The Trudeau way
The publisher, having been part of the great experiment of participative democracy of the Trudeau era in the late sixties, is a bit wary of any repeat of the process, not that it is wrong but because the expectations raised can almost never be met.
In the case of Trudeau père, the 1970 crisis that really started in Saint-Léonard in September 1969, the process ended early.
Yet Trudeau, the first time, called for a lot of consultations and Enquiry Commissions. The LeDain commission on pot, formally the Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, recommendations were first regarded by some as evil incarnate and it is the minority report, written by the late Marie-Andrée Bertrand, which is more or less the position now proposed by the government.
The process then was for Parliament (a.k.a the Ruling Party of Canada majority) to study a subject and then to convene a Royal Commission of enquiry on it. A perilous political exercise as the end result is unsure. Needless to say, none of any consequence were held during the reign of President Harper™.
They are a British Parliamentary tradition, an extension of the power of enquiry that Parliament has. When our system works as intended, having a person representing us to protect and promote our interests, then both the House and the Senate have no qualms about consultation. We do not elect a sovereign as the Americans do; we have One and most Canadians are quite content on how She reigns. What we have is a person (legally it could be anyone) that is able to muster the confidence of the House of Commons and can form a functioning government to the pleasure of Her Majesty. It seems that Justin Trudeau understands the role a bit better than his predecessor. As Prime Ministers go, he may not be the brightest, but he’s showing more and more that he is one of the smartest. And smart is asking questions, taking criticism before acting. So our Minister, The Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, has held eight consultations since she was elected on various subjects. The last one, as reported elsewhere, on the sorry state of Canada’s postal service after the devastating years of the former government whose stated objective was to get rid of the service and pocket the money. We the people left holding the bag forever to the private enterprise who would have taken over.
Depending on where you are in the region, you are privileged to have both major cell companies vying for your business or you climb the hill to get a line! That’s private enterprise. And it was the subject of more than one intervention at that meeting.
Our suggestion would be for the Trudeau government to hold a Commission of Enquiry on the delivery of information, goods and services. This includes, obviously, Canada Post and the various courier services, but also the delivery of goods, their impact on the Canadian economy, and various services, including banking and those of various government branches at all levels of government.
A Commission would be the perfect setting to debate these issues, with the wide and narrow vision that they have mostly provided thus far. And these are not only rural issues: all Canadians have something to say about the subject. A return to the format would be a nice way of bringing back some vigour to our democratic process.