No matter how you define yourself as a citizen of Canada, I have yet to meet anyone who does not in some way share with me, a genuine pride and love of this our humble Dominion of Canada.
Many people want to show the way they feel about the country by flying the flag. That's a good thing, but there is a problem. Flying the flag improperly is really demeaning the very country of which we are so proud. These two pictures were taken Monday and they are by no means the only time I have seen our flag left up when it was long past being a reasonable represention of our great country. Flying what is left of a flag is insulting, not just to the flag and the country, but to every one of us who identify with that symbol of our nation.
If you fly a flag, make sure that it is not torn or damaged, and if you have doubts about its position with other flags, there is an excellent web site, Rules for Flying the Flag, that spells out flag protocol.
Symbols of a people and of a country are important things, in many ways, far more important than we might ever consider. That flag shown in the picture above is being flown subservient to the the United States (the correct placement of the flag when flown with is others is to lead rather than follow the others) and that is the way some Canadians view our country, so much so that the report of the Maher Arar inquiry was made public Monday and Commissioner Dennis O’Connor who heard the evidence and made the report, soundly condemns the actions of our neighbour in its treatment of a Canadian citizen and it also condemns, yet another symbol of Canadian sovereignty, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who according to the report, broke their own rules and acted with blatant disregard for the safety of a Canadian and for the sovereignty of our country.
I checked the RCMP web site and there was no mention whatever of their serious breach of conduct on their site. But they do have a National Security Information Line, 1 800 420 5805 where it says you can; "Call this number to report information regarding terrorism, criminal extremism or suspicious activities which could pose a threat to the national safety and security."
Since the inquiry report was pretty specific about the wrong doing of the RCMP I called up the number and reported them. The guy said that there would be an internal investigation and I said I was writing this article and he said shouldn't I wait and get more information and I pointed out that the Inquiry report has already been published and it reported criminal behaviour toward a Canadian, that is now a statement of fact and has already been established.
What clearly is going to happen is the present government is going to blame the Chretien government and the RCMP will hold a quiet little investigation, identify some scapegoat, pin it on him and say "we didn't anything wrong." The reality is that even after Arar was released from the Syrian torturers the RCMP continued to leak nasty stuff to smeer him and his wife, who were put on a travel watch list, including their very young children, all of this happened since the inquiry into the incident had begun.
The worry I have, and I am certain is shared by anyone who thinks about it, is that if there is a loyalty issue, the RCMP will heed the direction of the US government and agencies over Canadian needs. Yankees are in our midst and on the national payroll.
We ought to tighten up on the performance of duties of our national police force. The only oath of office required by statute is the oath of allegiance, whereby every officer swears his, or her loyal, to the Queen. It would seem to me that acting against Her Majesty's loyal subjects, on behalf of a foreign power, is the definition of treason, and in time of war, the penalty for high treason has been the ultimate penalty, so it would be seemly for those officers acting on the behalf of the United States are guilty of high treason and if their lives are not forfeit, than definitely, they must be summarily dispatched from their employment and placed in a federal prison, so they can send no more Canadians to Syria to be tortured.
In a democratic society the treatment of a minority and of the individual, determines the standard by which that society is fair and judged to be fair to all of its citizens. The statements in the commission's report is not hinting at our national police forced having done wrong, it is saying openly, that they broke their own rules and released information to the US authorities that sent a man to be tortured.
It is unbelievable that in 2006 anyone in a civilised nation should have to consider the possibility of governments carrying out torture, yet the US itself is guilty of breaking the Geneva Convention in treatment of prisoners and two Canadians, Maher Arar and John Samson have been tortured to the point of destroying their lives. If we see no action taken with either of these cases we need to seriously question the concept of the rule of law.
We give up our self defence to Her Majesty and her government and in return she and her servants must extend to us protection and safety. There is no place for torture in a civilised democratic society. We have due process in this country and those laws were developed since 1066 to protect the citizen from excesses in time of stress. The RCMP without courts or legal authority, condemned a man to torture and for their action, they are complicit and responsible for the crimes committed.
If you have any doubts about what we Canadians believe in just run over the words of the national anthem. Words that have been argued and honed to convey what being a Canadian is all about. What I am demanding is that our national police for live up to the words in that anthem.