgages in 2024 at higher interest rates, forcing them to cut back on expenses elsewhere.  Some will be forced to sell.  There will be payment shock for many.

Meanwhile, average Canadians will continue to bear the cost while the government repeats the tired old political shibboleth, "We have your back."  Socially, our society seems to be at war with itself.  It's almost a contest to denounce one another for the latest invented social misdemeanor.  Everyone else must be politically correct, while those who shout the loudest and call down others have little accountability.

We hear “diversity is our strength”, a slippery phrase indeed that is used to open the door of permission for every excess imaginable.  The tried and true, “unity is our strength to face adversity,” has been replaced like unfashionable clothes, dumped in the bin.

And there's modern technology.  The Internet and social media have great benefits, hope, and promise. We all now carry a cell phone which is our personal computer, connecting us to the world of both opportunity and degradation.  But social media has unleashed the dark side of human nature, where every sin imaginable is advertised, where conspiracies are invented each week, and so-called news is distrusted and discounted as propaganda.

And here's the bad news: As the Canadian culture war continues, nothing will change in 2024.  Alas, humanity has been here before.  We recall the “society of lies” that was the daily existence in the old Soviet Union.  No one dared speak the truth for fear of social and economic consequences.  We are aware of the layered social discourse within a dictatorship, where everyone lies and special information is its currency, to be traded and manipulated for one’s survival.

Pravda (Truth) in the USSR was the most pervasive lying newspaper in history.  But in Canada during the year to come, we will see a continuation in that downward direction, where traditional news media organizations increasingly rely on government financial largesse and become even less trusted by citizens.

The cacophony of the newsy independents will mix truth with speculation and expand their private followers (subscribers) who regurgitate their bias, excluding most non-conforming opinions.  People will pay to hear what they want to hear.

Canada in 2024 will also struggle with national unity.  The deluge of information or social noise will cause some to withdraw and cocoon to a more comfortable social zone that seems comprehensible.  It could be observed as the modern style of tribalism, where an identifiable group becomes somewhat isolated and autonomous, where outsiders have little awareness of their neighbour’s social world.

Politicians will seek out every obscure group to establish an apparent special connection.  There will be more 'special days,' 'commemorative weeks,' and 'theme months' proclaimed by the political class, to the degree that few will pay any attention. This 'divide-then-claim' will increase in 2024.

At the international level, the World Economic Forum will continue to promote “The Great Reset Agenda” where the self-righteous will deride Canadian governance.

Additionally, COP (Conference of the Parties) is an international political climate meeting held each year by the United Nations, designed to cajole nations to prevent supposed human-caused interference with the climate.  COP29 climate talks in 2024 will be in a city where one of the world’s first oil fields developed 1,200 years ago: Baku, Azerbaijan.  The focus is to eliminate fossil fuels.  Protests and civil engagement will take center stage, in a nation with restrictions on free speech, and Canada will have to deal with the infuriation of this spectacle.

And so, 2024 will be a year of choice for Canadians.  Our personal hopes as well as our national character will be challenged.  In 2024, democracy will be under attack.  The system of government that allows people to choose their leaders and hold them accountable is facing pressures around the world.  Many countries are having elections, with four that could have a global impact.

The most watched will be the presidential race in the United States.  Another key election will be in India, the world's largest democracy.  The impact of these elections on geopolitics, and global business will be enormous, shaping the priorities of some of the world's largest and most influential economies.

Taiwan will continue to be a flashpoint for US-China relations with the its election challenging China.  The election in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country and a rising economic power will be a test of its democratic resilience and its role in Southeast Asia.  The impact of these elections on geopolitics and society will be enormous.

The slowdown in China, the world’s second-largest economy and the largest trading partner of many countries and regions will be a 2024 concern.  China is facing multiple problems such as an aging population, high unemployment among younger workers, declining productivity, and environmental and real estate crises.

In 2024, democracy will be under stress, as authoritarian leanings will seek to make a mark in upcoming elections in response to poor governance.  Populist movements will challenge the malaise of established institutions.  The global economy will face multiple uncertainties.

“Peace, order and good government” is our national guidepost.  It is our historical definition of how Canadians see ourselves, both personally and for our nation.  It is the Canadian counterpart to the American “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and the French “liberty, equality, fraternity.”

In 2024, we will likely have the opportunity to choose “good government” to replace the present dismal failure at the national level.  We must learn the good governance of self, while we choose our national destiny.  We must put our personal lives in order, to better face life’s adversity, as we demand order rather than hypocrisy from our leaders.

Peace in 2024 may seem elusive.  Some seek personal peace and satisfaction through self-indulgence or substance abuse.  We also observe those who have little inner peace, are the ones who disturb the public peace.  With wars and rumours of war, the world needs peace.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  We understand real peace is more than the absence of conflict or cultural noise.  It is a presence deep within.

Writing to his youthful follower Timothy nearly 2,000 years ago, the great Apostle Paul said, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT)

So, we must put our personal lives in order and choose wisely, so that we may engage the challenges of 2024.

 

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Christian spiritual viewpoint about war

 


At Christmas, a Christian spiritual viewpoint about war

Christmas is a season that may not have much joy or optimism for some.  There seems to be war everywhere.  But our angst and internal turmoil over present wars is a spiritual issue.  Let us consider the big picture.

God created the universe and then gradually began creating Earth as a special place for his ultimate creation, the human race.  Humanity was made to have some God-like qualities in His image, of free choice and morality, created right in front of God’s adversary.

The fallen Lucifer has always been against God’s beauty and His creation, especially living souls.

After the sinful choice made by humanity through disobedience, there came human awareness of good and evil — blessing and calamity.  Then God’s eventual plan of restoration was foretold in Genesis 3:15. “Her Seed; He shall fatally bruise your head and you shall only bruise His heel.”

This was the Christmas announcement, the prophecy about the Messiah Jesus, who through His birth, death, and resurrection would ultimately defeat Satan, the power behind the serpent, with a death blow.  Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder, And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The selection of Jews as God’s reconnection pathway with His human creation was an affront to Lucifer.  Consequently, the eternal spiritual battle and wars of retaliation arose from evil to smear and destroy the living souls of God’s creation, especially the Jews.  The story of the power of darkness and negativity, warring against the God of light, optimism, and grace, has existed from the very beginning as described in the Tora.

Along the way, Lucifer was against the eternal plan of redemption of the human race that his evil had temporarily wounded, by trying to kill Christ the Redeemer.  King Herod’s murder of children was one failed attempt.  The resurrection of Jesus was evil’s final spiritual defeat.

Consequently, the spiritual war was then to deceive as many as possible to keep them away from joining God’s family through Christ, by using imposters.  Lucifer has used many agent usurpers to keep souls spiritually blind and away from God, sometimes appearing as fake pretenders.  False religions were invented by Lucifer using willing human agents, to prevent souls from re-joining God’s family.  The spiritual war has been played out down through the centuries. The murderous evil of Islamic Hamas is just the latest. 

But persecution against God’s children is also being significantly perpetrated right now in India, China, Russia, as well as anywhere that Islam has political control.  Even in regions where God's own has some dominance — Canada being an example — evil is perpetuated by false agents to divide and divert away from the redemption of truth.  If organizations are not authentically Christian, and some falsely pretend that they are, they have nothing to do with God and are just mere social organizations, such as Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, United Church of Canada, New Age, Unification Church, Christian Science, Scientology, Transcendental Meditation, etc. 

Although Canada has seen dark Christmas days in the past — such as during the two world wars of the last century — Canada is now experiencing something different — an internal cultural war. 

Observe, for example, the complaints about the discriminatory meaning of Christmas and the varied and subtle ways that the Christ of Christmas will be maligned, diverted, and subverted.  The evil walking about in society is especially noticeable since the invention of social media.

A basic understanding comes when one retrospectively appreciates at a deeper level, that war, and especially the battle against Hitler and the USSR was a spiritual one.

One can have moral clarity.  Much of what happens has a spiritual force behind it, for both good and evil.  This is the Christian understanding of our existence.  It was the spiritual power of moral choice given at creation.  If one does not support God’s long-term direction for humankind, as well as personally and privately participate in God’s redemption plan through Christ, then one has already assigned and defined oneself as spiritually dwelling in the enemy camp.

Major battles and wars have at their core the motivations of evil against good.  Every person makes their choice on which side they are living, and in which camp they choose to dwell.  At the end of our life on earth, we will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well we handled what God entrusted within us.

The key is to choose to live the full meaning of Christmas which is “Immanuel God with us” Isaiah 7:14. (Christmas)  Ephesians 6:12:  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  As the Bible says, "We’re not waging war against enemies of flesh and blood alone."  "No, this fight is against tyrants, against authorities, against supernatural powers and demon princes that slither in the darkness of this world, and against wicked spiritual armies that lurk about in heavenly places."  "For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, contending only with physical opponents, but against the despotisms, against the powers, against the master spirits who are the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly supernatural sphere."

We must understand that everything in our reality has a spiritual basis.  Our Universe and everything in it comes from God’s creative hand.  Such basic understanding was the reason for the explanation of beginnings in Genesis 1.  Genesis places existence in perspective, reminding us where all things come from  -God.  It is not a scientific detailed revelation, but rather a spiritual revelation that the mechanics of the existence of all matter and life itself come from God.

Interestingly, the book of John begins with a deliberate echo of the creation story in Genesis.  It takes the reader back to before time began to the moment when God interrupts silence and speaks the cosmos into existence.  Jesus is the Logos (Voice) as He existed long before time was measured.  

The significance of Christmas is that it is the most pivotal moment for humankind.  There are many essential junctions of time.  However, Jesus Christ humbly descended and took on the temporary form of humanness to provide a path of rescue for created human souls who were caught in the middle of the spiritual war between Satan against God.

Christmas and war are entwined together.  Jesus had to come to dwell for a while, to correct the consequences of war that had been fought in heaven.  War on earth has the same basis of evil rising against the good.  Christmas happened in order to end war, because the basic motivator of war is evil rising against the good.

Tuesday 7 November 2023

A time for moral clarity


In the Middle East - A time for moral clarity

Gaza-Israel.  That tip of land called Gaza south of Israel has been controlled by many peoples.  In ancient times it was an Egyptian base, then a royal city for the Philistines, and also the place where the Bible story of Samson, betrayed by Delilah, met his death.

It was part of the Ottoman Empire for most of the period from the 16th Century up to the end of World War 1, when Britain took temporary control over Gaza and other territories of the region.

The coastal region is named for its historical centre: The word Gaza comes from the Hebrew Azzah, loosely meaning 'strong city.'

The modern Israel derives its name from the Biblical land of the Israelites.  Recorded in the Bible, they are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  In the book of Genesis, Jacob wrestled with an angel and having held off, Jacob was renamed Israel, a word generally interpreted as “one who prevails.”   Scripture records God giving land to the Jews.

The small region from the southern border of Lebanon, southward to Egypt was historical Israel.  During the Iron Age, the Israelites controlled most of the region, while the Philistines occupied its southern coast (Gaza).

The Assyrians conquered it in the 8th century BC, then the Babylonians in c. 601 BC, followed by the Persians who conquered the Babylonian Empire in 539 BC.

Then the Greeks, then the Romans for several hundred years followed by the Byzantine Empire until 634 CE, when it was taken by invading Muslim armies from Arabia. The Ottomans ruled the region from at least 1566 CE.  The crusades in the Middle Ages tried to take the land back from the Muslim invaders.  But through it all, Jews continued to live there over the centuries. Despite occupation by others, there was always a Jewish remnant living in the land,

Now the area is at war again, provoked by the Hamas Islamic Jihadist massacre of October 7 2023; the greatest single loss of life since the Nazi Holocaust.  Indeed, the whole world is in play, as threats have been made against Jews in many countries. Even in Canada, Jews are feeling renewed waves of antisemitism.

There must be a desire for truth. With conflicting stories, there is the challenge to find the truth.  False narratives, repeated often enough, come to be believed. The quest for truth must be paramount.  Psalm 144:11 says, “Rescue me and deliver me out of the power of hostile alien tribes whose mouths speak deceit and whose right hands are right hands raised in taking fraudulent oaths.”

Can discernment and moral clarity be found? The war narrative has a combination of truth and propaganda.  The rational uninvolved person would think of three parts: end hostilities; resolve the issues of the conflict; and; perhaps restore a relationship.

However, the conflict between Israel and Gaza does not fit this template.  Politicians and diplomats who attempt to do so will not be successful.  The war is a phase of a very long conflict.  For everything there is a season.  To seek understanding and wisdom about the season concerning Israel and Gaza, we must recognize the secondary factors at play.

Hamas is not an isolated actor in the war.  There is a larger coordinated effort involving both Hezbollah and Iran, as well as a global network of antisemitic actors.  The current phase has been planned for at least two years. It was no spontaneous uprising.

What is meant by moral clarity? It means that one cannot reconcile with evil. It can only be exposed and defeated.  But how does one determine who is evil?  As the saying goes “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.”  However, from a faith-based perspective of the Abrahamic tradition, evil is clearly defined as a settled opposition to God’s plan and purposes.

Throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, there is a consistent theme Israel is at the heart of God’s plan and purposes to reconcile the world with God and with one another. This is the meaning of being a light to the nations.  To stand against Israel is to stand in opposition to God’s purposes.

It does not mean romanticizing Israelis or agreeing with every intent of the Israeli government.  It doesn’t mean loving Jews and hating Palestinians. It means aligning oneself and one’s nation in a posture of blessing Israel rather than cursing Israel. 

Genesis 12:3 says, “And I will bless those who bless you, who confer prosperity or happiness upon you and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed and by you they will bless themselves.”

This means to set one’s heart and society on the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people would be to oppose God’s purposes which is the embodiment of evil.  Hamas in its founding charter made the destruction of Israel and the extermination of Jews its reason for being.  Its goal is not advocacy for the needs or rights of the Palestinian people. Its goal is not to seek a two-state solution. It is the eradication of Israel -- full stop.

In Canada, the supporters chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” which is calling for the extermination of the Jews.  The violence has exposed Hamas for who they truly are at the core of their belief system.

The war has shone a light to reveal an unholy alliance of antisemites from Islamists to Western progressives to Neo Nazis to radical black activists.  These groups are not concerned with the plight of Palestinians; they are motivated by hate for Israel.

In years of various “peace talks” and accords, it is clear that for the Palestinian leadership, two states side by side was never their goal, but rather the eradication of Israel.  One has to appreciate the full meaning of “the right of return” and its real implications.  Hamas is outspoken about what is unspoken by the Palestinian Authority, which is supposed to represent people in the West Bank east of Jerusalem.

Palestinian leaders are foremost in their embrace of political-religious myth-making.  Palestinian school textbooks in the West Bank show maps of the region in which Israel doesn’t exist.  The perpetuated myth is the whole region is Palestine with no mention of Israel.

This is a time for moral clarity, where the nations of the world are faced with a choice. The choice is between standing with Israel or standing with the enemies of Israel; there is no third option.  Many have tried to straddle the fence and play it safe by issuing innocuous statements that fail to grasp the moral imperatives.

The designation 'Radical Islam’ is meant to distinguish the global Islamist and Jihadi network as separate from the millions of Muslims.  The worldview of Radical Islam envisions Islamic supremacy, not coexistence. For them, Israel doesn’t exist. It is part of Dar-Al-Islam and must be subdued to Islamic religious rule. Therefore, what we observe is not an 'Arab-Israeli' conflict, but an 'Islamic-Jewish' struggle

Hamas cannot be managed or accommodated with a peace deal, it must be defeated and it must be seen to be defeated by the Arab and Muslim world. In the Muslim world, strength is respected and weakness is despised. 

At this moment, moral clarity is the key, to either stand with Israel and God’s long-term purposes or stand against them. It is the Valley of Decision.  We pray that truth would shine in the darkness, piercing the veils of lies and untruths that lead to deception and confusion.  We pray for leaders and all involved to see and be guided by truth. Expose any lies that seek to create deception and negative consequences.  Draw all people to truth.

Monday 18 September 2023

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion - the sleep of reason


Diversity, equity, inclusion and the sleep of reason

Our social community in Canada is deeply divided.  One can’t understand how intelligent, educated people swallow the NDP-Liberal political narratives, especially over the long term.  Sensible people know, given what they see around them, that those on the 'other side' are very wrong about the economy, environmental policy, community safety and social behaviour.

Many Canadians rightly complain about our federal government.  But, then they actually do little about it.  They may even let the horribilia roll right over them.  However, the ultimate solution is at the ballot box.

The chance for Canadians to save themselves from the NDP-Liberal cabal is coming, but for many, not soon enough.  The polls reveal voters are starting to wake up.  

How did Canada spiral downward to such social dysfunction?  There has been much discussion about the emerging role of technology and its ability through social media to magnify and multiply unacceptable excess, unlike any previous generation.

Similarly, down through the years, the entertainment industry has relentlessly pushed the boundaries of decency in pursuit of financial profit regardless of the social cost.

The news cycle has changed from daily newspaper reflection, into instant unthinking emotional reactions on the cellphone.  Our political speech sometimes becomes complete fiction, similar to the horror days of the old USSR.  Universities and sometimes even grade school curricula have developed excesses of identity politics, age-inappropriate sexual subjects and exclusion of parents and community for accountability.  Public cynicism about our democracy and institutions has never been higher.

An additional social pressure that has poisoned the political air, has been the employee training industry used by large corporations.  Training fads for company conventions, employee retreats and human resource development have subtly changed over the years, and now is nothing more than slick social Marxism.

It is the innocent-sounding 'DEI' (diversity-equity-inclusion) training ideology that has taken over and seduced administrators who strive to remain relevant — which they interpret as being woke.  In fact, DEI initiatives have taken over the country, reaching into every aspect of our work, school, and lives.

What is DEI? In truth, it is a contemporary and managerial repackaging of extreme socialism.  It is not possible to understand DEI initiatives without realizing the special meaning of ‘equity’ that drives its perpetrators.

Equity is the goal of all DEI programs, which is to say that programs exist to force captive audiences to achieve  'equitable'  redistribution of resources, status, and wealth according to neo-Marxist identity.

Equity is an administered political economy in which shares are adjusted so citizens are made equal, including shares of social and cultural capital.  In other words, it’s an expansion of socialist-enforced groupthink.  Once we understand what the unique version of ‘equity’ is about, the purposes of diversity and inclusion teachings become clear.

For example, a Canadian DEI training company puts itself forward in the following way.  Their website says "We take an intersectional approach in all of our work which includes an examination of a multitude of diverse identity factors including sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, language, disability (visible and invisible,) age, location, family status, marital status, income, education, religion, culture and much more!  Our approach considers these layers as well as various intersecting identities and how they overlap to compound privilege, discrimination or oppression.  We develop change management and communications plans for our clients to ensure project buy-in and success.  We integrate DEI into the values, strategies, and priorities of the organization to ensure sustainability and impact.”

When one reflects on that website statement, alarm bells should be sounding.  In other words, the DEI trainers are going to come into a company or organization to reform the personal private self-image of employees.  There is nothing about personnel skill development such as language competency, communications skills, choice theory, time management, computation efficiencies, computer literacy, customer relations, group leadership practices, etc.  It is all about one's personal deep feelings (religion), and the assertion that Canada is based upon white privilege, discrimination and oppression of minorities.

The methods used are sly stories to make employees feel guilty about who they really are, and that they must change their beliefs and life outlook.  After creating the false need, the 'training consultants' invite the company or organization to join their 'religious membership' through ongoing training contracts, as long as the company pays the business expense invoice.

DEI unconscious bias training rarely changes actual behaviours and has little impact on explicit biases.  A meta-analysis of hundreds of prejudice-reduction interventions found few, if any, achieved goals.  Many interventions caused a backlash and social division, and there was worker productivity loss, as the guilt-making human resource manager gurus, become increasingly coercive when employees instinctively do not swallow the dogma. 

'Diversity' initiatives strive to install ideologically consistent political officers within organizations to effect and enforce policies directed toward achieving equity.  These political officers, often called 'Diversity Officers,' are a rebranding of the older concept of commissars, who enforced socialism in the same way.

How did we get here in Canada?  The answer is complex and incremental.  Bad judicial interpretation of human rights law and motivated political shaming that centres disparate impact or hierarchy of outcomes, rather than intention, as evidence of discrimination.

Moreover, the diversity scam can never be satisfied, as ongoing social blackmail is used to sidestep numerical standards, measured achievement and performance competence evaluation in the workplace or educational establishment.  It is the discredited affirmative action philosophy gone mad.

'Inclusion' is an overarching value structure for the 'Diverse and Equitable' commissar system.  It's a justification, not for inclusion as most people understand it, but for censorship and purges against those who don’t swallow the dogma, just like in any Communist state.

Inclusion, and its extension in 'belonging,' are a manipulative strategy akin to Mao Zedong’s little red book formula for taking over institutions and the value structure of populations and bending them toward extreme socialism (equity).

Inclusion is exactly the opposite of what it sells itself to be.  It is all wrapped in a culture war of word manipulation and it creates social disasters wherever it takes hold.

There’s a whole industry designed to cater to companies looking for a quick way to check the box to appear to be the most enlightened workplace.  In the US in 2020 DEI was a $3.4 billion industry.  Every big company has become image-conscious because of the pervasiveness of the social and cultural accusers.  Companies think they have to do something to signal their righteousness.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion religion is in vogue.  But from the promoters of DEI, it’s about a power and advantage grab for their believers.  Incredibly, businesses globally are looking for personnel to fill newly created, politically powerful, DEI positions in their Human Resources Departments.  Sadly, the ideological trap is that many companies believe DEI training can help develop 'best practices' to circumvent business disruptions (and inefficiencies) otherwise caused by emerging socio/cultural tensions and chaos.  Corporations also want to burnish their general public image.  Predictably, the recorded outcomes are a complete failure.

Remember how Justin Trudeau hammered away about how "diversity is our strength."  His scriptwriters were wrong.  No, it is unity that is our national strength.  Many Canadians have been socially and economically hurt by the flippant accusations of the DEI evangelists.  In response, people cower.  They self-censor and just go along to get along.

It is a social problem recognized by delegates from across the country who convened at the Conservative Party National Convention held in Quebec City.  For example, Submission #998 - Protecting Workers: Those in Unions, Public Sector, or in Self-Regulated Trades or Professions.  "The Conservative Party does not support forced political, cultural, or ideological training of any kind as a pre-condition of employment or practice. Those employed in the public sector, unions or self-regulated trades/professions should not be forced to make affirmations, or participate in ideological programs, as a condition of employment or practice.”  The Conservatives voted 81% to pass the motion to not force ideological training as a condition of employment or practice.

In conclusion, the DEI industry, if understood as woke Marxism, is easy to understand.  Equity is a rebranding of Socialism: an administered economy that makes outcomes more equal through devious means.  Diversity and Inclusion are tools used to install political officers (human resource and personnel managers) and to censor and remove dissidents. In other words, the Woke Marxist DEI industry is a racket designed to install commissars for its ideology.  We realize that DEI actually represents social Division, Intolerance, and Exclusion, as that is how it operates if one does not accept the absurd assumptions.  It is the new form of racism and social coercion.

There are a million private stories of a new kind of workplace discrimination, petty reprisals, and forced early retirements, all arising from the emergence of DEI.  Lower-level managers with personality disorders can too easily hide under the DEI cover to perpetrate unprofessional behaviours against individuals.

Many thousands of Canadians are at risk of being fired, suspended, or barred from earning their livelihood simply for not endorsing, not affirming, or not participating in an established or mandated political or ideological agenda.  The track record of unions defending workers' rights from this behaviour is dismal. The tragic workplace stories are adding up.

One has to use discernment to understand the deeper implications.  It is cultural Marxism in new deceptive forms.  Recognize it and be aware.  It may take the form of removing community statues, shaming to have city and school names changed, or hearing some of the more radical accusations from the First Nations sector.

Disparate outcomes become the false evidence of discrimination and prejudice, that must be ameliorated through special deals and exceptions to basic standards.  However, this social-political blackmail can never be fully satisfied.

Find your own small area to resist and speak up.  Pay attention to local school board behaviour and ensure the radicals are not elected.  Take stronger stands within unions and learn the internal systems to demand accountability.  Understand the underlying assumptions evident in political speech from the radical ideological left.

Understand the motives and belief systems of extreme environmentalists.  All of these, if given room, will drift towards increasing coerciveness to have their way.  The principle that capacity creates its own demand operates.  The ability to offend and get away with it, breeds more of the same.  Our society is reaping the consequences, for the excesses that are permitted will grow like a deadly infection.  The ability to offend without a swift comprehensive response, breeds its own tragedy.

We have inherited a social political system that requires individuals to be of character to make our great democracy work.  Convoluted DEI reasoning comes from a deep social corruption of the national conscience.  Good-thinking people of morals and character must fight back.  The tragic alternative, seen in nations in times past when their public mentality went dark, has to be actively resisted in debate and at the ballot box.

Remember, in the long run, the courts and government administration only have delegated authority given to them by the citizenry.  An active participatory democracy requires engagement.  Each new generation has its unique challenge to defend freedom and moral living.  The dark side will never go away.  There is no negotiation possible with it. 

The good must overcome.

Sunday 13 August 2023

Canada's housing crisis

 


Canada's housing crisis direct result of Trudeau policies

 

At an announcement in Hamilton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said housing is not a "primary federal responsibility," but something the federal government must help with.

Yet eight years ago, Trudeau began promising he was going to lower housing costs.  No wonder he wants to wash his hands of the horrendous housing crisis of his own making.

The federal government is responsible for housing policy, such as immigration levels which greatly affect demand, infrastructure such as transportation and tax policies such as the GST, programs from the federal Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the financial stress test related to rising mortgage rates caused by poor government behaviour.

Then along comes a cabinet shuffle and Canada's new housing and infrastructure minister, Sean Fraser, who says closing the door to newcomers is not the solution to the country's housing woes.  However, Fraser was the previous immigration minister, so we see another Trudeau Cabinet problem. Since Trudeau came into office, they have politicized immigration and blown up the orderly point merit system.

Canada’s housing problem is now an immigration problem, which was the Liberal policy choice to maneuver for enduring ethnic newcomer votes.  Immigrant selection needs to be targeted to our internal economic requirements. Apparently, there are thousands of technically skilled people looking to leave Europe and Canada should go get them. We see the imbalance on our streets with the work of social helping agencies, as Canada has many arrivals who require enormous government help. 

The federal Liberals must restore a workable immigration department that doesn’t continue to hurt our housing crisis. They also have to protect foreign students and temporary workers from exploitative housing situations.  They should also prioritize arrivals who have trade skills and lead a national federal-provincial credential agreement deal to ensure newcomers can work in their chosen fields.

Approval delays are directly linked with problem housing affordability.  CMHC and Statistics Canada’s Municipal Land Use and Regulation Survey reveals that approval delays and land use regulations make housing unnecessarily more expensive. CMHC research says that an additional 3.5 million new units are needed by 2030 for affordability to be restored.  Canada needs to close the gap in housing supply to tackle the problem of housing affordability.  While restrictive regulation may have socio-economic goals, they limit in a hurtful way what developers can do.

CMHC and Statistics Canada worked together to develop the 2022 Municipal Land Use and Regulation Survey which looked at land use rules in diverse cities across Canada. They confirmed the housing supply is choked by restrictive zoning, fees, approval times, community consultations, density limits and environmental assessments.  Excessive residential land use regulation causes hurtful housing affordability.  The speed and complexity of approving new development is a crucial factor in understanding affordability.

While the affordability crisis began in our large cities, it has now spread to smaller towns and rural communities. Efforts to cool the housing market by financially disqualifying more buyers through mortgage lenders do not affect the community's needs and basic demand, as families are still there.  The rules must quickly change by allowing more housing density across the nation in every community.

We must end exclusionary municipal rules that block or delay new housing. The approval process must be depoliticized and also prevent abuse of the housing appeals system. Government spending announcements must be actually delivered for the huge investments needed to create thousands of fully serviced building lots.

Parents and grandparents are stressed their children will not be able to afford even a basic home when they start working or decide to start a family. Too many Canadians are unable to live in their preferred city or town because they cannot afford to buy or rent.

The balance has swung too far in favour of lengthy consultations, bureaucratic red tape and costly appeals. It is too easy for a few locals to oppose new housing. Canada is in a housing crisis and the urgent problem demands immediate and sweeping reform.

Canada has the lowest amount of housing per population of any G7 country given the recent immigration explosion. Immigration is driving up demand with no foreseeable supply relief in sight.  We have been repeatedly told the severe shortage of housing stems from a combination of a lack of available serviced land, opposition to redeveloping established neighbourhoods, slow municipal approvals, high development fees, and foreign buyers.

The simple issue is people are arriving faster than the housing industry can accommodate under the old developmental rules.  A recent Scotiabank economic report said Ontario needs an additional 650,000 dwelling units to bring the province up to the national average.  Similarly across Canada, the chronic housing shortage has built up over the years because population growth has exceeded home building capacity.

The gap started expanding in 2015 when Trudeau began a rapid increase in immigration numbers. Canada’s new immigration minister said he is open to “having a conversation” on concerns over rising immigration targets amid a housing shortage, but said he still has no plans to lower them.

The Liberals aim to invite 465,000 permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025.  What are their motives for such an unwise policy at this time?

The Liberals are off the rails.  Canada had record population growth in 2022 with more than a million permanent and temporary residents. However, Canada’s current immigration rate will worsen the housing crisis and put excessive pressure on social services.

Ottawa’s decision to bring so many during a time when the Bank of Canada was imposing an aggressive monetary tightening cycle has created a record imbalance between housing supply and demand. The imbalance is hurting housing affordability in every province.

Canada has a housing gap that cannot be solved with current laws and traditional methods.  Recent efforts are a tiny drop in the bucket of the 3.5 million homes the CMHC says we need to achieve affordability by 2030. The corporation's latest monthly housing stats show much of the country falling behind on housing promises.

Bringing demand and supply back into balance requires both a great increase in housing sector construction capacity along with slowing of immigration, despite what Minister Sean Fraser says. 

The skilled labour shortage will limit the effectiveness of any rule change.  Provinces can try to expand worker supply by boosting trades training, but it would require a 50% increase in industry capacity to reach the CMHC targets.  Immigration-driven housing demand is completely within the control of the federal government. Under the Trudeau administration, immigration has increased significantly and provinces just can’t handle the demand.

NIMBYism (not in my backyard) is a major obstacle to building housing.  It drags out the approval process, pushes up costs, and keeps out new residents.  Similarly, municipalities that resist new housing and succumb to NIMBY pressure and close off their neighbourhoods, should see funding reductions.  Fixing the housing crisis is a societal responsibility, and our limited tax dollars should be directed to those municipalities making the necessary choices to grow the housing supply.

In frustration, many have called for limits on public consultations and more “as of right” zoning.  They cite the BANANAs – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything, causing people to say NIMBYism has gone BANANAs. In a growing society, that attitude is not just bad policy, it is exclusionary and discriminatory.

Canada must create a more permissive land use, planning and approval system.  We could repeal or override municipal policies, zoning or plans that prioritize the preservation of the physical character of neighbourhoods.  Municipalities could exempt from site plan approval and public consultation all projects of 10 units or less that already conform to an official community plan and require only minor variances.

We need to establish province-wide zoning standards, or prohibitions for minimum lot sizes, maximum building setbacks, minimum heights, angular planes, shadow rules, front doors, building depth, landscaping, floor space index, heritage limits and moderate parking requirements.  Remove any floorplate restrictions to allow larger, more efficient high-density towers, and limit municipalities from requesting or hosting additional public meetings beyond those that are legally required.

There is now much political talk about needed change to address the grave housing shortage that our nation created.  Builders, housing advocates, elected officials, planners, and average Canadians understand the need to act.  Such unity of purpose can be powerful.  To leverage the commitment to change, some solutions are bold but workable, backed by evidence.  We must focus on ramping up the supply of housing.  Higher mortgage rates will temporarily cool demand, but that will not respond to the community need of the existing population.

Significant more supply is key.  Rapidly building more homes will reduce the competition for our scarce supply and will give families more housing choices.  It will improve housing affordability across the board. 

Everyone wants Canadians to have adequate housing and there is lots that can be done.  There is more than enough room for social housing alongside affordable market housing. There is a national coming together, as real change begins with the recognition that a problem exists.

We can change the federal government.

Friday 23 June 2023

Why is Danielle Smith even talking about net-zero?


Why is Danielle Smith even talking about net-zero?

We hear politicians blithely repeat the “Net Zero in 2050” mantra. Groupthink is upon us. If one dares to question, one is labelled a climate denier or even worse shaming epithets.

We need a national leader who will trumpet on the international stage what millions of average taxpayers want to hear  — some climate change truth. This emperor has no clothes. Science does not say killing our economy and hurting the prospects of our next generation will alter climate trends.

Much of the discussion over climate policy is based on information generated via mathematical modeling. Obscure are the empirical measurements of climate change, global average temperature, and sea levels. Empirical measurement might not validate modeled projections of climate change.

Meteorological (weather) change is not climate change. The policy implication of the mismatch between predictive computer modelling and actual measurement of climate warming is evident.

What’s wrong with “Net-Zero by 2050”?

Net-zero” is the term used when man-made greenhouse-gas emissions are captured either through nature or technology, so they don’t end up in the atmosphere. The identified culprit is CO2 which is a byproduct of burning fuel, most often to generate electricity. There's lots of theory, speculation, projected models, and predictive notions claiming to be science. However, hard science is about measurement and documented observation of real events. Science means ideas are always open for adjustment with verifiable measured evidence.

Sadly, net zero is not supported by the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical world through observation, experimentation, and the testing of theories against the measured evidence. It is political and psychological. It is a policy idea and not a scientific formula.

Even Alberta Premier Smith, who won the recent election after campaigning on a promise to battle Ottawa's climate policies, is talking net zero.

Smith said Ottawa’s plan for an emissions-free electricity grid by 2035 and a cap on oil and gas sector emissions aren’t realistic for her province without a massive cost to the economy and jobs. She said Alberta was not going to follow the federal Liberal's prescriptions, and that Ottawa must allow Alberta’s slower plan for getting to net zero by 2050.

The problem is the premier still feels compelled to repeat the unrealistic net zero talk for now, even when she knows the whole international group-think is ethereal blue-sky politics, rather than hard science.

Many governments around the world declared climate pledges of “Net-Zero-by-2050.” But net zero is premised on inequitable and unscientific assumptions. Climate enthusiasts claim the world population must consume energy in ways that limit global temperature rise to 1.5 – 2 degrees Celsius. They also understand for their schemes to work, it would require a massive absolute social change in China, India, and the USA. Their plan also involves huge transfers of funds and technology into developing countries to enable them to develop their economies within their prescribed limits. We know this will not happen.

One of the prescriptions is promoting carbon offsets. However, claiming net zero allows industry to so-called greenwash their operations. The scheme is to have industrial processes continue while paying farmers, foresters, and others to offset their emissions through “trapping carbon” in soil and trees. They then establish markets to trade the carbon. These transactions and credit systems do not reduce emissions; they simply re-assign responsibility. Industry continues while claiming to be net zero by buying offsets. It’s another theory that does not measure in the real world.

More than a decade of carbon trading has shown that carbon markets are ineffective at reducing their enemy CO2. This fantasy has been plagued by fraud and creative accounting. Carbon markets probably undermine sustainable food systems.

Wind, solar, and tidal power are functional alternatives, but can never match the scale of reliable secure demand for energy that nations need. For example, the experience of the Netherlands which has geography, historical culture, and land use design that most favours wind power, is having a tough time getting their domestic production of wind power up to 15% of their total demand.

Another folly put forward to reach net zero climate targets is to talk about unproven and extraordinarily expensive technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere. These technologies include carbon capture and storage, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and direct air capture.

There are serious questions about the effectiveness of these technologies, especially their ability to work reliably at a large enough scale to make sense. These technologies are not fully tested or currently available at the price and scale needed for any net zero scheme. Some also consider geoengineering which would require extraordinarily perilous interference in the Earth's climate system. The far-fetched idea is to cool the earth by reflecting sunlight into space by seeding the skies.

Again, the bottom line is the NDP socialist idea of making the rich pay for the net zero scheme. The proposers claim the world’s wealthiest countries (the G7) and largest historical carbon emitter the USA must decarbonize while paying for others to do the same. We hear the familiar talk the rich USA must do its fair share of the global effort to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C. The notion is for the G7 nations to cut emissions by 70%, and also pay internationally to enable the equivalent of an additional 125% reduction in developing countries. However, the measured evidence is when “rich pay schemes” are implemented, it's eventually the poor that are proportionally hurt the most. This proposal is not going to happen no matter how hard the political shaming comes from the Liberals and the NDP. Note that the Liberals have never hit a target on anything.

We hear politicians, mostly from the loony left, without thought repeat nonsense such as "fighting climate change," "putting a price on pollution,” and becoming a society that only uses “clean energy.”

The simplistic net zero track for which the Liberals have placed Canada is a term applied to atmospheric carbon emissions, and means if 100 tons of carbon is released into the air, someone else must do something to take away 100 tons of carbon from the air. The only countries that have been decarbonizing their electricity grids are those that can use major hydropower, geothermal, and nuclear power.

There are several reasons why achieving net zero carbon emissions is most unlikely. Citizens in democratic countries will not go along with the coercion, once they realize the severity of new rules. Net zero people just call it a lack of political will. Average sensible people call it something else.

There are real technological limitations to employing “alternative energy generation.” Then there is the cost, the basic economic ability. One of the main challenges is the difficulty of decarbonizing transportation and agriculture, which account for a significant portion of the net zero plan. Additionally, countries may have different priorities, such as peace over war, and secure food supplies. They will be unwilling or unable to make the necessary sacrifices to reduce their carbon contribution.

Finally, even if global net zero emissions are achieved, the climate will continue to change in unpredictable ways beyond human control.

In the recent past, government pronouncements on climate have been off base and very wrong in the same direction. Their politics have been biased on the side of predicting too much imminent warming. In the particular case of Canada’s experts, they predicted an excessive seven-fold error over actual measurement. They keep overstating the case for global warming, and they also underestimate the emission control side of the equation.

Canadian government publications promised more summer heat waves, but the actual data does not support the predictions of longer or more intense summer heat waves; the numbers are available online.

There was the predicted doom of more air pollution, but the numbers show a slight decline as industrial processes improve. Rising sea levels were said to be upon us, but the actual measurements show very little change in annual variability. Falling Prairie crop yields due to drought from climate change were the dire prediction, yet the numbers for Canadian crop yields are increasing. More forest fires were their fear, but the measured long trend is slightly downward and not what the government forecast. Declining St. Lawrence River water levels were the dread. However, there are annual variances but the trend levels are not declining as the government has forecast.

Therefore, the government used very inaccurate modelling to silence critics and shut down civil discussion and debate, claiming all was settled, but their so-called science was hopelessly inaccurate. The government used unreliable materials to intimidate Canadians to support their costly off-track agenda.

See the video of how the government struck out with its grandiose predictions. Canada's 2001 Climate Predictions Revisited - YouTube

So when we hear net zero remember the very shaky platform the assertion stands on.

Despite the claimed political consensus for the need to address climate change, there is growing skepticism to submit to drastic measures. Citizens are starting to wake up and fight back and resist the groupthink of the demands.

The economic consideration is real. The cost of transitioning to a low-carbon economy may be seen as too high. There are other serious national and international priorities.

The technological hurdles are significant. There are technological barriers to reaching net zero, such as the limited availability or high cost of low-carbon technologies at the scale needed to fulfill the net zero wish.

Changing consumer behaviour through a mixed regime of incentives and tax penalties is not going down well amidst the cost crisis of general inflation and basic housing and food costs. Reaching net zero would require significant changes in how we live and work, and there will be resistance by individuals and businesses.

Global cooperation is fundamental to the net zero dream. Since climate change is global, it requires the submissive cooperation of all countries. Small agenda advances in Canada would be swamped by countries that do not cooperate to the prescribed levels, such as China, India, Russia, and the Southeast Asia region. The top country producers of CO2 are said to be China, USA, India, Russia, Japan, and Germany.

Ultimately, the trade-offs between the costs of pursuing net zero compared to other critical needs will depend on the national policies of self-interest and the world marketplace of business, as well as broader social and economic factors.

The net zero path is steep and we are unlikely to submit to its requirements by mid-century.

Sunday 28 May 2023

Ron DeSantis joins 2024 presidential race


Ron DeSantis joins 2024 presidential race (May 2023)

Republican Florida governor Ron DeSantis filed the official paperwork declaring his candidacy, setting up the daunting long road to overcoming the present polling lead of GOP supporters of Donald Trump.

In the Western Standard, I previously reviewed the DeSantis book “The Courage to be Free”. The pugnacious governor of Florida who has championed conservative causes has been successful against a sometimes-hostile media and the political left. He officially entered the presidential race to give Donald Trump the most formidable Republican rival.

In my view, DeSantis is the only viable challenger to Trump.

He filed the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission just before a live stream announcement on Twitter. The entry of Mr. DeSantis presents a serious question for the Republican Party, which will choose between a repeat with Trump, or the new contender to take on President Biden.

DeSantis is well-educated and has credentials. Conservatives have observed his management of challenges in leading Florida on a different path with a series of conservative policy victories after a landslide re-election approval last fall. He has demonstrated personal strengths and has attracted substantial financial backing, and comes with a well-run campaign operation.

The governor rose to national prominence with his policies of not going along with the crowd of heavy restrictions during the coronavirus period. Some say it can be a model policy approach for shaping the United States more conservatively on social issues. What he’s done in Florida has been a national beacon for conservatives throughout the country.

Trump has a mounting list of legal troubles and sees DeSantis as a real political competitor. Trump has mocked him as “Ron DeSanctimonious” and criticized his political leadership record in Florida.

DeSantis is serious, and Republican voters are looking for a champion beyond Trump who can fight the Democrats and win. Mr. DeSantis has his best chance of overcoming if he can sideline the field of lesser candidates who have already declared, and ultimately turn the contest into a two-person race.

As the rhetoric heats up, DeSantis has criticized Trump for not endorsing his Florida policies, and has described a “culture of losing” he says prevails around Trump’s leadership. He boldly asserts that Trump could not beat Biden in a general election, but that he can.

DeSantis’s supporters say that the long-anticipated official candidacy will finally give media attention to him as the alternative to Trump, and will unequivocally say to donors that the store is open. Major donors have been waiting for DeSantis to get in the race.

These events matter to Canadians, unlike much of what the CBC reports about US politics.

David Johnson's surprising blunder


David Johnson's surprising blunder

Special Rapporteur David Johnson did not recommend a proper inquiry into illegal and unethical election interference.

Despite Parliament expressing its will to have one, and every-party leader calling for such a review, the prime minister ducked behind the political cover provided by his special rapporteur.

It is sad to see a prominent and gifted Canadian fall from grace. Former Governor General Johnson did his job with a fog of distracting issues to protect the Liberal Party. He did not recommend an inquiry, but rather imposed himself into the middle of the scandal. Incredibly, he intends to hold more hearings himself, where he can shape the process and guide the result.

Sadly, his report is a cloud of words that admits a lot of wrongdoing by the government and others. However, to sugar-coat his bitter medicine, he rationalized at length about his trustworthiness and impartiality and spread blame everywhere ... everywhere except the Prime Minister's Office.

He gives an argument for why no formal inquiry can be held, citing problems around accommodating secret documents and classified testimony. This has not been a problem with previous inquiries. However, he does not see that the explanations and justifications that he gave are the very reasons why he should not proceed with his own hearings.

He also added political cover by saying he didn’t find evidence the Trudeau government made a conscious act to suppress or diminish the threat of Chinese interference. Presenting himself as a "father confessor," Canadians are just supposed to believe his claim.

The responsibility lies with the government to ensure Canada is dealing with hostile foreign agents and whether those challenges are being addressed. Johnson admitted, "in terms of the machinery of government, we have a lot to improve.”

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said: “The prime minister must listen to Parliament and call an independent public inquiry now. This inquiry must be led by someone actually independent, not a Trudeau family friend. If Trudeau refuses to do this, Jagmeet Singh and the NDP must stand with the Conservatives, put an end to their coverup coalition and hold Trudeau accountable. Justin Trudeau’s first job is to protect Canadians and protect our democracy. His repeated attempts to hide what he knew and what he did about Beijing’s interference in our democracy are shocking. It must end.”

The proper ethical course is for the prime minister to quickly say 'no' to David Johnson for further deliberations, and to immediately set in motion a formal inquiry under the Inquiries Act.

This blunder will not go away, as more information will likely come out. The political pot will continue to boil as credibility for our whole political class in Ottawa evaporates.

For political pompousness and obfuscation, Robert Burns put it nicely in the 1700s: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley/ And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!”

“Oh, would some Power give us the gift to see ourselves as others see us! It would from many a blunder free us. And foolish notion: What airs in dress and gait would leave us, And even devotion!”

Charles King of Canada, and a good thing too!


King of Canada, and a good thing too!

The Coronation was a singular pivotal event of my lifetime. It was worth watching the whole program. Most do not understand the basic importance for Canada. There has been much fluff media comment about the “likability” of Charles III, do we want a sovereign, and what is the relevance of the monarchy especially to younger Canadians.

That conversation is only useful if it stirs us to become more informed about how our democracy is protected by the Crown, and how Canadian governance works.

The great Canadian game of hockey must have impartial referees to make sure players obey the rules, so teams have a fair chance. Without an honourable referee system, hockey cannot succeed. The role of the monarch is similar to a referee or an umpire. Our system is called a Constitutional Monarchy.

There is a long story of Canada’s evolution from local tribal peoples and unwritten limits of behaviour and power, to imposed written law and order. Our inherited democracy has gradually matured as Canadians have confirmed our borders and imposed emerging democratic intuitions, balancing freedoms and responsibilities. The Canadian governance stream flows from England, where the monarch’s first duty is to maintain the rule of law and social order by ensuring there is a legally functioning democratic government. The monarch reigns but does not rule.

To symbolize our way of life in Canada’s democracy, our sovereign or the legally delegated representative of the Crown must officially open each session of Parliament and provincial legislature. Nothing approved by Parliament or a provincial legislature becomes law until it has received Royal Assent and is duly proclaimed. It is one part of ensuring that the rules of the game (the Constitution and conventions) are followed. It is the picture of the sovereign that is found in our courtrooms and government buildings, not a prime minister. Criminal offenders have disturbed the King's Peace and stand before that authority, as prosecuted by the Crown Counsel.

The Coronation reminds us of our history: First Nations, then French and British settlers, all believing in the need for a hierarchy of a chief or royal authority. Canadians chose to be a constitutional monarchy emerging from colonialism to write our first version of our Constitution that was authoritatively proclaimed by the British Crown in 1867. Canada’s monarchy guarantees responsible government in our land. A prime minister or premier and cabinet only hold office, as long as they have the voted support of the House of Commons or Legislature.

Canada is an independent nation, yet we reflect our historical character by sharing our monarchy with fourteen other countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. The Crown promotes a stable political process, where the results of fair elections determine who governs, not violent acts such as war, revolution, or coercive dictatorship. The monarch promotes Canadian values such as tolerance, playing by the rules, peace, order, and giving service to the community.

In our form of government, not all the rules are written down, but some are based on conventions — the way things have been expected to be done and there is agreement on the correct and normal thing to do.

One can understand the wisdom of a fire extinguisher and most will never need it. But we are glad they are there, as their presence reminds us of our responsibility for safety. Similarly, the Crown’s “reserve” powers are seldom used; but because they exist, we are protected from the frailties and temptations of leadership power. Due to the back-stop of the monarchy, both law and convention yield continuity of a peaceful orderly prosperous society.

In the preamble of our Constitution Canadians wrote of the desire of the original four provinces to be federally united into one Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom and Ireland, with a constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom.

King Charles's coronation has reignited a discussion in Canada, about whether it makes sense for the country to be tied to the monarchy in 2023. Polls show an ambivalence and popular support for the monarchy has been declining. This is because our schools don’t teach and the culture is impatient. Moreover, Canada’s constitutional framework makes it incredibly difficult to sever ties with the monarchy.

It may be a surprise to some, that it is impossible to legally abolish the monarchy in Canada and replace it with another structure. Accept it. It is impossible to acquire the required voted political unanimity of Parliament and all provincial Legislatures, plus perhaps the help of a national referendum.

The Canadian constitution sets a very high bar of unanimity for making fundamental changes to the monarchy, including abolishing it. That is a higher standard than the general amending formula required for other constitutional amendments, which require the agreement of both Houses of Parliament and at least seven provinces representing 50% of the Canadian population. Although it’s not explicitly outlined in the Constitution for removing the monarchy, consultation with indigenous peoples would be required.

Although political parties fail and are orderly replaced, the Crown endures providing stability and defence against a rogue lawless regime. Since our basic system works, there is no obvious better system available to improve and replace what we fortunately have. Interestingly, the enemies of our democratic system seek to undermine the reputation and public support for the Crown as a stepping stone to overcoming our democratic institutions.

Our system of responsible government cannot work without a formal head of state who is possessed of certain reserve powers. The flexible and not exhaustively written reserve power of the Crown under our Constitution is an essential safeguard of democracy.

The oaths and prayers of the Coronation were many but essential. There were five main elements: the Recognition; the Oath; the Anointing; the Investiture and Crowning. The printed program was entitled “Celebrating Community Faith and Service”.

Having fulfilled his legal and constitutional obligations to the nation and the realms, the King offered an answer in prayer in response to the promises made. His prayer reflected the theme of loving service. It was inspired by the biblical language of Galatians 5 and also the hymn “I vow to thee my country”, inspired by Proverbs 3.17.

The King prayed: “God of compassion and mercy whose Son was sent not to be served but to serve, give grace that I may find in thy service perfect freedom and in that freedom knowledge of thy truth. Grant that I may be a blessing to all thy children, of every faith and conviction, that together we may discover the ways of gentleness and be led into the paths of peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”.

The world watched as it was confirmed that the moral and legal authority of the Crown comes from God, and not mere inheritance or invention. 

The monarch has numerous theoretical personal prerogatives, but beyond the appointment of a prime minister, there are in practice few circumstances in modern government where these prerogatives would be justifiably exercised and they have rarely been exercised in the last century. Lists of powers have been published in reports but a comprehensive catalogue of prerogative powers has never been produced.

For example, the Crown could refuse to dissolve Parliament when requested by the prime minister such as the King-Byng affair of 1926 which all High School children learn. A prime minister and the government could be dismissed on the monarch's own authority if such a national crisis required it and the people demanded it. This was last done in Britain in 1834 by King William IV.

The Crown summons and prorogues Parliament. It is the head of the armed forces. It grants honours. It could solve a hung Parliament. However, the monarch plays no role in the day-to-day affairs of state in Canada. Those duties — including dissolving Parliament, swearing in a new government, and granting royal assent so bills passed by Parliament become law — are delegated to the monarch’s representative in Canada, the Governor General, all within the realm of political neutrality.

The Federal Court of Canada has said: "Whether it is wise for Canada to maintain its linkages to the British Monarchy is a matter for debate and resolution in the political sphere. Since its inception, Canada has made several legislative and constitutional changes by which our historical dependence and linkages to the British Crown have been reduced. This is fundamentally a political and democratic process driven by an evolving consensus within the Canadian polity. But the fact remains that our present ties to the British Monarchy are constitutionally entrenched and unless and until that is changed there is legitimacy within our institutional structures for demanding, in appropriate circumstances, expressions of respect and loyalty to the Crown. A refusal to display loyalty and respect to the Queen where required by policy would not only be an expression of profound disrespect and rudeness but it would also represent an unwillingness to adhere to hierarchical and lawful command structures that are fundamental to good discipline."

The bottom line is that the institution of the monarchy in Canada is not subject to the whims of popularity, the polls, or media image. It is us, regardless of personal views. Opinions do not change the constitutional reality. Thankfully, Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy and not an American Republic.