The Hon. Rob Nicholson,
Minister of Justice,
Government of CANADA
Over a year ago you responded to an email from me in which I questioned you regarding the Consumer Product Safety Act,
then called Bill C-36, and how it contravened the Rule of Law.
You responded that I "must consider that your rights are subject to interpretation"; this response was upsetting to
me, because this is contrary to everything I was taught in Civics classes regarding who "creates" the laws (Parliament) and
who "interprets" the laws, including the Bill of Rights and our Constitution Act (the Supreme Court of Canada).
No further explanation was forthcoming from you at that time, and now I have a number of questions for you, to which
I would like a direct response: the members of my organization (see below) as well as my many contacts across Canada are most
eager to hear your answers. I trust I will not have to inform them that
you have either failed or declined to respond.
My questions are these:
1. When you said our rights are "subject to interpretation", by whom are
our rights to be interpreted? My understanding was that the Supreme Court has
already interpreted them and there is no expiry date on that interpretation, nor has there been, to my knowledge, an Act of
Parliament requiring such (re-) interpretation, so who is it, exactly, who is interpreting our rights, if not the Supreme
2. Regardless of your answer to (1) above, by what mandate is the original
interpretation of our rights able to be "subject to interpretation", and on whose authority?
3. Does your statement regarding the "reinterpretation" of our rights
have anything to do with "international obligations" such as active trade agreements and/or associations, the WTO, etc.?
4. If your answer to (3) above is in the affirmative, what mandate allows the Government of Canada to put citizens'
rights on a trading table, without their express and informed consent? Of course, if an effort was made to obtain the informed
consent of the Canadian people, and I missed this information, I would certainly appreciate knowing when, how, and where this
information was made public, since it obviously has a meaningful impact on all Canadians.
5. With reference to (4) above, which particular rights of Canadians are
being re-interpreted? And is this re-interpretation connected in any way with "harmonization" to "international standards"
created by the aforementioned "international obligations"? If so, when are you
planning to explain how such harmonization is likely to affect our Canadian standards and allow Canadians the opportunity
to reject such alteration? Surely, Canadians have the right to know, do they
5. Upon noting the vast array of trade agreements which Mr. Harper is
undertaking at present ( See the National Post, April 13th ), and understanding that such agreements are enforceable international
contracts which supercede domestic law, when is your government planning on informing Canadians of exactly how much of our
sovereignty has been given away and is contemplated to be given away under all these agreements?
6. Do you personally feel that Canadians have the right to know when the
very nature of their democracy is being fundamentally changed by their elected "representatives" and that they should be given
a chance to make their own choices in that critical regard? Or do you feel that it is a proper practice to make binding agreements
affecting Canadians, without open and honest consultation with the electorate?
7. Why is your government so secretive regarding the terms and real social,
environmental, and economic costs to Canadians in advance of signing these binding agreements, which are presented as a fait
accompli, and to which we are irrevocably bound? Most particularly, why is your
government so silent on the fact that each signing reduces Canadian sovereignty, and why are Canadians being kept in ignorance
of the facts in this regard? Of particular concern to me is the Comprehensive
Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, which is reputed to affect all levels of government, and of which
Canadians have only the most superficial knowledge (including Members of Parliament).
Mr. Harper's caucus is very quick to claim that such agreements will assure the prosperity of Canadians, yet the records
of existing agreements show that such is not the case. If Canadians had been openly and honestly consulted, there would not
even be a NAFTA, since 74% of us were opposed to it in the first place. Yet your
government continues to assure that all agreements are "in our best interest".
I am reminded of what many consider to be the definition of insanity: doing
the same dumb thing over and over and each time expecting a different, better result.
We have many examples of what hurts us: why is our government repeating the same mistakes?
I would think that as servants of the people of Canada, not their rulers, the first duty of a democratic government
should always be to give the people as much information as possible, in order
to gain their true opinion and thereby represent their wishes in governance. Stephen
Harper and his team have been thus far less than forthcoming on the critical questions listed above, and I now call upon you
to clarify for Canadians where their government stands with reference to the foregoing.
I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience.
National Health Federation of Canada
cc As shown
Requiescat in pace, Jack Layton..
You will be sorely missed around the 'hood you knew so long and so intimately, by all the friends you made here,
and even a bunch of hardy political foes.
Well, Jack, this waltz is over,
But you've left this country a legacy
Indeed, a spiritual sea change of empowerment. Because you said "Don't let them tell you
it can't be done", the nation may
Truly "Rise Up" from its
Slumber and recognize that its voice is a required resource to fund its future with inspiration, courage, and
Only if the people are moved
To rise to their feet will they see the changes they want to see.
The last time I saw you, Jack, we talked about saving Canada's sovereignty, and if there was one thing you left
unfinished, that was it.
But let's hope your caucus, your party and your supporters across the country are willing to stand up, to rise
up, for it will take the spoken word of all Canada to keep our sovereignty, which is our very democracy and our Rule of Law.
I hope that the love you shared with Olivia translates into a determination that has her carrying forward with
your real ideals, the ones you held all your life, but which Ottawa kept from you.... In whatever way she feels to be right.
You inspired the people to take back their true power and their country. BC showed that today
by killing the HST, and people are more inspired to fight in Ontario. May that fire burn bright
now, for it is needed more than ever before in our history.
All that said, Jack, for all the idealism and political praise people are heaping on you, the most important
thing about you was always that you gave a damn about others, like a real friend would, no matter who they were or where they
And so, my friend, your true measure is taken by the outpouring of love and gratitude from a nation that is
different today than how it was last week... Because of you.
God keep you and give you peace.
"For what shall it profit a man,
Should he gain the whole world,
But loses his soul?"