Another Remembrance Day has come and will quickly be gone. Lest We Forget. But we do forget. Sad because now we need to remember more than ever why so many sacrificed, both the dead and the broken who are still amongst us. They sacrificed to hold the world accountable to what are hopefully higher principles.
It seems easier to understand the reasons for a past war like WW II: fight or be conquered (or stand by idly while others are conquered). We chose to stop regimes intent on destroying those treasured values which made our system work: rule of law, democracy, fundamental freedoms, etc.
Now we have soldiers returning from wars where the enemy is often indistinguishable from those we are trying to rescue in regions of the world which may or may not share common Canadian values. Debates rage and tempers flare as to whether there are “just” wars anymore.
What is irrefutable is that soldiers believe that they are fighting to make others accountable for a failure to treat fellow humans with dignity, respect and/or fundamental human and democratic rights. That’s correct, military members are the ultimate and hopefully last tool of ensuring accountability.
We have often seen the numbers: more than 115,000 Canadian military men and women have died holding others accountable.… Read the rest
Posted by Sean Bruyea on November 13, 2013
When the Conservatives came into power in 2006 on a platform of improving accountability and integrity in Canada, one of the major promises was to protect whistleblowers. As a result, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) came into force. This was an act to protect and encourage whistleblowing. Sadly, after six years, we have to report that little to no progress has been made. Canada still ranks as a Third World country in its legislation. Canada still penalizes and discourages whistleblowing. Canada still appears to value corruption over honesty, integrity and accountability.
The PSDPA established the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (OPSIC), responsible for aiding and protecting whistleblowers who expose corruption. Surprisingly, the first commissioner, Christiane Ouimet, did not find any cases to investigate. In fact, the only valid whistleblowing case found during her term of office involved the commissioner herself, following an investigation into abuses in her office. This was conducted by then auditor general, Sheila Fraser.
After Ouimet’s resignation in disgrace, a superficial paper review found dozens of cases inappropriately rejected. The damage to most of those individuals had been done and the perpetrators had either changed jobs or had time to ensure any evidence no longer existed.… Read the rest
Posted by Allan Cutler on November 4, 2013
The following piece was first published in the Hill Times online on October 31, 2013.
Ottawa is a scary place. It is so frightening that most Canadians avoid thinking about the blood-curdling, or is it blood-boiling, antics of Parliament and its bureaucratic minions. Much are the horrors of Halloween in Ottawa than the mere tricks and treats of Throne Speeches.
A politician’s costume is quite unremarkable. Most look like any of us on the outside. However, on the inside, some politicians have conjured the perfect stereotype: self-centred, lusting for power and holding on to that power whatever the cost. Many seek immortality in the pages of history no matter whom they must destroy or subjugate around them, many often charming or at least attempting to charm the unwary.
Halloween and horror give us a monster with the same traits: vampires. They are well-known for their power over death, and over the living for that matter. What disturbs and assaults our senses is the means to that power-filled end. Vampires in feeding their insatiable hunger, assault the body and soul, vanquishing both. Without compassion, vampires sacrifice the living so they may become undead followers of the fanged fiends, those who protect and preserve the vampire’s immortality.… Read the rest
Posted by Sean Bruyea on October 31, 2013