Sunday, 15 August 2021

Canadian Election September 20, 2021.


Canada's Governor-General, Her Excellency The Right Honourable Mary Simon accepted the request of the Prime Minister, and granted a general election. Canadians go to the polls on September 20, 2021.

After 18 months of Covid-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s time to take the temperature of Canadians about the country's next steps, and let voters have a say.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking at poll numbers, and sees that he has a chance to get a majority in Parliament.  The unnecessary election is pursued, despite public opinion saying that Canadians don’t want to vote while Covid cases are again rising.  Meanwhile, Canada closed its Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan on Sunday, as the Taliban forces pushed into the city and claimed Afghanistan from the existing government.  There is also an unprecedented number of fires raging in many forest areas across the country, and evacuations are occurring.  These and other problems will have to be handled by Public Employees in Ottawa, with little authority to make major decisions until there is a new 'Cabinet of Ministers' in place.

Opposition Parties have denounced the election as a selfish power grab, with Liberals putting pandemic progress and other governance issues on hold, just to secure a majority. The Trudeau election excuse rang hollow.  “Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against Covid-19 and build back better, from getting the job done on vaccines to having people’s backs all the way to and through the end of this crisis.  In this pivotal consequential moment, who wouldn’t want to have a say, and who wouldn’t want their chance to help decide where our country goes from here?”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said Trudeau’s election call was about the Liberal leader’s self-interest and not the public interest, and that he is putting the hard work that Canadians have done during the pandemic at risk for political gain.  “Justin Trudeau has called an election.  I hope his decision doesn’t cost Canadians dearly,” said the Tory leader.

The alternative Conservative message was about economic growth and jobs, arguing the Conservatives would spur investment and get more people back to work, saying after six years of the Trudeau government, Canadians deserve better.

O'Toole said, “Canadians deserve to know what their politicians will deliver. They deserve to know that there’s a plan, and they deserve a government that will keep its word.” Justin Trudeau called the election because he wants more of the same unaffordable spending commitments that will leave Canada with unsustainable levels of debt and unemployment.

The New Democrat Party Leader Jagmeet Singh said that the campaign was unnecessary, and his Party was prepared to work with the Liberals.  The NDP have repeatedly propped up the Liberals in Parliament, and continue to make false claims that they had influence.

The NDP Leader said, “Everyone across Canada benefited from New Democrats being in Ottawa, I say imagine how much more we could do with more New Democrats elected.”  He ignored the question, that his past commands to his voting MPs, continued to give Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Consequently, the most corrupt and incompetent Prime Minister in Canadian history has called an election, not for governance need but aspirational power for his Party.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says that he is ready to lead the nation. He is a principled Conservative, and he is the Prime Minister Canada needs.

Friday, 6 August 2021

Wall Street Journal - Lomberg


Climate Change Doesn’t Cause All Disasters

Warming annually causes about 120,000 heat deaths but prevents nearly 300,000 cold deaths.

By Bjorn Lomborg  Aug. 5, 2021 12:17 pm ET


Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. That old quip, often attributed to Mark Twain or his friend Charles Dudley Warner, now guides most news coverage of severe weather. The media say that natural disasters are a result of climate change and we need to adopt radical policies to combat them.


But this framing tells only a small part of what is scientifically known. Take the recent flooding in Germany and Belgium, which many, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are blaming on climate change. Yet a new study of more than 10,000 rivers around the world shows that most rivers now flood less. What used to be a 50-year flood in the 1970s happens every 152 years today, likely due to urbanization, flood-control measures, and changes in climate.


Some rivers still flood, and reporters flock there, but more scare stories don’t mean more global flooding. The river Ahr, where most of the German flood deaths occurred, had a spectacular flow on July 14, 2021, but it was lower than deadly flows in 1804 and 1910. The real cause of increased fatalities from riverine flooding in Germany and many other places is more people building settlements on flood plains, leaving the water no place to go. Instead of more solar panels and wind turbines to combat climate change, riverside communities need better water management. And foremost, they need a well-functioning warning system so they can evacuate before disaster strikes.


Here, Germany has failed spectacularly. Following the deadly European floods in 2002, Germany built an extensive warning system, but during a test last September, most warning measures, including sirens and text alerts, didn’t work. The European Flood Awareness System predicted the floods nine days in advance and formally warned the German government four days in advance, yet most people on the ground were left unaware. Hannah Cloke, the hydrologist who set up the system, called it “a monumental failure.”


But of course, blaming the deadly floods on climate change, instead of taking responsibility for the missed early warnings, is convenient for politicians like Ms. Merkel, who, during a visit to Schuld, a devastated village on the Ahr, said, ”We must get faster in the battle against climate change.”


Similarly, climate change is often blamed for wildfires in the U.S., but the reason for them is mostly poor forest management like failing to remove flammable undergrowth and allowing houses to be built in fire-prone areas. Despite breathless climate reporting, in 2021 the burned area to date is the fourth-lowest of the past 11 years. The area that burned in 2020 was only 11% of the area that did in the early 1900s. Contrary to climate clichés, the annual global burned area has declined since 1900 and continues to fall.


We have data on global deaths from all climate-related weather disasters such as floods, droughts, storms and fire from the International Disaster Database. In the 1920s, these disasters killed almost half a million people on average each year. The current climate narrative would suggest that natural disasters are ever deadlier, but that isn’t true. Over the past century, climate-related deaths have dropped to fewer than 20,000 on average each year, even though the global population has quadrupled since 1920.


And look at 2021, which is now being branded the year of climate catastrophes. Add the deaths from the North American heat dome, from floods in Germany and Belgium, from Indian climate-related catastrophes that you may not have heard about, and from more than 200 other catastrophes. Adjusted to a full year, climate-related weather disasters could cause about 6,000 deaths in 2021. With greater wealth and technological development, we no longer see half a million or even 18,000 lives lost to climate-related weather disasters, but 6,000.


Every death is a tragedy, yet current warming is avoiding many more tragedies.


One of the few well-documented effects of climate change are more heatwaves, which have made headlines around the world this summer. But global warming also reduces cold waves, which kill many more people globally than heatwaves, according to a new study in the Lancet.


According to the study, temperature increases over the past two decades in the U.S. and Canada cause about 7,200 more heat deaths a year. But the study also shows that warming prevents about 21,000 cold deaths a year. Globally, the study shows that climate change annually causes almost 120,000 additional heat deaths but avoids nearly 300,000 cold deaths.


Climate change is a real problem we should fix. But we can’t rely on apocalyptic stories when crafting policy. We must see all the data.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Governor General Simon - July 2021


OTTAWA – July 26,2021

Mary Simon became Canada’s 30th Governor General on Monday, in a simple ceremony in the Canadian Senate Chamber.

A prominent Inuk leader and former Canadian Ambassador, Simon is now the first Indigenous person to become the Queen’s representative in Canada, after playing roles in advancing Inuit culture, as well as social, environmental, and human rights.

In her first remarks as the new Governor General, Simon pledged to play a role in aboriginal reconciliation, to bring attention to climate change, as well as an advocate for equality. 

We hope she stays within her role, and has the wisdom to say no to Prime Minister Trudeau, when he comes to ask for a special political maneuver.  Let’s also hope she stays traditionally non-political, while culturally encouraging aboriginals to get on with reconciling to the modern world, instead of hanging onto to infantile “soothers”, such as the Indian Act and the notion of “Status”. 

She appears to be the penultimate "affirmative action" candidate.  We trust she will be better than the previous Liberal female nominations.  The previous recent Conservative Governors’ General nominations have been great.  However, the female Liberal ones have been quite problematic, as Liberals have not been about nation building.  We wish Governor General Simon the very best.

She conveyed a message of inclusiveness and resilience as she delivered her first speech at the swearing-in ceremony.  She reflected on her childhood in Arctic Quebec, living a “traditional” lifestyle in Nunavik, travelling by dog team, and hunting and fishing.  She said she valued the dual perspective of the Inuit world, and the non-Inuit southern world.

During her career working in public policy and legislative reform, Simon said she had the privilege of witnessing Canada’s rich diversity.  She acknowledged the country’s frayed relationship with Indigenous Peoples, and that Canada must do more to respect varied cultures.


Good afternoon, or still morning, good morning.

With great respect, I would like to acknowledge that today we are standing on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people, who have lived and cared for this part of the world for thousands of years.

Prime Minister Trudeau, thank you for your faith in me and for your commitment to reconciliation. I am honoured, humbled and ready to be Canada’s first Indigenous Governor General.

Where we gather today is of enormous significance to me. Thirty-nine years ago, when this was the Government Conference Centre, I worked with other Indigenous leaders and First Ministers to have our rights affirmed in the Constitution of Canada. That moment made this one possible.

I also want to offer my heartfelt gratitude to Her Majesty The Queen for placing her trust and confidence in me. I know she has an abiding love for this magnificent country.

And to my family: thank you to my husband, Whit, to my children, Richard, Louis, and Carole, and to my step-children, Rhonda, Dianne and Whitney, and to my siblings. Of course, to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All of you have given me strength, purpose, love and inspiration over the course of my life.

To the Canadian Armed Forces, I am honoured to be taking on the role as commander-in-chief of Canada. Thank you for embodying the meaning of sacrifice, valour and service on behalf of all Canadians. Your conviction and courage is of the highest order and represents the very best of all of us. I’m looking forward to meeting those serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Canadian Rangers and other Reserve units in the days ahead.

Since the announcement of my appointment, I have been deeply touched by the responses from Canadians who have reached out to me.

I have heard from Canadians who describe a renewed sense of possibility for our country and hope that I can bring people together. I have heard from Canadians who have challenged me to bring a new and renewed purpose to the office of the governor general to help Canadians deal with the issues we are facing. I have heard from Canadians who have expressed their support in my commitment to learn French, and have even offered to assist me in my training. And I have heard from Canadians who see Rideau Hall as the people’s hall—reflecting the values, aspirations and diversity of our great Canadian family.

I am truly grateful for these words of support and guidance.

As Governor General, I am fully committed to setting and maintaining the highest possible standard of work and ethics in all aspects of my duties.

Today is an important and historic day for Canada. But my story, to these chambers, began very far from here.

I was born Mary Jeannie May in Arctic Quebec, now known as Nunavik. My Inuk name is Ningiukudluk, and prime minister, it means bossy little old lady.

I spent my adolescence in Nunavik, living a very traditional lifestyle with my parents. My mom, Nancy, was Inuk. My father, Bob – and my grandmother Jeannie, who was also Inuk – who was from the south, managed our local Hudson’s Bay company post.

Many months out of the year we lived on the land—travelling by dog team and boat, hunting, fishing and gathering food.

Over the years I have exchanged stories with Canadians about favourite childhood memories. This is mine: lying in our family’s tent along the George River, on a bed of spruce boughs and caribou skins, listening to the early morning sound of birds, and the crunch of snow under the feet of our dog team.

What I valued most about my upbringing was my parents teaching my siblings and I how to live in two worlds—the Inuit world and the non-Inuit southern world.

This foundation of core values has both served and shaped me throughout my life, and I believe helped me get to an important turning point as a young girl, when I stopped being afraid.

It took time before I gained the self-confidence to assert myself and my beliefs in the non-Indigenous world. But when I came to understand that my voice had power and that others were looking to me to be their voice, I was able to let go of my fear.

My first language—Inuktitut—is the language that defines Inuit as a people, and is the foundation of our very survival.

My second language—English—became a gateway to the world beyond.

And now, I am committed to adding Canada’s other official language, French.

At this point in our shared history, it is clear that many languages are part of the fabric of our nation, as are the stories of those who come to Canada in search of a new life.

Later, in my early 20s living in Montreal, I worked for the CBC, and found myself sight translating the news and explaining to Inuit listeners across the Arctic the news stories from around the world.

But there has always been another guiding force in my life—the importance of promoting healing and wellness through all forms of education, from creating public policy, to legislative reform, to improving school curricula, to advocating for human rights.

I have had the privilege in my career of travelling extensively to all provinces and territories. What I remember most is not the meetings or conferences, but the mix of cultures and heritage that make Canada a beacon to the world.

I will never forget the selfless work of Canadians in every corner of this country. Every day, inside small community halls, school gyms, Royal Canadian Legions, places of worship, and in thousands of community service organizations, there are ordinary Canadians doing extraordinary things.

As Governor General I will never lose sight of this—that our selflessness is one of our great strengths as a nation.

Canada is an Arctic nation. Our Arctic is one of the most unique places on the planet—from spring geese to winter darkness, to some of the largest wildlife migrations anywhere on earth. Our North is also a well-lived and lived-in homeland for Inuit, First Nations and Métis people.

The Arctic matters a lot to Canada and to the world. Canada has championed the creation of the Arctic Council and the Central Arctic Ocean Fishing Agreement. We have settled modern treaties with Inuit. We have passed the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act to assure sovereignty over the Northwest Passage, and developed a circumpolar dimension to its foreign policy, which recognizes that human security must include environmental security.

For many years, Canada has experienced a disproportionate level of impact from climate change because the Arctic is warming faster than almost anywhere else on the planet. The Arctic represents nearly 40 per cent of our landmass, and may be free of summer sea ice in the coming decades.

The twin global crises of nature destruction and climate change are undoubtedly the challenge of our time. For evidence, we need only look at the Arctic, and what has happened this past month across the country: the devastating impacts of forest fires, prolonged droughts, record heat waves.

I believe that in order to have a healthy future, we must reset our thinking to understand that nature contains and creates our climate. Our climate allows society to be possible, and within our society is our economy.

As governor general, I will promote and recognize leading examples of community and Indigenous-driven conservation and of climate action that are making a real difference and can inspire other Canadians to do the same. I hope to promote these examples of Canadian leadership nationally and around the world.

I have always viewed Canada as a metaphor for family.

As members of our large and diverse Canadian family, we have to replace the hurt with hope and find the grace and humility to stand together and move towards a more just and equitable future.

Addressing mental health and wellness within our families, our schools, our work places and our front-line services is hard and necessary work, but think of the possibilities for stronger, healthier and more prosperous communities.

I would like to acknowledge all Canadians who have sacrificed their own safety by providing essential services during the pandemic so that the rest of us could stay safe. You stepped up when the rest of us were told to stay home. Thank you.

As governor general I am committed to using this moment in our country’s history to build on the work of de-stigmatizing mental health so it is viewed through the same lens as physical ailments, and receives the same attention, compassion and understanding.

Since the publication of the Truth and Reconciliation report six years ago, we have learned as a country that we need to learn the real history of Canada. Embracing this truth makes us stronger as a nation, unites Canadian society and teaches our kids that we must always do our best, especially when it’s hard.

The discoveries of unmarked graves on the grounds of residential schools in recent weeks has horrified me, along with all Canadians.

A lot of people think that reconciliation will be completed through projects and services. All Canadians deserve access to services.

My view is that reconciliation is a way of life and requires work every day.

Reconciliation is getting to know one another.

As stated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report: “Reconciliation must support Aboriginal peoples as they heal from the destructive legacies of colonization that have wreaked such havoc in their lives.”

We are reminded daily that even though diversity is a core Canadian value, our country must do more to respect all languages, cultures, ethnicities, religions and ways of living.

As Governor General, I will embody our nation’s commitment to diversity and acceptance.

I’ve always believed the Rt. Honourable Kim Campbell held the country up to the correct standard when she said, “Canada is the homeland of equality, justice and tolerance.” Recognizing that one fifth of all Canadians were born somewhere else, it is more important than ever to make sure we live up to this commitment.

To meet this moment as Governor General, I will strive to hold together the tension of the past with the promise of the future, in a wise and thoughtful way.

Our society must recognize together our moments of regret, alongside those that give us pride, because it creates space for healing, acceptance and the rebuilding of trust. I will strive to build bridges across the diverse backgrounds and cultures that reflect our great country’s uniqueness and promise.

I pledge to meet Canadians in all provinces and territories to learn first-hand what people are facing, and what could be done to make their lives better.

On the strength of those Governors General who served before me, I commit to Canadians that I will move forward with humility and purpose to meet this moment in our shared history.

Whit and I, and our dog, Neva, are excited and honoured that Rideau Hall will be our family home. We also plan to spend time living and working at the Citadelle in the City of Québec.

I am truly honoured by this call to service, and I will do my best each and every day to be worthy of it.

Thank you. Merci. Miigwetch. Nakurmiik

Monday, 7 June 2021

Climate Change and CO2

Climate Change and CO2

Man made CO2 for climate change is under control.  CO2 makes up only about 0.04% of the atmosphere, and water vapor can vary from 0 to 4%.  Both water vapor and CO2 are responsible for global warming, and once we increase the CO2 in the atmosphere, the oceans warm up, which inevitably triggers an increase in water vapor.  But while we have no way to control water vapor, we can perhaps control the portion of CO2 that is man made.  And because we are increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by continuing to burn fossil fuels, even in relatively small amounts compared to the entire mass of the atmosphere, the theory is that we are disturbing the entire heat balance system of the planet. 

Over the past two centuries, the size of the world's economy has increased more than a hundredfold.  That expansion was powered by fossil fuels, the burning of which gave us a high standard of living.  It also helped raise the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 0.0284 percent in 1820 to 0.0407 percent in 2017.  Some scientists worry that this increase in atmospheric CO2 could lead to deleterious long-term consequences, including runaway global warming.

We are some years away from seeing dependable and financially viable sources of energy that are completely harmless to the environment.  In the meantime, economic growth and, consequently, people's rising standards of living, will continue to require fossil fuels.  The good news is that production processes are becoming more environmentally friendly throughout much of the world.  

The World Bank estimates that the United States produces roughly 24 percent of the world's wealth. The European Union produces 22 percent, China 15 percent, Japan 6 percent, and Germany, if considered independently of the EU, 5 percent.  Now consider CO2 emissions per dollar of gross domestic product.  In 1960, the United States emitted 0.94 kilograms of CO2 per dollar of output.  By 2014, that number fell to 0.32. 

That's a reduction of 66 percent. The EU has reduced its CO2 emissions per dollar of output from 0.57 to 0.19 kilograms.  That's a reduction of 68 percent.  After China abandoned its inefficient communist system of production, its CO2 emissions per dollar of output fell from 5 kilograms in 1978 to 1.24 kilograms in 2014—a reduction of 75 percent.  Japanese emissions fell from 0.3 kilograms in 1960 to 0.2 kilograms in 2014, or 33 percent.  Finally, German emissions fell from 0.34 kilograms in 1991 to 0.2 kilograms in 2017, or 41 percent.  

This downward trend in emissions per dollar is largely the result of businesses' constant efforts to improve efficiency reduce their costs.  That's one of the reasons why global CO2 emissions per dollar of output declined from 0.84 kilograms in 1960 to 0.5 kilograms in 2014, or 41 percent.  Moreover, technological improvements in production processes are likely to continue to reduce fuel consumption per dollar of output and, consequently, lower CO2 emissions even further.

Reductions in absolute quantities of CO2 have not yet materialized outside of economic recessions as the world economy is still growing well and living standards are rising world wide, but this type of progress is a distinct step in a positive direction.


Global Trends – Bailey & Tupy

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Standard of Living


The media repeats the negatives, and the “lefties” are the greatest whiners about how bad others are, while they pursue their envy and resentment agendas.  Their sour outlook is wrong headed.

The world is making great progress, despite setbacks.  Since 1820, the size of the world's economy has grown more than a hundredfold.  Over the past 200 years, the world population grew somewhat less than eightfold.  One commonly used comparative measure is the 2011 constant international dollar, which is a hypothetical unit of currency that has the same purchasing power parity value that the U.S. dollar had.  Economic figures are adjusted to reflect the local prices of products to give a comparable measure of purchasing power.

Between 1500 and 1820, world gross product grew about 0.3 percent per year, eventually tripling from $430 billion to $1.2 trillion.  As some countries began adopting freer markets, and the rule of law spread along with increased international trade, the pace of global economic growth sped up to 1.3 percent annually, increasing the size of the world economy to $3.4 trillion in 1900.  Since that time, global economic growth has averaged slightly more than 3 percent per year, boosting world gross product to more than $121 trillion by 2018.

What about the future?  The UN, IPCC benchmark middle-of-the-road scenario—which features medium levels of economic and population growth—projects that the global economy will grow to about $600 trillion by 2100.  The IPCC expects that the growth rate will average about 2 percent annually in that scenario.  If, however, global economic growth were to maintain its 2.8 percent average rate since 2000, the world's economy would instead increase by almost tenfold to $1.1 quadrillion by 2100. 

Canada’s standard of living has never been higher.  We are healthier, wealthier, and making great gains in social justice, in comparison to previous generations.  Despite our personal troubles, we must remember that since 1820, the size of the world's economy has grown more than a hundredfold.  Over the past 200 years, the world population grew somewhat less than eightfold.  The world population is making collective progress, and Canada is near the top of all nations in that standard of living evolution.

Global Trends - Baily & Tupy


Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Supreme Court of Canada Decision


May 21, 2021 – Ottawa

 Canadians of Faith welcome the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the “Aga case”.

I welcome the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in a case about whether ecclesiastical decisions about membership and discipline, are outside of the scope of the Courts judicial review.

In (Ethiopian Orthodox Church of Canada St. Mary Cathedral) vrs (Aga) the Court unanimously ruled that matters of membership and discipline within a voluntary religious community, are outside the jurisdiction of the Courts.

The Court ruled that Courts have jurisdiction in the affairs of voluntary associations, only if there is a legal right involved, such as a property right or a matter of employment.  

One of the issues before the court was whether becoming a member of voluntary association which has a constitution and by-laws, establishes a contract between the member and an association.  The court determined that membership, such as in a church, is not necessarily contractual.  

The ruling states: “Becoming a member of a religious voluntary association, and even agreeing to be bound by certain rules, does not, without more, evince an objective intention to enter into a legal contract enforceable by the courts.”

It was argued that that Section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms includes protection for the communal dimensions of religious freedom, and includes freedom of religious association, and that ecclesiastical decisions of religious communities, including decisions related to membership cannot be interfered with by the State.

For a Christian, and indeed for many religious individuals, the congregational community and communal worship are necessary components of meaningful practice of faith.  The congregational community, is the vehicle through which Christian individuals carry out their faith and benefit from their section 2(a) Charter right to freedom of religion.  Religious belief, practice and worship, are not merely personal or private engagements.  Local adherents, congregate together in order to worship, study, learn, teach, pray, volunteer, serve and evangelize.

Such associations are vehicles to pursue shared goals.  Therefore, many churches will have rules, sometimes even a constitution, bylaws and a ‘governing’ body to adopt and apply the rules.  These are practical measures of order to reasonably pursue shared goals.  But, they do not in and of themselves give rise to contractual relations amongst individuals and subject to litigation.

This decision is an important clarification of the scope of the Court’s jurisdiction in Canada, in the voluntary life of churches.

Saturday, 17 April 2021


The Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, has published The Patriarchs - An Elegy, in tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  The poem pays homage to Prince Philip's distinguished career in the Royal Navy and refers to his generation as "husbands to duty" and "great-grandfathers from birth".

Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday April 17, 2021, reflected his life and career, including his many years serving in the Royal Navy.  At the age of 21, in 1942 Philip became one of the youngest serving first lieutenants in the Royal Navy.  After the Queen ascended the throne in 1952, Philip dedicated the rest of his life to the service of the Crown.  The poem by Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate, reflects on Philip's life as Britain's longest-serving consort.

* * *

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark; 10 June 1921   9 April 2021), was the husband of Elizabeth II.

Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families.  He was born in Greece, but his family was exiled from the country when he was eighteen months old.  After being educated in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, he joined the Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18.  From July 1939, he began corresponding with the thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934.  During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Mediterranean and British Pacific fleets.

After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth.  Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish titles and styles, became a naturalized British subject, and adopted his maternal grandparents' surname Mountbatten.  He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947.  Just before the wedding, he was granted the style His Royal Highness and created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by the King.  

Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, and was made a British prince in 1957.  Philip had four children with Elizabeth: Charles  -Prince of Wales; Anne  -Princess Royal; Prince Andrew  -Duke of York; and Prince Edward  -Earl of Wessex.  Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles.

A sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving.  He was a patron, president or member of over 780 organizations, and he served as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, a self-improvement program for young people aged 14 to 24.  He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch, and the longest-lived male member of the British royal family.  He retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements and 5,493 speeches since 1952.  Philip died on 9 April 2021, two months before his 100th birthday.


The Patriarchs - An Elegy

by Simon Armitage Poet Laureate


The weather in the window this morning

is snow, unseasonal singular flakes,

a slow winter's final shiver. On such an occasion

to presume to eulogise one man is to pipe up

for a whole generation - that crew whose survival

was always the stuff of minor miracle,

who came ashore in orange-crate coracles,

fought ingenious wars, finagled triumphs at sea

with flaming decoy boats, and side-stepped torpedoes.

Husbands to duty, they unrolled their plans

across billiard tables and vehicle bonnets,

regrouped at breakfast. What their secrets were

was everyone's guess and nobody's business.

Great-grandfathers from birth, in time they became

both inner core and outer case

in a family heirloom of nesting dolls.

Like evidence of early man their boot-prints stand

in the hardened earth of rose-beds and borders.

They were sons of a zodiac out of sync

with the solar year, but turned their minds

to the day's big science and heavy questions.

To study their hands at rest was to picture maps

showing hachured valleys and indigo streams, schemes

of old campaigns and reconnaissance missions.

Last of the great avuncular magicians

they kept their best tricks for the grand finale:

Disproving Immortality and Disappearing Entirely.

The major oaks in the wood start tuning up

and skies to come will deliver their tributes.

But for now, a cold April's closing moments

parachute slowly home, so by mid-afternoon

snow is recast as seed heads and thistledown.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Radical subversives revealed.

Radical subversives revealed. 

If you ever had a doubt about the idiocy of the NDP, read a couple of their resolutions to be debated at their upcoming Convention 2021.  It dishonours Canada’s heroes of our past generation, and denigrates all who gave everything, so that we could posses our present political freedoms.  It is shame for our nation to have a national political party behave in this manner.  PF



Spadina-Fort York • Hamilton Centre


WHEREAS the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Canadian forces in Afghanistan

engaged in propping up a US-puppet government of human rights abusers, drug traffickers

and warlords, wasting money and lives to further a western agenda of geo-political power and plunder of resources;


Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NDP actively campaign to get Canada out of NATO, to

get NATO out of Afghanistan, to remove the NATO nuclear ring around Russian borders, and

to disengage Canadian forces from any support role for the U.S. and its client regimes around

the world.



Spadina-Fort York


militaries and war have devastatingly negative impacts on civilian populations, including needless deaths, bodily injury and the loss of housing.

militaries and war are a historic institution with no place in a modern society.

in a world with a globalized economy traditional militaries are becoming increasingly


other countries such as Costa Rica, Iceland, Samoa and Panama have abolished their armies.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT an NDP government will commit to phasing out the Canadian Armed Forces.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT all members of the Canadian Armed Forces will be retrained,

at the expense of the federal government, into civil service roles that help expand Canadian,

provincial and municipal social services, such as expanded health care, education, community services, public transit and parks.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT all members of the Canadian Armed Forces continue to receive full salaries and benefits until they assume their new jobs in the civil service.


Monday, 8 March 2021


Political talk in 2021 has become too strong for many, and they just opt-out, to find some mental rest or social peace in their lives. They know something is wrong with the strident voices that protest and proclaim that our society is degenerate and needs a 're-set'.

It seems that many are just mad at each other, trust no one, and will not abide credible leadership.

A helpful response, is to recount the basic values that have brought us through in times past. Conservative values and beliefs have stood the test. We need to remind ourselves that there are wise standards to guide us into our future.

Upon review, some of these basics for nation-building are as follows:

Canadian conservatives stand for our independent sovereignty and a strong national defense of our values and Constitution.

While we celebrate differences in people, we embrace national unity, and peace, order, and good government.

Our economic survival is based upon ethical free enterprise and individual achievement.

Equal opportunity for all Canadians is valued so that our citizens achieve their dreams in a safe, healthy, and prosperous country.

Conservatives stand for a Canada that is strong, united, independent, and free.

There are some generalizations about Conservatives that resonate: -

There is an aversion to rapid change that may prove unwise; a belief that traditions and prevailing social norms often contain within them handed down wisdom; and there is a mistrust of attempts to remake society to conform to an abstract formula of what some think is their justice or efficacy.

A belief that it is important to preserve traditional morality, as articulated in the Judeo-Christian ethic, through cultural norms.

An embrace of the local community and family ties and human scale.

An embrace of ethical free-market capitalism within the law, and a belief in the legitimacy of market outcomes.

Conservatives believe government must facilitate workers' lives to be more affordable.

By balancing tax cuts for lower-income workers with disciplined debt reduction and focused, prudent spending, the economy will grow more quickly for general prosperity. The resulting sound economy will ensure the strength and durability of the 'social safety net' for those who cannot earn or need special help, and our health-care system.

The belief that taxes should be lower and the government smaller.

The belief that a huge national debt and annual deficits places Canada in peril.

The belief that whenever possible, government budgets should be balanced, and approved by Parliament.

A disdain for Liberalism, identity politics, morality grandstanding, affirmative action, and generally the 'left' collective political ideas.

A desire to be left alone by the government unless otherwise necessary, often coupled with a belief that being left alone and having personal privacy is a natural right.

A belief that Canada has a brand of democracy that can lead the world by example.

A principled belief in Canadian-style Confederation with a Westminster model of governance.

A distrust in disproportionate concentrations of economic and political power, as well as media concentration.

A belief that Canada should not intervene in the affairs of other nations, except to defend ourselves from military aggression and enforce international law.

A general non-interventionism in foreign policy, and support for the UN with all its flaws and failings, and pragmatic realism in foreign policy.

Guided by foundational values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, Canada will assert and defend our sovereignty, pursue international free trade agreements, and strengthen our contributions to global security, and global environmental protection.

Conscious of the fallibility of humankind, and an awareness of the value of skepticism, doubt, and humility. Human rights are valued and defended while recognizing personal responsibility.

The basic belief that a majority Conservative Government must replace the Liberal culture of entitlement, with a culture of achievement.

In short, Conservatives stand for a Canada that is strong, united, independent, and free.


Monday, 4 January 2021

Remember when?


Remember when the NEW YORK TIMES told the world the following, one year ago?  We now know that China lied, and that by then, they had many sick and dead, but they were trying to “save face”.  Then later they invented the soon discredited story about bats and a “wet market”, while they kept quiet about their many laboratory experimentations.

NEW YORK TIMES  -  THURSDAY, JAN. 9, 2020.Sui-Lee Wee and Donald McNeil gave us the breaking news that researchers in China have identified a new virus that is behind a mysterious pneumonialike illness that has caused a panic in the central Chinese region. “There’s no evidence that the virus, a coronavirus, is readily spread by humans, and it has not been tied to any deaths,” they write. “But health officials in China and internationally are watching it carefully.”

VANCOUVER SUN  -  Jan 11, 2020   Man dies of unknown virus in China, sparking fears of SARS-like outbreak    In total, 41 people have been diagnosed with the pathogen, which preliminary lab tests cited by Chinese state media earlier this week pointed to a new type of coronavirus, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement on its website.  It said the pathogen was an “unknown cause of viral pneumonia.”  Two have been discharged from hospital and the rest are in stable condition, while 739 people deemed to have been in close contact with the patients have been cleared, it said.

China’s National Health Commission said in a separate statement that it would share information on the genome sequence of the coronavirus with the WHO to safeguard global health security.  However, in 2003, Chinese officials covered up a SARS outbreak for weeks before a growing death toll and rumors forced the government to reveal the epidemic. The disease spread rapidly to other cities and countries. More than 8,000 people were infected and 775 died.

After reflecting on those dates, a year after COVID-19 broke out in Wuhan city, Chinese authorities still claimed at a recent regular press briefing that China has been open and cooperative with the World Health Organization (WHO) in its handling of the CCP virus. However, local residents who have dared to speak, disagree.  At a press conference on Dec. 29,2020, a reporter asked about the allegations regarding the Chinese regime’s attempts to cover up the outbreak.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, claimed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was “open, transparent, and timely” in its COVID-19 response.  However, Wuhan residents said the CCP has lied about informing the people about the outbreak.  

The earliest CCP official virus patient was detected on Dec. 1, 2019, according to the western medical journal ‘The Lancet’, using Chinese reports.  However, the first confirmed cases were actually traced back to early 2019, from uncovered Chinese documents.

CCP placed people under control instead of the pandemic.  The local authorities confined residents to their homes and brought them under harsh surveillance.  Anyone who broke the rules would face a quarantine at their own expense.  It was to control information rather than the virus.

The CCP intentionally concealed the actual number of infections.  Authorities declared that the outbreak had been placed under control after hundreds of quarantined patients were transferred from a local hospital to a different area.  No reporting, no infections  -that was the logic.  If locals said something different, they called it ‘spreading rumors,’ or ‘provoking trouble’, or ‘subverting state power”.  Those charges were used to arrest critics.

Now with over a year of experience, the CCP can no longer hide that it has been concealing their actual COVID-19 death toll from the public.  Local funeral facilities were in desperate need of incinerators, and mobile incinerators from other areas were brought into Wuhan and they operated 24 hours a day.  Even at a single funeral home, at least 6,000 bodies were burned.  Based on reasonable calculations, the death toll was likely tens of thousands in Wuhan, far surpassing the official death toll of 3,869 as of April 17.

It is now clear that the Chinese authorities significantly understated the gravity of the outbreak in the beginning for political reasons.  Subsequently, their various reporting data to the WHO has never been reliable.  The West should impose sanctions on the CCP instead of holding a dialogue.

(source significantly based on Epoch Times material)

Saturday, 3 October 2020


We have a growing social problem that strikes at the centre of what it means to be Canadian.  It is called the “cancel culture”.  Rather than respond to ideas and proposals with which one disagrees, with better arguments, many just demand censorship.  To add fuel, at the slightest hint of offense, weak-willed College and University administrators comply, and disinvite guest speakers.  Prejudiced and close-minded protestors disrupt lectures and trash display booths.  This disturbing trend threatens the very purpose of education and expression in a free and democratic society, which should be open enough to expose the mind to various points of view.  The sad message that students learn, is that shouting and disruption delivers on the radical agenda.  We need to defend free expressions that are legal.  Religious organizations, especially Christian, face protest and censorship.  We need to stand up for the civil exchange of ideas and against the forces of censorship, and the self-righteous virtue signaling and moral grandstanding of the cancel culture.

Internet Yahoo-news, published that Rowan Atkinson, the British actor known the world over for his “Mr. Bean” character, delivered a broadside against the so-called online “cancel culture.”  During an interview with U.K. outlet Radio Times, Atkinson said: “The problem we have online is that an algorithm decides what we want to see, which ends up creating a simplistic, binary view of society.  It becomes a case of either you’re with us or against us.  And if you’re against us, you deserve to be ‘canceled.’  “It’s important that we’re exposed to a wide spectrum of opinion, but what we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn,” Atkinson added.  “So, it is scary for anyone who’s a victim of that mob, and it fills me with fear about the future.”

Friday, 2 October 2020


Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham)

2020-09-30 House of Commons - Ottawa               

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be back in the House with my colleagues and to tell Canadians about my plan to support their jobs and their families.

Speaking of families, I want to start by saying how proud I am of mine. I know my wife, Rebecca, my kids Mollie and Jack, and my parents are probably watching this speech that I give on my first day as Conservative Party leader in the House of Commons.

What an honour it is for me to represent Durham, the area I grew up in, as a member of Parliament, to stand and represent them, and to be the leader of the party that founded this great country. What an intense honour this is for me. I will try to live up to the incredible precedent set before me.

I want to start by thanking the thousands of Canadians who reached out and said good words and sent prayers and their best thoughts for my family as Rebecca and I were overcoming COVID-19. I also want to thank the incredible health care workers we interacted with, like José, our personal health care office guide, who called and checked in almost every day. People like her are working tirelessly for Canadians in every corner of this country. I thank them for the sacrifices they are making. I have seen them in action, and at the edge of a second wave, I want, on behalf of the Conservative Party, to thank all of our front-line health care workers for everything they are doing throughout this pandemic.

Canadians can be proud of their guardian angels in health care. Doctors, nurses and PSWs have been there when we needed them. They have been on the front lines of the fight against a disease that our country did not see coming.

Canada was not ready, but our health care professionals were ready to risk their health for us. Now that the fight against the second wave has begun, we know we can count on them.

On behalf of the Conservative Party, I thank each and every one of them.

Two weeks ago, my wife Rebecca and I bundled the kids, Mollie and Jack, into a car and went and waited hours in line for COVID testing, just like thousands of other families did across this country the very same day. We waited for hours, only to be turned away. The health care worker who was managing the line and going through and apologizing to each family as they were sent away wanted to tell us where to go to get another test, but he said every testing site was so busy that places were not even answering their phones. That dedicated health care worker looked more disappointed than we were that day because there was no hope or news they could provide to those families.

We went home. We are fortunate. I have an office now that helps me call around, and I found out that my workplace provided a test. A few days later, our family took advantage of that test. However, as we did that, Rebecca and I talked about all of those other hundreds of families in line with us that day. How many of them did not have a workplace that could help them out of days and days of waiting? How many of them had to take more days off of work because their children could not return to school without a clear test? How many of them had to change plans to take care of an ill neighbour or a grandparent? How many were left stranded? That is all we could think about. We were fortunate to get tested.

Just a year ago, if we were experiencing some of these cold or mild flu-like symptoms, we would have just powered through. Many Canadians actually take pride in never having taken a sick day, always stepping up for their classes, always stepping up for a shift and not letting a cold or a flu hold them back. I admire these work characteristics. This the sort of hard work and perseverance that built this great country. However, in a pandemic, those same characteristics can also cause public health challenges. That same approach, Canadians should realize, could spread the coronavirus to other Canadians. Times have changed, and we have to be cautious and change with them.

We think about the people who do not have options. A single mother who may be working a few jobs to make sure all the bills are paid cannot risk missing one to have to take care of a child at home. A new Canadian who may have been in their job for just a few years may be worried about potentially missing work, and may want to keep their co-workers safe and healthy, but knows they need to make the next rent payment. There are millions of Canadians, like that new Canadian family and like that single mother, who were left out of the throne speech last week. There was nothing but empty words in there for them.

The throne speech, particularly after prorogation, which this Prime Minister said he would never do to avoid a scandal, could have provided a clear and distinct plan on the eve of a second wave of this pandemic. It failed to do that.

One way the Prime Minister could have given these Canadians more peace of mind is through rapid testing, particularly for asymptomatic patients and for families so they could avoid the lines. The Prime Minister knows this. In fact, the Prime Minister himself has said:

We know that massive testing has been part of the solution in places that have managed to contain or slow the spread of COVID-19...

The trouble is, the Prime Minister said this in March during the first wave of the pandemic and, like many things, when the TV cameras are off and the tweets have been sent, there is no follow-up. There is no leadership. There is no accountability. In the Speech from the Throne, we saw an absence of leadership at a time when Canadians, with thousands in line and many waking up at three in the morning to line up, are desperate for some leadership. All they get with this Prime Minister is disappointment after disappointment.

Fifteen other developed countries, our closest allies, already have available rapid-test options that give their citizens answers in minutes. As I said today, the Prime Minister does not seem to realize that CETA, the European trade agreement that my friend for Abbotsford negotiated, allows us to recognize the regulatory approval for medical kits and diagnostic tests from those countries. The Liberals talk about it, they tweet about it, but where was the action? There was just more disappointment.

Half a year after the Prime Minister said that rapid testing was important, and half a trillion dollars later, there are tens of thousands of Canadians in line and forgotten. Canadian families deserve better than this. They were looking for some answers. They were looking for a second wave plan in the throne speech. They heard nothing.

Also, the Liberals had no sense of purpose for the economic recovery for our country. In fact, because they prorogued Parliament all of the programs, from the CERB to rent assistance, were expiring. The Liberals decided to prorogue to avoid difficult questions from some of my colleagues on the WE scandal rather than get Parliament to work diligently towards a plan for small businesses and families for the second wave.

Hashtags and photo ops do not prepare this country for a crisis, and that is why the Conservative government-in-waiting will start to offer that plan to Canadians.

Let us look back, because we still have not been told by the Prime Minister or the health minister, whom most Canadians lost faith in early in March, why they closed the early pandemic warning system, the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, in May of 2019. They closed it with no answer. Experts have shown that it could have helped not just thousands of Canadians, but the world with a better response to COVID-19.

The government was warned of risks in December of last year and in January of this year. I am aware of at least five departments of the federal government that knew of the pandemic risks to Canadians, including health and economic risks, in January. By then, with no response and no plan, they were already letting hundreds of cases into Canada. By February, they had already sent critical personal protective equipment to China, at a time when their own departments were being warned that Beijing was trying to rally a global supply of PPE. While they were not being transparent on the full extent of the outbreak of the coronavirus, and while departments were warning them of the inadequacy of our own supply, they were sending supplies and tweeting rather than planning.

The government not only ignored our questions about the border, including my colleague in Prince George asking in January about closing the border to flights from at-risk countries. They accused the opposition of being intolerant. “We've got this,” the health minister said. In fact, for a month and a half she downplayed the risk to our country from this pandemic. That is why I say most Canadians had already lost faith in the health minister by that point.

Conservatives proposed using the EI system to prepare the economy for outages. Later on, when that was not used, we asked the government to push from a 10% wage subsidy program to 75% so we could preserve jobs and there would be something to return to after the closures of the first wave. We proposed this, we proposed the GST remittance, and we proposed faster and more direct rent relief to small businesses, not to the big landlords who unfortunately took their time to often opt out. The Liberals, sadly, got most of their programs slow or wrong. They had to introduce not one, but two emergency bills because the first one was insufficient.

We were all working hard. The whole world was responding, but Canadians expect their government to also work smart. They expected their government, their Prime Minister and their health minister to learn the lessons when they dropped the ball in the first round. When the Prime Minister said in March that rapid testing was Canada's priority, we should be rolling out hundreds of thousands of rapid tests today. Who is accountable there? Five departments of the federal government knew in January. The Prime Minister pledged to be prepared for the first, let alone the second, wave, and just yesterday they bought a rapid test and approved it the next day.

Rather than competing for the bottom, we should be looking to see how New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia and Vietnam responded and learning the lessons, not just looking at the poor response and the poor results in the United States. It reminds me of my land survival training in the air force. One of the wise old trappers in Hinton, Alberta, was asked a question when we were put out into the wilderness to survive as young air force officers. Somebody asked how to survive a bear attack and the wise old trapper said, “You just have to run faster than your friend.” That seems to be the Prime Minister's self-assessment of his response to COVID.

We seem to be running slightly faster than our friends to the south, but we are not learning from the countries that got it right. Hashtags, inaction and ethical scandals are the consistencies we see with this Prime Minister. Canadians, particularly during the biggest crisis of our lifetime, expect more. They expect a plan and they expect a response when families are worried about a second wave.

As my colleagues know, when I talk about health, I am talking about a government's most important role, namely to keep Canadians healthy and safe.

We know that the government did not fulfill its role in Quebec. By rolling out the CERB without first implementing a wage subsidy, it jeopardized jobs. By dawdling for months over a rapid testing system while refusing to use our allies' system, its jeopardized Canadians' trust. By keeping the borders open for the sake of political correctness, it jeopardized Canadians' health. Families in Quebec and across Canada sacrificed a lot during this pandemic: visits with grandparents, weddings, graduation ceremonies.

Many Quebeckers know at least one family member who fell ill. The long-term care homes faced major challenges. We all know the sad story of the Herron long-term care centre, but what really bothers me is knowing that the Liberal government waited far too long to send the army in to our seniors' homes. Even when the Government of Quebec asked for federal help, the Liberals hung back. Canadians are proud of our armed forces. Our men and women in uniform stepped up to help us at a time of crisis. They would have stayed longer if the Liberals had just let them do their job.

Now the Prime Minister is playing petty politics by foisting his own health care priorities on the provinces. Canadians have seen the Liberals stumble so many times that they do not trust them anymore.

My plan is clear. I will increase health transfers to the provinces by providing stable, predictable funding, no strings attached. This is about respecting the jurisdiction of the provinces, our partners, because we can count on our partners, our orderlies, our nurses, our doctors, and our soldiers, but we cannot count on this government.

Who is going to make sure Canada is better prepared next time? Who is going to make sure that Canada learns the lessons from the first wave and fixes the gaps and some of the problems that have put our citizens at risk? Who is going to make sure that working Canadian families stop getting left behind by the government?

Canadians are still getting to know me as the new leader of the Conservative Party and leader of the official opposition. Only the most dedicated political animals saw my speech live at 1:30 in the morning. My second big speech was from my doorstep. Through adversity to the stars.

As more Canadians get to know me, they will know that I set high standards for myself and this incredible team. We are a government in waiting, and we do not accept the poor response and the lack of lessons learned by the current government in a time of crisis.

Canadians will also get to know that I have tried to spend my entire life standing up for this country. I was not born with a sense of entitlement to lead the country, but I have worked hard for my entire life to serve Canada and its people, to earn the chance to lead. That is what we need in public life when we face a national unity crisis, a pandemic, economic rebuilding and uncertainty on the global stage: someone who will fight to ensure that no Canadian family gets left behind; someone who understands the importance of service and community.

Many Canadians know I am very proud to be a veteran. I am also proud to be a Legion member and a Rotarian. In fact, in this House there are probably dozens of Lions, Legion members and Knights of Columbus, Kinsmen, Optimists and Kiwanis. For decades, service clubs, faith organizations and community groups have been the pillars of strong communities, allowing Canadians to come together to accomplish great things together: service above self.

As a kid who grew up in a General Motors family, I also know that some of those organizations that help build strong communities are unions. Organized labour helps build strong communities. Unions foster community and workplace cultures where workers know that someone has their back.

An hon. member: Did Harper tell you that?

Hon. Erin O'Toole: Workers know that someone is fighting for them, as opposed to just agreeing with whatever the government says, like that member; someone who will fight for them when they are sick; and someone who fights for them to avoid the steel and aluminum tariffs that the government allowed to be applied on our hard-working families across the country.

I grew up on a street where neighbours looked out for one another. I have talked personally about when my mom was ill. My family and our neighbours were there to help. They were there for the meal. They were there to make sure the kids were okay. Strong communities take care of each other and foster a culture that values the health and well-being of those in their community. They value everyone.

Conservatives do not believe that big government programs are the solution to all problems. In fact, big and massive government can sometimes be part of the problem. Government can, by its very nature, stand between people. A government can give us clemency, but a government can also give us dependence. Only a community and our belonging to it can give us solidarity.

The Prime Minister does not understand the challenges facing our country because he has never had to understand the challenges facing the average Canadian family. Under the current government, Canada has become less united, less prosperous and less respected on the world stage. A large reason is that our Canadian community is being weakened under this Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister likes to preach that we are all in this together, but Canadians have seen time after time with this Prime Minister that this is not true. Millions of Canadians were already left out of the throne speech. They are not, as the Prime Minister likes to say, all there. In fact, they have seen many times that “all in it together” for the current government means the friends and family of the Liberal Party first and regular Canadians second; connected lobbyists for big corporations first and the Attorney General in their own caucus second; the family of the Prime Minister benefiting and the former finance minister arranging a program for the charity that helped the family.

In the middle of a pandemic, the Liberals were helping their friends and connected insiders. In the middle of a pandemic, they were suppressing the ability for Parliament to oversee spending, while they were creating a multi-million-dollar plan to pay volunteers. When I talked about that sense of community earlier that we see in unions, service clubs and faith communities, the great thing about it is the altruism. They do not have to be paid. How novel is that, for the big government and connected insiders party? Canadians are left behind if they are not a Liberal insider with the government.

The Liberals gave a sole-source contract to an MP whose seat was hardly cold because he had just left the seat. They are applying national security exemptions to cover up decisions related to tendering during the pandemic. Think about that: the government is claiming national security grounds so that Canadians will not get to see who got contracts for hospital gowns or N95 masks. Is national security actually at risk or are the Liberal re-election chances at risk?

The Prime Minister has built his electoral success on dividing Canadians, province versus province, industry sector versus industry sector, rural versus urban; friends of the Liberal Party, the Laurier Club, versus everybody else. Now the Prime Minister continues that approach with the throne speech. He has not made Canada stronger or more resilient. He has not shown that we have learned lessons from the first wave of the pandemic, yet he is leaving people out of his vision for building back better.

The Liberals are demonizing Canadians who work in the resource sector or grew up hunting with their family. They are cancelling out people because of a difference of opinion or someone's religious faith. Groups that were doing summer jobs programs and intending to grow a sense of community have been cut off because they were associated with a church, mosque, gurdwara or synagogue. How is that bringing people together?

People may not always get along with their neighbours, but in the winter when someone shovels their neighbour's walk before they get home at the end of the day, they are grateful for them. When someone takes a neighbour's recycling bins in for them, or offers to walk their dog, a sense of community is felt. Rebecca and I have felt that on a daily basis as friends and neighbours have dropped off meals for us. Her best friend, Dawn, dropped off Tim Hortons after ringing the doorbell and driving away.

That is what keeps a country strong. That is what gives people hope on the edge of a second wave, because Canadians know that community means that someone will return the favour if they should get into an entanglement or if they are in lockdown because of COVID-19.

Would not most Canadians help that neighbour, just like ours helped me when I was a little kid and neighbours helped our family this week? Would people not help that neighbour because they worked in the oil patch, or came from Alberta, or Newfoundland and Labrador? Is that what we are starting to see with the approach of choosing who will be a part of building back better?

That appears to be the path that the government is on. It is the vision presented in the throne speech where a person is judged by the job they have or where they live, if they are lucky enough to even have a job after COVID: a Canada where the government decides what jobs people have and what cars they drive, a Canada where millions of Canadians are knowingly left behind and are told the country will be building back better without them.

The Prime Minister attacked me for suggesting that we have national unity challenges. Five years ago, when I was sworn into the Privy Council, the Bloc Québécois was not an official party. There was no such thing as the Wexit movement.

Now there are more members signed up for an email, looking into separation, than there are members of the Liberal Party of Canada. That is the Prime Minister's record. We are going to be holding him to account.

As I said in my first conversation with him, the most important job of a Canadian prime minister is supporting Canadian families and keeping our federation united. What we should do is respect the inherent dignity that goes into working, whether in the forestry sector in western Canada or Quebec, in the oil patch, in manufacturing or aluminum in the Saguenay. When people use their sweat equity and dedication to save for a home or for their children's education, there is a fundamental aspect of their character attached to the nobility of work. They believe they are part of something bigger than themselves. Their vision of work gives them value and dignity that is far greater than a paycheque.

It is time that government thought this way and valued tax dollars, and Canadian workers and the work they do, rather than the sector they are in.

The Liberals always seem to forget this, but the federal government has a key ally in managing this pandemic. This ally is very familiar with what the people need, and it works hard to educate them, care for them and put them to work. I am talking about the provinces.

The Liberals always govern as though power were their birthright. Just ask the Prime Minister. When a party is the country's so-called natural governing party of Canada, it tends to take a confrontational approach to governing instead of a collaborative one.

The Liberals are mistaken. Our country is a confederation, an alliance of the provinces. The provinces have a shared destiny and a shared dream. The Prime Minister of Canada must be the one to bring them together.

As Prime Minister, I will be a partner; I will not be paternalistic. My vision of federalism is a decentralized one that trusts the provinces, that supports resource development in the west and that respects the Quebec nation. These topics are taboo for the Liberals. They are not modern enough for them. This Liberal arrogance needs to stop. The country was not founded by Pierre-Elliott Trudeau. It was founded by John A. Macdonald and Georges-Étienne Cartier.

Canada is not a post-national country without history or identity. Canada is an alliance between two founding peoples, in collaboration with the first nations. The Liberals do not have a monopoly on Canadian identity. They do not have a monopoly on freedom of speech. They certainly do not have a monopoly on national pride.

The Prime Minister likes to use scare tactics when talking about right-wing ideology. He likes to claim that we are intolerant. He does not realize that under his governance, western separatism is now a threat to our country, and the Bloc Québécois has returned in full force, all because of the arrogance of this government.

The time has come for a Prime Minister who will unite Canadians. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided. We have a country to rebuild.

For too many Canadians, the dignity of work has taken a blow with the impacts of COVID-19, particularly on family-owned small businesses. Going back to strong communities, often small businesses, entrepreneurs are at the core of that sense of community.

The music store in downtown Belleville, Ontario, Pinnacle Music Studios, owned by Ken and Janet Harnden, just closed their doors after 25 years. At their peak, they had 600 students taking music lessons every week. Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle would drop by when he was in town. They played a major role in bringing people together through music and community. Their supply chain was devastated by COVID-19 and none of the government's programs worked for a small, family-owned business like theirs. They recently made the tough decision, after a generation, to close.

The legendary Ranchman's Cookhouse & Dancehall in Calgary, synonymous with western culture for half a century, closed its doors due to COVID-19. This month the property is for lease for the first time in its history. Restaurants like Campagnolo and Federico's Supper Club in Vancouver have had to permanently close their doors.

Small businesses that put communities on the map, like Caribou Crossing Trading Post near Carcross, Yukon, have been struggling as COVID-19 has shut down tourism. Generations of guide outfitters across Canada's north, who not only play an important role in the rural economy but are dedicated stewards to the environment and to wildlife populations, have had nothing to fall back on. Others have remortgaged their homes just to keep businesses on main street open. Some have pivoted their businesses to find new ways to help their communities in a crisis, like the entrepreneur who owns Sohma Naturals in Digby Naturals in Digby, Nova Scotia, which switched from making diaper balm to hand sanitizer during the pandemic.

These small businesses are at the heart of strong communities. Canada does not need them to build back better. They do not need the Liberal government in Ottawa to tell them that their contributions have value.

Canada needs to build back stronger and smarter by setting up small businesses for recovery and success post-COVID-19. We need to ensure that more Canadians are not left behind, like they were in the throne speech. Picking winners and losers in the midst of a pandemic, as the Prime Minister seems intent on doing, is a failure of leadership and an abandonment to a commitment to the community of Canada.

Indigenous communities have also been left behind with an Ottawa-knows-best agenda. Indigenous communities have been strengthened by entrepreneurship and small business ownership only to watch opportunities vanish, from catering services to remote mining operations to security and construction. The prosperity of the country, including our resource sector, can be shared by all Canadians, including indigenous-led businesses and families.

Indigenous communities have known more than their share of tragedy. That is why I, like many members here today, wear orange to show support for reconciliation. It is why we asked several questions on the subject today. It is also why I was disappointed to hear the Prime Minister's condescending remarks about how happy he was to hear the Conservatives talking about reconciliation.

Both parties have a bad record when it comes to the indigenous experience, particularly surrounding residential schools. The condescension comes from ignorance. The last prime minister in our lifetime to open residential schools was Pierre Trudeau. Brian Mulroney closed the program, and I was proud that Stephen Harper apologized for it. We have a lot to do on this side, but the Liberals certainly have a lot to do as well. Indigenous Canadians are tired of the photo ops, the hashtags and the inaction on progress.

To Conservatives especially, and to indigenous entrepreneurs, reconciliation means opportunity, means collaboration and means participation in the Canadian economy. Encouraging indigenous businesses, building strong economies in indigenous communities, developing indigenous supply chains and giving indigenous young people brighter futures is part of our commitment to reconciliation.

Indigenous businesses are hiring local workers and reinvesting in their communities, yet they still do not have access to compete for procurement in federal government contracts. This, too, was not addressed in the throne speech. Almost half a trillion dollars has gone out the door, and today my colleague talked about cuts to high-speed connectivity for rural indigenous communities. Is that his priority? It is certainly his record.

We need a serious government, a government that saves for a rainy day, a government that encourages economic growth, a government that fosters peace, order and sound ethical governance. That is what our ancestors always did. That is what the Conservatives want to continue to do and that is what I will do as Prime Minister.

A time of crisis and uncertainty is not the Soham time to conduct social experiments like those set out in the throne speech. It is as though simply ensuring that Canadian families have good jobs is not prestigious enough for this Prime Minister. It is as though hashtags, tweets and impressing the UN are absolutely necessary. It is as though all Canadians have to work for a high-tech company to be happy. Perhaps the Prime Minister needs to meet ordinary people, small business owners who risked everything for their company. I am thinking of La Normandise in Saguenay, a family business that has been around for 30 years and had to close its doors because of the pandemic and poorly designed federal assistance. I am also thinking of Montreal institutions like L'Entrecôte Saint-Jean and Librairie Olivieri, which were hard hit by the uncertainty. Small businesses are fed up with roadblocks, taxes and red tape, but the Liberal government is still cruising down the spending highway.

They even turfed the finance minister because he wanted to avoid a spiralling debt. If the money were at least going to Canadians and not the Liberals' friends at WE, it would not be so bad. Either way, our kids and grandkids will have to pay off that debt, which is quite real. When the Liberals refuse to develop our resources, when they refuse to fight for softwood lumber, when they refuse to stop illegal blockades, they are jeopardizing our social programs. Funding for our hospitals, our universities, our senior’s pensions, the Liberal debt puts all that at risk. It is time for a serious government. The country needs it.

The number one job for the Prime Minister of Canada when representing our country abroad is to stand up for the national interest and our values as a country. We must also foster strong communities with our allies. Putting the national interest first does not mean we have to go alone.

For the last three decades, an uneasy compromise has existed with the engagement of non-market economies and countries that resist democracy and rules-based diplomacy. Our belief, as Conservatives, in free markets and the positive influence of capitalism has fought for equal position with our commitment to international freedom and democracy when it comes to communist China.

As Conservatives, we normally believe that tariffs are bad for consumers. Free trade is supposed to lead to more free nations and greater prosperity as the market allocates economic resources to places that allow for goods to be produced and marketed for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of people.

I still believe in free trade, but I also believe in fair trade where countries follow the rules; free trade among free and democratic nations. I believe in free markets, free trade, even free movement with the U.K., Australia and New Zealand in CANZUK. I also believe that we have to resist the protectionist instincts of our American friends because we do more than $1 billion of business with them every day, because the aluminum in Kitimat and in the Saguenay has been a North American enterprise that helped win the Second World War, because since the 1960s and the Auto Pact, we have had an integrated manufacturing and steel industry in North America. We have to remind our American friends about that. Sadly, we have to remind the Canadian government about that.

I believe we should build new relationships, particularly grow our relationship with India and establish closer economic ties with the democratic regime in Taiwan. The price of market outcomes is too high when it comes to the Communist regime in Beijing. The price for Canadian auto workers, steelworkers and aluminum workers is too high. The price for access to safe and reliable PPE and medical products in a pandemic is too high. The price for Canadian communities and Canadians being left behind is too high.

China has ignored almost all of the conditions under which it entered the WTO. Its interference through its state-owned enterprises would not be tolerated from any other WTO member. For more than a decade, the chief economic exports from China often have been IT infringement, counterfeiting and digital privacy. I saw this first-hand when I worked in the private sector fighting the rise and export of dangerous counterfeit goods from mainland China. All of this is before we even raise the terrible ethnic cleansing of Uighur Muslims, the establishment of a police state in a once free Hong Kong under a one country, two systems agreement, the rapid expansion of its military into the South China Sea, the assertion of China as a near-Arctic nation and the suppression of Christian communities in China.

Let there be no mistake. I am in favour of free trade, but the cost of market outcomes with Beijing is simply becoming too high and the approach of the government is simply out of touch. Do we continue to ignore re-education camps in western China to grow our exports, or do we open new markets, work with our allies and rebalance global trade to show the Communist Party in Beijing that the one thing not for sale is our values? To do this we must help Canadian businesses grow new market opportunities, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and break dependency with China.

We must also show a commitment to free trade alongside the value of freedom. Under the Prime Minister's leadership, Canada has become less united, less prosperous and less respected on the world stage. Tonight, I talked about some of the tens of thousands of Canadians left behind in his throne speech. Our communities are becoming weakened, families are worried and our Confederation is strained.

The Prime Minister is dividing our country between east and west, erasing our history and embarrassing us on the international stage.

Our small businesses are in crisis. After being attacked as tax cheats three years ago, family-owned enterprises were largely left out of the COVID response and now tens of thousands of them are teetering on the edge of insolvency. They do not need to build back better; they need to stay open so the family can survive.

Canadians are tired of being pitted against one another, sector versus sector, rural versus urban, west versus east, because it is really neighbour versus neighbour.

At a time when we need, more than ever, to be united, to work together, to have each other's backs, Canada does not need another slogan or hashtag. It needs a plan. It does not need a poster boy; it needs a handyman. People do not need the cold shoulder of indifference, but the hope that comes from a helping hand that gets them back to work. It needs to build back stronger and the only way that can happen is with a united Canada, where prosperity is shared from our outport communities in Newfoundland, to the Saguenay, to the factory floors in Windsor, to the oil patch of Alberta and the lower mainland of British Columbia. It is a Canada where no Canadian is left behind.

Canada needs someone who will fight for our workers and for people who are proud to work.

Canada needs a leader for all Canadians with a plan for all of Canada, not just the parts where the Liberal government finds its votes. Canada is a great country that was built on the communities that have always had one another's backs without question. That is why so many Canadians feel left out by this prorogation and the WE-scandal-avoiding throne speech. I want all those Canadians, especially those feeling forgotten, those in lineups for rapid tests and those worried about job losses in the second wave of COVID, to know I am proud to lead a strong, united Conservative government in waiting, and my goal in the coming months is that more of these Canadians will see a Conservative looking back at them when they look in the mirror each morning.