Letters to the editor – February 26, 2015

DISAPPOINTING RULING

On Feb. 6 the Supreme Court of Canada ruling on doctor-assisted suicide was a disappointment.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal government has one year to draw up new legislation, therefore at the present time doctor assisted death is a criminal crime. My belief is that life is created by God and should be respected from conception until natural death.

Since Jan. 28, 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Section 251 of the Criminal Code to legalize abortion of unborn children from conception until the child is born for any reason.

Now it appears the goal is to implement legislation that will allow doctors to get rid of elderly people and people who have mental and physical disabilities. I was taught that doctors were trained to preserve life rather than kill people. I know as people get older and because of their health condition, (they) could experience pain and suffering. In our present society, with modern technology, we have palliative care in-cluding pain management, which would help people receive suitable care to make them more comfortable until their natural death.

Provincial and federal governments should provide more facilities and funding for palliative care across Canada.

I would encourage people to ex-press their concerns by writing a letter, sending emails and phoning their local MLAs and MPs requesting to enact legislation with stringent safeguards and oversights to prevent abuse.

Ted Deneschuk,
President, Parkland Right to Life
Yorkton, Sask.

AG GOOD NEWS

Re: “What A Year,” letter to the editor from Joyce Neufeld (WP Jan. 15)

It is unfortunate that Neufeld is so negative about agriculture at a time when the industry has never been stronger. The new freedom farmers have had to market their grain has opened new doors and opportunities around the world.

Last year’s challenges in grain trans-portation are being addressed, re-cord crops have been taken off and our products are being delivered all over the globe. Buyers know that the Canadian system is one of the best in the world.

All of this translates into prosperity for farmers. They no longer have to depend on someone else to dribble their money out to them or to tell them how much they can sell.

On the cattle side, livestock prices are at top levels and there is a newfound enthusiasm within the industry.

In spite of Neufeld’s gloomy outlook, there is a lot to be thankful for and excited about in the ag industry.

Contrary to Neufeld’s perspective, I am excited to see pastures back in the control of local patrons groups. As always, local people making local decisions will be best for local communities and in this situation local people are quite capable of taking care of it themselves. It gives them control for the future.

We are not sitting still on other issues, either. For example, revamping the Canadian Grain Commission to make it more responsive in today’s agricultural environment is also a positive development that will serve farmers well.

There are many parts of the world that are experiencing difficult and troubling times. Here on the Prairies we are blessed to find good news stories on many fronts, if we take the time to look. I’m delighted that agriculture is one of these.

David Anderson, Conservative MP
Cypress Hills — Grasslands,
Ottawa, Ont.

WHERE ARE THEY?

Traditional Canadian conservative values have been well established in our political culture since there was a Canada.

Those traditional values of respect for authority, traditions and institutions, accountability by way of personal responsibility, living within our means and avoiding intergenerational debt, loyalty to ones community and nation can be part of reducing societal dysfunction if practiced.

By his actions, prime minister Stephen Harper has proved that he is definitely not a traditional Canadian Conservative.

Our established ways of doing things include our Westminster parliamentary system. Canada has the only Westminster Parliament that does not have written rules that limit the powers of the prime minister. Britain, Australia and New Zealand have written rules. Canada only has unwritten conventions — basically, be a gentleman and play fair. Not the Harper style. To be fair, Trudeau and Chretien also took too much power, but not on the scale of Stephen Harper.

We elect a Parliament, not a prime minister and a one-man government. We now have huge omnibus budget bills that get little debate. We have a bloated Prime Minister’s Office with unelected people who actually run the country, giving MPs their talking points in Parliament and tell civil servants what to do.

The Constitution of Canada says that MPs represent their constituencies. Working for political parties is never mentioned because political parties are not mentioned in the Constitution at all.

MPs become messengers from the PMO rather than messengers from their constituents to the PMO.

MPs do not bother to even read the bills that they vote on, receiving their daily voting instructions via pages. Sober first thought, real debate and amendments? No more. Our Speaker tells us it is Question Period, not Answer Period. Government members do not even have to answer Opposition questions if they choose not to do so.

This despite the Commons procedural manual stating that “answers must deal with the subject matter raised and be phrased in language that does not provoke disorder in the House.”

Behind the scenes and in Committees, publicly scrappy MPs used to work together to frame legislation with some degree of collective approval. No more. Now it is strictly what our one-man government wants.

Our Constitution and Charter of Rights and Supreme Court are the only barriers at present to his total control. He knowingly pushes through legislation that will likely be challenged constitutionally and spends large amounts of our money on legal fees to try get his way. Respect for authority?

It has been a Canadian tradition since the time of Conservative prime minister Robert Borden that Canada has a duty to look after its returning military personnel. Now Harper uses our money to argue in court that he does not have such a duty. Respect for traditions and our military?

Accountability was the big Harper slogan in opposition, but once in power we have the most secretive government ever. Parliament has difficulty in finding out how money is being spent. Personal responsibility? Everyone else in the PMO knew about the cheque Nigel Wright wrote to bail out Duffy, but not Harper. Really?

We have the largest national debt in our history and a large ecological debt to future generations thanks to a one-track focus on expanding bitumen extraction while demolishing our environmental laws.

The China-Canada “trade” deal gives state-owned Chinese corporations the power to challenge and be compensated for loss of expectation of profit if any elected level of government enacts laws that will limit their ability to possibly make a profit. Any challenges will be judged by a secret tribunal outside of Canada. We are stuck with this deal for 31 years. Loyalty to Canadian sovereignty?

The excessive partisanship, win by any means and no co-operation with other parties is an American Republican construct, not a traditional Canadian conservative one. Arthur Finkelstein — attack ad, dirty trick and communications guru for the Republicans, has also been an advisor to Stephen Harper even before he was Conservative leader.

Speak up traditional conservatives — wherever you are. Our country needs you.

Mike Bray,
Indian Head, Sask.

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