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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED: We need to kick this lot of idealistic nut-bars to the curb and replace them with people who have a spine and a commitment to building a better Canada

The constitution of Canada provides the rules that Canada’s government must follow — both in terms of how the government operates politically, as well as what it can and cannot do to its citizens.

Federal governments have been lying to us for decades.  There are no ‘three levels’ of government in Canada. There are not even two.  Our constitution enumerates a list of subjects and responsibilities for the federal government. It also contains a separate list of subjects under exclusive provincial jurisdiction. The lists are separate, and do not conflict.

If a subject or responsibility is not listed in the constitution it automatically becomes a federal jurisdiction. Residual power under the constitution rests with the federal government.

Cities, municipalities and towns are created by, under jurisdiction of, and granted powers by the provinces. Cities, municipalities and towns do not exist under the constitution. The decision to give local governments authority and powers is a provincial jurisdiction.

Provinces have jurisdiction over resources within their boundaries. They do not have jurisdiction over the environment. The environment is not listed in the constitution and by residual power default is a federal responsibility.

The Mayors of Burnaby, BC and Montreal Quebec have no jurisdiction over the environment and do not have legal power to speak for their provinces. The notion that Burnaby can sue or take to court an inter-provincial pipeline project, which is under federal jurisdiction, is insane. Check the British Columbia Municipal Act and show me where the City of Burnaby has the legal power to sue the federal government.

Our government is lying when it contends that it has to await the outcome of law suits to restart the Trans Mountain project. The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over environmental matters, and over inter-provincial works that benefit one or more provinces and for provincial works that benefit Canada.

If Alberta wants to construct a refinery to turn heavy oil into lighter crude for distribution to the rest of Canada and foreign markets, the federal government can declare it a works of benefit to Canada and take jurisdiction over construction and environmental permits. Done deal, dead simple.

A series of pipelines running from coasts to coast are also under exclusive federal jurisdiction. No one, including First Nations, has the power to stand in the way. Some, but not all aboriginal bands have treaty rights which do not mention pipelines or the environment.

Our transcontinental rail lines and highways run through aboriginal lands. Aboriginals cannot claim that they have not benefitted from existence of those links. Aboriginal bands should be compensated for public works that run through their lands. We have a system of compensation for public works that run through privately held land.  Use it.

Our current federal government is so busy trying to fix the world and combat climate change it does not realize the house should have been painted ten years ago, the back fence has fallen down, and the front yard is an unsightly mess of weeds spreading seeds throughout the neighbourhood.

The federal government must pay attention to the duties and responsibilities it has under our constriction, and quit pretending that it has jurisdiction over provinces. It does not, except in a few matters set out in the constitution.

The regulation of trade and commerce is an exclusive federal jurisdiction. Only the federal government can impose trade barriers such as tariffs. Provincial trade barriers are unconstitutional. All the nonsense we hear over having to negotiate free trade between provinces is another lie. The federal government only has to ask a court to declare provincial trade barriers unconstitutional and the wrangling and political burbling is over.

Our federal government is squandering $ billions on foreign aid, United Nations fees and support, buying votes, and messing around in areas where it has no jurisdiction while it allows its resource furnace to rot away in the dirt.

We need to kick this lot of idealistic nut-bars to the curb and replace them with people who have a spine and a commitment to building a better Canada. We can help fix the world when we have our own operations in order and are not pitted against one another.

Patriotism is not a dirty word. It is what links us as a society and national community.

We are first and last proud Canadians. Proud of our heritage, proud of our accomplishments and proud to be a nation that immigrants’ envy and want to come to. Those who come here to join us and fit in are welcome.

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


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