The Editor: I am delighted to read in the Prairie Messenger (April 1) that the Justice Tour is touring across eight cities in Canada to engage the public on important social and environmental issues. I do not have to repeat the current state of affairs that the committee and the public are very familiar with. However, I would add that, with the slowing down of our economy, it may hasten and deepen the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”
Therefore, we look for strong leadership to develop policies that would benefit all citizens, especially strong government regulations that concern the food, mining, and financial industries.
In the financial industry and global economy, Allan Greenspan, the former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, admitted that failure in regulation of the financial industry had contributed toward the financial meltdown in 2008. The French economist Thomas Piketty, in his book on Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has also advocated for a global tax on wealth as one of the measures that may bring about financial justice to the system; this obviously require government regulations and policies.
Concerning the food industry, the amount of sugar and sodium in our processed food found in most grocery stores is posing serious health consequences of diabetes and hypertension to the public. It is also a known fact that affordable foods are very often unhealthy while healthy foods are becoming increasingly unaffordable to those in most need of nutritious foods.
Why spend huge sums of money downstream to treat people with diabetes and hypertension, instead of spending a smaller sum upstream to prevent the problem in the first place?
Our mining and resources industry also requires strong regulations in order to maintain a sustainable industry that benefits all citizens as well as being good for the environment and climate. This is not only essential on Canadian soil but also for our industries operating on foreign soil.
All these are not new ideas but ideas are useless unless they are implemented. — Raymond Tsang, Winnipeg
The Editor: Because the preamble to our constitution states, “(W)hereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God. . . ,” it was baffling to understand how the Supreme Court could end prayer at urban council meetings because of a case brought by an atheist with hurt feelings.
According to the Supreme Court, the preamble is not law and, although I would agree with them on that, it is self-evident that the preamble is still an integral part of the constitution. It still lays the foundation and provides the vantage point from which the entire constitution of our nation is to be interpreted. It says that we are a theist secular state. Secular does not mean atheist. It means we respect all theist beliefs equally.
We know that throughout history, there has been a constant debate over the existence of God. The preamble sets out whose worldview would prevail on fundamental issues such as free speech, conscience, religion, the right to life, assisted suicide, the purpose of sexuality and yes, . . . prayer.
How can judges who do not believe in God interpret a constitution based upon a belief in God? In short, they cannot. Godless judges are unable to appreciate fundamental freedoms as most of those freedoms are based upon a belief in God and the intrinsic worth of all people whom God created.
There is now a vacancy on our Supreme Court. We need a judge who believes in God, not a judge who thinks that the preamble is meaningless and wants to shape Canada into their own image.
If God has not made a difference in one’s own life, then of course a belief in God by judges is not seen as important at all. For those whose life views are guided by God, a belief in God becomes mandatory for all those who make our laws. — Tom Schuck , Weyburn, Sask.
The Editor: There is an old saying. “Truth is the first casualty of war.” Our Canadian government with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canada’s Minister of Defence Jason Kenney have stated that Canada’s military “will not go beyond Syria and Iraq.” Does that mean that our government is considering the bombing of ISIS military sites in Syria? Is that what is supposed to bring peace to Syria?
It is estimated there have been about 8,000 bombing sorties made on ISIS sites in Iraq. That is not counting the American bombing of Iraq during the so called Shock and Awe war in 2003, stated at about 3,000 bombing sorties. Approximately 10 per cent of the recent bombing flights on ISIS targets were carried out by Canadian Air Force personnel stationed in Kuwait. One really has to wonder, what kind of a peace has all this bombing brought to Iraq? And what is left to bomb there?
After becoming prime minister of Canada, Harper did comment on Canada’s military role. He stated that he did not see Canada’s soldiers as peacekeepers, but rather as “courageous warriors.” Are Canadians now supposed to become a warrior nation, instead of peacemakers?
Recent reports have stated that Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest importer of military weapons. In 2014 Canada sold $10 billion of military equipment to Saudi Arabia. This country has strong ties to Israel. Our prime minister has stated that Canada would support Israel without question.
Most recent annual statistics reported the world’s spending on the weapons of war at about $64 billion.
It would appear that some of the world’s politicians believe that if you drop enough bombs and shoot enough people, peace will break out automatically. In the meantime, the producers of military weapons, are smiling all the way to the bank. — Leo Kurtenbach, Saskatoon