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Robin Mathews Uncut
Fascism and Contemporary Canada:
Locating The Present Conservative Government Led By Stephen Harper

Fascism & Contemporary Canada. Locating the Present Conservative Government led By Stephen Harper.

Part Eleven. Destroying National Services.
Canada Post And The Grand Plan.

“I believe the whole “Canada Post Crisis” is a fake construction created by the Conservative cabinet and the executive officers of Canada Post with the deliberate intention of destroying a unifying, historical, communitarian institution owned and operated by Canadians. What will Canadians do to save Canada Post?

“Some serious commentators in Canada say Canadians are on the way to losing their democratic political structures because they don’t care and won’t act to preserve them. A better explanation may be that Canadians simply can’t believe the vengeful, brutal, corrosive, full-scale acts of dishonesty and criminality being practiced by the Conservative Government and The Conservative Party of Canada. It may be that Canadians simply can’t get their minds around an organization working to pervert every excellent and humane process and institution won for Canada and Canadians over the last two hundred years. Canadians need to wake up … and to act. Now.”
                                                                                                                                     – Robin Mathews

Destroying National Services. Canada Post And The Grand Plan

To begin, as the Canada Post union has pointed out, Canada Post has seriously misrepresented its present financial condition to suggest it is in much worse shape than it is ... in order to spark violent changes in operation. For the first time – in addition – Canada Post tried to levy a special $5.00 surcharge … on all parcels going to Fort McMurray, Alberta. Canada Post pulled back, on angry reaction to the levy. [The pull-back may have been planned from the start – both the surcharge and pull-back planned as public relations “theatre” to mask other draconian changes, to divert attention from them, and to give the impression that Canadians are listened to in matters of public policy.]

Canada Post has announced the elimination of all door-to-door mail deliveries in Canada– using dubious delivery numbers, according to the union.  And it is raising stamp prices … absurdly. In addition it has announced a program of major labour cuts.

Canadians may be sure that Canada Post has done those things under the direction of the Stephen Harper cabinet or in collusion with the cabinet. In fact, the CUPW (postal workers’ union) website states “it was all hatched in the backrooms of Conservative government offices”. [Go to the CUPW website - www.cupw.ca  - for information you won’t get from the mainstream press and media.]

Chief crystal-ball-gazer declaring Canada Post will lose One Billion Dollars annually until 2020 is the Conference Board of Canada, which also said Canada Post would lose $250 million in 2012.  Instead it made $98 million in that year. (FOOTNOTE: the president of Canada Post sits on the Board of Directors of The Conference Board of Canada which is, to put it modestly, an ardent supporter of neo-liberal, private corporate rule.)

The great historical policy of the Canadian Postal System has been equality of cost and of service.  A letter across town or from Victoria to St. Johns, Newfoundland cost one price.  Timely delivery was assured everywhere in Canada.  Parcel Post cost was governed carefully by distance. Why was Fort McMurray – now getting very bad service – targeted with the insult of a $5.00 surcharge on every parcel sent there? There is every reason why Fort McMurray – concentrating high wages and growing population – should have crackerjack mail efficiency and an active, effective body of postal employees.

One may – without being outrageous or extreme – suggest the bad service is an intentional policy to make Fort McMurray residents angry with the Crown Corporation. One may suggest further that the proposed parcel surcharge, the raise in stamp prices, and the ending of home mail delivery are measures taken to force average Canadians to push for privatized mail service ... or to acquiesce when a Far Right organization like The Fraser Institute (or The Conference Board of Canada) suggests privatization. Fifteen years ago such a suggestion would have been lunatic. Times have changed… The present minister in charge of Canada Post is Lisa Raitt who has demonstrated animosity to unions and to fair labour practices. Using Dirty Power Tactics, as then minister of labour, she attacked fair labour practices in strikes by Air Canada and Canada Post workers, giving patently stupid reasons for destroying fair collective bargaining.

Canadians need to register clearly in their minds that the present Conservative government and the Conservative Party of Canada led by Stephen Harper are not above planning a fake parcel surcharge they can retreat from to make a pretense that they respond to public concern. The Conservative forces in Canada use falsehood, organized fraud, distortion of fact and the truth, and Dirty Power Tactics as matter-of-fact instruments of policy. They plan complicated operations to practice fraud on the Canadian people.

They have, for instance, denied all accusations of Election Fraud in national electoral matters.  But the Conservative Party of Canada has been found guilty of violation in two major cases … and is still being investigated regarding a third – about which the people of Canada have already rendered a judgement of guilty for massive cross-country election fraud.

Mark the point carefully: The Conservative Party of Canada has repeatedly organized frauds on the Canadian people in attempts to violate fair elections and fair electoral practice.

Stephen Harper, himself, is involved, visibly, in falsehood and misrepresentation. He supported the violations in electoral robocalling in Saskatchewan in January 2013. He accepted Nigel Wright’s (Senate Spending Scandal) resignation – which he called a resignation from the PMO, “with great regret”. Then, embarrassed by the Opposition, with facts, Harper
declared he had fired Wright. One of the statements by Stephen Harper is a falsehood. Without question.

But all was well in the Prime Minister’s Office because the only person who knew anything about the $90,000.00 payment made to ‘control’ Senator Mike Duffy was Nigel Wright himself … according to Stephen Harper.  But days later, Harper was forced, by facts, to admit in Parliament that other people in the PMO knew about the payment, not only Nigel Wright. One of Stephen Harper’s statements on that matter is a falsehood.  Without question.

… and so it goes with Stephen Harper and with the Conservative Party of Canada … lies used whenever possible, and even – as is plainly evident – when not at all possible. The avalanche of falsehoods, distortions, and misrepresentations that come from Stephen Harper and The Conservative Party of Canada are a part of a program to destroy the democratic electoral system in Canada and to reconstruct power in the country. The reconstruction is intended to place private corporate power in the actual position of government – resulting in a structure that is commonly described as “fascist”.

The Senate Spending Scandal reveals some of the solidarity of the players in that reconstruction. Canadians have looked on wonderingly as the Bay Street Boy Scout Nigel Wright has submitted himself to attacks, vacillations, and false reports made about him by Stephen Harper.

Why has Wright been so silent?  Promises for the future? Hidden pay-offs? Possibly, since Wright’s severance agreement (for instance) has never been made public. But perhaps we are dealing with something very, very different.  We may be dealing with what I choose to call “fascist loyalty” – a group determination to destroy Canadian democracy and replace it with corporate rule bludgeoned into place by lies, the destruction of national institutions, the erasure of citizen and environmental protections, and an endless attack on free and fair elections. Nigel Wright may simply be staying out of sight and remaining faithful to the vision.

Painted frequently as a person of faultless honour and integrity, of selfless benefaction and public charity, Wright may appear somewhat different to careful examiners. Canadians are hardly aware that (long-time acquaintances) Stephen Harper and Nigel Wright share biographies revealing a worship of Margaret Thatcher and her programs to destroy community solidarity, community sharing, and communal social responsibility. Margaret Thatcher famously rejected the very idea of community, saying there is no such thing. Wright was, apparently, giddily attracted to her in his youth.

Canadians are hardly aware, as well, that Nigel Wright is an early and long-time backer of Stephen Harper to become and remain leader of the Conservative Party. Nigel Wright is one of the founders, moreover, of what may be called the present Conservative Party of Canada.  He “helped found [in 2003] and fundraised for the Conservative Fund of Canada, alongside Sen. Irving Gursten, the chief fundraiser, for years.” [Tonda MacCharles, The Star.com, Jan 13, 2014].  He was seven years on the Board of the Fund with Senator Irving Gurstein. 

What Canadians may forget is that Senator Gurstein was charged in the 2006 Conservative Party of Canada election fraud, called the in-and-out Scandal, involving the lawless disguising and relocation of a huge sum of money through 67 Conservative constituencies.  Charges were later dropped against Gurstein when a plea bargain was reached and the Conservative Party of Canada admitted guilt. Linda McQuaig reports that “Wright is named in court documents” of the in-and-out Scandal.

Very plainly, Nigel Wright didn’t arrive, brushing stardust from his glistering angel feathers, to the top position in the Prime Minister’s Office.  He had “been around” Conservative ways of dealing (and helped create some of them) for a long time, and was close to one of the most dubious men in the Party: Senator Irving Gurstein who most recently, as Chair of a Senate Committee, ruled “out of order” a motion concerning his own activities.

The picture is clear.  The Canadian postal service – for the Conservative Party of Canada and the Conservative government – is not a public service devoted to fairness, service, and equality of treatment.  It is nothing more nor less than an enterprise through which private corporate actors can exploit workers and abuse Canadians on the way to creating a gigantic profit-making enterprise for a very few.

As with the destruction of (Crown Corporation) BC Rail in British Columbia, the pattern of destruction of Canada Post is becoming clear.
[Remember, when BC Rail-destroyer premier Gordon Campbell had to leave the premiership (and had an approval rating of about 9%), Stephen Harper stepped in, whisked him out of B.C. and appointed him to the position of Canadian High Commissioner in London. Friends.]

The process of BC Rail destruction undertaken when Gordon Campbell was premier and Christy Clark was deputy premier of British Columbia slowly became clear during the later four-year long BC Rail Scandal pre-trial and trial. A program of destruction had been undertaken: (1) BC Rail profitability was falsified and/or misrepresented; (2) BC Rail was made unpopular by cutting attractive services; (3) Profitable operations were carefully extinguished or sold off; (4) Consistent propaganda reported BC Rail a steadily failing operation; (5) Corporate forces and cabinet power united to work openly and covertly for its destruction.

Few in Canada – even in British Columbia – know that one of the early advocates of BC Rail-wrecking was Paul Tellier, head of CNR, who privatized it and saw its headquarters move, in fact, to Texas from where it has (miraculously!!) become a very profitable railway.

Doubtless a privatized Canada Post would soon prove highly profitable to its corporate owners – as postal workers would become pauperized and postal services would become a luxury except for those in Canada willing or forced to pay extravagantly for a (former) “public service”.

Already Canada Post has presented highly dubious financial accounting.  Already it has offended Canadians across the country by attempting a unilateral surcharge on parcels sent to Fort McMurray – on top of mounting an inadequate postal service in that city. Already it has threatened the employees of Canada Post by announcing a huge cut to employment. Already it has announced the end of door-to-door mail delivery and an outrageous rise in mailing costs ….

I believe the whole “Canada Post Crisis” is a fake construction created by the Conservative cabinet and the executive officers of Canada Post with the deliberate intention of destroying a unifying, historical, communitarian institution owned and operated by Canadians. What will Canadians do to save Canada Post?

Some serious commentators in Canada say Canadians are on the way to losing their democratic political structures because they don’t care and won’t act to preserve them. A better explanation may be that Canadians simply can’t believe the vengeful, brutal, corrosive, full-scale acts of dishonesty and criminality being practiced by the Conservative Government and the Conservative Party of Canada. It may be that Canadians simply can’t get their minds around an organization working to pervert every excellent and humane process and institution won for Canada and Canadians over the last two hundred years. Canadians need to wake up … and to act. Now.

That may be difficult (though all the more necessary) since no federal Opposition Party will, so far, face the truth of the new fascism in Canada. All – all of them go on pretending they are facing a “normal” ruling government and Party operating in a “normal” democracy and in an unchanged, democratic House of Commons. If the Opposition parties won’t wake up, Canadians will have to by-pass them with strong public action to remove what they will more and more see as a band of criminals presently in power.

                                        Robin Mathews, Vancouver

Send On. Share. Publish. Reply.

FOOTNOTE:
*
CUPW website: www.cupw.ca where you can send the following Letter to Members of Parliament:

Dear Member of Parliament,

I want to let you know I am upset the Conservative government approved Canada Post’s plan to end door-to-door mail delivery and drastically increase stamp prices.

This decision will have a serious impact on me, my family, friends and community. It will also hurt people with disabilities and seniors.

I believe Canada Post could preserve public postal service and improve its financial position by expanding parcel delivery and adding lucrative banking and financial services.

I value my public postal service. Tell Canada Post to scrap their plan. Please save Canada Post.

Letter will be sent to:
·           Your MP: (automatically based on your address)
·           Lisa Raitt, Minister responsible for Canada Post
·           Olivia Chow, NDP Postal Critic
·           David McGuinty, Liberal Postal Critic
·           André Bellavance, Bloc Postal Critic
·           Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party
·           Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President


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QUOTES

"The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their "vital interests" are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the 'sanctity' of human life, or the 'conscience' of the civilized world." - James Baldwin, Source: page 489 of COLLECTED ESSAYS (1998), from chapter one of "The Devil Finds Work" (orig. pub. 1976)

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