Canada: How Much is a Word Worth to You?
Either we have the freedom of speech in Canada; or we do not. ‘There is no middle ground.’ Either we protect this and other key and basic freedoms enshrined in the Constitution Act and Charter of Rights and Freedoms – or our whole world is just theoretical and arbitrary.
Let us go overseas now. Then afterward we shall return to Canada.
The Soviet Union has broken apart. People do not know whether they are coming or whether they are going. Most people are out of work. Those in the cities are living on food sent to them by family in the villages. The garbage shoots in the tall concrete apartment towers have not been deloused in about a decade. There are cockroaches everywhere. Even for those who clean their own apartments. Doors in the outside of buildings swing in the wind under a grey sky hanging over a forlorn landscape. When you ask people how they are doing they reply “normal.” Nobody ever replied “good.” The mafia dominate.
Yet the people are trying to rebuild a country. To make Ukraine into a democracy like other countries. In Post-Soviet Ukraine many journalists and editors were murdered trying to speak to the truth of unjust activities occuring in and from the Ukrainian government. While in Ukraine I saw posters of a man papered up everywhere. I knew something was amiss here. Who is this I wondered? It was the year 2000 and we were at a press conference. A journalist in the front row asked a question which embarrassed the then president of Ukraine ‘Leonid Kuchma.’
Not long afterwards the body of Gongadze was found in an isolated location. His head was found in yet another.
Georgiy Ruslanovich Gongadze (21 May 1969 – 17 September 2000).
Gongadze worked for the Kiev-based radio station Kontynent, on which he had his own show called First round with Heorhiy Gongadze. His strongly independent line soon attracted hostility from the increasingly authoritarian government of Leonid Kuchma; during the October 1999 presidential election, his commentaries prompted a call from Kuchma’s headquarters to say “that he had been blacklisted to be dealt with after the election.” Visiting New York in January 2000 with other Ukrainian journalists, he warned of “the strangulation of the freedom of speech and information in our state.”
In April 2000, Gongadze co-founded a news website, Ukrayinska Pravda (Ukrainian Truth), as a means of sidestepping the government’s increasing influence over the mainstream media. He observed that following the muzzling of a prominent pro-opposition newspaper after the election, “today there is practically no objective information available about Ukraine”. The website specialized in political news and commentary, focusing particularly on President Kuchma, the country’s wealthy “oligarchs” and the official media.
In June 2000, Gongadze wrote an open letter to Ukraine’s chief prosecutor about harassment from the SBU, the Ukrainian secret police, directed towards himself and his Ukrayinska Pravda colleagues and apparently related to an investigation into a murder case in the southern port of Odessa. He complained that had been forced into hiding because of harassment from the secret police, that he said he and his family were being followed, that his staff were being harassed, and that the SBU were spreading a rumor that he was wanted on a murder charge.
A monument to journalists, reporters, editors who were murdered seeking the truth on the job in Ukraine.
At the time leaders in many countries condemned what had happened in Ukraine. These leaders included authorities in Canada.
It is not our heritage to execute our writers and journalists. You and I condemn even the thought of that.
The freedom of speech for members of the media and the each person must be safeguarded.
We do not apply law in an arbitrary manner. Yet when a law can silence and strip Canadians of their most basic rights ‘through C-51’ what in the world is next?
During the C-51 hearings in the Canadian Senate when a member of the NDP requested of Federal Government Ministers McKay and Blaney (Tory) to permit the Privacy Watchdog to be able to review the documents in a fuller sense the request was refused.
Trudeau’s Liberal’s gave C-51 the green light.
Is this what you prefer?:
Is there a sunset clause to this?
Understand that with this bill passed it creates precedent. It cannot easily be undone.
Or this –
The Constitution should be honored:
The Charter is a part of the Constitution Act (1982).
The Constitution is the highest law in Canada. It includes several different laws, decisions by judges, agreements between the federal and provincial governments, and traditions. The main written parts of the Constitution of Canada are the Constitution Act, 1867 (this used to be called the British North America Act) and the Constitution Act, 1982.
*In Ukraine, persons in authority struck down that country’s media and academia as you just read concerning Gongadze. Is this what you want to open the door to in Canada?