Every time I try to move on and leave the political situation in Canada alone Steven Harper and his strong majority government get embroiled in yet another scandalous episode. Even if I chose to ignore him and his party, the province of Quebec has Pauline Marois and her followers do something else so dumb and so senseless that I have to stop what I am doing and look and wonder why it is being allowed to happen by the federal government. It is a vicious cycle of both federal and the Quebec governments gone mad.
The Canadian Confederation of Provinces: I would have to agree with the Separatists, that the confederation of Canada is a joke. I am not only talking about the Separatists of Quebec, but those of Newfoundland and out in western Canada as well, whom all feel that the price of being in a mismanaged, unaccountable, scandal ridden confederation of provinces is sometimes just not worth it. As a citizen of Canada and a resident of Quebec I am always asking myself, what good is the federal government if it is so afraid that the country will be torn apart if it demands that its member provinces follow the laws of Canada that it allows rogue provinces to do what they want when they want and create laws for the sole purpose of defying it? Other than money for the provinces with less natural resources to profit from by way of transfer payments, what real value is their for the governments of the provinces, or the people of the provinces to remain in confederation? I know as a citizen I am always left trying to figure out what law trumps which Quebec’s, or Canada’s and one almost has to get a law degree to try and figure it out. I say try because at the rate the provinces and the federal government are in court to figure out the constitutionality of each others laws and whose jurisdiction certain things fall into it would seem that neither the federal or the provinces are on the same page.
I remember in Montreal when a young man got arrested on a bus for asking for the time in and directions of a bus driver in English, everybody agreed that the guy had a right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms and the Constitution of Canada to ask the question in English and to get an answer in English. The head of the MTC however stated that although this was true that Quebec also had its own charter of rights and it was this charter of rights that must be followed in Quebec. It is like this all over Canada, in some provinces more and in others less, but to some degree in them all leaving all Canadians wasting energy trying to figure out who to listen to and paying taxes to both with the exception of Ontario who only pays one tax.
We have a federal government that over the years has allowed the provinces to claw back so much power in an effort to keep Canada together that it no longer has the power to protect the people of Canada using the Canadian Constitution, or the laws of Canada, within Canada when it comes to the things that really mean anything to real people like (education, health and welfare, infrastructure, language, religious matters, job creation), just to name a few. For this reasons provinces get their money via transfer payments, but this does not mean that the monies are spent where they are supposed to go, as is evident when one looks at the state of most provinces economic state of affairs. they seem to have no money for low-income housing, infrastructure, doctors, teachers, or the elderly and most are deeply in debt due to ineptness or out right mismanagement of the monies, or out-and-out corruption and the federal government says, “We send the monies, but it is up to the provincial government to spend it where it is supposed to go according to its priorities as it see them, in matters of provincial jurisdiction”. I believe that once the federal government started to hand over all of its authority and power to the provinces over the everyday life of Canadians to the provinces that they resided in, the question of Canadian law and the Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms became moot. The words of these Canadian corner stones and the essence of what Canada is became just words from a toothless tiger, without the strength and political might it needs to control rogue provinces and just not worth the effort, or the tax dollars.
I said it earlier and I will say it again, “I live in Quebec and try as I might I never know what law to follow; do I follow the laws of Canada , or the laws of Quebec when they are in conflict? What I know for sure is breaking either will get you in serious trouble, so what is a person to do? It is all very confusing and quite unfair to me and all citizens who want to obey the laws of Canada, or Quebec and keep getting caught up in jurisdictional disputes, between the federal and provincial interpretation of powers. I have to stop and wonder if the provinces are allowed to do whatever they like to their citizens using their provincial charter of rights as a basis of laws that trump the federal law and if the provinces charter of rights is in direct violation of the Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, why are we still bothering to pay taxes to a moot political entity?”
For years now Quebec has being going its own way as far as what laws of Canada it will abide by, what programs it will opt in and out of, to the point of sending their premiere throughout the world misrepresenting Quebec as a sovereign nation within Canada’s borders, trying to set up trade deals and God knows only what else. I am starting to wonder why we bother with confederation of Canada at all? To listen to the Parti Québécois the government of Canada does not have the right to tell it anything and only has the right to send them money. They take transfer payments like they are a willing partner in the confederation of Canada and then use the money not in the best interest of the citizens i.e. education, health care, infrastructure, senior care, or care of the most fragile of the poor, but instead squander funds trying to set up embassies in foreign lands, paying language police, changing English hospitals into French and the latest changing bilingual townships and cities into French only, against the desire of the people both French and English who reside there. Where is the protection that is afforded to all Canadians under the Canada’s charter of rights and freedoms? Where is the Canadian government?
Whether or not I should move to another part of Canada if I do not like what is happening can be argued, but what can also be argued is why should I have to move to get what is afforded to every Canadian under the laws of Canada? I am supposed to be a Canadian citizen residing in Quebec with the protection of the laws of Canada afforded all other Canadians, not a citizen of Quebec residing in Canada subject to the protection of the laws of Quebec as afforded all Quebecers. I would have to say that the Parti Québécois has definitely and most effectively made the Canadian government look like a horses arse. In every way that is important the Quebec government is free to do as it pleases with and to its citizens and since it was declared a distinct society it has done just that to the detriment of the province, to Canada and to its people.
I would be wrong to suggest that it is only the Parti Québécois that has done this to Quebecers, because it is has been every provincial government, no mater the stripe and I would suggest that it has been the fault of the provincial Liberal of Quebec and the federal governments of Canada, both past and present, that are guilty of doing more in terms of creating an environment that has done more for the advancement of the Parti Québécois’ agenda then the Parti Québécois themselves. They have held power in this province for more terms than the Parti Québécois, but have allowed the threats of separation to force them to act contrary to the rights and freedoms when dealing with its residents and citizens of Canada.
I talk of the problems within confederation for Quebec, because I am a Canadian, who happens to reside here and so know what it is that I experience and the toll that this confusion and lack of political will to do something about it by the federal government has on me as a Canadian trying to obey the law of Canada, in a country where what province you live in dictates what the law is rather than the country you live in.