CAPP has re-invented itself as Canadians Advocating for Political Participation. In interviews on CBC, CAPP spokespeople said they were continuing to organize now that Parliament was back to ensure that people across the country, whatever their politics, continue to demand accountability from their politicians and get more engaged in the political process. I am hoping it will be the beginning of a democracy movement that will go much farther and start demanding political engagement by citizens in the political process.
CAPP will vote this week on a mission statement and three goals:
1) To defend and restore Canadian democracy
2) Engage in public awareness and civic education activities
3) Encourage greater political participation by all citizens
You can join their new Facebook page to keep up. In Toronto, they are organizing various events like the Democracy Cafe where I will be speaking on Women and Power on March 8 and continuing to have regular meetings. This week on Friday they will be meeting at Sid Smith Hall at U of T at 6 pm. For now, keeping government accountable is critical. Yesterday we found out that Jason Kenney, Canada's own 40 year old virgin, removed all reference to gay and lesbian rights from Canada's citizenship guide. This got a lot of MSM attention but it is only the latest of a series of redactions from Canadian documents of words signifying human rights.
An investigative report published last summer in Canada's Embassy Magazine but not picked up in any other media found that Canada has axed language like gender equality, child soldier and humanitarian international law from various documents. We already knew that removing gender equality from the mandate of the Status of Women office preceeded the closing of the majority of offices and the further cuts to women's advocacy groups but this report suggests an even more Machiavellian agenda. I learned about this from PEN Canada where I participated in a panel with Afua Cooper and Mark Kingwell talking about the rather frightening meaning of this language change.
The idea that Stephen Harper and his crew of social conservatives have moderated their views so rampant in the MSM is given lie by these under the table changes that indicate policy changes to come. Hopefully a broad citizens' movement can in the short term bring attention to these anti-democratic actions and in the long term make sure that a secretive authoritarian government can never again get support from Canadians.
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