Sunset Sketches of a Little Country

Monday, October 09, 2006

20-20 Hindsight on the Calgary Congress

Being just one of almost 400 delegates, I waited til the Chairman of the Calgary Congress pronounced the meeting adjourned to make my move.

So as everyone was packing up their resolution kits and information packages, I worked my way to the stage and with a wink to Carol & Jean, the CPAC camera and sound persons (the friendship we built over double-doubles at a chance midnight meeting at a Tim's round-the-corner was ever so providential) I called out to the assembly "Ladies and Gentlemen, indulge me a moment ... invest a few minutes to consider a few of the burning questions that did not reach the agenda or the floor!"

"Who are you and what do you want?, someone bellowed.

"I've got a spouse and 2 kids expecting me home after 3 days away and besides my colleague, has a plane to catch?" someone else added.

I welled up my courage and let it rip, "With God as my witness, I beg you to give me the chance to speak to your minds about a few vital aspects of the Constitution and address your hearts with a new concept of Canada. Give me your ears for 15 minutes and I'll show you a way to finish the "patriation" job Trudeau's First Minister's started in 1982, ... show you how to solve your property rights issues once and for all and .... show you as well, with perhaps just a few minutes more, how to put to an end your concerns about a too-powerful, elected-dictator Prime Minister's Office ... and ... how to recovery our Supreme Court judges as protectors and arbitrators of the written law and de-throne them from their new role as un-elected legislation drafters.

After a short buzz of whispers, Link Byfield the Congress co-chair approached me and said "Friend, the meeting's over ... the hotel needs to tear down the room and I promised half the folks who attended that we'd be out of here before three-thirty ".

"But ... " as he turned towards the sea of faces and slipped the mike from my hand, "if you can cover all that territory, in that short a time ... it might be worth a go"

Link gave me a nod and with a forefinger tapping his wristwatch asked the crowd, "This chap's initiative has taken me by surprise, but something about his introduction has captured my imagination, something about what he said spoke to me and I'll give him the quarter hour ... any one else want a piece of that action?"

A short man in suspenders, with his hat in his hand piped up, "Link, on your say-so, I'll give him 10 minutes and maybe a bit more, but the moment he gets off those topics, .... I'm leavin!"

"Hear, Hear",

"I'm tired and I'm goin'",

"Fred, Daisey's waiting",

"What a dreamer, I'll meet you at the pub",

"Don't bother, let's go dear, I'm paying a 'sitter" and various other private and localized conversations erupted, but after a few seconds, about a third, maybe more of the room settled back in their seats, poured themselves a half-glass of now-tepid water and cracked open the plastic-wrap on just-one-more Westin Hotel mint, while the others went on their merry way.

What a grand, grace-of-God moment, I thought, now don't blow it.

A deep breath and I was off, "My dear western friends - and I include myself as a westerner, ... a resident of western Markham - you've spent quite some time these last few days talking about the elements of the Constitution and the other great rules, regulations and traditions of Legislative governance in Canada, but we did not include any official Congress time, nor did we propose any resolutions, regarding the Executive Powers and the Sovereignty of Canada.

"Time and patience are short at the end of a long day, so I'll get to the point and leave explanation of the details to questions later, from those among you interested to walk a further 1.6 kilometres in my hush puppies."

"Ladies and Gentlemen, if this meeting had been a Town Hall gathering to select issues to present at the Quebec or Charlottetown pre-Confederation meetings or if this was a gathering of town elders in Upper or Lower Canada preparing to meet with Lord Durham in 1839, there would have been discussion on the Crown, on the Governor's powers vis a vis the Assembly, on problems and grievances regarding land grants and title to land, on troubles within and about the Legislative Councils and Executive Councils ... in short, most of the same issues discussed here. "

"But if this meeting had truly been in the spirit of the Continental Congress of 1776, as it was softly inferred by one of the moderators, it would have been consumed with the concept of Liberty ... and Good Government. ... The processes and models necessary to implement Good Government, would have been relegated to a natural second place as the logical outflowings of the primary objective - Liberty."

"Can you imagine how quickly history would have forgotten that Congress' noble recital of Intolerable Acts and grievances if it had not included the "declaration of independence" resolution?"

The difference of course, is we are not in colonial times and are not an oppressed people and a 'world or two' of time and experience - that those Canadian and American Framers set in motion - has passed."

"Nevertheless, we can catch up their 'torch, and hold it high', we can take up their pen - the sword is not necessary, thanks to them- and we can set our sights on particularizing our very attainable goals - Sovereign-Canadian, Self-Government"

"We can do these things because, do to the thoughts and actions of these historic icons and the documents they created, ... we already enjoy tremendous Freedoms of thought, action, assembly, dissent, ... we already enjoy an almost-taken-for granted Liberty to live and worship, work and play, ... we already enjoy Security of our persons and property to a degree that is the envy of the most of the world ... and ... the only tyrants we face are those created by our Own Acts of Omission, ... Apathy, ... Non-vigilance, ... Blind Trust, ... Acquiescence to Authority, or ... in Mr Mulroney's excruciatingly accurate, choice of phrase ... our own Intolerable Acts of "Benign Neglect".

"Friends, the suggestions offered today on representation and responsibility in the Senate, the consolidation of 'who does what' and 'who taxes to do it' in Dominion-Provincial fiscal relations and for reining in a run-away Court system that 'reads in' what it deems more appropriate that what the legislators drafted, are all commendable precis of the wishes and intentions of the attendees of this Congress."

"But I daresay ... they leave untouched the true Sovereignty of Canada - the Queen, the Governor General, the Privy Council, ... they leave undiscussed the Executive Power and the Sovereign Authority to govern ourselves ... the work of this weekend is 'half-full' ... if we do not consider these components of the Constitution/BNA Act ... these aspects that are indeed ... the Essence of the Dominion."

"This meeting could start the process that 'finishes the job' started by the 1982 patriation exercise. (Telling word, patriation - a Canadianization of repatriation - created of necessity when it became common knowledge that the 1982 changes were not returning a constitution, or any powers to Canada, since no constitution or sovereign powers EVER existed here, ...but more on that in the Q & A)"

"We've heard these past few days about 'OR ELSE' -this congress finally saying aloud the second part of Mr Manning's Reform movement's slogan, 'The West wants In' ... or Else!"

"I submit to you, irrespective of the changes you or I agreed to propose regarding the Legislative Powers and Distribution of those Legislative Powers between and amongst the 1 Plus 10 Plus 3 governments in Canada, that 'UNLESS' .... we re-form, the Executive Power, ... make claim to the Sovereign Authority over Canada and re-Confederate the country with these bold new powers in our own hands .... we will not get anywhere."

"I will suggest 12 resolutions and will leave the background explanations of same to questions that may arise on any of the issues raised and solutions proposed that do not seem 'self-evident' to any and all here assembled:


1) That Canada belongs to the Citizens of Canada. We are the owners of its lands, its natural wealth, its assets, its liabilities and its Treasury;

2) That the governments of Canada are responsible to and accountable to the Citizens of Canada;

3) That the Citizens of Canada cast off subjecthood to the Crown-Governors and take up collective Ownership of the Crown in Canada, take up collectively the Sovereign Authority to constitute governments, courts, legislation, regulation, laws and bylaws to govern ourselves;

4) That the Citizens of Canada hereby convey, IN TRUST, our collective Crown Ownership & Sovereignty Authority over Canada, to the Office of Queen of Canada, as presently constituted. This Trust is not permanent 'And We do hereby reserve to Ourselves, Our heirs and successors, full power and authority from time to time to revoke, alter, or amend the terms of this trust as to Us or them shall seem fit'. (borrowed from Clause XV, Letters Patent GovGen 1947) ;

5) That the Citizens of Canada hereby continue the BNA Act precedent to entrust, to the Office of Governor General of Canada, all the Executive Powers and Authorities of the Crown, as written in the 1867 text and in the Letters Patent of 1947;

6) That the appointment of the next Governor General (NextGovGen) be announced with a public proclamation of the Powers and Authorities of the Office as described in the BNA Act 1867 and the Letters Patent of 1947.

7) That the Governor General next following the Officeholder described in resolution #6 (NextGovGen) be appointed only after having been elected, in a general cross-Canada election to be held simultaneous with the General Parliamentary Election.

8) That the election of Governor General be held simultaneously with every second General Parliamentary Election and that the term of Office of Governor General commence 365 days after the date of that election. This time delay will permit the GovGen-elect to familiarize her/himself with his/her role's responsibilities, the issues and opportunities of-the-day and to summon a new Privy Council.

9) That Order-in-Council PC 1940-1121 be revoked and the responsibility and control of the Privy Council be restored to the Office of the Governor General. The Prime Minister and not more than four (4) of the Prime Minister's Cabinet shall be ex officio members of the Privy Council, but none shall Chair a committee and no committee shall be comprised of a majority from the Prime Minister's Cabinet.

10) That the Four Thousand Dollar ($4,000.00) amounts, cited in BNA Act s.23 and s.31 concerning qualifications and dis-qualifications to hold office as Senator, shall be adjusted for inflation to January 1 2006 and applied with no exceptions, effective January 1, 2008 in accordance with the Acts provisions and in accordance with the Declaration of Qualifications in the Fifth Schedule .

11) That to fully inform Canadians (as Owners of Canada, its wealth, its Treasury and all its assets, liabilities) of the current state of fiscal affairs, of the future implications of current government policies and future fiscal decisions, all Federal & Provincial Budgets, Budget Programs, Foundations and Non-Budgetary Programs shall be presented annually and on, at minimum, a 25-year projection basis.

12) That as to fully inform Canadians, in their collective capacity as Owners of the Lands and Assets of Canada, a Statement of Accounts be prepared outlining i) the size and location of all parcels of Crown Land and Real Property (with improvements), ii) the current use, revenue, expenditure and encumbrances (if any) on each parcel, iii) the current valuation-at-cost of each parcel and the current market value, iv) the outstanding claims (if any) and contingent liabilities (if any) that affect each parcel, v) an accounting of all other financial and/or non-financial, tangible and/or non-tangible Assets of Canada, and that this Statement and Accounting shall be the basis for future Canadian decisions on the disposition, development or other use of these Assets and further to aid in determining the prudent rate of return, (from fees, taxation, royalties and any other revenue) to be expected and exacted from these Assets, ."

"Gentlemen & Ladies, I welcome your reactions, your questions and will remain available for further discussion until the last one of you is satisfied"

Link, took the first question, from a perky 'blonde lady' from Edmonton "I thought we already became a sovereign, independent country in 1931 and in 1982?"

And on it went ... incredulity, shock, dismay ... mis-information, dis-formation, no-information was transformed into knowledge and into power to Act .... a revelation of truth about what lay right beneath our noses.

We Canadians had known for some time that something was wrong ... but until now had just never been able to put our finger on exactly what was wrong.

Canada, reborn its own image. Canada Re-Confederated and Re-constituted for the 21st Century without amending a single paragraph or not even changing one piece of letterhead (except for the $4000 part).

Oh my, ... what a difference there might have been ..... if Ihad just envisioned this scenario and written this text two weeks prior to the Congress.