The tragic dawn of 9/11 swept the globe into a maelstrom of hysteria and fear.
The world had become more dangerous, it was said, and so we needed extraordinary new measures to address this new crisis. Our freedoms might have been alright in that old, “safe,” world, it was said, but now in this new, “dangerous,” one, they’re just not going to work.
And so, under the cloak of security, the guise of safety, and the obscurity of secrecy, our hard-won freedoms are slowly stripped away.
Like all big lies this is wrapped in enough truth to make it plausible. The truth is that the world is indeed dangerous — but this is not new; it has always been so.
Through humankind’s long journey in this much-troubled world, despite, and even because of these dangers, we have evolved our notions of individual rights, justice, due process, and rule of law — and on the blood and bones of generations of heroes we have achieved unmatched freedom within the framework of democratic societies constrained by Constitutions, and Charters or Bills of Rights.
But presumption of innocence, habeas corpus, rights to privacy, and freedom to travel, live, and earn a living without let or hindrance — values critical to our free society — all now hang in the balance. When we lose these we necessarily lose the selfsame safety and security for which we gave them up.
I find that I cannot continue to rely upon others to defend these critically important values, nor to protect this way of life. I find that I need to be involved, to be at the table when such matters so critical to the future of my family, my community, and my country are being decided, and this is my primary reason for running for parliament.
But, while this is the fulcrum for my effort, there is a great body of good works to be done on all fronts:
Real Electoral Reform
I will continue to advocate this approach within the context of our platform’s proposed electoral-reform framework.
- A truly free society requires an effective, resilient democracy. Yet in recent years radiating cracks have become highly evident in our own democracy, driving an appetite for real electoral reform. Having done considerable work in this area I am excited to join in this conversation.
- We must also seriously address the malaise and dysfunction within parliament itself, and I am delighted to support the Liberal party’s proposals to correct these deficiencies
- We need a vibrant, prosperous, sustainable economy founded on robust and sound environmental stewardship — in particular, we need to foster an orderly transition from our oil-based economy and resolve issues inherent to on-going climate change; the threat is dire, and imminent.
- We must ensure that we have effective and appropriate environmental-protection legislation and that compliance is meaningfully and effectively monitored and enforced. We need our environmental-review processes for economic developments to be open and fair and consider all factors, especially including both up- and down-stream environmental consequences, and that all viewpoints are adequately heard.
- We need to rejuvenate our relationship with our aboriginal peoples, to sit down once again as equals, to finally resolve the many serious problems that have endured unabated for generations. We were on the right path, once, with the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin’s Kelowna Accord, long since abandoned and ignored by the Harper government. We need to get back on that path. It leads to a better future for all of Canada.
- I look forward to the opportunity to work closely with our community leaders and our local and provincial governments to nurture an effective dialogue with the federal government, to ensure that infrastructure funding continue to flow to us, and to look for ways to facilitate partnerships among these several levels of governments.
- We must take meaningful steps to combat crime founded on a true “tough-on-crime,” evidence-based approach.
- We need to address the drug problem with emphasis on harm reduction, and confront homelessness by creating a national housing strategy.
- We must clearly define the mission of our military (my own preference being to resume our role as significant peace keepers, not tag-alongs in the military aspirations of others) — and then we must ensure that they are properly trained and fully and properly supplied and equipped to execute this role. (Let’s actually achieve the necessary procurements, not just talk about them in expensive photo-ops!)
- And it is imperative that we properly support our veterans, in honour and respect, and ensure — without fail — that they have the on-going support they need.
… There is more of course, much, much more, once we roll up our sleeves and get down to it. So, getting down to it: it is indeed a privilege to be able, once again, to offer my service to the people of this community, and to Canada.
Ron McKinnon, 2015 Official Candidate
Liberal Party of Canada in Coquitlam — Port Coquitlam.