IT’S TIME TO ACT and TAKE BACK CONTROL OF OUR LIVES. This is what most thinking Canadians want to do.
Take back control of our lives. We search for ways to rescue ourselves from political forces that serve only the interests of the banks and corporate businesses.
The older of us with good memories recall the 1940s , 1950s ,1960s as the time when a jobless economy was followed by full employment, followed by benefits for returning veterans, universal health care, family allowances and major public works (a seaway and the Trans-Canada hwy). Inflation was of little concern, and the nation’s debts were easily managed.
Those of us who have studied the reasons for the prosperity during those thirty years understand the wisdom of borrowing from our own bank – the Bank of Canada–so that the money created gets spent into the economy and any interest charged is returned to the federal treasury. Otherwise, the government runs deficits, borrows from the chartered banks and pays the going rate of interest. Each year’s deficit gets added to the nation’s debt and the compound interest becomes an ever larger portion of the annual budget.
Since the mid 1970s, our federal governments have failed to operate in our interest. They have allowed banks to de-regulate — removing most restrictions on required reserves, interest charges and term limits. Joining the G7 included abiding by the stricture of the Bank for International Settlements forbidding the borrowing from our own central bank. The consequences? Runaway inflation in the late ” 70s, interest @20%, globalizing our economy and handing over control of our nation’s resources and businesses to global powerhouses that corrupt national governments and ensure that only THEIR interests are served. Canada’s debt stands now at nearly $600 Billion. We pay $160 Million every day in unnecessary interest (since 1974 – over ONE $Trillion!).
So, what’s to be done? Who-How-Where and When can we force the changes that will benefit every Canadian? Please don’t suggest that we work to change this political party two years hence. Before then, omnibus legislation will have destroyed opportunities for real change. Disastrous unfair global trade agreements will remove any recourse. Our environment will be sacrificed and dissent will be further criminalized. The captive media will offer “Orwellian” propaganda.
Instead, let’s ACT.
Let’s gather on Parliament Hill June 1st with our posters, placards and pitchforks. That’s the first day for the new governor of the Bank of Canada. We can tell him what we expect of him. Paul Hellyer has notified our Minister of Finance of our demands. Ann Emmett –representing us all in the lawsuit against the government for not using our bank will be there.
Questions about Canada’s financial future: Are we dreaming of sovereignty? Or just dreaming?
Some Canadians have very strong feelings about our sovereign right – the right to make our own decisions in our own interest. The elderly gentleman sitting in the gallery of the federal courtroom in Toronto certainly does.
Bill Krehm and the monetary reform organization he helped form five decades ago (COMER) are suing the government for not borrowing from our publicly-owned bank – the Bank of Canada.
Every Minister of Finance since 1974 has avoided doing what their predecessors did so well. From 1940 to 1970 we could expect our finance minister to instruct the Bank of Canada governor to create the necessary money to end the 1930′s decade of hopeless unemployment. The money created was spent into the economy — it funded the war, then provided educational and business benefits for returning veterans, allowances for children, pensions for elders, ensured healthcare for everyone. Transportation infrastructure pulled the country together by building the Great Lakes seaway and a highway across Canada.
A productive, healthy, prosperous nation without serious inflation, with an easily managed debt load.
What went wrong?
- Canada’s chartered banks were released from the lending restrictions that prevailed through the 1960′s: maxima 4 year terms, 6 % interest. Reserve requirements were later removed as well.
- By adding a section (s18-m) to the Bank of Canada Act operational control of our central bank was turned over to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), a private central bank owned by the private banks of Europe and Great Britain. Deposits from those banks, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank would bear interest, and the reserve requirements of the BIS were to be respected without fail.
- Only a tiny fraction of Canada’s money supply would be created by our central bank. Almost all new money was via borrowing from the private banking system, domestic and foreign, at interest.
The resulting annual deficit has meant an increase in the national debt that was charged the going rate of interest and compounded year after year, often at double digit rates. Thus, Canada’s debt of about $20 Billion in 1974 became $600 Billion, while the unnecessary interest paid exceeded a Trillion dollars.
Are Bill Krehm and his associates just dreaming when they talk about the country taking back control of our monetary system? Perhaps. The government’s response to the lawsuit is both standard and predictable: Delay, deny, argue status, argue jurisdiction. Bill was 100 years old in November so he won’t live to see success for his five decades of valiant effort, even if this judge’s decision is favourable.
Or perhaps his associates’ dream will become reality. Maybe the youngest activist in the crowded courtroom (Patrick, aged 19) will rally his generation to stop the takeover and takeaway of our country. Patrick is aware of the COMER and occupyourbank, and more sites appear monthly.
Social media will assist communication. Over 3 million Youtube readers listened to Victoria Grant’s diagnosis and prescription 20 months ago (she was 12 then). At the Public Banking Conference in Philadelphia her 6 minute speech simply said: “If our government needs to borrow money, they should borrow interest-free from our own bank.”
Quoting Canada’s 10th prime minister in 1938 will help as well:
“Once a nation parts with control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes that nation’s laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. Until the control of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and democracy is idle and futile.”
My own dreams of sovereignty for Canada? Recurring nightmares!
When I recall how important it was in the 1950′s that my aging parents had a pension to replace their steady struggle of 30 years of subsistence farming, how family allowances helped my young family, and how medical costs were always affordable, I accuse the subsequent governments of betrayal of the public interest — at every turn.
Policies and practices established and maintained for the last 3 decades have destroyed the future I want my offspring to share with their fellow Canadians. Public goods and services have been underfunded or privatized. Our work force has been undermined by unfair trade agreements. Globalization has meant ‘gobble-my-nation’.
Bailing out banks has meant robbing the taxpayers. Bail-ins (as in the June budget and the CETA and TPP agreements) will mean robbing the depositors. (Our Finance Minister doesn’t recognize them as taxpayers.)
No recourse will be possible from either the judiciary or legislature.
I fear for Canada’s financial future.
What I learned when I ran for Parliament
Maybe I did know some of this ahead of time, but much was “in my face” without any reflection time before having to act. A couple of “upfront” things that really helped my campaign:
…I took Catherine’s corny suggestion about CAPers wearing thinking caps and ordered dozens of “Thinking cAp”s to distribute. I wore one most of the January campaign. I’d advise voters that this election was the most important to date. They had to put on their own thinking cap and not just vote like their ancestors.
….Having been born and “raised” in the riding, and having returned to build a retirement cottage here, served to authenticate me. My family name was known, at least in the local area.
….And sporting my long silver hairdo in the leaflets I sent out made me easily distinguishable as a “Willie-Nelson” look-alike, though no one asked me to play a guitar or sing.
ACT is a multi-meaning word, as is ACTION. Since I was determined to run a reasonably civil campaign, I seldom referred to the other parties as “the INaction parties”. The “thinking” voters knew what I was referring to when I criticized the major media’s presentation of the campaign as an exhausting run between TWEEDLEDUMB and TWEEDLEDUMBER.
I did recognize that I was wrong to expect anyone to vote for (or against) some one or something they were not sure they fully understood. And since the dumb things that were/are happening called for a careful, thoughtful consideration ON THE PART OF THE ELECTORATE, I saw my efforts as a candidate primarily as those of someone from the “ed biz”.
I didn’t expect much help from the major media (identified as an Ottawa paper, a Kingston paper, and CBC/CTV), and I was right about that. On Election Night, Peter Mansbridge searched his mind fruitlessly when trying to name more than 5 of the 15 parties with registered candidates.
Just listing what I was MAD as HELL about served me well in getting attention. But it was insufficient to (a) communicate the necessary detailed explanations; (b) verify the information and allow for a give-and-take discussion; (c) convince some one who had yet to consider the importance of changing the course of past events. What could I do about this? In 20 days? “Not a snowball’s chance,” proclaimed the first guy I talked to about the election and the party I was running for. All I could say was,”This is a winter election, and I can make snowballs with the best of them!”
The most I could figure to do was:
- Meet the deadlines for qualifying as a candidate.
- Study the riding. It consists of 3 large counties with only 6 places big enough to need a map in order to find a second street. More rural than rural for most of the 87,000 qualified voters. What issues are at the forefront of those foreheads? How could I bridge to them — in words?
- Plan a campaign. (That’s after persuading a friend to be my the essential official agent and finding a local accountant to be the required auditor, getting endorsed by CAP so the party name was on the ballot, and getting 125 names and addresses and signatures of qualified electors who didn’t object to my becoming a candidate, i.e., would nominate me.)
- Money to fund my efforts? Not from a party that got less than 2% of the total vote in the previous election! I learn that I have to deposit a $1000 retainer with Elections Canada (to ensure that my agent, auditor, and I get the necessary paper work done in time!). I note that there’s a maximum I can spend — nearly $1 per qualified voter. I realize that the incumbent won’t even need to spend that much of his party’s money, let alone his own. He won’t need to contribute much more than his presence at the all-candidates forums, an occasional interview, and a few handshakes and baby kisses. (And when his votes are counted, his party will receive $1.79 per vote each year until the next election. His 30,000 votes will bring his party $54,000 @ year.)
Here’s what I decide to do:
Make a website. That will help communicate with a curious voter who has a computer and has yet to make up his/her mind. (But there wasn’t time to adequately fill the space, so it only contains my leaflets plus a link to CAP.)
Do a flyer. The only possible way to reach those farflung, cynical, disinterested voters and non-voters (29,000 in the last election) is to write a leaflet I can mail to everyone via Canada Post.
I decide to do that. Well, I try. There are hitches and glitches to be encountered — Staples using the wrong paper for my leaflet, Can Post changing their rates, postal agents who hope if they give you enough problem you’ll give up and quit bothering them.
After getting feedback via phone calls and emails from constituents, I realize I even need to do a second leaflet, one which builds bridges to the vital issues in this particular riding. Meaning to give the project my best, I get some crucial computer help from a fellow CAP candidate in the next riding and some friendly advice from the local postmistresses. I proceed to a second leaflet and mail it. Some I hand out at all-candidate forums, some I give to businesses in towns I didn’t blanket thru the post office.
In between mad 2-3 hour dashes across the icy riding for forums with the other 6 candidates, I respond to emails and phone calls.
“I’ve been thinking what you’re thinking,” they say. PAYDAY!
Always, really good questions and comments. More agreement than I expected. Several ask me to put a sign in their yards. “Nope, none this time,” I have to say. Campaign costs are already looking like nearly $10,000 — 50% more than estimated.
There was lots of good help from the riding. Some of the local community papers provided nominal coverage. The weekly paper sponsored two all-candidate forums. The monthly one did a December survey of the candidates and welcomed the varying viewpoints. A not-very-local TV offered 10 minutes for each candidate. Two town papers tried to catch up after their local all-candidate forums. Civic groups set up evening all-candidate “debates”. Lots of people turned out to hear us, in spite of sleet and snow.
On the Saturday following the election, four of the losing candidates converged at my home to review and share our experience. We found three or four common grounds “for next time” and verified that we learned much from one another. If we were to institute proportional representation in time for the next election, I think you’d find more than one of us headed for Ottawa. We expect to call on each other and share our activism on the issues in the riding that aren’t getting enough attention.
Who could have ever convinced me that the experience would be this interesting, this challenging, this exciting?” (snip) …