Jagmeet Singh Reinstates NDP MP David Christopherson Of Critic Role After Outcry

565 posts / 0 new
Last post
6079_Smith_W

And it's also not strictly a rights case because organizations do not have rights. We have already been through that. But it is an arbitrary and invasive measure that shuts groups out based not on their actions, but on their values.

But if you are familiar with the cases I am even more surprised that you don't see the problem. And that you just assume that others will be there alongside you when it is your values that are being singled out, when you don't seem to care when theirs are threatened.

(edit)

But then, assuming the support and votes of communities because who else are they going to vote for is a callous game these parties have been playing since forever. And they always seem to be surprised when their hubris comes back to bite them.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

I was actually looking for something else regarding her, but ran across this. I had been wondering how Elizabeth May voted. In fact she did support the Conservative motion:

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/03/20/elizabeth-may-tories-canada-sum...
 

The defeated motion, tabled by Tory MP Karen Vecchio, stated that organizations engaging in "non-political non-activist work, such as feeding the homeless, helping refugees and giving kids an opportunity to go to camp," should be able to access the grants regardless of whether or not they sign the attestation.

May told HuffPost that while she supports Hajdu's intent to keep funds from anti-abortion or anti-LGBTQ organizations, the language used in the attestation created difficulty for faith-based groups who do a "lot of good work in this country."

May said she had a hard time convincing some groups in her B.C. riding, such as organizers of summer bible camps or devout Roman Catholics, just to "check the box" and voice concerns in a secondary letter.

"The attestation went too far in speaking to what values underlie the Charter in specific terms without referencing that you also have, under the Charter, the right to freedom of religion," she said.

cco

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But if you are familiar with the cases I am even more surprised that you don't see the problem. And that you just assume that others will be there alongside you when it is your values that are being singled out, when you don't seem to care when theirs are threatened.

If there's one thing the sum total of my life experiences, both in the Bible Belt and in Canada, has taught me, it's that I can never assume the religious will be alongside me when my values are being singled out. I'm not in their group. I'm in the "destined for eternal torture" lane, you see. Not because of my actions, but because of my values.

And since you're a fellow atheist, but one who seems to get along well with religious groups in your area, I sincerely hope the day never comes when you need them to support you in return and suddenly realize it wasn't transactional: they never gave a shit about your rights, no matter how many times you stood beside them.

6079_Smith_W

Of course I know people who have straight religious views, even if they aren't part of the anti-abortion crew that camps out by City Hospital during Lent. I'm wondering what part of the world you live in that you don't.

As for hoping the day never comes for them to support us in return, that's just nonsense. There are zealots and there are reasonable people in all camps. I have had occasion to get personal and political support from people with those beliefs, and gotten it. Yes they are wrong about choice and sexism and LGBT issues, but that doesn't mean they have no moral centre. It just means they have a big blind spot, as many of us do on some issues.

Besides, do you honestly think none of these people support the NDP? Perhaps they don't where you live, but there certainly are social conservatives and religious people who vote NDP here. And I bet some vote Liberal too. For now, anyway.

As for not recognizing rights, what I see here right now is atheists not giving a shit about them, and blaming the victims in this affair. So I am not sure how our world view gives us any moral high ground here.

SocialJustice101

Smith, where was the outrage from religious groups when Harper was silencing women's group and environmentalist groups?   They were told to stop advocacy actitivies or lose government funding.     Did the religious groups intervene?  Harper turned a blind eye to religious advocacy actitivies, so they didn't care one bit.    Your reciprocity argument is extremely naive and flawed.

6079_Smith_W

In the first place, you are aware that religious groups were also targetted in that crackdown for political reasons - The Mennonite Magazine, the Canadian Unitarian Council, The United Church, and Kairos. And yes, they have spoken out against the targetted audits.

In the second place this is less about team sports than it is about the fact that if you are truly concerned about social justice then it should not matter on whose behalf you are acting.

Pondering

Trump tweets to distract. Trudeau is more subtle. 

SocialJustice101

6079_Smith_W wrote:

In the first place, you are aware that religious groups were also targetted in that crackdown for political reasons - The Mennonite Magazine, the Canadian Unitarian Council, The United Church, and Kairos. And yes, they have spoken out against the targetted audits.

In the second place this is less about team sports than it is about the fact that if you are truly concerned about social justice then it should not matter on whose behalf you are acting.

If this was truly about freedom of religion, I'd be surely be on their site.   I was arguing against Harper's/Quebec's veil bans, despite the questionable beliefs held by many Muslims.  But in this case, some organizations (religious or not) want government money to advocate for restriction of freedoms of others.   Only an authoritarian would want anti-freedom groups to receive government funding.  You are not merely tolerating them, you are helping them with money.  That's a big difference.

6079_Smith_W

SocialJustice101 wrote:

But what they want here is government money to advocate for restriction of freedoms of others.

That is completely false.

This is actually about freedom of conscience. And no, not only are some people here not defending them against that assault, they are making false accusations about them and claiming they are not acting in good faith.

In fact there are accusations against people who have defended those who point out that this is an attack on freedom of conscience. Those accusations extend even to those who themselves voted against the Conservative motion.

SocialJustice101

Smith, you are confused.  Freedom of conscience does not require government money or any money for that matter.

SocialJustice101

As for religious organizations pretending to be victims and not acting in good faith, I suggest you read the statement from 90 religious leaders on the Canada Summer Jobs programs.  Instead of just quoting the attestation word for word, they added their own wording "BELIEFS".  Why not simply copy the attestation if your point is self-evident?  They are trying to sell something else.

6079_Smith_W

Of course I read the Interfaith Statement; I also noted who signed it.

SocialJustice101 wrote:

Smith, you are confused.  Freedom of conscience does not require government money or any money for that matter.

Actually discrimination against a group for their political beliefs is an infringement on freedom of conscience. It is so in this case, even if organizations do not have rights, and grants are not a right. Though why it is that you see no problem here, but are outraged about the CRA audits? If anything Harper had more cause because he targetted actions, not beliefs. Seems a bit of a contradicion to me.

I disagree with some of this fellow's concerns and arguments, but he raises some good and valid issues, Especially if we are skipping over what is fair and equitable, and falling back on technicalities to justify what we can get away with.

http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/author/barry-bussey/what-the-fuss-about...

cco

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Actually discrimination against a group for their political beliefs is an infringement on freedom of conscience. It is so in this case, even if organizations do not have rights, and grants are not a right.

Is Environment and Climate Change Canada required to fund oil lobbyists who deny climate change and lobby against emissions regulations? Not doing so would, after all, be discriminating against them for their political beliefs.

SocialJustice101

Smith, we discriminate against groups of people for their political beliefs every 3-4 years.  It's called elections.  Going by your "logic", the government has no choice but to fund Nazi  organizations, otherwise it's political discrimination.   In reality, there is no Charter right for government funding.  The CSJ program is completely optional, and not an essential service.

I wasn't happy about Harper defunding women's group and environmentalist groups, but I'm not going to pretend it was illegal.    Infact, it should be expected under a right-wing government.  

If you want an objective legal analysis, instead of an ideologue masquerading as a lawyer, read this: http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/author/karen-busby/liberals-summer-jobs-program-controversy-on-reproductive-rights-overblown-15238/

SocialJustice101

Smith, please justify not funding Nazi organizations?  Or are you in favor of that too?

6079_Smith_W

Well no, of course none of this is illegal, even if it doesn't have a legal foundation - that is, no one would be violating the Charter even if they did fund those freaks who stuff pictures of baby hamburger and chitlins in my mailbox.

That's not the point, and let's cut to the chase. Like me you were outraged when Harper decided to selectively target organizations for trying to relieve poverty.

That is exactly what is happening in this case. The only difference is that these groups are being faced with the choice of shutting themselves out or denying their principles, which is in some ways far more  nasty. Not least because it gives smarmy jerks an excuse to blame them for it.

(edit)

Just cross posted with you. Excuse me but you are accusing me of defending Nazism now? Nice.

 

SocialJustice101

Smith, if not, then are you "discriminating" against the Nazis based on their political beliefs?   I'm just applying your own argument consistently.   

Religious organizations already receive tax exemption and donations, they will be fine with or without the CSJ grant.  

Once the wording is changed next year, do you expect they will be satisfied with the term "core activities" instead of "core mandate"?    I'm sure Charles McVety and his ilk will still cry like babies.    Some of them will still claim that their core activity is to get rid of sins, like abortion and gay marriage.  

6079_Smith_W

Core activities will do just fine. I expect none of this would have happened if the Liberals had written that. One wonders why they didn't do that in the first place.

 

SocialJustice101

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Core activities will do just fine. I expect none of this would have happened if the Liberals had written that. One wonders why they didn't do that in the first place.

I'm sure some will claim their "core" activity is following the bible or something like that.  And that certainly includes being against gay people, abortion, etc.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Core activities will do just fine. I expect none of this would have happened if the Liberals had written that. One wonders why they didn't do that in the first place.

 

I haven't participated in this thread so far, and I don't really have a strong opinion about the issue, but are you really saying that the difference between a fair application form, and a discriminatory one lies in the distinction between "core mandate" and "core activities"? I find that difficult to believe.

SocialJustice101

Perhaps the term "mandate" reminds some people of a "divine mandate."  In any case, I'm sure the religious right will continue to complain regardless of the wording.

Mighty Middle
Unionist

SocialJustice101 wrote:

Perhaps the term "mandate" reminds some people of a "divine mandate."

A mandate is what I was never able to get in junior high school, so I decided to go hetero.

Oh, and Bill Siksay was disciplined for defying a whipped vote in order to support LGBTQ rights, while Christopherson was forgiven and reinstated? And Stefan Jonasson and all the others were barred from being candidates because they were, like, er, telling the truth about misogyny and Zionism?

That's the NDP I quit. Sad to see nothing has changed. Hope they disband and give way to something new and healthy. Before their 60th anniversary.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
This is actually about freedom of conscience.

Organizations have a "conscience" now?  Do they have emotions, too?  Good days and bad days?  Do they have life goals?

Because if you substitute "life goals" for "mandate", that could help them understand what mandate means.

6079_Smith_W

Michael Moriarity wrote:

I haven't participated in this thread so far, and I don't really have a strong opinion about the issue, but are you really saying that the difference between a fair application form, and a discriminatory one lies in the distinction between "core mandate" and "core activities"? I find that difficult to believe.

If it's a certain kind of a church looking for funding to run a soup kitchen, yes there is quite a big difference. Not to get too repetitive, but everyone involved has recognized that the wording here is problematic.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

A mandate is what I was never able to get in junior high school, so I decided to go hetero.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oShTJ90fC34

Unionist wrote:

Hope they disband.

Well with fancy moves like this I'd say they are doing their best to accommodate you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oShTJ90fC34

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

If it's a certain kind of a church looking for funding to run a soup kitchen, yes there is quite a big difference. Not to get too repetitive, but everyone involved has recognized that the wording here is problematic.

Ah yes, we are an organization whose core madate is to end miscegenation, but we don't actually carry on any activities to that end. We just run soup kitchens...

Others have said it, but I'll add my voice. For a 'certain kind of church' there is no wording that would be acceptable. The fact that the wording was perfectly clear, and examples were given so even the slowest to understand got the picture, didn't make a whit of difference. 

6079_Smith_W

Miscegenation? I'm sure we can do better than that. Even SC101 has crossed the Godwin line.

Since we seem to be out to show the anti-abortionists that good progressives can meet their match in the demonizing department. Surely that untrustworthy, vindictive crew would be using our money to stone people to death, buy acid for throwing on people, and pliers for pulling out fingernails if we gave them half a chance.

Though I suppose Sam Harris has nuked that one to death already.

 

 

SocialJustice101

To be fair, I had to address your highly impractical and legally baseless argument about "political discrimination."   Since everything is political, a government could never get anything done without it.

Pondering

SocialJustice101 wrote:

As for religious organizations pretending to be victims and not acting in good faith, I suggest you read the statement from 90 religious leaders on the Canada Summer Jobs programs.  Instead of just quoting the attestation word for word, they added their own wording "BELIEFS".  Why not simply copy the attestation if your point is self-evident?  They are trying to sell something else.

6079_Smith_W wrote:
That is exactly what is happening in this case. The only difference is that these groups are being faced with the choice of shutting themselves out or denying their principles, which is in some ways far more  nasty. Not least because it gives smarmy jerks an excuse to blame them for it. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Core activities will do just fine. I expect none of this would have happened if the Liberals had written that. One wonders why they didn't do that in the first place.

Why did the groups add the word "BELIEFS" in their objection when it isn't in the application?  Could it be they want to make the government look bad? Sway voters to stick with the Conservatives perhaps? 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Surely that untrustworthy, vindictive crew would be using our money to stone people to death, buy acid for throwing on people, and pliers for pulling out fingernails if we gave them half a chance.

That's a cruel and needless exaggeration.

All they do is work their asses off to roll back abortion services for women.

I'm thinking that if the Ku Klux Klan wants to hire some summer students to iron hoods, we'd better fund that because if we don't we're apparently raping their minds.  And that ain't right!

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

Could it be they want to make the government look bad? Sway voters to stick with the Conservatives perhaps? 

Sorry to break it to you, but I think the Liberals did that all by themselves.

The real head scratcher for me is why the NDP felt it was their duty to jump after them.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Sorry to break it to you, but I think the Liberals did that all by themselves.

In the future, we'll call it "mandate-gate".

The day the Liberals made up a nonsense word and expected Canadians to understand it, and then helped them to understand it.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Could it be they want to make the government look bad? Sway voters to stick with the Conservatives perhaps? 

Sorry to break it to you, but I think the Liberals did that all by themselves.

The real head scratcher for me is why the NDP felt it was their duty to jump after them.

I think the Liberals will benefit from it not be hurt. I'm speculating on the motives of the groups that object. Why did the groups change the wording if the original wording was so bad?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Why did the groups change the wording if the original wording was so bad?

There's surely two answers, the merit of which depends on what you already think.

1.  They changed the wording because the original wording was too vague and nobody knew what it meant.

2.  They changed the wording because even though the original "vague" wording made it clear that Canadian taxpayers would not be making it rain in their collection plate, they feel like the real victim and want to throw a Hail Mary.

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

Miscegenation? I'm sure we can do better than that. Even SC101 has crossed the Godwin line.

The point was that a groups 'core mandate' and their activities are usually very close. I mean what would be the point of having a core madate when you had no intention of creating activities around that core mandate? 

But you're right, it didn't have to be miscegenation in my example. I'll tell you what, just for you, because all this seems to be very difficult for you to understand, I'll create another example that doesn't use miscegenation...

Yes, we are a union whose core mandate is organizing workers, but we don't intend to actually do anything that would aid in organizing workers.

There, are you happier with that?

Now, do get that a group that has a core mandate, but has no intention of engaging in any activities to achieve their objective, to be a bit strange?

6079_Smith_W

It isn't strange at all if we consider what this is really about, instead of making up ridiculous and insulting examples about racists and Nazis.

A church which considers a fetus to be alive is going to have a difficult time signing a declaration that their core mandate - that all life is sacred - supports abortion.

There is no good reason why that belief should prevent them from providing services to the poor, or to immigrants, or to prisoners, or seniors, or Indigenous people. And considering there are too few people doing that work, why should the government deny those jobs simply because they made a mistake on a form and refused to take responsibility and deal with it?

They knew the discinction because the reference is to "the job and the organization's core mandate". Not the job and the project mandate.

It doesn't matter if people here think they can't read, or are stupid, or just obstinate, or are out to get the government and would complain no matter what, or they deserve to be cut off. This is another example that is going to be taken as what it is - Liberal hubris, and the NDP's inability to walk and chew gum.

The fact that the Conservatives come out looking like the heroes to some of these groups even most of their policies attack those groups identified in the form adds a sad irony to all this. They are still going to get votes from this, at least in my riding.

And the race is just tight enough here that I wish the NDP had thought this one through a little bit better, or just stuck with the perfectly reasonable response Nathan Cullen initially came up with.

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

There is no good reason why that belief should prevent them from providing services to the poor, or to immigrants, or to prisoners, or seniors, or Indigenous people.

In fact no one is preventing them from doing those things. ​This is about taxpayer funding.

Churches are already very 'privileged' in our society. Is that not enough?

SocialJustice101

6079_Smith_W wrote:
A church which considers a fetus to be alive is going to have a difficult time signing a declaration that their core mandate - that all life is sacred - supports abortion.
That doesn't sound like a church mandate at all.  Read any church's mission statement.  It usually focused on actitivies, such as spreading the word of God / Jesus Christ, etc.  Even deeply conservative churches don't typically mention abortion/gay marriage in their mission statement, which is as close to a mandate as it comes.

Rev Pesky

All church mandates are the same. They exist to perpetuate themselves. Everything else is just window dressing.

6079_Smith_W

Actually many of them aren't. I don't know if you are familiar with the situation where you live, but here where I am aside from the megachurches most of them hold garage sales to keep their buildings open; I was just at one this morning. But this isn't about their bottom line.

What is important is that despite that many of these groups still sponsor projects that help the community. Why should those projects and the people they serve be denied public funding because the government, intended or not, decides to police people's beliefs?

SocialJustice101

If I had a magic wand, I would restrict all government funding to secular institutions only.  This would also be perfectly legal.   But considering the lack of charitable activities throughout the country, we may have to hold our collective noses for now.

6079_Smith_W

SocialJustice101 wrote:

If I had a magic wand, I would restrict all government funding to secular institutions only.  This would also be perfectly legal.   But considering the lack of charitable actitives throughout the country, we may have to hold our collective noses for now.

Gee. I wonder if the lack of secular organizations is because most of the people willing to give their time to do this work are religious.

No one is stopping you, SJ101. And a magic wand won't make them appear. But if shutting out religious organizations is more important than the service work itself I guess that's the priority, right?

SocialJustice101

Smith, churches use charitable actitivities to spread their message and expand  their memberships.    For people running those churches, it is essentially a profitable business.  So I would not imply that religious people are somehow inherently more charitable than secular people.

6079_Smith_W

Except they are the ones who are actually feeding and clothing people. Seems to me that's a bit more important than reducing this to some ideological game.

You want to put them out of the business? Well do the work.

 

SocialJustice101

I do my own fair share of charitable work.   The question is: should the govenrment even be spending money which will be partially used for church recruitment?    Why not allocate the funds to existing secular charities or have the public sector take care of the needy?

6079_Smith_W

Well you just complained that there weren't enough secular options.

And good question, but until government makes sure everyone has adequate food and shelter, and there are proper services for seniors, immigrants, prisoners, and the sick someone needs to do that work.

And I'm not sure if you have actually looked at the finances of Canada's largest protestant churches, and a breakdown of the work they do. I wouldn't say "profitable" is accurate. But in any case, these summer jobs are also open to for-profit businesses. The focus is on the services they provide.

SocialJustice101

Churches will continue to do some of the charitable work because their membership numbers depend on it.   But the govenrment should focus their spending on expanding their own capabilities, not on funding church advocacy.

SocialJustice101

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And I'm not sure if you have actually looked at the finances of Canada's largest protestant churches, and a breakdown of the work they do. I wouldn't say "profitable" is accurate.

I've worked with cash businesses before and according to their financial statements, they are almost never profitable.  *wink wink*

Pondering

I remember the days when we didn't need food banks.

This won't impact chariable organizations ability to do anything they would normally do. They just won't be given money to hire students for the summer. As many or more students will still get work, which is the point of the program.

It would be nice if these churches argued for the government to provide basic income or other benefits to the needy directly. 

Pages