Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 27, 2000
WCR Letters to the Editor
Energy price hikes rooted in free trade
Rising energy and electric costs are hitting families square in the pocketbook. In the 1988 free trade election, Mulroney's Conservative government and their corporate supporters made a deal with U.S. corporate interests, which gave unlimited access to Western Canada's natural gas and oil reserves.
Why did Canadians let this happen? It seems most Canadians bought the lie. It was supposed to give Canadians access to cheaper U.S. consumer goods. The real substance of the deal is only now coming to our attention as we turn up our thermostats, pay our hydro bills, and fill up our cars.
It was there in the trade agreement documents that the Mulroney Conservatives signed in 1988. Article 904 under trade in energy, was the trap. Canada is now committed to proportional sharing of our total energy supplies with the U.S., based on their previous 36 months consumption.
The bigger and more numerous the pipelines that are constructed to serve the insatiable U.S. appetite, the further committed we are! Canada cannot impose an export tax on energy goods to discourage shipments to the U.S. unless we apply those same taxes on our own domestic consumption.
We can no longer invoke the pre-1988 National Energy Board 25-year "vital-supply safeguard" to ensure our domestic needs.
Because of Mulroney's trade deal which Jean Chretien reneged on having renegotiated as he promised he would do during his first mandate, Canada's powers as a sovereign nation have been seriously eroded. A 21st century colony comes to mind.
Canada's domestic energy supplies, in spite of us owning the resource, are no longer ours to price or regulate. Our sovereignty over them was traded for an ideological leap of faith!
How can we overcome the negative impact of this reckless agreement? The solution to our dilemma rests in our choosing a democratic government that puts the needs of its electorate first.
A one-time cheque of $300 from the Klein government won't address the need. The City of Medicine Hat owns its own gas wells and its residents benefit from cheaper gas supplies. That may be a solution for us.
Voting is more than a "feel good exercise" of picking the winner. It carries with it an awesome responsibility to our children and future generations. An "x" on the ballot for another ideologically driven "free market party" will bring with it the cold reality of how ruthless the unregulated market can be.
K. Norman Dyck
Article a destructive piece of garbage
As I normally find your paper demonstrates high standards of journalistic integrity, it was with very grave dismay that I read the Nov. 13 column by Charles Moore, entitled "The 'Kristallnacht' of Christianity."
My concerns should be obvious to anyone who has any familiarity with the history of Jewish-Christian relations over the last millennium: to compare anything that contemporary Canadian Christians are experiencing to the Nazi persecution of the Jews is patently absurd and extremely offensive.
As usual, Moore manages to bury the few potentially valid points of his argument beneath an avalanche of ignorance and inflammatory rhetoric. I expect no different of him.
However, when he goes too far - as he clearly has on this occasion - I expect much more from the WCR editorial staff and I hold them accountable for publishing this irresponsible and destructive piece of garbage.
I, therefore, urge the WCR editors to issue an apology for allowing this column to reach print. Rest assured, I will spare no energy in ensuring that the responsible parties are held accountable and that this sort of insensitive obscenity is not repeated in what is usually a very trustworthy Catholic newspaper.
Gary E. Frank
God's commandments ignored
Prime Minister Jean Chretien has forgotten one of God's commandments - Keep holy the Sabbath Day. He could have announced the election on Monday. At least one party leader had the courage to abstain from making comments on Sunday.
During the debate in parliament on the issue of the same sex marriage I heard a comment on radio that Canada was becoming the most immoral country in the world. It was an embarrassment to me to hear such a comment.
I am not surprised. So far all the debates and newspaper articles indicate a glaring omission. There is no assurance from all the politicians that they will protect the honour of the families and the unborn.
Yes, all the other issues are vital to our country, but immorality so prevalent in our society should be dealt with in our country at all levels of our society.
In fact, the immorality has brought all kinds of evils such as disfunctional families, abuse of women and children, abortion, same sex marriages - all contrary to God's laws.
There is truly only one issue in this election that is vital and that is the defeat of the culture of death mentality to be replaced with love thy neighbour as thy self mentality.
We are such a brilliant society that we took God out of school, and put condoms in schools - hence, we solved everything.
When I walk into the polling booth I will use the following formula - WWJD (what would Jesus do). We all know what Jesus would do.
In my humble opinion if we voted according to moral principles most of the politicans would not be elected. To quote Bishop Mahoney - "If a politican is for abortion he is not eligible for your vote."
Lastly, I want to ask this question - "Do you want your vote to keep the abortion law in force?" I don't.
Holding his nose to vote Liberal
Stockwell Day may be against abortion, but he is certainly not pro-life. He supports capital punishment, and the lengthy incarceration of children.
Who can forget the policy of social cleansing implemented against the poor and the disadvantaged of Alberta by him and his mentor Premier Ralph Klein just a few years ago?
Many seniors went to an early grave due to the cutbacks to health care. Day boasted of his cuts to welfare payments ignoring the suffering and hardships brought to children and their families.
The sick, the disabled and the marginalized were given short shrift indeed. He says he doesn't support two-tier medicine, but he is fully behind the Alberta government's Bill 11.
Alliance Party's second in command, Jason Kenny, wants to cut or privatize services in the rest of Canada in order to cut taxes for the wealthy and the big corporations.
Day himself would make aboriginal people on reserves pay taxes while keeping them in a state of social subjugation denying them their right to self government.
It takes a very accommodating conscience to support a political philosophy that is the very antithesis of the Gospel message, especially the preferential option for the poor.
Like the majority of Canadians I will hold my nose and vote Liberal to prevent the Alliance Party from gaining power in this fine and pleasant land. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know .
Abortion not only pro-life issue
Is the Alliance Party with Stockwell Day truly a pro-life party?
People talk about a hidden agenda. I did not know how to express myself until I read a Nov. 10 article by Lorne Gunter in The Edmonton Journal. "Canadians deserve the chance to make it on their own rather than living out their lives as economic wards of the state."
This is what the Alliance Party stands for. You have to be smart, able, healthy, successful. All the others are pushed aside.
When Day was treasurer and delivered his budget, he had something for everyone except for the poor and the people on welfare who live so dismal a life that every month 67 or more parents give up their children to social services because with their income they cannot feed them.
Cutting government jobs and programs to the bone will mean again that people who worked in public services for 20 or so years will lose their jobs and in their advanced age some will not be able to adjust to the new reality or someone may have a child that is not gifted. They will fall through the cracks and be branded worthless bums.
Many people now make wages that cannot sustain a living. We are heading not just for a two-tier health system but for a two-tier society which Day and the Alliance Party will accelerate.
The late Cardinal John O'Connor once stated, "Pro-life means caring for all people from conception to the grave." I believe that Day and his Alliance Party does not fit that pro-life profile.
Food bank lines show our lack of love
If one believes in loving God with your whole heart, mind, and body and loving your neighbour as yourself, the Liberal Party led by Jean Chretien has be favoured over the Alliance Party lead by Stockwell Day.
Day favours an American style health system where the rich obtain medical care and the poor die. Why else would he want a profit-for private health system when a profit for private health system is more expensive? Dividends have to be paid to the shareholders in profit for private heath system.
Since the population is aging, and there is a lot of money going to be spent in the health system, the Alliance supporters see an opportunity to make a lot of money on the backs of the sick. Why did the provincial Conservatives when Day was a member make cuts to the health system so deeply when we are sitting on black gold?
Secondly, Day proposes a flat tax. This will be a tax that will help the wealthy. It is a regressive tax for the hard working middle class. Why does Day want someone making $3,000,000 a year to be in the same tax bracket as someone making $60,000 a year.
Why are our food lines in such a wealthy province increasing? Is this showing love of our neighbour? The provincial Conservative answer to the poor when Day was a member was a one way ticket to British Columbia.
Day says that he is concerned about the environment. What a laugh? Chemical companies are allowed to bury toxic waste in deep wells under Edmonton.
Sooner or later toxic wastes will leach up to the surface. This will place a tax burden on our future generations that have to clean it up. Why did Day not oppose this when he was a member of the provincial government?
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