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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Freedom is Fading in Canada? A good read.

It wasn't too long ago that the mainstream media in Canada bashed PM Stephen Harper for attacking our freedom. This message was adopted by millions of young Canadians, who could repeat claims such as "Harper is silencing journalists" in any debate on the matter. Headline after headline questioned how our most sacred value could be given up, especially regarding freedom of the press. He's gone, so where are we now? The World Press Freedom Index, which ranked Canada 8th in the world in 2015, now ranks us in 22nd, and we didn't fall because other countries are doing better. The media outlets that had gotten the youth riled up when Harper had us at 8th place ... are now relatively silent. 

In fact the tone from mainstream outlets about freedom, which was apparently the most desirable trait to have in a society has flipped. According to the many media sources, it's now less important to allow in a society and simply "used as a tool to allow hate speech". 
Global News recently put out an article for Canadian citizens on how to "report hate speech". Nothing was written to distinguish it from undesirable speech, unsurprisingly. Suggested actions to report dialogue to police and others to get it censored were described in detail with tricks such as appealing to a large community to ensure a mob works together to silence it. 

Canadians, when polled almost always state that freedom is their strongest and most important value, but
the multi-faceted right is being chipped at from all angles simultaneously at a worrying pace. M103 was a motion which sparked the conversation about being able to criticize or dislike Political Islam. Although only 14% of Canadians supported the motion - Liberals pushed it through. There are other articles that will more thoroughly explain the debate, but I'll give the highlights. The motion contained wording that asked for a "whole of government approach to eliminate islamophobia". The issue is that "islamophobia" according to the definition especially relates to a dislike of political islam, not discrimination against muslims which is already illegal. Liberals responded to criticism with "the motion is about protecting muslim people from discrimination not Islam the ideology from criticism". Conservatives than said "well we are both on the same page about discrimination being wrong, so can we change the wording to more accurately describe your explanation?" to which the Liberals refused for an unknown reason. 

In the case of M103, not only was freedom of speech put under challenge and limitations, but the primary argument from the anti-M103 side was completely ignored. It get's worse though. While M103 was a motion, meaning they were funding a commission which would investigate legally binding laws to enforce their findings, actual laws are already bring passed such as C16. C16 is described by many in the media elite as "protection from discrimination against transgendered people". Mainstream news outlets have described opponents to the bill as bigots who hate transgendered people and want to be able to discriminate against them. The wording of the motion states that “This enactment amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination”. If that was it, and context was not important, there wouldn't be any significant portion of the population against the bill. Context, is everything. In the legal world however, context and related laws are extremely important. 

When C16 was introduced the government website had a link to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, stating that the bill would be interpreted by policy precedence from them. The government has not revoked the claim, although in attempt to mitigate the scandal, the link was taken down. Why was this alarming? The OHRC states "refusing to refer to a person by their preferred pronoun constitutes as a form of harassment". There are unlimited preferred pronouns one may demand to be called. Traditionally titles were voluntarily used such as calling a doctor Dr. X, Canadian law has shifted to legally enforce the use of any pronoun for any reason. Some pronouns which have been demanded to be used by university students are: "jam, xe, ve, zij, and þau (not a b, that's an icelandic symbol þ "

Many argue that a government that increases spending, is one that removes freedom from the citizens. The more the government increases taxes and allows a few elites within itself to decide how to spend the citizens money, that is a control mechanism. Canada has moved towards being a country where a few elites in the government decide what to do with "Canadian money" rather than allowing the citizens to spend their money as they see fit. Criticism has arisen around the new carbon tax which has said unfairly targets low-income Canadians who have to spend a higher % of their income on heating their home, driving to work and buying food at the grocery store. As new taxes remove families ability to chose their own homes and food, the government gains tremendous control over them by supplying their own controlled social housing and food programs. 

Regardless of where you stand on the United States current political situation, it's important to understand why they value their constitution in a global climate that suffered from rulers abusing their powers - and still are. The founding fathers in the United States understood that tyrannical governments would always assume power by controlling speech first, then physical control after. In countless military coup's around the world, radio stations are almost always seized by the new government. After the ability to control communication, the ability to defend oneself is almost always restricted immediately after. The 2nd amendment is second, because it ensured that even if a tyrannical government in the United States controlled speech, they would not be able to take away Americans ability to defend themselves. Nazi Germany did not simply go door-to-door to take Jewish people away to concentration camps. Laws were passed to control the press, while strict gun control measures were imposed. For the record I am not saying that anybody in modern day is comparable with the Nazi Party in Germany, I am simply using the most understood historical guideline of how to control a population, even if the intentions are vastly different. 

Taking away freedom from a population is useless without indoctrination, people debatably crave freedom and as countless revolutions in human history have shown they will join with their families and communities to regain independence. While attacks on families have been historically implemented by the Liberal Party of Canada to take aboriginal youth from their families in order to control the population, no outrageous laws to control the family unit have been suggested ... until now. Ontario has passed Bill 89, which allows the government to access how committed to LGBT parents are, and if the test is failed, kids will be taken into government control. While the government has stated that "gender identity is fluid and contextual" if parents attempt to shape their child's identity against the governments will - the government will enforce their own context ... a foster home. 

If those in power in Canada are actively looking to continue increasing their control over the citizens, it is only reasonable to assume that stricter measures will be employed to take away Canadians ability to protect themselves. Propaganda has started being disseminated among the public in such a way that would imply legislation is on the horizon. A widely distributed study with the headline "One youth shot every day in Ontario" was spread through CBC, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post and others. There are lot's of breakdowns that debunk the propaganda in the article online, but those have significantly smaller reach and don't have access to tax dollars. Here are some of the highlights of instances that intentionally mislead Canadians to stir up emotional responses and a climate for increased government control. 

1. Youth's in the study includes adults aged 24. This is in contrast with Ontario's youth justice system which stops at age 17
2. The definition of "firearms" included paintball guns, airsoft toys, slingshots and BB guns were also included. 
3. "Are shot" is used in the headline but the study is actually about injuries. Needing to get an icepack for a paintball bruise counts. Police shootings are also lumped in. 

With this clearly visible trend of the government amassing power over the citizens, anyone can see that the ability to defend oneself is next on the chopping block, regardless of your political leanings. While new laws to restrict things such as firearms have not yet been released as of June 7th (in the afternoon), since I started researching and writing this article the Liberals have stated they will be looking to bring back a registry for long-gun owners. I'm sure I'll have a lot to say, in the next coming weeks about that, you can follow along on the Narrative Facebook Page if you're interested. 

Although I already chose the title Freedom is Fading in Canada, and I think the alliteration is too good to pass up on, perhaps I was understating the rate or erosion given this new development.
Well written and interesting...
What is disturbing is how many people are silent...