Civil Disobedience the Wildrose Way

For a brief and shining moment we had détente.

The NDP government and the Opposition met in the Legislature, engaged in healthy debate and came together to pass a landmark piece of legislation, Bill 1, which bans union and corporate donations to political parties.

Then Wildrose Opposition Leader Brian Jean unleashed the hounds with a spurious attack on NDP Environment Minister Shannon Phillips.

The Book 

The brouhaha started when the Wildrose stumbled across a book written in 2004 by political activist Mike Hudema. Online bookseller Amazon describes An Action A Day Keeps Global Capitalism Away as a “lively, challenging, and decidedly fun book designed for activists and concerned citizens who want to change the world.”

Environment Minister Phillips

The Book describes 52 actions or tools in the political activist’s toolbox. They range from sidewalk chalking (a favorite of Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi and the Alberta Party), radical cheerleading and fishing in the sewers to occupations and blockades.

None of these actions are new. The Book simply presents them in a way that is “heavy on drama, theatre and media-friendly visuals”.

And guess what. The introduction was co-written by Mike Hudema and Shannon Phillips, then a university student now Alberta’s Environment Minister.

The Wildrose was apoplectic. How dare a government minister counsel someone to break the law?

Before we answer that muddle-headed question, we need a brief refresher on civil disobedience

Civil disobedience

Civil disobedience and ordinary acts of protest have a similar purpose, to demonstrate the injustice or unfairness of a particular law or policy;  however civil disobedience is more serious—it requires an action that breaks the law.

For example, Henry David Thoreau broke the law when he refused to pay taxes to protest against slavery and the Mexican American War. He was imprisoned and much to his chagrin released when well-meaning friends made the payment on his behalf.

Even if we assume that some of the actions described in The Book go beyond lawful protest and are actually acts of civil disobedience, Ms Phillips’ act of co-writing an introduction to a book written by someone else who describes such actions to an unknown reader who may or may not engage in the activity does not appear to constitute the intent necessary to support the criminal offence of “counselling”.

Wildrose supports protests and civil disobedience

Legal niceties aside, it’s disingenuous for the Wildrose to play the outrage card when they support the use of protests and civil disobedience to fight policies and laws that they feel are unfair or unjust.

Mr Strankman MLA

In 2010 the Wildrose welcomed former PC MLA Guy Boutilier with open arms after he’d been ejected from the PC caucus by premier Ed Stelmach for organizing a protest against the PC government’s decision to postpone a long term care facility in Fort McMurray.

In 2002 Wildrose MLA Rick Strankman, then a private citizen, engaged in civil disobedience by taking 757 bushels of wheat across the border in violation of the Customs Act. He refused to pay the fine and was sentenced to 180 days in jail but was released after one week. Mr Strankman was so angry about the whole thing that he seriously considered moving to Brazil.

In 2012 Mr Strankman was pardoned by Stephen Harper who characterized Mr Strankman’s decision to break the law an act of courage for which he and his cohorts were unjustly charged, convicted, fined and imprisoned.

Quit while you’re ahead

NDP House Leader Brian Mason said it was hypocritical for the Wildrose to attack Ms Phillips given that Mr Strankman had deliberately flouted the law.

The Wildrose went ballistic.

Wildrose MLA Nathan Cooper argued that Mr Mason’s reference to Mr Strankman’s offence was irrelevant because it happened in the past, Mr Strankman had been pardoned by “the Prime Minister of this great land” and the law was eventually changed as a result of Mr Strankman’s actions.

Mr Cooper MLA

Mr Cooper ignored the fact that Ms Phillips’ actions also happened in the past and unlike Mr Strankman’s action did not violate the law. He wrongly asserted that the pardon erased Mr Strankman’s offence.  It doesn’t.

Finally–and this is the quit when you’re ahead part–Mr Cooper said that when Mason spoke disrespectfully about Mr Strankman and through him the Prime Minister, Mr Mason was speaking disrespectfully of The Queen “that leads our country” and the Royal Family. What???

To his credit Mason did not dissolve in a fit of laughter. He shut the matter down by saying he respected Mr Strankman, while disagreeing with some of his views, and apologised for the way in which he’d raised the matter.

The conservative view

If we’ve learned anything from the Wildrose’s handling of the Phillips matter (aside from the fact that they have a tenuous grasp of the law) we’ve learned this: Anyone who engages in acts of civil disobedience will be hailed as a hero by the Wildrose if the law they’ve broken offends the free market.

However, anyone who engages in civil disobedience to protest other unjust laws that offend Wildrose sensibilities runs the risk of prosecution.  If convicted they’ll be tossed into prison.

A chilling prospect, borne out in spades by the man the Wildrose describe as the Prime Minister of this great land.  

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18 Responses to Civil Disobedience the Wildrose Way

  1. Julie Ali says:

    Hi Susan,

    Really it gets ridiculous.

    I was present for part of this roasting of the Environment Minister and I felt that the PC-Borg and the Wildrose-Borg are pretty much identical parties. Both are wolves in Snow shoe hare clothing.

    They are shamefully non-productive at the house of corruption. Why waste the time on the job doing character assasin junk like this? Well it is because they think that citizens will still buy into the environmental radical junk that they sprout like dandelions in lawns. It won’t work anymore.

    But before I yap about the two Borg parties let me tell you about the recent presentation of the Elder Advocates who are a really brave group of citizens.

    You already know that I got to go to the house of corruption before the provincial election where I saw Rachel Notley and David Eggen faced with a sea of the Borg-PC. I don’t know how they kept their spirits up when faced with a sea of political nitwits like the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta but they were amazingly cheerful pre-election. Rachel waved to me and Mr. Eggen sent me a note that I lost. They were both kind in the worst moments of my handicapped sister’s life.
    You must understand that this junk of eviction/ banning was entirely solvable by the PCs and the Alberta Health folks. They could have made the problem disappear. But they choose not to. It’s surprising but there you go.

    In any case, I got the house of corruption for that first presentation, and I felt very discouraged by the minute group of opposition faced with the major numbers of the Borg-PC and the decimated Wildrosies.
    But there you go.
    Then the miracle on the prairie happened and everything in politics was reversed. The NDP were now in charge of the house of corruption.

    After the election, I wanted to go to the house of corruption to see the new distribution of the real estate of the house of corruption. I got my wish. Who knows how? Make a wish and it gets granted.
    I got to go with Shauna McHarg and the Elder Advocate to see the changes.

    Shauna McHarg— as you may or may not know— has been put through hell by the folks at AHS.
    Why? I guess because they can put you through hell except they call it going through the proper channels.

    The proper channels was navigated by Shauna McHarg and the final bit of news is that the court orders AHS to provide her with her information but they haven’t done this. Does this mean that AHS is in contempt of court? I don’t know because I am not a lawyer. In any case on April 23, 2015 Justice Belzil of the Court of Queen’s Bench ordered AHS to provide all the records that she had requested on April 8, 2011.
    Can you imagine this Susan?
    She had requested these records on April 8, 2011.
    And she had been forced to go through all the hoops that the folks at Legal Counsel at AHS could devise.
    As far as I can tell these hoops are pretty neat.
    This is the sequence of events as far as I can figure out with reference to information that Shauna McHarg is requesting of AHS with reference to her banning case:

    Shauna McHarg asks for records on April 8, 2011.

    The folks at AHS refuse to give the records.

    Shauna goes to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC); this office issues an order to get the folks at AHS to release the information. This was on November 26, 2013.

    Instead of complying with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner the folks at AHS request a judicial review. They challenge the OIPC order.
    Wow I think, they really must want to keep this information to themselves if they are going to the work of a judicial review. They filed this challenge on January 10, 2014.

    Then instead of going through with this Judicial Review they asked Shauna to sign a form to stop the process on April 16, 2015.
    So that’s curious I tell myself. Why would they go to court and then not go to court?

    Then I think about the timing of the decision not to go to court. They had filed the challenge on January 10, 2014 and they had wanted to end the challenge three months later. They had STALLED giving Shauna the information for three more months with this challenge.

    I think about this. Why would they want to stall giving the information to Shauna? Did they think that she would be scared off by the judicial challenge and finally give up this endless battle? I mean think about this Susan.She had begun this process thinking it would take 30 days to get the information. That is how long it took for my handicapped sister to get the first box of medical information from the Good Samaritan Society.

    Shauna McHarg refused to sign the Discontinuance of Claim form. So this means that AHS canceled their judicial review by themselves. Shauna goes to court and asks for her information. On April 23, 2015 Justice Belzil orders AHS to give her this information by May 7, 2015. What the heck is going to happen now I think?

    AHS still does not give the information.
    Shauna asks politely for this information over and over.

    Shauna has to go again to the court to ask them to ask AHS to follow a court order.

    AHS has not followed the court order. If you don’t get your request to the court about the failures of AHS to obey the court order in 90 days you can just forget about the original order. So the original order by Justice Belzil was on April 23, 2015 and the deadline for Shauna to get to the court and ask the folks there to follow up was by June 23, 2015. The lawyer who was dealing with Shauna went on holidays (they always go on holidays at AHS when they want to delay answering citizens-don’t know why). So Shauna got her request to the court just in time before the expiration of Justice Belzil’s order.
    She just gets that request in on time. Whew!

    Now what happens? I guess that’s up to the courts. In my mind, AHS does not want to release information to Shauna no matter what. Why not? Who knows?
    In my mind, the information Shauna wants is at AHS. All public bodies backup their files. It’s in the database somewhere. Usually the policy is that you back up. I know when I asked Edmonton Public Schools for my e-mails they were able to give all communications. So if AHS is not able to give this information this is very very suspicious in my humble opinion.

    AHS will have to go into its database and looks at all the backups of the information regarding Shauna’s file. I don’t for one minute believe they haven’t got her information. All these pieces of information that are under challenge are supposed to be retained and in any case there are computer backups of all this chatter and the court system needs to order AHS to look through its computer records and find the information that Shauna still has not got.

    So you see how it is at AHS Susan. Citizens are stuck in the AHS web. We are like small flies rolled up in spider silk waiting to be eaten. Who knows what the courts will decide in this flagrant refusal of a public body (AHS) to provide information that they supposedly had for years (since this information is being contested I would assume they would have the information in their possession while the case is current wouldn’t you?)

    But I digress. I went with the Elder Advocates to the house of corruption. Here is the presentation information.

    Ms. Sigurdson presented the Elder Advocates of Alberta at the Legislature on Wednesday June 24, 2015. I got to be there with Ruth Adria, Shauna McHarg and others as noted here:

    http://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files/docs/hansards/han/legislature_29/session_1/20150624_1330_01_han.pdf
    Province of Alberta
    The 29th Legislature
    First Session
    Alberta Hansard
    Wednesday afternoon, June 24, 2015
    Day 7
    The Honourable Robert E. Wanner, Speaker

    Ms Sigurdson: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It’s an honour
    to introduce to you and through you to the members of the
    Assembly the Elder Advocates of Alberta. This group supports
    elderly members of our community. They are actively involved in
    protecting the rights of seniors and fiercely advocate for their
    continued mobility. It is a great honour to have this group repre-
    sented, and I applaud their continued hard work. They are seated in
    the members’ gallery this afternoon, and I ask that they stand as I
    call their names: Jim Savoy, Kerry Modin, Ollie Schultz, Roy
    Avery, Mary Pelech, Julie Ali, Helga Martens, Shauna McHarg,
    Barry Snell, and Ruth Maria Adria. Please give them all the warm
    welcome of this Assembly.

    ***********************************************************
    The Elder Advocates were so encouraging. They are very brave and are good role models for Shauna and myself. I am not very brave but Shauna has a backbone of titanium.

    I heard all the mudslinging to the part where Rachel Notley told the Wildrosies it was mudslinging and then I had to go pick up younger boy from the boiling hot Strathcona High School. I did not get to the last part of the Hansard for the day. But I will look at it over the next week.

    I find the Wildrosies to be a hypocritical bunch. They are no different than the PC-Borg. Instead of doing their jobs helping the rural Albertans they are supposed to represent such as Jessica Ernst and DIana Daunheimer they preach sanctimonious rot that shows us that it was a good thing we did not go Wildrosie and it was a miracle on the prairie that we did not retain the politically corrupt party. All in all it’s very neat. I just loved the fact that the PCs were a tiny group (the Third Party) next to Dr. Swann and Greg Clark. The Wildrosies got too much of the real estate of the house of corruption. But with the sort of childish antics, that they are engaging in now– I can predict that we will be increasing the NDP majority at the next provincial election.

    These Wildrosie folks are pretty odd and I can see that the oddness goes all the way from the top of the political pyramid (Harper’s crew) down to the bottom (Wildrosies). I find it rather strange that Mr. Harper pardons conservative criminals for no good reason that I can determine. It’s not appropriate in my mind for the Harper guy to pardon folks like Mr. Rick Strankman just because it is politically advantageous to do so.

    I think if you break the law you should go to jail and serve the time you need to serve. A pardon in my mind does not remove the fact that the law has been broken. It’s so strange to see that the conservatives can break the law, get a pardon and be considered to be law abiding citizens by the Wildrosies, but when you don’t break the law but simply write an introduction to a book that has views contrary to the conservatives, that this is considered to be a heretical act. What ever next? The lack of thinking ability among the conservatives is astonishing or maybe it is the expedient ability to selectively think that is what is so disturbing.

    In any case, I have rattled on too long. I better stop here.

    Hope you are having a good summer.
    It is scorching in Edmonton.

    Love,
    Julie

    • Julie, thank you for reminding us of the Shauna McHarg case. I googled it and learned that Shauna’s parents both have Alzheimers and are staying at the Covenant Health Long Term Care Centre. Covenant banned Shauna from seeing her father. She hasn’t seen him for over 2 years. She’s only allowed to see her mother for one hour Mondays to Fridays, between 3:00 and 4:00. There are no exceptions for Christmas, Easter, birthdays etc. I found nothing on WHY she’s been banned and the fact that she has to go to court and AHS is bucking legal orders directing them to release documents to her certainly makes you wonder what the heck is going on. This is an appalling situation and I hope the new Health Minister Sarah Hoffman takes steps to fix it because waiting for the courts to sort it out takes far too long.

      You made a very good point when you said the Wildrose should be spending its time on helping landowners like Jessica Ernst and Diana Daunheimer instead of character assassination. If the Wildrose hopes to become a mainstream party it needs to show that it represents all Albertans on all files including environment.

      And finally, I agree with your point that notwithstanding their rhetoric, to this point the Wildrose has not shown itself to be much different from the PCs.

      PS. It’s been terrifically hot here in Calgary. I’m wilting all over the place!

  2. Einar Davison says:

    One wonders how much better Alberta would be if Rick Strankman would have moved to Brazil or those who Wildrose politicians and supporters think the United States is the model of how the world should be –especially if there is a Republican president and the house and senate are in Republican control, if they would just move to the US and share in the “uhmerkan dream”.

    Susan how foolish of you! If a Wildrose commits a crime it isn’t a crime it is their “anointed right by God almighty to be “free”. If anyone else protests or makes a stand that goes against their rules, they are evil, godless, socialist terrorists and they must be “taken down” and punished. I didn’t realize there were two laws one for the right wing and one for everyone else. The right wing can lie, they can, smear and defame, they can spread fear and that can be justified because they love this “great land of ours”.

    Even worse is a Wildrose MLA, who while a student at Carleton University protested to keep Canadian troops IN Afghanistan. Who himself never once thought of joining the Army, picking up a rifle and serving in the line with the brave men and women he wanted to keep in Afghanistan. The same person who as the Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, had no problem with our country spending tax dollars on a war that cost our country 158 lives, billions of dollars and the net effect that when the last “Allied” soldier leaves Afghanistan the country will probably slip back into chaos and this chaos will be managed by the Taliban. Meanwhile in Alberta alone we need the “world class education and a health system that the Wildrose promised in the election but didn’t tell us how they were going to pay for it.

    So why should a little thing like civil disobedience be any different? Maybe we should all become right wing so we don’t have to follow laws, manners of polite society or anything we don’t want to because we are right wing, annointed by God, guardians of freedom and whatever we chose to want to impose upon others. Hopefully by the next election, the rural areas will see how pointless it is to keep voting Wildrose and they will fade back into the fringe party from which they came from. Until that glorious day arrives thank you again Susan for calling them on the hypocrisy that only the Wildrose do so well.

    • Einar, as you point out, the theme of this blog is hypocrisy in all its forms. What I find troubling was how hard it is for Wildrose supporters to understand that.

      I received a tweet saying that there’s a big difference between advocating for civil disobedience and carrying grain across the border. Of course there is. Advocating for civil disobedience was not illegal in 2004 and it isn’t illegal now (BTW I’m not saying that Phillips’ act of co-writing the introduction was advocating for civil disobedience), whereas transporting grain across the border in 2002 was illegal. Mr Strankman knew that and what transpired was a classic example of civil disobedience (break the law, get charged, get convicted, refuse to pay the fine, go to jail, get released and eventually the law gets changed).
      The point Brian Mason made was it was hypocritical for the Wildrose to slam Phillips for co-writing the introduction when their own MLAs engaged in civil disobedience themselves.

      Maybe they’re just dense.

  3. Raj says:

    Will people please stop exaggerating the supposed awesomeness of bill 1? This should have been a slam dunk for the NDP. Campaign finance reform fits with their ideology of balancing the scales in favour of the poor, it is politicly popular, and it benefits them during campaigns at the expense of their opponents. It is the exceedingly rare triple win in politics. Instead the completely flubbed in in not one but two ways. First, they didn’t change the contribution limits, meanings anyone can still donate 30k, many multiple more than most other Canadian jurisdictions. Do people not realize corporations are not some sentient evil entities in and of themselves? They are composed of people–and the higher income executives and the wealthy shareholders can still donate absurd amounts to any party. To make matters worse, they don’t even have to go to that extent–the law a catastrophic loophole that allows corporations and unions to lend to parties.

    • Fair comment Raj. The contribution limits are still much too high and need to be lowered. I believe that this will be addressed in the Special Committee on Ethics and Accountability which was formed on the last day of the session. I’m basing this belief on comments Brian Mason made in the House when he said “…spending limits was one of the things that…deserves careful consideration”. Others included third party advertising and eliminating public spending announcements during elections. The reason he gave for not including these items in Bill 1 was “It was matter of preparing a bill that would be ready for an early session and a short session, so many things were left out ” Hansard, June 16, p 33.

      Bill 1 does allow corporations and unions to lend to parties, however these loans become illegal contributions if they’re not repaid within a specified time. The Justice Minister said the reason Bill 1 addressed loans this way was to ensure loans that were legally granted in the 2015 election didn’t become illegal when Bill 1 as enacted. I hope that the fact that loans become illegal contributions if not promptly repaid will put an end to this practice but the better way to approach the problem would be to ban them outright as you suggest.

  4. Wade Bell says:

    Oh, they are such funny people, those wildrosers.

    • Wade, they are indeed. When Stephen Harper announced the pardons he said these people were not criminals, they were our fellow citizens, citizens who protested injustice and submitting themselves to the consequences which were wrong [ie. conviction under the law], they’re courageous farmers, these Canadians held firm, their courage of conviction never faltered.
      I tried to imagine him saying the same things about other Canadians who engage in civil disobedience–say the people protesting Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline–but I got nothin’.

  5. ema says:

    While attending QP last Thursday, I was struck by the total lack of manners and decorum shown by a couple of the WR members – Jason Nixon and Nathan Cooper, in the brouhaha on the point of order, in support of their beleaguered colleague Rick Strankman. Meanwhile the latter looked liked like ……well, an angry, convicted (though pardoned) criminal, as his colleagues railed on, in his defence. (There are many things that just aren’t captured in Hansard, but this all happened after Brian Jean had exited the floor for the day. I was amazed by the almost constant use of their cellphones by several WR members and their general inattention, even boredom, at times.)

    It’s widely known that that Jason Nixon has his own troublesome issue from earlier this year at AU. Is he hoping that his WR colleagues will support him similarly, should this issue ever erupt??
    https://landing.athabascau.ca/blog/view/1028206/scandal-erupts-in-students-union-su-president-jason-nixon-schemes-to-double-his-own-wages-funded-by-motion-to-terminate-school-newspaper

    Perhaps WR shouldn’t chirp so loudly when they have their own elected members, with less than stellar records, that may come back to haunt them.

  6. ema says:

    I don’t know if this issue was covered in MSM, but here is a later link from the recent AU AGM.
    http://www.voicemagazine.org/articles/featuredisplay.php?ART=10508

  7. Ema, I agree with Kathleen, shocking. The list of transgressions described in The Voice Magazine include eliminating checks and balances by firing the Executive Director, giving oneself an unbudgeted pay raise, and trying to kill The Voice Magazine which coincidentally reported these transgressions. Sounds Harperesque.

  8. GoinFawr says:

    “Finally–and this is the quit when you’re ahead part–Mr Cooper said that when Mason spoke disrespectfully about Mr Strankman and through him the Prime Minister, Mr Mason was speaking disrespectfully of The Queen “that leads our country” and the Royal Family. What???”

    Few things can spoil my Canada Day faster than seeing the Union Jack brazenly waving from the roof of the Alberta legislature… it’s just so, RUDE somehow. But I hope you and yours enjoyed the holiday Susan, and everyone else too, even Strankman.

    “Anyone who engages in acts of civil disobedience will be hailed as a hero by the Wildrose if the law they’ve broken offends the free market.”

    Double standards have a nasty (or ‘tasty’-depends on you POV) habit of turning on those that hold them dear. I like that.

    For what it is worth: Shannon Phillips is one of the nicest people I have had the privilege to meet, and her background gives her the skills for the job. End of.

    • GoinFawr, many of the WR MLAs demanding Shannon Phillips’ head on a plate seem to think anyone who engages in civil disobedience resorts to violence. Stephen Harper perpetuates this misunderstanding in his speech announcing Marketing Freedom Day and the pardons for Strankman and the rest. Harper says they acted courageously by placing themselves “in violation of the law”, then downplays the law breaking bit by saying their acts were purely symbolic, they didn’t riot, break windows, assault anybody, or make “big profits”. By Harper’s definition most, if not all, of the 52 actions described in The Book would be A-OK with him. How’s that for an example of double standards turning on those who hold them dear. Very tasty indeed!

  9. Pingback: Alberta PoliticsChristmas in Wildrose Country: That noise on the roof may not be Santa Claus! It could be the UN, here to steal your turnips! - Alberta Politics

  10. Everywhere, each day a
    ‘Shauna McHarg’ and family grieve for their loved ones.

    Alienation is a rampant phenomenon in Canada. It frequently happens in the youngest sector where infants are plied from a mother’s breast because government has decided that being young, unmarried, impoverished, disabled, or victimized as an individual who was themselves raised by government is sufficient grounds for severing natural ties.

    The people whom this has happened to know the degree of ugly tactics and inequity that can and does arise when tasked with challenging prejudice amongst a powerful group with unlimited time and funds.

    Onlookers who glance headlines wonder at scathing news reports that arise from time to time, but are readily distracted, unaffected and move on… Until stricken too.

    I once approached a family of a youth with Down Syndrome to offer a pamphlet on “Protecting Canadian Children.” The mother took note, swiftly handed the literature back and responded, “We don’t need this. That (apprehension) would never happen to us. Besides, my daughter is 18.” I sadly smiled and assured that she was mistaken. However, I can only be a messenger; I can lead and teach, but only amongst those ready to listen.

    I suspect, in that mother’s case – as is true of a great deal of the public (myself once included) – the notion of government invading a family’s life conjures up a variety of notions: Surely, if the government is involved, there MUST be grounds. Shame, stigma and blame. However, I believe there is also an element of fear: IF what I’m teaching is true, that means that calm, safe atmosphere lived in suddenly bursts. And, that truth is just too damn unbearable to accept; so those individuals prefer to pretend that they’ve not really glanced into monstrous territory.

    Yes, yes that sweet 18-year-old girl that you’ve loved, nurtured and protected her entire life is up for grabs if and when the government decides and your love offers little recourse to preserve relations.

    The dad who speaks for the rights of his child who is bullied in school. The mother who advocates for needed support services for a child with Autism. The mom who calls emergency services for a 6-foot adult son with cognitive impairment who is threatening self-harm. The mom who departs a toxic relationship and takes refuge in a women’s shelter to keep the children from harm. The good daddy who finds himself suddenly alienated from his children due to manipulation upon dissolve of spousal relationship. The parents whose neighbour has a personal vendetta and utilizes child protective services as a means of retaliation. The man who visits his elderly mom in nursing care, notices suspicious bruising and demands answers. They are all Shauna ‘McHarg’s.’

    We are losing our babies, children, youth, loved ones with disability and our elders. There is no crime unless love can be considered one?

    No one, not one single individual is free from potential targeting. I’ve had police officers seek direction having found themselves victims of alienation. Whistleblowers are readily beaten down; where solid politicians who take a stance are turfed. Where renown medical examiners alleging political interference amongst fatality reports are fired. Where 793 child victims with ties to government in one Province alone have perished and no investigation of their “serial-killer” results. Where media concocts skewed reports and untruths to maim character. Where duality in application of Policy and Law results in conviction for the ordinary citizen and blanket immunity for criminal behaviour committed by government employees. Where good people are blindsided. Betrayed by authorities they’ve been raised to depend upon, seek comfort in and justice from.

    Yes, we are all ‘Shauna McHarg’. People directly affected with loved ones and others bearing witness to neighbours in a variety of sectors being victimized is becoming increasingly commonplace, difficult to ignore. I fear we are nearing uprise. When humans lose faith in the integrity of our governing system, historically, lost hope generates desperate response. ‘Shauna McHarg’ is in the company of far too many.

    Sincerely,

    Velvet Martin

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