[R-G] Paul Hellyer on Canada and the World situation
mstainsby at tao.ca
Sun Oct 14 19:09:00 MDT 2001
Paul Hellyer was once the rising star of the always governing party, the
Liberals, in Canada. He left that party to take on his new project due to his
nationalist (and pro-capitalist) positions against "globalisation" and the
impact of such on Canadian sovereignty.
In that spirit, here is his latest stuff...
On Terrorism, Solutions and "Goodbye Canada"
Speech to National Press Club Wednesday, October 3, 2001 @ 8:00 a.m.
by Paul Hellyer, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Leader of
Canadian Action Party
My subject this morning was to be related to the re-shuffling of the
Canadian political deck which is currently underway and the need to unite
everything left of the right. But in view of the unbelievably evil and
tragic attack on our American cousins there are some important world issues
that I would like to discuss as background material to help explain what I
will later propose as a choice for Canada.
It is trite to say that the world will never be the same again after the
events of September 11th but it's true. What is still to be determined,
however, is whether September 11th was a milestone on the road to
Armageddon, or a turning point in world history a time for taking stock and
asking ourselves some really tough question. We have to ask why did it
happen, when if ever will it stop, and what can we do that would be really
helpful both in the short term and the long term.
For Canadians some things are self evident. We have to cooperate fully in
tracking down and rooting out terrorist cells wherever they may be found.
That means that we have to undertake a complete overhaul of our Immigration
Department, immigration policies and refugee screening practises. We can no
longer pretend that the status quo is acceptable because it isn't. It was
unacceptable before September 11th and it is unacceptable after.
The far more fundamental question is the extent of harmonization, and
general acceptance of U.S. laws and practices that we are going to accept.
Personally, I totally reject the concept of a common perimeter where U.S.
laws would apply. We should tighten up our borders and the Americans should
tighten up theirs. Polls suggesting that Canadians should go further, at
this stage, are understandable in the emotion of the moment but I suspect
that few of us have thought through the long term implications of such a
fundamental and probably irrevocable loss of sovereignty. Sovereignty,
which really means the right to have some control over our own destiny, is
the most important issue facing Canadians at this point in our history. The
question is whether we want to remain an independent country, and have some
control over our own affairs, or throw in the towel and join the United
States. That is the issue, and there is no point in pretending that it is
anything less than that.
The National Post of Saturday, September 29th contained a lengthy article
by Prof. Michael Bliss entitled "September 11th: The End of Canadian
Nationalism". In effect he was arguing that our ultimate demise and
annexation by the United States has become inevitable. I had always thought
it was the function of historians to explain events after the fact, and not
to usurp the role of prophet. But the questions Canadians must ask
themselves are these. Would it be good for us to become part of the United
States, would it be good for the U.S. and would it be good for the world?
After giving the matter a great deal of thought, over a number of years, I
am one Canadian who gives a resounding no to each of those three questions.
We would become just a poor northern state, or states, with little if any
influence on our own or American affairs. The United States would be a
loser too, because, apart from the realization of its dream of manifest
destiny, it would no longer have an independent ally which could be useful
in various situations. We were of immense help when we sent troops to
Cyprus to prevent a war between two allies in a situation where American
troops would not have been welcome. Canadian assistance was also critical
in the escape of Americans from the embassy in Iran and in other situations
from time to time. The world is better off with an independent Canada that
can launch a project such as the land mines treaty, or a world court
without American approval.
The U.S. needs a good friend, ally and neighbour willing and able to
express a voice of reason in a world portrayed as black or white- those who
stand at attention and salute whatever decision the president and his
advisers make as white, and those who reserve the right to express
reservations or doubt as black.
Dividing the world arbitrarily between those who are uncritically with the
United States and those who want to reserve the right to think for
themselves is stupefyingly naïve and dangerous. We don't live in a world
that is either black or white. We live in a world where there are many
shades of grey.
For example, most Americans and many Canadians believe that the evil acts
of September 11th were totally unrelated to U.S. foreign policies since
World War II. They should apply for the Pollyanna of the year award.
Everything the United States does has consequences that are good or bad.
And that is the reason that they need friends to challenge their assumptions.
I was heartened to learn that President Bush now believes that a
conventional war in Afghanistan is not the answer. That is encouraging
because such a war would be lost the day it was launched, regardless of the
military outcome. It would be lost because this is not just a war against
terrorists and the people who harbour them. It is the war for the hearts
and minds of men and women everywhere. So the death of thousands of
innocent civilians as a result of either war or starvation, or both, would
produce an enormous blow-back as the Americans call a negative reaction to
some action taken.
There can be no permanent victory against terrorism in an unhappy and
unjust world. Terrorist cells can be detected and neutralized. But if the
world continues on its present course new cells will form to replace the old.
In his inaugural address President George W. Bush said: "We will build our
defenses beyond challenge, lest weakness invite challenge." But in my book
Goodbye Canada which is being launched today I say, somewhat prophetically,
"Those are brave words Mr. President but what you are promising is
impossible. The reality is that there is no such thing in today's world and
there never will be. So to suggest otherwise is really misleading."
The only hope for a relatively secure world is a total reversal of
American foreign policy on several fronts including economics. Unfettered
free trade and unfettered foreign investment are a recipe for exploitation
and subordination. The distribution of income between individuals within
countries and between rich and poor countries is becoming increasingly
unjust and divisive. Unhappiness is spreading like a prairie grass fire.
Americans are babes in the woods when it comes to knowledge of what their
government is doing in their name. Canadians are almost equally unaware of
the near-universal havoc being wreaked on poor countries and innocent
people by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These have
become institutions of oppression rather than liberation.
That is the reason for the protests in Seattle, in Washington, in Quebec
City, in Genoa, and people who don't understand the protests don't
understand what is going on in the world. If they did, most of them would
become protesters too.
The major powers are pushing a brand of economics which is increasingly
destructive. It is the same system that we had in effect before the Great
Depression which had such a devastating effect on the lives of millions and
which sowed the seeds of despair that led ultimately to World War II.
Now we are suffering another global slowdown which is totally unnecessary.
There are just as many or more workers today than there were a few months
ago. and just as many machines. So why the slowdown, with thousands of
people being added to the bread lines daily.
This recession, like others before it, is a direct result of an economic
fundamentalism which has done more harm to more people than the
fundamentalism of all other religions combined. Because that's what
orthodox economic is a religion, both fanatic and perverse. So when the FBI
and other investigative agencies finish their immediate job of tracking
down the terrorist cells, they should be assigned the job of analyzing and
exposing the sources of such universal malevolence.
Transform Hate to Hope
If the so-called civilized world, and I use so-called because really
civilized countries would show more concern for their fellow humankind than
we do, really wants to be able to live with some semblance of security its
number one priority, after coping with the immediate terrorist threat, must
be to transform hate to hope. This can only happen in a world where justice
The western world should resolve to eliminate poverty and homelessness
everywhere in the world. This should include the total elimination of third
world and developing country debt which is now well beyond the capability
of those countries to repay, due to policies inflicted on them by the west.
There is enough wealth and expertise available to achieve the goal in ten
years if the project commanded the same sense of urgency and priority
presently applied to terrorism. U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair has called
for a "A humanitarian coalition" to feed the desperate refugees in
Afghanistan. The same idea should be expanded to include food, shelter,
portable water, health care and education all around the globe.
There is no guarantee of Utopia. But the sheer goodness of the operation
would provide moderates of all religions with the moral ammunition they
need to fight extremism. Without any tangible expression of hope even
moderates will be tempted to give vent to their sense of hopelessness
through acts of violence.
Re-shuffling the Political Deck
What should Canada's role be in all of this? It should be an instigator, a
catalyst, and an interpreter of universal human aspirations in the G8, and
beyond. It is a role which an independent country with its own vision and
values can play.
Unfortunately, the political situation in Canada at the moment does not
lend itself to such possibilities. We are, in fact, a one-party system. And
the governing party is leading us in the direction of ultimate annexation
by the United States. It should not allow the sale of our best industries
and resources and with it the loss of top decision-making jobs and the tax
base required to maintain our way of doing things.
It should not have allowed the sale of our icon forest industry MacMillan
It should not have allowed the sale of Anderson Explorations.
It should not and must not, allow the sale of West Coast Transmission to
Duke which would be the final tip-off of its lack of resolve to keep Canada
One option currently being explored is to unite the right. This would be
jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Unfortunately many people on
the right are more continentalist and less protective of Canadian
sovereignty than the governing party although that is a difficult to
achieve. So either the status quo, or a united right, means goodbye Canada,
the title of my book. Personally I think it would be a terrible tragedy.
Among other things it would mean the ultimate end of the French language
and culture in North America.
In the Postscript to my book I suggest a third alternative which is the
only hope of keeping Canada independent. It would be a broadly-based
progressive and nationalist party comprising the NDP, the Canadian Action
Party, hopefully the Green Party, the fifty percent of progressives of the
Progressive Conservative Party and nationalists from the Liberal and
Alliance parties. It would be a party determined to keep Canada independent
so that it can play an important middle-power role in world affairs.
It would be a party that would reclaim some of Canada's sovereignty already
lost under NAFTA and the World Trade Organization.
It would be a party that would say no to a common periphery; no to a
custom's union; and no to the adoption of the U.S. dollar- all of which
would be giant steps along the road to annexation.
It would be a caring and compassionate party that would be dedicated to the
elimination of poverty and homelessness in Canada as a beacon for what
should be done on a global basis. It would be a party which would use its
sovereignty, including its monetary sovereignty, creatively to show how
much can be accomplished through cooperation as opposed to confrontation.
In other words it would be a party that would appeal to the hopes and
aspirations of the majority of Canadians, and become a government in
waiting which would give Canadians a real choice. In other words they would
have the opportunity to decide whether they want to join the United States
or remain Canadian, without having the decision occur by default without
them ever being consulted or having the opportunity to express a
preference; in effect a party that would make democracy work.
For the next sixty days I will be travelling across the country promoting
the idea One Big Nationalist Progressive Party in the hope that the first
and most critical decision necessary to make it happen will be taken by the
NDP at their convention in November. It is my belief that Canada's fate
will rest on the decision taken at that time.
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