Best to ignore hateful graffiti
During my years as an employee with the City of Penticton, part of my job entailed maintaining public buildings.
We found the best way to deal with racist or obscene graffiti was to get on it and paint over or remove it a.s.a.p.
This seemed to be the most effective response. While calling out incidents of racism and publicly condemning them may seem the way to go, I would suggest that not making a big deal out of it in the press or on social media is more effective.
The people behind these acts are often socially challenged and are not up to the job of redoing their work every day.
Do not give them a forum or publicity, they will fade away.
Justin Trudeau: a desirable husband
Our prime minister must certainly be a most desirable husband — he sure knows how to say sorry!
MPs need to be sent back to work
The House of Commons Finance Committee has been quite effective in its review of the “WE” charity contract and ethical issues related to the Liberal government’s involvement in it.
The committee did a good job of rubbing Justin Trudeau’s nose in his own mess. Questioning was simple and direct, and invited some hard reflection and straight answers which Trudeau was unable to provide. Instead, he chose to fall back on his usual “ends-justify-the-means” rationalizations. Apologies, wide-eyed declarations of lofty intentions and theatrics can’t paper over his repeated ethical shortcomings and arrogant abuse of power.
How many more ethics violations does Trudeau need to rack up before people conclude that he’s crooked and inept? Maybe it doesn’t matter as long as he keeps the COVID-19 payouts flowing. If that’s the case, it says a lot about other people’s ethical judgements as well.
This dog-and-pony show illustrates that we need a fully functioning Parliament to permit the opposition to review and demand accountability from government as events unfold, instead of waiting for after the fact reviews by Parliamentary committees.
It’s been five months since the Liberals, with the connivance of the NDP, suspended the operations of Parliament. Enough is enough; these people need to get back to work and do what they were elected to do. Nobody voted for a dictatorship in the form of a minority government during a time of crisis. We’ve seen the largest amount of government spending in our history with minimal parliamentary oversight.
Our MP believes that this continued short-circuiting of Parliament is acceptable. That’s just wrong.
This summer we’ve seen large-scale protests in support of various social causes. Mob rule and anarchy by activist minorities now appears to have been legitimized as a mechanism for change. The best protection for everyone’s rights and freedoms is a fully functioning elected legislature where government actions can be scrutinized to keep politicians coloring inside the lines. Why aren’t people motivated to protest for this?
The risks of COVID-19 have now abated to the point that we’ve decided to send kids back to school with appropriate precautions. So, why can’t our elected representatives resume full time work too?
Vandalism needs to be condemned
The B.C. border has not been closed by public health authorities. All Canadians including Albertans have the right to travel in B.C. while abiding by local public health protocols without being subject to vandalism and harassment.
B.C. residents who vandalize vehicles of Albertans in B.C. are committing crimes.
Premier John Horgan’s failure to condemn such crimes and harassment by some B.C. residents and his absurd admonishment to Albertans to change their licence plates or use public transit is appalling and irresponsible.
It is a Trump-style dog whistle condoning acts of vandalism and harassment by B.C. residents against Albertans.
Horgan fails to heed the advice of health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, to “be kind, be calm, be safe.”
Horgan and many B.C. residents suffer from the delusion that B.C. is for the exclusive benefit of B.C. residents.
Horgan’s statements reflect a parochial politician risen to the level of his own incompetence and they reflect what is wrong with Canada.
There has been a long standing and ongoing failure of leadership by the prime minister and provincial premiers in finding any national purpose or interest beyond the backyards of provinces.
So long as premiers like Horgan are in office, Canada is no more than a confederation of provincial backyards.
The new economy warrants discussion
Thank you to David Bond for pointing out the salient features of post-Keynesian economics (Herald, Aug. 11).
The most troubling aspect of our new era is that government, almost by necessity, will determine the winners and losers in the private sector… something akin to the fascist regimes of the 1930s and not unlike the indicative planning model used in democratic socialist states. Both these models require strong watchdogs to prevent abuses and extremes.
As for the notion that the state will wither away to pre-contagion conditions, I agree with Bond. To pay off the debts incurred to fight the negative economic effects of COVID-19, economies everywhere will have to grow themselves to the point where these debts become manageable, even when interest rates normalize upwards. (This is, after all, how Canada “paid” its Second World War debt.) We will need further expansion of the money supply and only the government can do that.
Canada, using federal-provincial partnerships, must put in place the conditions for new growth by creating a new wave of immigration so we have the manpower to push growth. Cybernation and automation will simply not be enough.
A caveat: Nations will need to adopt environmentally-responsible programs with incentives for low-carbon innovation and production. The slogan, “Build Back Better,” already heard in the United States, needs to become a new national policy for Canada. We need everybody on board, with only reactionaries and Trumpist wannabees left behind.
I am relieved David Bond opened a dialogue on the New Economy. I invite him to expand on it, and others to chime in. Goodness knows, it is a long-overdue discussion with immense implications.
Richard W. Hall
Canadians want U.S. border closed
There are 13 states that share a border with Canada.
Along our border with the United States of America, as of Aug. 6, there had been 984,795 Americans infected with COVID 19 and 55,231 people in those states have died.
Looking at the same day, Canada had a total of 118,561 COVID-19 cases and our total number of deaths is 8,966.
Do those numbers give you some idea why the United States wants to open the border? Americans know that it’s safer for them to go to Canada than remain at home.
Those numbers are just a total for border states. Lurking in the background are another 37 states with a total of over five million COVID-19 cases, rising by over 50,000 cases a day. If those numbers aren’t enough, the death total in the United States is at 162,804 and rising by over 1,000 deaths a day.
If we ever needed a good reason to keep the Canada-U.S. border closed, this is it. The U.S. has 50 times as many COVID-19 cases as Canada and their death rate is 20 times higher than Canada.
In Canada we have followed the science, practised social distancing and the wearing of face masks. In the United States, they ignored the science, opened businesses while the COVID-19 curve was climbing and listened to witch doctors, charlatans and politicians.
It’s easy to identify charlatans: their unstinting, uncompromising refusal to engage in a serious and charitable way with views other than their own. Their lack of respect for intelligent people and experts, their conspiracy mongering and consistent emotionality and their lack of regard for evidence.
Sound like anyone we know?
The last survey I saw showed that over 70% of Canadians want to keep the border closed, but keeping the border closed isn’t our decision. That decision will be made in Ottawa by politicians, so our job is to let those politicians know that we, the taxpaying citizens of Canada, want the border to remain closed until the U.S. has COVID-19 under control to the same extent that Canada has it under control.
Closed to all Americans except essential services, closed to all traffic except essential services. Closed to all planes, trains, vehicles, boats, bicycles and walking traffic, except essential services. In other words, close the border until we the people say it’s safe to open it. This message has to get to the politicians in Ottawa, because knowing politicians; they will open the border when it suits them, not when it suits the taxpayers of Canada.