By Frank Touby –
Do you get the feeling they really don’t give a damn about you? Does it seem to you that the labels Left and Right no longer fit the suits who wear them? You’re not hallucinating. There is a misdirection in politics nowadays that has erased those labels in the two major parties.
So if you think Dalton McGuinty is another octave of Mike Harris, you’re right. And so is he: Neocon right. You’re also probably wondering what’s the dif between Iggy and Steve—creepy isn’t it?
While the Harris Tories’ Common Simpleton’s Revolution devastated education, health, welfare, ordinary citizens and Toronto, the McGuinty Grits have continued the Tory downloading of provincial responsibilities onto the city. They also stripped more off health care, failed to competently regulate businesses they’re supposed to regulate (like private trade schools), blew a bundle on “ehealth” and refused to substantially raise the minimum wage for the poorest workers among us. McGuinty also adopted the police- and prosecutor-corrupting Civil Forfeiture provision wrongly approved by the Supreme Court of Canada which lets government confiscate property and money it deems might have been acquired as a proceed of crime. Some liberal! And he conspired with a key villain from the Harris years, Jim Flaherty, to help big business and hurt you badly with the Harmful Sales Tax (HST). Back to that shortly.
The common element in all this is whom these neocons serve: Corporations. Not little dippy ones like Community Bulletin Newspaper Group, Inc., which publishes this paper and its website and couldn’t borrow a cent from a bank unless Paulette or I co-sign with it. We’re talking the big warlords of commerce (most of whom are foreign) who own some Canadian politicians and bureaucrats at various levels, can tap the public purse for your money, pay little in taxes and get laws made to satisfy their greeds, insulate them from lawsuits and liability and force you to buy from them.
One key “law” they got was an 1886 misinterpretation of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that granted corporations the same rights and privileges as “natural persons.” May Heaven protect her, newly appointed U.S. Justice Sonia Sotomayor has questioned the legitimacy of that corrupt abuse by a no-doubt bribed Supreme Court clerk, long dead, that has wreaked the havoc we now endure. Next thing we knew, Canada was and still is treating corporations as if they are real human beings.
(I won’t go into it here, but you can search “corporate personhood” on the Internet and “free trade area of the Americas” to see what the corporate lackies in Ottawa have in store for Canadians if they’re not stopped. Job-killing NAFTA is a good example of the damage to our independent nationhood and prosperity that “free trade” has wrought. They’ve got worse in store for us: the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.)
Now back to the Harmful Sales Tax. Like the original GST, it has begun with a pack of lies. In 1989 when The Rightly Despised Brian Mulroney cursed us with this European tax torture, he and many big-business economists claimed it was a one-time tax hike of 7% and then all would be fine. It was an outright lie anyone who thought about it for a moment could see through. It raised the price of everything by 7% forever, of course. (Until Harper, to his credit, cut 2% off it in a very un-neocon move.)
Canadians were so furious over the hated tax they hounded Prime Minister Mulroney out of office and he left in disgrace before his term expired. Jean Chrétien, the Old Vampire, promised in 1993 to eliminate the tax in yet another GST-inspired big lie. It was a fuel pump for government coffers and Chrétien was later disgraced by spending scandals.
What the Harmful Sales Tax will do in Ontario is hike by 8% the price of many things that ordinary people need and from which they’ve been spared by the soon-to-die provincial sales tax.
You can almost tell by the proponents of the HST that it’s a bad thing for you. When the Board of Trade, the Chamber of Commerce and the Retail Council of Canada applaud a government move, too often it’s not in your favour.
What’s good for Big Business is usually bad for the rest of us. Small businesses will suffer from the HST and they’re the ones who provide 70% of the jobs in this country. You’ll pay more. Most of Big Business get a bye. Anything said contrary to that is a lie. Does it really matter whether McGuinty or Tim Hudak sits in the catbird seat at Queen’s Park? Harrisite Hudak won’t cancel the Harmful Sales Tax. Supposedly it’s a done deal. We need a real progressive leader and there are none in the wings. Poor us.
My birth nation, the U.S., has been turned into a police state by an unconstitutional law the Bush administration dubbed the Patriot Act. George Orwell would have agreed with the label. It lets government strip citizens of their freedoms.
Canada has a version of that police-state act coming down the pike in the form of an Orwellian-named “Consumer Product Safety Act,” Bill C-6 (formerly C-52). It defines nearly everything as a consumer product and gives Health Canada inspectors the power to enter your home on a whim if you have any “consumer product” in it: like drywall or lumber. That is to say, if you have anything in it. The ministry can take your property and either keep it or charge you for its storage. You have to read about it to believe it. Tories and Grits are about to pass it. Internet search “Shawn Buckley,” a constitutional lawyer or “Bill C6” and get ready to tremble.
Both Michael Ignatieff and Harper appear ready to give Canada away to international corporate interests. Harper has already let a general sign a deal with the corporate-run U.S. to permit American troops to enter Canada and use armed force against our citizens. Ignatieff’s first TV campaign ad promoted his international expertise. Are they propelling us toward that one-world government the old right wing warned us against?
There is no more right and left here, it seems. It’s just the corporate warlords, their hopeful lackeys…and us.