Be it resolved to rebuild Canada.

Thanksgiving Day in Canada is a good day to talk about our hopes for renewing our country. To this end, we are taking Justin Trudeau at his word that he wants the Liberal Party of Canada to develop the policies that Canadians want. We have therefore contributed a resolution to the Liberal Party policy development process that can hopefully repair and rebuilt the process and institutions governing this country.

The problem with this type of resolution is that there are far more barriers to addressing these questions than methods for implementing change. In a country that will soon be 150 years old, we are operating with political institutions where some of them are despised, some inoperable in a modern context and a few running out of control. And what concerns constitutional experts is that there are few checks and balances in our system of governance.

It is right and reasonable that these institutions and processes be reviewed. To do that, Canada needs to elect a constitutional assembly and give it time to consider the needs and wants of Canadians. An assembly of this sort needs the power to call expert witnesses and to properly examine needs and alternatives.

Under our present amending formula, the politicians from provinces and territories need to sit down with the federal government to review any proposed changes. And if the assembly has done its job properly, no proposals are going to be dismissed out of hand.

The final authority must be the people of Canada. If we have the ideas, the belief in our future, the determination for change, we will have change

The resolution is as follows:

“Resolution Title: The Rebuilding of Canada

“Whereas: Since Canada was established as a nation in 1867, it has existed with institutions and structures more suited to the 19th Century. It is now time before Canada reaches 150 years to rebuild, re-arrange and re-organize our nation to reflect the nation Canadians need and want in the 21st Century.

“And Whereas: Canadians are especially concerned about the growing loss of effectiveness of the Senate as a chamber of competent review and consideration, the lack of effective checks and balances on the power of the Prime Minister in appointments to the judiciary, boards, commissions, military and other government controlled agencies, and the responsibility of elected parliamentarians to meet and discuss the concerns and needs of their constituents in a timely, civilized and thorough manner.

“And Whereas: Canadians are questioning the use of another country’s head of state and need to review the need for a Canadian head of state—by election or other means.

“And Whereas: Canadians are searching for ways to overcome some of the weaknesses to our first-past-the-post electoral process and are seeking a more thorough review.

“Be it resolved that the Liberal Party of Canada: Will work toward the election of a constituent assembly of Canadians from every part of Canada to meet, call witnesses, study and advise the government of a plan for implementation of any proposed changes in Canada’s constitution.

“And be it further resolved that the Liberal Party of Canada: Will call for an open meeting of the Provinces and Territories to discuss and, if agreeable, approve the findings of the assembly.

“And be it further resolved that the Liberal Party of Canada: Will call for a national referendum to seek the approval of all Canadians to the proposals as approved by the Provinces and Territories.”

Babel-on-the-Bay will welcome comment, improvement and support from our Canadian readers on this resolution. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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