Talking About Climate Change in the Wake of Disaster

Canada is on fire. Fort McMurray is not the only place, but certainly the highest profile. The Manitoba-Ontario border is also burning, and there are hundreds of smaller fires across the country. My heart goes out to those who have been displaced by this; I can only imagine how difficult it must be, and I’m so glad that so far nobody has been killed (that I know of). For those who have lost everything, or who are living in a state of suspense and uncertainty, hang in there; help is coming from across the country, and while it can’t replace everything you’ve lost, I hope it will help you get through the day to day until you’re in a place where you can find a path forward. Right now your safety and basic needs are your highest priority, and deeper conversations can wait.

For the rest of us, we’ve already waited too long to have frank discussions about the way that anthropogenic climate change contributes to disasters like this. Drought and temperature fluctuations and wildfires are all natural, but these are unlike anything we’ve seen – except in the climate change literature, which suggests that we should have been expecting this sort of thing. Why didn’t we?

We’ve moved beyond the debates of the last decade, about whether or not climate change is even real or whether or not humanity has contributed to it through burning fossil fuels. Sadly, once that debate died down it appears that our attention on that issue died down too. Despite the big deal of the Paris climate conference, climate change was almost entirely absent from the 2015 federal election campaign; without controversy, it apparently isn’t worth talking about. Rather than agreeing that it’s real and doing nothing about it, we should have seen party leaders comparing plans to address it, including plans for disaster relief. We did not, and now governments are scrambling.

Now the issue is thrust back under our noses, but talking about climate change during this time of crisis is deemed insensitive. When Elizabeth May brought it up in Parliament – the one place in the country that should absolutely be taking a systematic approach to the issue rather than merely offering platitudes and prayers for those affected – she was attacked for her insensitivity and lack of tact. CBC’s The 180 asked “How soon is too soon to talk about climate change?” The only way that talking about climate change in the middle of a disaster that clearly has climate as a contributing factor can be construed as insensitive, I would argue, is if we see it as a blame game – that is, Canada has a nasty energy politics that pits Alberta against the rest of the country, and it has distorted our ability to have necessary conversations.

Imagine if a fire in a garment factory that killed hundreds of sweatshop labourers didn’t come with a discussion about workers’ rights. Or if the explosion of a chemical factory in Bhopal that resulted in severe poisoning of the local population for generations didn’t make anyone ask questions about the safety of those chemicals. Or if we didn’t talk about the safety of deepwater drilling during the BP oil spill. Or if we didn’t talk about climate change in the aftermath of a tsunami or hurricane. That would seem crazy, wouldn’t it?

There are some key misunderstandings or perceptions that drive this crazy situation.

First, the idea that oil extraction – and those who make a living from it – in Alberta is somehow more responsible for climate change than the rest of us driving our cars and heating our homes. Yes, they have higher emissions than us because of the energy it takes to extract the oil, but we’re the ones buying it. We are all complicit in climate change, and we will all face its consequences at some point. Some people have expressed a sense of irony or even satisfaction at the idea that climate-change fuelled forest fires might wipe out Canada’s oil industry; that’s grossly inappropriate, and it fuels the false conflict between Alberta and the rest of the country because it makes Albertans defensive.

Second, the idea that Albertans have to defend themselves from the rest of the country. They do not: Canada stands together. This false conflict is fuelled from both sides, and it needs to stop. But what some Albertans have wrong is that they feel that defending themselves and defending their employment is the same thing. It is not. It is possible for all of us to be critical of an oil economy, even if we work within it and profit from it. Albertans may profit from it directly, but we all profit from it indirectly, even as we are the ones burning oil. We who are critical of the oil economy do not stand outside of it to throw stones; rather, we are trying to work within our system to make it more sustainable. We are not anti-jobs, we are working to promote solutions that offer more jobs and less environmental impact. We do not want you to lose your jobs, we want you to have long-term jobs that don’t depend on the global oil price set by other oil producing nations.

Third, the idea that the current wildfires are a single and personal disaster afflicting Alberta. They are not. Instead, they are another symptom of climate change, one part of an ongoing disaster. When we say that it is insensitive to talk about climate change as the cause of the fires because there are still people displaced by them, we neglect the fact that there are people displaced by climate-change fuelled disasters around the world. This is not at all an isolated incident. People around the world suffering from floods and droughts and hurricanes that are escalating in severity and frequency are not afraid to say that this is climate change in action, so why are we holding this particular instance apart? By doing so, we are being insensitive to all who suffer from climate change – that we are somehow separate from the world, and that we do not suffer with them. There is incredible strength in solidarity, and we’re missing out on it by keeping ourselves out of that conversation.

So while the people of Fort McMurray can focus on making sure their day-to-day needs are met, knowing that they have the support of their country, the rest of us should absolutely be having the conversation about climate change. Aside from how we can directly help the victims of current wildfires, we should be talking about how to prevent the next ones – which means taking a hard look at our own consumption, economy, and policies. A lot of Albertans will be starting over after this; let’s start over with them.

On Priorities

I’ve quickly discovered, running as a Green candidate, that the larger parties set the conversation topics around election time. So long as we’re talking about what they’re talking about, we’re part of the national conversation and get a decent amount of press coverage; but if the larger parties get distracted by side issues and partisan rhetoric and we try to steer the conversation toward more important matters, we get dropped form the news cycle because we’re no longer part of the story. The story is whatever the larger parties, and in particular the current ruling party, are doing. Even in my own riding, where I am pleased to be interviewed on a weekly basis, the interviews are often largely asking me to respond to the issues the other parties bring up (though not always – I’ve really appreciated the coverage that The Carillon has been giving to the election campaign).

The way we fit into the media cycle became quite clear to me the other night as I was on my way to meet a supporter and deliver some signs. It was pouring rain and pitch black out, but I took comfort from The Current Review, one of my favourite shows on current events. The host was talking to a panel about healthcare in Canada, and they were hitting on all of our Green policies: pharmacare, home care, palliative care. They could have been reading straight from our platform a lot of the time. But the panel members lamented that no political parties have a vision for this type of thing – nobody is talking about healthcare, they complained. Through the whole episode I was just waiting for someone to mention the Green platform by name, but that mention never came. But there was a flash of hope: the host mentioned that the next day there would be a panel of political candidates! We’d get to point out that we DO have a vision for these things! But alas, my hopes were dashed: “…we’ll have a panel of the three major political parties to talk about healthcare….” Three major parties? Finally the story was about something important, something we’ve said a lot about, and we were denied the chance to comment.

I’m not writing this to say “woe is me,” but in a system of politics that depends largely on simple public recognition, getting mentioned on a national radio show holds a lot of power. The Green Party has the most ambitious and concrete vision for Canada, but that doesn’t matter if nobody hears about it. But to get any mention in the media, we have to be commenting on whatever the larger parties’ leaders are talking about rather than our vision and ideas. We’re left with a choice between promoting important ideas in obscurity, or making headlines talking about sensational issues that have nothing to do with this election, like niqabs.

So knowing that the party leaders of the three largest parties are able to set the media agenda, and through that to decide what Canadians will be talking about and thinking about as they decide who will represent them in Parliament and, ultimately, who will govern the country, I can’t help but wonder: what are the priorities of the other parties?

The biggest expenses our government faces are always healthcare, education, military, and judicial (mostly prisons). At the same time, we’re facing several crises that are either currently exploding or soon will be: climate change, the aging baby boomers, and refugees. All of these expenditures and issues are crucial to the role of the federal government. But what have the three largest political parties been talking about?

  1. The Economy. Everyone is always talking about the economy. When they do, they talk a lot about the number of jobs that have been lost or created, the amount of imports and exports, whether or not the budget is actually balanced, and the Gross Domestic Product and whether or not we’re technically in a recession. All of that is fine and good, except that none of it is particularly important on an aggregate level on a week-to-week basis, or even a year-to-year basis. It doesn’t really matter if the budget is balanced this year, the problem is that it was in severe deficit for the previous eight; it doesn’t really matter how many jobs were created this month, the problem is that overall employment is still too low and the jobs that are being created are largely not as high-paying or meaningful as the ones that were lost; and the government doesn’t actually control these things anyway! The most the government can do to influence the Canadian economy is create incentives and disincentives through taxes or tax breaks, or by setting interest rates, and then wait and see what happens.

So the never-ending conversation about the economy amounts to throwing numbers around and trying to predict things that we can’t control. Meanwhile, the very structure of our economy is about to be challenged by the aging of the workforce and the oncoming retirement of the baby boomers. The viability of our economy is currently being challenged by climate change, and we know that it’s going to get a lot more challenging if we don’t act now. The shift from a carbon-based economy to a clean-energy economy is the biggest economic shift, and therefore the biggest economic opportunity, since the industrial revolution. And the refugee crisis, largely caused by climate change in the first place, also presents us with the economic challenge of settling tens of thousands (or more) people into our nation, and the economic opportunity that increase in population will bring us provided we can integrate them into our economy through recognition of their learning and credentials and ongoing education and professional development to adjust to their new context. But who’s talking about all of that when they talk about the economy? The Green Party is, but when we do so we’re off the narrative, and shut out of the media cycle.

  1. Niqabs. Seriously, this has been the biggest issue of the campaign so far, except maybe for the nebulous talk of the economy. There have been opinion polls that show that the Conservatives and the Bloq Quebecois have gained significant popularity since this issue came up – but it’s an issue that actually only affects two Canadians thus far. Yes, two women in Canada’s history have insisted on the right to wear garments they feel inspired to wear out of respect for their God while they swear a citizenship oath. It’s a baseless issue, but even the question of whether or not it’s an important issue is getting more attention than things that are absolutely important issues – like healthcare, education, climate change, and the necessity of a national seniors strategy.

  2. Whatever the other party is saying. I get that it’s necessary to differentiate yourself from your opponents during an election, and that means being critical of the platforms of the other parties. We all do it, and it serves a function if it’s done well. But the message that’s been most clearly sent in this election isn’t about any particular issue, or about any party’s particular plan; the central message of this election that most people have received (including some of the kids in the public schools I’ve spoken in this week, who can quote the ads verbatim) is that Justin Trudeau is “just not ready”, and that Thomas Mulcair and Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau all seem to hate each other. They do a better job of pulling each other down than they do of informing people of their actual platforms. Props to the Carillon for running a story this week asking high school students what they think about the election; their question was, why all the mud-slinging? Teenagers want to know what the parties stand for, not who they stand against.

And while we’re on the subject of promoting platforms, here’s an interesting fact: in spite of the excessive length of this election campaign (the longest in Canadian history), the Conservatives and NDP waited until yesterday, the first day of advanced polls, to actually release their platforms in full. We’ve had almost ten weeks of campaigning, and they waited until the last week of the campaign to show the nation their full strategy. The Liberals released their full platform a few weeks ago, and the Greens released our platform six weeks ago, fully costed and with an independently reviewed budget, because we believe that the point of an election campaign is to give voters the chance to actually hear what we’re proposing to do for the country and compare that to the strategies of the other parties in order to decide what they think is best. How can we have an informed electorate if the two biggest parties don’t release their plans until the last minute, and continue to lead the media cycle down rabbit trails instead of actually talking about their platforms?

Some of you may have already voted, as the advanced polls opened yesterday. I’ll be going to my advanced poll today. When you make your mark, consider what you know about the parties and their priorities. Are they spending their time informing you about real issues, or incensing you about cultural concerns that you’ll probably never actually have to deal with? Are they planning for the future, or fighting for prominence in the present? The spectacle of it all is like team sports, and many politicians (and voters) treat it that way, but this is not a game. This is our life, our nation, our world, and we need people who can lead us and keep us informed, people with a plan for the present and the future. “Without vision, the people will perish;” so what vision and priorities have the different parties presented you with?

You can see the Green Party platform here, and the full Vision Green policy document (available year round, not just the week before an election) here. Take another look, compare it to the other party platforms, and vote for the vision that inspires you to make your community, nation, and world better. And let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issues and platforms!

Your candidate,

Jeff Wheeldon

Jeff_Background1

On the Possibility of a Nonviolent Nation

Last night Karen Ridd opened up our lecture series with “Swimming Upstream: Being Nonviolent in a Violent World.” Her presentation was by turns enchanting, engaging, challenging, and inspiring. One thing that came up several times, perhaps given that I was hosting the event, is how nonviolence relates to a national stance on ISIS and foreign policy in general. I’ve spent much of today thinking about this. It’s wonderful for individuals to practice nonviolence, but is it possible as a national policy?

Karen talked about the distinction between using nonviolent action and being nonviolent as a way of life (there are many people who would, say, go on strike, without actually committing to nonviolence in any other situation, much less as an ongoing approach to conflict), but in terms of actually executing a nonviolent approach I think it can happen in two ways. First, we can choose to make ourselves weak so that we cannot do any harm; and second, we can maintain our power while exercising restraint. Either can be done by an individual, and either can be done by a nation. Let’s take a look.

My favourite exemplar in regard to most important issues is Jesus, and this case is no different. Jesus made himself “weak” by taking on human flesh in all of its frailty: the God of the universe, eternal spirit, became vulnerable to the elements, hunger, abuse, and even death. He chose weakness in order to empathize and express solidarity with the weak. Vulnerability is a powerful aspect of nonviolent action; Karen’s stories about the effective use of nonviolent direct action were almost all about little old ladies. Nonviolent action tends to rely on exposing injustice, and there is little that is more obviously unjust than violent treatment of the vulnerable. In that way, choosing vulnerability can create a degree of safety while at the same time appealing to the best in our opponents, humanizing them even while we humanize ourselves by exposing our vulnerability.

At the same time, while Jesus became vulnerable he remained incredibly powerful. When he was arrested by an entire detachment of soldiers, Peter pulled out a sword to try to defend him; Jesus not only told Peter to stand down (and healed the soldier Peter had injured), but reminded Peter that he could have called on a legion of angels at any moment. During his arrest, his trial, and even his execution, Jesus retained the power to destroy his enemies, and yet chose to forgive them instead. His concern for the well-being of even his enemies led him to exercise restraint on that power. That’s what made Jesus’ refusal to use violence so powerful: weakness in itself is no virtue, but exercising restraint most certainly is.

So it’s possible for an individual to choose nonviolence either by choosing to be vulnerable or weak, or by exercising careful restraint of the power he or she has. But what about a nation? Is it possible to be nonviolent in either way? Not only is it possible, but there are clear examples of both.

Costa Rica has not had a standing army since 1948. They have a small armed guard probably more similar to the RCMP than to an army, and they contribute to international peacekeeping, but that’s it. As a nation, they have chosen not to have a military. They have made themselves vulnerable. Since then they have not had any war, even civil war, in spite of the revolutions that occurred throughout the region in the 1980s. Some people may write this off as a benefit of being allies with nations like the US and Canada whose military capabilities make up for Costa Rica’s lack, but perhaps that’s part of the point: a nation without a significant armed force must use other foreign policy tools, and making allies with other nations is an important one. If Canada were to reduce our military capabilities we would be less quick to enter into wars and would rely much more on diplomacy and trade to settle our disputes. By making ourselves vulnerable in one way, we could build on other strengths (and frankly, we’ve always been better at diplomacy than at warfare).

The other example is Switzerland. As gun advocates love to point out, nearly everyone in Switzerland has a gun and knows how to use it. This is because military service is mandatory in Switzerland (for males starting at 19). The amazing thing is, even though every single (male) Swiss citizen is (at least in theory) ready to go to war (their military force per capita is the second largest in the world, after the Israeli Defence Forces), they haven’t violently participated in a war in almost 150 years. Even during the World Wars, their participation took the form of economic and nonviolent tactics. They have an international reputation for neutrality, and therefore as a place to meet for discussion rather than battle; and they contribute to peacekeeping efforts around the world. They pose no threat to anyone in spite of their great power, and they present the world with opportunities for nonviolent conflict resolution.

The Green Party’s plan is somewhere between these two models. We would reduce Canada’s military to a functional defensive force, redirecting funding and personnel toward new forces that focus on disaster relief, and restoring our place as one of the main contributors to the UN Peacekeeping forces. As climate change gets worse, environmental issues will spark conflict. Clean water reserves are depleting worldwide as glaciers recede and sea levels rise, for example. Canada’s ability to respond quickly with humanitarian aid and disaster relief will help prevent conflicts from arising in such situations; and our Peacekeepers will help provide security and space for diplomacy to work in situations where conflict does arise. At the same time, our lack of a significant standing army will give credibility to our diplomatic and humanitarian efforts, and nobody will suspect ulterior motives or fear a humanitarian mission may turn into an invasion force.

Our ability to do good in the world and humanize others is our greatest defence. Promoting peace is more powerful than the ability to win wars. Through a combination of deliberate vulnerability and restraint, and a refocusing on meeting the needs of others, Canadian foreign policy can be nonviolent in very significant ways without leaving Canada defenceless. Then we can restore the reputation that I grew up with, our former international renown for promoting peace.

Join us next Friday for our second lecture in the series: “Embracing Diversity: Living an Enriched Life Within Canada’s Borders” with Wendy Peterson!

Your candidate,

Jeff Wheeldon

Jeff_Background1

Credible Threats, Appropriate Responses, and C-51

Today as I was jogging, I listened to a fascinating documentary on CBC’s show Ideas called Conflicted Cities. I highly recommend it. It was originally posted last October, but I found that it spoke directly to Bill C-51, which passed this week.

It talked about the shift in conflict, away from nation-vs.-nation fighting on open battlefields and toward rebels and militias fighting in cities. It looked specifically at the Al-Shabaab attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya in September 2013, and the Lashkar-e-Taiba attacks in Mumbai in 2008, and at how different nations have responded to such threats. Here are some notable points from the documentary, and then I’ll talk about how they relate to C-51.

Conflicted Cities

  1. The shift to cities as battlegrounds is at least partially in response to the ways we’ve changed warfare. For example, we now have radars that can see below foliage, which means that we can target militias hiding out in the forest with drone strikes. Cities are much safer places for them now because of this. Another technology brought up was social media: the Mumbai attackers coordinated their attacks with amazing precision using Twitter.

A point about the shift from national armies to rebel militias and terrorist cells that the documentary didn’t make, but seems clear to me, is that most of the warfare in the past few decades has been in nations that have either a very weak national government, or none at all. This is also largely thanks to us: Western intervention, while done with excellent intentions of saving lives and bringing democracy, has led to many changes in government and the further destabilizing of already unstable regions. In the absence of a central power and army, militias and other armed groups form. Afghanistan is a good example: after the US used Afghanistan to fight a proxy war against Russia in the 1980’s, they more or less left it devastated. The fighters who were trained and supplied by the US, including Osama bin Laden, maintained their militias and organizations, but the lack of centralized power allowed the Taliban to move in. When the US and Canada returned to fight Al Qaeda, we ended up spending a decade fighting the Taliban. The mission lasted so long because pulling out without first installing a government with the power to protect its people would have led to a violent power struggle between various armed groups for control of the region. At the same time, the US invasion of Iraq and subsequent arrest and execution of Saddam Hussein created a power vacuum that led to years of violence between different groups within Iraq, and now to the rise of the Islamic State, which has filled the power vacuum. And now we’ve joined the fight in Iraq. If we are able to defeat ISIS, will the people of Iraq be able to elect a stable government? In any case, it’s no wonder we fight militias and terrorists instead of national armies – the “nations” we’re fighting in aren’t much of nations at all anymore.

  1. There isn’t much that we can do to stop this kind of attack, but we need to feel like we’re doing something. The documentary producer talked about visiting a different shopping mall in Nairobi now, and how entering the mall required having his car and bag searched. He said how hollow it felt, being searched by an guard and knowing that this guard couldn’t actually stop an attack like the one on the Westgate mall in 2013. Those terrorists had planned their attack well, and in spite of the fact that the Westgate mall was already well guarded, four armed men were able to hold it for several hours and kill 62 people, injuring 120 others.

Increasing security in visible ways is usually the first response to incidents like this, whether or not those security increases are useful. Airport security is a prime example: it changes regularly, tightening up suddenly whenever there’s an international incident, and then decreasing slowly over time as people get irritated by the number of restrictions and airports get less and less efficient at moving passengers through. We haven’t been able to bring outside liquids or gels onto a plane except in tiny quantities ever since a bombing plot was discovered in 2006 which would have involved several terrorists smuggling liquid components of a bomb onto a plane separately in order to be combined during the flight. The plot was discovered and no such bomb was ever made, but now the entire world has to squeeze out half a tube of toothpaste before boarding a plane, and for the most part we feel good about it because it looks like we’re taking security very seriously. Unfortunately, many responses to these threats (which are real) do more harm than half a tube of toothpaste.

  1. Over-policing and over-surveillance are not just ineffective, but they can be harmful. The documentary pointed out that the UK, which has the world’s largest closed-circuit security camera system, has found that it doesn’t actually deter or stop crime. It does help them to solve crimes after the fact, but it doesn’t actually keep people safer. At the same time, there’s plenty of evidence that shows that over-surveillance and over-policing results in a general distrust and disrespect for police and government, which may actually increase crime.

The documentary pointed out that some governments are militarizing their police forces, or even calling in the army or national guard to act as police forces, when dealing with militias or organized crime that they can’t control. In the US there’s actually a program in which the US military sells its old equipment to police forces. The ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri is a good example of what happens when a police force is militarized, and it’s not something anyone should try to emulate. Militarized situations can get out of hand quickly, and some governments (Jamaica was mentioned briefly) end up using artillery within their own cities, putting civilians at risk. It’s no wonder that, in this age of warfare, military deaths are extremely low and civilian deaths are extremely high.

  1. We’re pouring billions of dollars into security to deal with terrorist threats in our cities, but climate change is a much bigger threat. The documentary pointed out that most major cities in the world are port cities at risk from the tropical storms and hurricanes that happen more frequently and violently in a warming climate. The devastation of New Orleans in hurricane Katrina, and the damage to New York from Sandy, were minor compared to the effect they would have had in other places with less infrastructure and support and higher populations. If Sandy had hit Malaysia, 20 million people would have been under water. New York is one of the first cities to plan for climate change, with a multi-billion dollar fund; if more governments were to put the money into addressing climate change that we’re currently putting into anti-terrorism security and wars, we could do much to address climate change and protect people around the world from a much larger threat than terrorism could ever be.

C-51

  1. Going back to the first point about the changing nature of war, C-51 comes as a response to the Parliament Hill shooting, which itself was done explicitly in response to the presence of Canadian troops in Muslim countries. Canadian, US, and British troops have been on the ground in Afghanistan, Iraq, and even Pakistan, more or less continually since 2001, and the civilian death toll has been high, particularly in relation to drone strikes and air strikes. C-51 is a response to a threat of our own making, and an attempt to catch up to this new style of warfare that we’ve helped create (against enemies we’ve helped create).

  2. There isn’t much in C-51 that can actually do much to make us safer. Elizabeth May brought this up over and over again. This clip is really worth watching, but I’ll summarize a few points. First, the bill includes a lot about sharing information between government agencies, which is a great idea; but this bill doesn’t actually require that they do so, and the way it’s set up is clumsy. Second, the bill intends to deal with radicalization, but it does so by isolating perceived radicals, which would not enable a community to address radicalization itself (and as Elizabeth May points out, radicalization often happens in prison – C-51 would put more radicals in prison, but has no provision to prevent radicalization that occurs within prisons). Third, this bill claims to require judicial oversight before allowing government agents to violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms(!), but it actually doesn’t.

All of that to say that this bill is all sizzle and no steak. Terrorism is a real and credible threat, so we need to be smart about the ways we try to address it. This bill was rushed through (as usual for this government) in an attempt to look like the government is doing something to protect Canadians.

3.&4 Over-surveillance and over-policing is already having negative effects on Canadians. Remember the G-20 protests, which led to over 1,000 people being arrested and held for a few days without charge, with almost all of them never being charged? Remember the protests at Burnaby Mountain in relation to the Kinder Morgan pipeline planned to run through it, and the police harassment that followed? There are many other examples of ways the government has quashed dissent that were either illegal or nearly so; C-51 would legitimize those actions and others like them, without judicial oversight. A government agent would only need a good hunch that someone was a terrorist – and “terrorist” isn’t very well defined. The definition in the bill includes anyone who participates in civil disobedience in relation to “critical infrastructure”, which includes pipelines or proposed pipeline routes. There are also harsh penalties and expanded powers in relation to “propaganda.” So environmentalists and First Nations bands are effectively being labelled as terrorists because we’re willing to stand up and say that climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism and a bigger priority than corporate profits. In fact, leaked RCMP documents show that environmentalists are already considered terrorists. This undermines the credibility of the government with a significant portion of its citizens, and poses a threat to those citizens who are now able to be spied on, harassed, and stripped of their Charter rights by a government whose ideology they oppose.

Conclusion

Terrorism is a real threat that has changed the world, and we should have legislation in place that allows our law enforcement agencies to work together effectively to deal with it. C-51 is not that legislation. It’s a rushed bill made to look like we’re doing something; it poses a greater threat to Canadians that terrorism itself does; it does little or nothing to make us safer; and it funnels resources and attention away from greater threats. Consider that when you’re voting this Fall: all Conservative and Liberal MPs voted for this bill, in spite of massive public opposition to it. Vote for someone who will inform you about the bill’s strengths and weaknesses and ask you what you think about it.

Your candidate,

Jeff Wheeldon

Jeff Wheeldon