Tories wrong to eject Fletcher
Re: Riding association to weigh supporting MLA Fletcher (July 6)
The announcement that MLA Steven Fletcher has been kicked out of the Progressive Conservative party caucus is as incomprehensible as the poor excuses offered.
Premier Brian Pallister is quoted: "Every caucus, every community organization, every sports team, every business has rules of conduct for those members. And being in a caucus and being in any organization requires those rules to be followed."
Publish the "rules of conduct," Premier Pallister. We should know what constraints are put on our elected representatives and rest assured that valid beliefs, honestly held, are not stifled. An MLA’s fundamental freedoms and rights, including the freedoms of belief and expression, override any political party rules.
"Caucus membership is not a right. Caucus membership is a privilege. It is extended by your colleagues to you," said Pallister.
A healthy democracy requires allowing for dissenting opinion. The duty of a government is to consider dissenting opinion in all matters coming before the legislature. That is why bills brought to the legislature are formally debated. That is why amendments to proposed bills are considered. We expect our elected representatives to be heard in caucus. If they are not, the principles of elected representation are a sham.
The PCs violated the fundamental principles of justice by not disclosing the reasons for removing Fletcher from caucus and not providing him with an opportunity to defend himself against whatever charges he allegedly faces. That is the hallmark of a tyranny that Manitobans did not vote for when we voted the NDP out of office. Actions have consequences and the enormous power of a large majority government carries with it the responsibility of ensuring that such power is not abused.
Tired of Khadr controversy
Re: Word of Khadr settlement sparks array of emotions (July 5)
Wow, so many people are upset that Omar Khadr may get $10.5 million. How much may have been misdirected in a $200-million football stadium, over $100 million in a non-working post-office-turned-police-station, land for fire stations and on and on? No array of emotions there.
The Americans have always alleged 15 year-old Khadr killed Christopher Speer, although the only certainty is that he was in the area, close by. There is no question Khadr was brainwashed by his father and was likely pushed to fight the Americans, like most child soldiers.
Funny that Conservative MP Michelle Rempel should be so concerned about how much Canadian troops who served and were injured are paid, given that neither she — nor the former Tory government under Stephen Harper — gave a hoot before.
Conservative MP Tony Clement is so concerned about Christopher Speer’s wife and family. I have a suggestion: why doesn’t he contact his buddy John Baird and together repay our government the $45,758,945 they both misdirected from the G8/G20 Legacy Infrastructure Fund he supposedly poured into Clement’s riding of Perry Sound-Muskoka, as per the 2011 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada (Chapter 2). The auditor general was unable to verify how the funds were spent, given there were very few invoices supporting the $45 million. He could then give $10.5 million to Speer’s family.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is also so upset that it created an online petition, deploring the payout. I have a suggestion for those fine fellows, too. Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty, in their 2009 $114-billion bailout of our fine banks, had roughly $69 billion purchased in mortgages by Central Mortgage and Housing Corp. from those fine banks.
I believe the banks never re-purchased the mortgages, which is partly why they and their CEOs are doing so great today. Prove me wrong and do a forensic audit.
If they did not, collect $10.5 million from the five CEOs (current or past) and give it to Speer’s family.
There is so much racism and hypocrisy around this issue, particularly from the Conservative politicians and the taxpayers federation, it makes one ill.
I am very happy with the decision of our federal government to apologize to and compensate Omar Khadr for his suffering and the violations of his Charter rights. For those crying foul about this, I say: shame on you.
This decision is not in favour of Khadr alone, it is a triumph of our democracy and supremacy of the rule of law. Our agencies and institutions need to know that when they violate the rights of a Canadian citizen, there is a price to pay.
Those who complain about the amount of compensation are willfully blind to the facts of this case and have chosen to fan the flames of hate and ignorance at the cost of truth.
Canadians must get educated on how this case was a travesty of justice and the values we as Canadians hold dear. The dictates of our conscience should not be silenced or ignored for political point-scoring and false narrative.
I applaud the federal government for finally doing the right thing and showing the world that Canada is not afraid to admit its mistakes and make amends. Let us celebrate this victory of justice and move on to righting other wrongs — namely, justice for the murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
Not too proud
Your July 6 editorial cartoon is deplorable. These "proud boys" may have been misguided in their thinking and overzealous in the way they chose to express their personal opinions but comparing them to the Klu Klux Klan is a disgrace.
And, by the way, although these young men may have overstepped their right to free speech and peaceful protest, even while off-duty and not in uniform, they do not deserve the disproportionately severe censure from their leaders.
Give people credit
Re: Ruling could cost credit unions millions (July 5)
The federal office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has issued a new federal ruling that credit unions can not use terms such as "bank" or "banking" in describing their services because the superintendent feels that the public may not know they are dealing with a chartered bank and not a credit union. Come on, Charlie Brown; give people a little more credit than that.
The word "banking" is a verb and can be used by anyone. If the superintendent wants to get that technical, the banks deal in "debits" and "credits," but maybe they should be dealing in "pluses" and "minuses" instead — because if I say that the credit union deposited a credit to my account, no one is going to know what the transaction was or the type of institution, either a bank or a credit union, where it happened.
Apparently, this ruling is going to cost the credit unions millions of dollars in changing all their advertisements and materials to comply with the rule, not to mention the millions of taxpayers’ dollars that it probably cost the federal government to research this topic and then to decide on a ruling. Corinne Pohlmann is correct in urging the finance minister to rethink this ruling. Please, Prime Minister Trudeau, spend my tax dollars on more meaningful matters.