Canadian military falls off course

A Nelson resident reflects on NDP MP Alex Atamanenko's conscientious tax.

NDP MP Alex Atamanenko and various members of the politically diverse public interested in conscientious tax uses devoted the evening of February 22 to hearing what Alex’s proposed Bill C-363 was about through talk, discussion, and film. There are so many valid points that could be mentioned.

Given that we in Canada have recently stood together donning pink T-shirts to bring attention and change to bullying behaviours through the impetus of some courageous Canadian high school students, this meeting was of optimal timing. Canada’s history as a peacekeeper and supporter of human rights has become so eroded in the past six years that many countries’ representatives walk out of international conferences when Canada’s representatives stand to speak.

Personally, very few of these Canadian representatives voice anything remotely close to my views when it comes to human rights, environmental issues, or interactions in other countries’ affairs. My father spent his early manhood years in fighter planes over Europe, and also spent his lifetime career as Air Force personnel, part of Canada’s commitment to prepared defense. Until he died at 90 years old, Remembrance Day was of the utmost importance to him, my Legion leader mother, and their peers to impart the message of the values of peace, sharing, and caring…beyond borders.

At this conscience Canada meeting, one of the most disturbing facts shared was that in past armed war conflicts, 80 per cent of the casualties and wounded were the combatants/soldiers. Over the past recent years of war, the ratios are inverted so that 80 per cent of those harmed and killed are civilians. Having military resources to defend ourselves and to provide peacekeeping services globally is vastly different than being forces of invasion and brutal military force lacking target discernment.

That our government chooses to model bullying tactics in global relationships seems out of sync with the views of many members of the Canadian public, including our presently non-voting youth whose leadership is so admirable and valuable.

A local writer and astrologer, Michael O’Connor, stated in February: “…our world has reached something of a crisis point. Greed, corruption and crimes against nature and humanity have become so much the norm that many hardly even see them anymore or have simply tuned them out in futility, disgust and/or despair.”

On February 22, a participant commented that, “Aggression leads to fear; fear leads to silence; silence leads to the breakdown of civil society.”

Wherever called for in our lives, it is up to those of us blessed to be Canadians to uphold and stand for dignified and integral paths to peace through equality, discussion, and respect.

Our own lives are the foundations and reflections of relationship possibilities with Earth’s global community. The age of power-over has shifted to unified internal power as we recognize and truly value each other as fellow humans beyond the superficiality of titles and hierarchal positions in society. We can choose to be voices of compassionate humanity in action by serving as we would our own beloved families, those who are our global neighbours, sisters, brothers, elders, and children.

In a nutshell, that was the theme of the conscience Canada meeting where those present chose to look at how our tax contributions are in alignment with our moral values of responsibility as global citizens. True resolutions are possible as the corporate war games profiteering agenda of fear is ending because Earth’s diverse peoples choose unity.

Madelene Rutski