Ahistory of compromise
Dear editor: A motley rabble of self appointed arbiters are defying due legal process to halt the Kinder Morgan pipeline. They make mockery of Canada’s democracy and jeopardize our economic future. Who do they think they are? They do not speak for me, and I am fighting mad.
Canada rates as one of the best places to live in the world. A perfect place? By no means. Just better than nearly any other.
How did so few develop a better place than the countries of our founders and our dominant neighbour to the south? Canada’s unlikely success is owed to a history of political compromises orchestrated by statesmen who put country before narrow political and self interest.
Statesmen like Sir John A. Macdonald, who negotiated Confederation in 1877 and Etienne Cartier, who compromised to bring French Canada on board. First Nation’s Chief Crowfoot compromised to sign Treaty No. 7 to assure Mounted Police protection from rampaging, lawless American whisky traders.
Is Canada’s economy the best with the best environmental record? Probably not, but it rates very high on both accounts. Thanks to visionary political leadership the legacy of a prosperous economy built primarily on the proceeds of resource extraction is a Canada that is one of the most beautiful and unpolluted countries. The entire country has benefitted economically from bold infrastructure projects including a transcontinental railway, the seaway and the Trans-Canada pipeline. All met opposition, but traditional Canadian determination and compromise won the day.
Confederation promised “peace, order, and good government” and Canada has been a peaceful society under a rule of law that respects the rights of the individual. Good order has been the rule with rare exceptions.
In 1970, during the FLQ crisis, the first Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act to mobilize troops for the only time in peacetime. In the 1963, Reesor Siding Strike a group of Northern Ontario farmers took matters into their own hands to protect their pulpwood harvest. They shot 11 rioting union members. The courts upheld their legal justification.
The defiance of lawful government orders by provincial and municipal politicians is an unprecedented challenge to the very essence of Canadian democracy. It betrays a proud history and exceptional forbearers.
I am too old for combat, but I will be there to support younger patriots who share my views. This issue is too important to just rely on political machinations. Those politicians must see evidence that loyal Canadians massively reject the treasonable, ego-driven individuals who have set on a reckless course that will degrade every Canadian’s quality of life and citizenship. It is our time to demonstrate support for what we love. John Abernethy