“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
One of the cardinal rules of business and government is that the failure to act inevitably leads to unexpected consequences and a loss of control. Events take over control and the narrative.
This has never been more evident than in the Trans-Mountain (and Energy East) pipeline fiascos.
Without clear direction from the federal government, towns, provinces and indigenous tribes have all assumed jurisdiction they do not constitutionally enjoy and have mounted legal actions that have resulted in months (growing into years) of delays and tens (growing into hundreds) of millions in costs.
The Courts are gradually sorting out the jurisdictional questions, but that is painfully slow.
In the meantime, our economy takes a hit. Investors shun instability and pipeline and resource construction are neither stable nor predictable. Added to that is the expense of multiple legal battles which all comes from general revenues and leaves less for services that governments are obliged to provide.
Adding to the chaos, the government has introduced environmental law, without due consideration of constitutional jurisdiction or economic impact. The provinces have constitutional jurisdiction over development of non-renewable resources including environmental regulation of that development.
Federal conflict with provinces has never been greater.
Government failure to give more than lip service to indigenous reconciliation, treaty rights, self-governance and other promises and initiatives is appalling.
The rift between the government and indigenous communities has never been greater. The federal government has sole jurisdiction over “Indians and Indian Lands” according to the constitution, but federal efforts to decant its responsibilities for education, health care and welfare to the provinces has resulted in provinces dealing directly with indigenous bands adding to the overall mess that indigenous relations have become.
This government, of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has no plan for maintaining the well-being and quality of life Canada and her residents enjoy.
Chasing boutique issues such as climate change and dictates of world governance, such as the United Nations, is not in our best interests. Plans to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People without consulting with Canadians or indigenous people is not progressive.
It is another failure of our government to govern; to take responsibility for the well-being of the people it is elected to serve.
Political Commentator, Consultant & Strategist