Black Fly Time

I am attaching to this post the full text (minus my name and address) of an email I sent earlier today to Prime Minister Harper, Finance Minister Flaherty, Opposition Leader Mulcair, Justin Trudeau (Liberal leader), Elizabeth May (Green Party leader), Paul Dewar (NDP Foreign Affairs Critic and my MP), Peggy Nash (NDP Finance Critic) and Murray Rankin (NDP National Revenue Critic).  For greater effect (I hope), I sent these emails separately rather than as a bulk list or ccs.  I focused a bit on NDP members, because I want to flag the Toronto Centre dimension to current sitting members (and maybe also hand a few grenades to the other parties for the by-election, if McQuaig wins the nomination and the other recipients’ staffers pay attention).
IGA email re Cruz etc
The full text is too lengthy to post here, and perhaps arguably too lengthy as an email (more than four pages).  However, the first page summarizes the six points I wanted to make; the following pages are elaboration and a few web links supporting the points.
The gist of the email is to express opposition to a Canada-US IGA, for reasons that are already painfully familiar to regular visitors to this website – with the recent addition of the Ted Cruz story, which necessarily takes a full page on its own, to communicate exactly why I consider the treatment of his renunciation of his accidental Canadian citizenship so grotesquely disparate to a not-so-hypothetical parallel renunciation of accidental US citizenship.  I think this stark and compelling example needs to be driven home to our elected parliamentarians and cabinet ministers.  (I maybe should have used the female gender in my example, but that didn’t occur to me until after I sent the emails and then stumbled over one of WhiteKat’s blogs, sorry WhiteKat no offense intended …)
The current timing of an email such as this is, I believe, critical, given the possibilities of an IGA announcement when Parliament resumes in October (and, one hopes, not before then!).
One email probably won’t make a difference. But multiple emails may make a difference.  I encourage all Canadians visiting this website, whatever your national or ethnic origin (to borrow the words of our precious Section 15 of the Charter), to send similar emails NOW to your own Member of Parliament and to other members as you think appropriate.
No doubt my email could have been shorter and perhaps better-written.  Please do NOT cut and paste my wording; use your own, perhaps with my wording as a starting point for improvement.  Cut-and-paste jobs don’t have the impact of obviously-individual emails.
I appreciate so very much all that Lynne, Victoria, Don and others have done in attempting to get these stories before Canadian media.  But I am discouraged at how seldom we seem to get much media traction in Canada.  I think our best bet, for now, is to blitz Parliament with the message.
And please, those of you who are NDP members, even if you don’t live in Toronto Centre, hammer home your concerns to Mulcair and the NDP critics, mentioning your NDP membership in your emails.  I didn’t do that in the copy I’m posting here, nor in the copies I sent to Harper, Flaherty, Trudeau and May, since I don’t want to dilute the message by flagging that I’m not one of their “base” members.  I’m rubbing the NDP’s nose in it, though.
Toronto Centre residents, whether NDP or not, should pay close attention to what happens to the NDP nomination meeting on September 15.  Vote accordingly in the by-election.  See my post on this elsewhere on Sandbox, linked in my email.
Remember, all that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good people to say and do nothing when it rears its ugly head.
And (re the thread title): one black fly can’t kill a moose, but a swarm of black flies can bleed a moose to death, if the moose can’t free itself from the swarm.  Let’s bleed the moose!  NOW!

10 thoughts on “Black Fly Time

  1. @ schubert
    Excellent email and a template for other to use. Although the email addresses of the politicians are readily available, would you mind posting a list here to save some time for those who wish to follow your example?

    1. Anyone wishing to send an email to their MP can do so by finding the MP’s name in the list linked here
      and then double-clicking on the name to get to the Member’s page where you can find the email address if you scroll down. It generally will be something like, but it’s best to check the Member’s page to be sure. Some members may not use their name the way you might think (Flaherty is Jim.flaherty but it could just as easily have been James.flaherty, so check to be sure). If you don’t know who your MP is, shame on you, and go here: and enter your postal code in the appropriate search box (don’t waste time with the Senate, they don’t really represent your province, never mind you, as we’ve learned in the cases of Wallin, Duffy and a few others … they only represent their own pocketbooks).
      If you want to know who the cabinet ministers are, go here
      To find the names of an opposition party’s critics (redundant in the case of Elizabeth May, since she’s the entire Green Party caucus all by herself), you generally need to Google the party name, go to their website, and do a little digging. For example, the Opposition (NDP) critics are listed here: which link was found from the NDP of Canada’s home page under Party>Shadow Cabinet at the top of the home page. Good luck finding the list of critics for the Liberals; I Googled the LPC of Canada, went to the home page, and I could find links about Justin Trudeau but can’t see a shadow cabinet list anywhere (which maybe says a lot about how the NDP operates versus how the Liberals operate: the NDP does have a lot of bling about Mulcair on their website, but they do emphasize that the party consists of a shadow cabinet and not just a leader …). Maybe send the Liberal Party an email and ask them where the list is, but be prepared to get robo-emails once they have your email address … If someone does find a Liberal shadow cabinet list somewhere on the internet, please post the link in this thread.

  2. Thanks for spurring me on, schubert, to another round of my letter writing to our Canadian government representatives (who should be fully representing all of its citizens and residents). You’re absolutely correct that time is of the essence.
    Black flies, mosquitoes continuing to swarm.

  3. Great, email, Schubert. Honestly, I’ve been a bit demoralized at the form letters and lackluster response from our govt officials, and I haven’t had the will or energy to keep on writing to them. You’ve shamed me, (in a good way), and I’m going to get back on it, and I WILL write.

  4. That is a good letter and early September is a good time to ramp up lobbying.
    When I’ve sent lobby email in the past, I’ve also sent same letter via post. A hardcopy has more permanence than an email – and maybe it gets passed around? Canada Post mail to any member of Parliament is free as well!

  5. @ schubert
    Thanks for your answer to my question above.
    Funny thing about the MP search. Whenever I or my wife (usually my wife) signs a petition to be sent to our MP, we often get back a thoughtful, personal email response from an MP in the neighboring riding (same party), but never from our own MP.
    The postal code check on the site you cited does give the correct MP.
    Because our postal code covers a wide area, I have often checked riding boundaries to make sure there is no overlap, and, there isn’t. Recently we have even started to get general mailings from the other MP and none from our own.
    For the issues discussed here, I think I’ll use snail mail this time.

  6. Letter bombs are good ways to bring attention to an issue. Pick a target to email and a date. Have as many people as possible email on that day. Friends, neighbours, members here and at Brock. Anyone. Move on to the next target and pick another date. When one topic comes up repeatedly in a short amount of time you’re more likely to get action.
    Harper, you know I’m getting a lot tired of being left hanging on this IGA/FATCA issue. There has been utter silence for months now. Something is in the works or else he’d just have said “NO” and that’ would be apparent to all. Lots of lobbying wanting this abomination from certain quarters in this country. People who obviously have very little understanding of what it actually is. We need to push back every bit as hard.
    Very good letter Shubert, thanks for posting it and writing it.

  7. IN case you missed it on the Toronto Centre by-election thread (re FATCA cheerleader Linda McQuaig), I may be getting some good traction with that letter in the camp of Jennifer Hollett, McQuaig’s main rival for the nomination.
    According to Kady O’Malley on CBC today, the earliest probably date for the Toronto Centre (and three other) by-election is October 21. That’s because there are now four vacant seats to fill, and unless Harper deviates from the usual practice of having all by-elections on the same day (for seats currently vacant), October 21 is the earliest date for the latest vacancy.
    Most writers I’ve seen think Harper will want to have all four by-elections on October 21.
    Don’t count on this until the by-election dates are actually announced, but it looks likely that people in Toronto Centre, and those who know people in Toronto Centre, may have another five weeks to educate the voters in that riding re FATCA, whatever the outcome of the NDP nomination might be. Blitzing the Liberal candidates before their nomination meeting might not be a bad idea, if you can find out who they all are and their websites. I know Chrysta Freeland is running, but I can’t find a campaign website for her nor any indication of when the Liberal nomination meeting is in Toronto Centre (there are several other candidates running for the nomination, I believe, including someone who’s been in the riding a long time — Freeland is a parachute into the riding I think).
    The Greens clearly are opposed to FATCA; at least some parts of the NDP have “serious concerns” about it, even if McQuaig doesn’t. I don’t have a clue what the Liberal position is on this. If Flaherty has announced an IGA before October 21 (probably unlikely), analyze it carefully to decide whether it’s a sell-out or not. If he hasn’t announced an IGA, and rumour is negotiations are still underway, I’d assume by October 21 that it’s a sell-out and I wouldn’t recommend voting Tory unless there’s a reliable indication that Flaherty is really peeling the IGA terms back (unlikely the US would agree to that though, and also unlikely we’d have any reliable information on what’s going to be in the IGA if it hasn’t been announced).
    So please, Toronto folks, keep informing people, raise a few questions at the NDP nomination meeting (and at the Liberal one in Toronto Centre, I don’t know whether it’s been announced or when), and keep hammering away. Once the candidates are all nominated, take a hard look at who they are, ask pointed questions in the candidate meetings, and vote accordingly.
    It isn’t over until the final vote is counted in the by-election, and every vote may count (in the nomination meeting or in the by-election).
    FYI the other by-elections are Brandon-Souris (Manitoba), Bourassa (Quebec), and Provencher (Manitoba). My hunch is there aren’t nearly as many FATCA-vulnerable people in any or all of those three ridings combined, compared with Toronto Centre, so it’s probably unlikely FATCA or the IGA will have any traction as issues in those three ridings. But I could be wrong. If anyone out there lives in one of those three ridings and has suggestions, please chime in.

  8. Cross-posting from the earlier post on McQuaig’s candidacy, in case anyone misses it …
    Getting down to the crunch, in a little more than a week. Here are some details on meetings that some of you in the Toronto area might want to think about attending. I picked this up from the event calendar on Jennifer Hollett’s website
    The Toronto Centre NDP nominations meeting will be held on September 15 at the YMCA on 20 Grosvenor Street, Toronto. Registration begins at 2pm; meeting starts at 2:30pm. Only NDP members residing in Toronto Centre since August 16, 2013 or before, can vote, but all are welcome to attend, according to Jennifer Hollett’s campaign lead (even if you’re not a party member, as far as I know).
    There are three earlier events that may be of interest to some of you. I don’t believe NDP membership or riding residence is necessary or would even be asked, at these events (except maybe the UofT one, not sure …)
    This coming Sunday September 8 from noon to 3pm, Jennifer Hollett will be available to meet and discuss issues with people on her own (McQuaig won’t be there, this is Hollett’s event and not a riding association one) at Cabbagetown Brew for coffee, 552 Parliament Street, Toronto. The Cabbagetown Festival will be in full swing that day on the street. This could be a good chance to share some aspects of your personal FATCA/Jihad story with Jennifer, maybe to give her a couple of sound bites for the nomination meeting. I don’t think you need to be an NDP member or riding resident for this, and I can’t imagine anyone at the door is going to check for that.
    The University of Toronto New Democrats are having an all-candidate meet-and-greet on Tuesday September 10 at the Artful Dodger, 10 Isabella Street, Toronto 6:30-9:00. It’s not clear if this is for NDPers and UofT students only or more general. It might be important to get some anti-FATCA messages circulating there, to try to recruit some students or head off an influx of uninformed McQuaig admirers at the nominations meeting. Just a thought, especially if you’re a student or have kids or young friends who are students, maybe even at York or Ryerson or … Perhaps not for older folk like me, unless maybe you’re an alumnus or a present or emeritus faculty member or teaching assistant at UofT…
    The “official” riding association Meet and Greet for all the candidates will be Wednesday September 11 6-9 pm at the Magic Oven Resto-Bar, 360 Queen Street East, Toronto. This could be a chance to sway McQuaig supporters, and get the message circulated, without the pressure and noise level of the nomination meeting itself. Again, I don’t imagine anyone is going to be checking for membership cards or addresses on driver’s licenses for this one.
    These are four opportunities for Toronto-area residents affected by the FATCA Jihad to get their messages across, where and when it might make a difference.

  9. By the way, and somewhat surprising to me but then I’m often surprised, nowhere in the NDP Constitution or anything I’ve seen about the nomination rules, does it say you have to be a Canadian citizen to vote in the nomination meeting. To join the party, you have to be a Canadian resident who isn’t a member of or supporter of (whatever that means and however you interpret it) another party, no mention of citizenship. To vote at the meeting, you have to be an NDP member in good standing (hence Canadian resident) and resident of Toronto Centre for at least 30 days prior to the meeting (bring your driver’s license), but again I don’t see the word “citizen” anywhere. As I’ve noted over on IBS, you do have to be a citizen to vote in the actual by-election, but it seems the NDP doesn’t care about citizenship for their nomination meeting. I have mixed feelings about that, but hey if it gets Hollett (who sympathizes and understands) nominated and defeats McQuaig the FATCA cheer-leader, I’m OK with that … No one is going to ask for your bank account information, in any case (they do accept cash for joining the party, $25 I think it is but they’ll take more if you want to give more and get a tax receipt).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *