Much of contemporary society seems to be bordering on insanity.
Some recent examples:
Justin Trudeau legalized marijuana in 2018, providing two reasons for doing so. It was to reduce organized crime and the black market sale of marijuana. Five years later, neither of these goals has been achieved.
Nonetheless, the federal Department of Health announced, in March 2023, that the government would relax the regulations on the sale of marijuana. According to the claims of growers, wholesalers, and retailers, this was necessary because many marijuana companies have declared bankruptcy. A total of 34 marijuana corporations have become insolvent since 2020. George Smitherman, CEO of the Cannabis Council of Canada, predicts many more bankruptcies. He stated that, of about 300 licensed producers who have an account with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), at least 70% of them are in default of their payments. In their testimony, on June 20, 2022, before the House of Commons Committee on Agriculture, these marijuana suppliers claimed that there was currently little profit in legal marijuana because of tight regulations and the high taxes on their profits.
Liberal Government’s Response
The Liberal government has decided to relax regulations surrounding the marijuana trade. The reason: sales of legal cannabis are about $4 billion a year, and of this sum, $1.6 billion goes to the provinces, territories, and the federal government (February 24, 2022 report of the Control and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages and Cannabis – April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022).
This decision was made despite the fact that, according to Statistics Canada (April 23, 2021), marijuana use has increased by 6% since 2020, creating health problems such as damage to lungs because smoking the product is more harmful than cigarette smoking. Further, the Department of Public Safety released a report (May, 2022) indicating that since marijuana was legalized, traffic charges for driving while impaired by drugs jumped 43%. The report further stated that “drug impaired driving is a major contributor to fatal car crashes, and young people continue to be the largest group of drivers who die in crashes and test positive for drugs”.
Further, a new study by Danish scientists at the Copenhagen Research Centre for Mental Health, Copenhagen University Hospital (Cambridge University Press, May 4, 2023), indicates that nearly one third of cases of schizophrenia in 21-30 year olds were triggered by cannabis use. This study was based on the health records of nearly seven million patients over a 50-year research period.
The above indicates that the sale of marijuana (cannabis) is not in the public’s best interests. Revenue from its sales however, certainly serves the interests of the federal government.
Canadian Delegation at Climate Change Conference
A climate change conference was held in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt November 6-18, 2022. The Canadian delegation, led by Environment and Climate Change Minister, Steven Guilbeault, consisted of 200 individuals, including 53 executives from the Department of Environment. This delegation cost Canadian taxpayers $839,611 for renting 106 rooms at a deluxe resort ranging in price from $405 to $1,300 per night.
According to Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism, this luxury resort had the lowest level of environmental certification performance of all hotels in the area. On the other hand, the resort did feature a private beach, eight swimming pools, “fantastic theme parties”, a disco club, spa, camel rides, three buffets, and 13 bars.
In the House of Commons, on March 20, 2023, Environment Minister Guilbeault stated that critics of environmental change lack a sense of urgency. He claimed that the opposition Conservatives “have no idea whatsoever what needs to be done to fight climate change and to adapt to the reality of climate change.”
Undoubtedly the Climate Change Conference in Egypt was a pleasant albeit expensive holiday paid by the taxpayers for the 200 member Canadian delegation but it didn’t do anything for climate change.
It’s difficult to reconcile the adjective “ethical” with the noun “pornography”, since it is clearly inappropriate to associate the term “ethical” to an activity that is so harmful.
Nonetheless, a Canadian firm, called Ethical Capital Partners, has purchased MindGeek, the Canadian business that owns Pornhub, one of the world’s biggest “adult” sites. Pornhub is the 12th most visited site on the Internet and has 130 million daily visitors, who view its three million videos. The platform produces uploads of sex with violence, sex with minors, and sex without consent. The site is also infested with videos of trafficked women and sexually abused children. In short, Mindgeek’s reputation belies that its content is “ethical.” In 2021, Mastercard and Visa cut off Pornhub after New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristoff, published a blistering exposé of this platform.
However, Ethical Capital Partners, the new purchasers of MindGeek, claims that it will cut through MindGeek’s bad reputation to provide what it calls “ethical pornography”. The purchase motive is apparently to provide “ethical” pornography but, according to The UK Financial Times, profit margins for Pornhub have, at times, reached 50%. That is, the risks of the purchase of MindGeek may be high, but the rewards are also immense.
According to Solomon Friedman, co-founding partner of Ethical Capital, the lawsuits, as well as criticism of MindGeek, stem from a “misunderstanding” of the company. Misunderstanding? This is a high jump for credibility. However, since this purchase, we can expect an intense public relations campaign about how there is financial discrimination against pornography and a danger to free speech. It will also be claimed that legislation on pornography is so broad that in can have harmful implications for civil liberties, internet freedom, and sexual expression.
The reality is that purchasers of MindGeek understand that the pornography industry leads in technology, and that every major piece of technology change has been mastered by porn first, from VHS tapes, to DVDs, to internet video – all of which became popularized because of porn. And now the same is happening with generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), with its “deep fakes” of images not requiring a human presence. The purchase of MindGeek is a great way to get into the porn business before it becomes computer generated, which will dramatically reduce the costs of content creation.
The proper response to the wide availability of pornography is to oppose it. It is plainly immoral because it undermines normal sexuality, seriously damages marriages (pornography is the most cited reason for divorces in the US), and degrades the safety and integrity of all those involved. The huge profits from pornography and its contribution to technology are simply not worth it.
Former Governor General David Johnston on the Gravy Train
Justin Trudeau appointed a family friend, former Governor General David Johnston, who was also a former member of the Pierre Trudeau Foundation and who personally had a close relationship with China, to be a “Special Rapporteur” to review reports by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that Beijing has interfered in Canadian elections.
Mr. Johnston received a per diem fee of between $1400 to $1600 and was granted the ability to have staff and “other reasonable expenses” covered to carry out his review.
On May 23, 2023, Johnston submitted his report in which he stated that a public inquiry was not necessary and instead, that he himself would conduct public hearings on the matter.
His report prompted a wave of fury in Canada. On June 9th, 2023, Johnston announced his resignation, blaming “the highly partisan atmosphere around my appointment and work” for the resignation. In other words, Johnston resigned in a huff, blaming Canadians for the mess – not Trudeau, who appointed him, nor himself, who accepted the appointment despite his all too apparent bias. Does Johnston think Canadians are fools?
Trudeau is now searching for someone else to conduct an inquiry. The three opposition leaders, Conservative, NDP and Bloc Quebecois, have agreed to provide names to carry out a review once Trudeau officially agrees to a public inquiry. However, one never knows whether the incompetent and less than honest Trudeau will agree to a public inquiry since it might reveal his and his Liberal Party’s close ties with the Chinese and their electoral interference. The House of Commons on March 23, 2023 voted 172 to 149 to call for a public inquiry on the Chinese Interference issue, Canadians are still waiting.