by Arthur Weinreb
September 30, 2002
One thing that Canadians have learned throughout the last nine years is that our prime minister is never wrong. Dont let this "We have no real opposition" fool you. If Jean Chrétien was ever wrong, he would not have gained the foothold on office that he holds today. He was right in calling for the abolition of the GST while he was in opposition and even more right when deciding to keep it once he obtained office. Ditto for free trade. After all, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. And then theres the Kyoto accords. Chrétien is going to ratify it even though he doesnt agree with the high emission reductions that Canada will be bound to undertake. In other words, hes going to sign a document that says he agrees with something that he doesnt agree with. A lesser mind would have crumbled. If only Mike Harris could have learned to think like the littlest guy from Shawinigan instead of chasing after common sense, he would be leader of a united right federal party today. There is no doubt about it--Jean is quite a guy.
So when Chrétien says that the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington were caused by the poverty in third world countries that was brought about by the greed and arrogance of the West, we dont have to be told twice--even though we were. And Jean knows greed and arrogance. Besides we live in a multicultural country where all cultures and religions are equal and we cannot have people going around saying that the terrorist attacks were somehow connected to Islam. Osama bin Ladens interpretation of the Quoran is just as valid as beliefs held by other religions such as Roman Catholicism. Okay so its more valid than beliefs about abortion and birth control, but I digress.
As Chrétien has told us, poverty leads to terrorism which brings us to OCAP, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. OCAP has engaged in violent activities before such as the riot at Queens Park and the taking over of MPP Jim Flahertys constituency office. This violence was not terrorism and according to the poverty group it wasnt even violence. It was "street theatre". The real violence was committed by the big bad provincial government that decided able-bodied people shouldnt be supported for sitting around on sidewalks.
Is OCAP, under the leadership of John bin Clarke, a terrorist organization? During last summers visit of Pope Jean Paul II, the group took over a vacant property on King Street West, that is now affectionately known as the "Pope Squat". And what did the authorities do? They watched them for a few days and then did nothing. Much like the way the RCMP and CSIS deals with al-Qaeda. That has to tell you something.
Last week, Tent City, the vacant land owned by Home Depot and occupied for over two years by one hundred plus squatters was raided and dismantled by security guards assisted by the police. Almost everyone had an opinion on what happened, except for possibly, Canadas Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham. But had he commented, he would have asked both sides to show restraint and urged them to seek a solution at the United Nations. The destruction of Homeless Depot came less than two weeks after Chrétiens poverty equals terrorism views. Coincidence? I think not.
Will OCAP now engage in full-fledged terrorist activity? They wont, although some think that they already have when they threw rocks at mounted police officers and hurt some horseys. It wont be because of a lack of money as the poverty group is well financed by Sheikh El Cid Ryan and others. It will, however, be hard for al-OCAP to find crude bomb making materials since they have called for a boycott of Home Depot, one of the countrys best sources for wires and nails and stuff. And as for flying planes into buildings, flying lessons would be difficult for people whose most demanding task to date involved holding a squeegee.
OCAP, despite its roots in poverty, will not engage in terrorism. Gee, maybe Jean Chrétien isnt that bright afterall.
Arthur Weinreb is a lawyer and author and Associate Editor of
Canadafreepress.com, he can be reached at: email@example.com