A lot has happened in the past week, so I will try to brief in my views on each topic. TransCanada Pipelines has pulled up the rug on Energy East Pipeline. I won’t put all the blame for this on Trudeau, because this was a business decision, but I do wish he did more to promote it; instead he tried to play both sides, only giving half hearted support. Despite the movement towards green energy, fossil fuels are a long way from disappearing, so it makes sense for us to try and get our oil domestically than abroad.
In Edmonton, there was an attempted terrorist attack. The terrorist tried to kill five people but thankfully failed. He had previously applied for refugee status in the US but was refused. I do believe we should look at our screening processes and try to mitigate risks to prevent harmful individuals from getting into Canada, but I don’t believe we should stop taking refugees. Likewise, I abhor those who try and whip up anti-Muslim sentiment from instances like this. Canada is a tolerant, welcoming country, and we should not change our values over a few bad apples.
In Las Vegas, there was a tragic shooting. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely US gun laws that allowed the shooter to purchase those weapons will change anytime soon, and as a Canadian I hope we never witness this level of violence domestically. One does not have to be pro-gun to be a conservative. In Australia and the UK, centre-right governments under John Howard and John Major tightened gun laws in response to past massacres; only in the US is being pro-gun a litmus test for being a conservative and hopefully it stays that way. I will not vote for a Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau under any circumstance, but I could vote for a third party if the Tories become too right wing. Three red lines when it comes to gun control for me are: 1. Keep AR15’s restricted weapons and maintain or tighten magazine capacity limits. 2. Keep silencers illegal, they simply make it easier to get away with murder. 3. No expanding the right to concealed carry beyond current regulation (We do actually allow it, but the rules are so restrictive that practically no one ever gets one approved). If you look at the murder rates by country, you can see that for a country as wealthy as the US, they stand out like a sore thumb. Many gun advocates argue that easier access to guns doesn’t increase murder rates, but it doesn’t square with the facts: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_in_the_United_States_by_state )
Finally, there is the issue of respect and tolerance for people with different views. We saw the Liberals and NDP walk out of a committee when the Conservatives chose a pro-life Torie to chair the Status of Women, a chair that is always chosen by the opposition. While I think this was a silly decision on the part of Andrew Scheer, we should be respectful of people with different views. It is one thing if Rachel Harder wishes to recriminalize abortion, but it’s quite another if she is simply opposes it on a personal level. If it is the former, she is unfit to be chair, just as you wouldn’t have a former tobacco lobbyist as chair of the health committee. If it’s the latter, I believe she should be allowed to reside in her appointed position.
Another case we saw was MP Wayne Long kicked off of two committees by the Liberals for voting in favour of extending consultations on the tax changes. Unless it’s a confidence vote, I believe backbenchers should be free to vote as they wish without penalty. Unfortunately, it seems that lately, in all parties, people are less open and less tolerant to those who don’t tow the line. Too many people go to the echo chambers of social media just to hear their own viewpoints reinforced, leading them to being unable and unwilling to listen to different point of views. This is not a good thing as we’ve seen in the US and I hope Canada doesn’t go down that path.