Questions about Canada's financial future: Are we dreaming of sovereignty? Or just dreaming?
Some Canadians have very strong feelings about our sovereign right --
--the right to make our own decisions in our own interest. The elderly gentleman sitting in the gallery of the federal courtroom in Toronto December 10th certainly does.
Bill Krehm and the monetary reform organization he helped form five decades ago (COMER) are suing the government for not borrowing from our publicly-owned bank --the Bank of Canada.
Every Minister of Finance since 1974 has avoided doing what their predecessors did so well. From 1940 to 1970 we could expect our finance minister to instruct the Bank of Canada governor to create the necessary money to end the 1930's decade of hopeless unemployment. The money created was spent into the economy -- it funded the war, then provided educational and business benefits for returning veterans, allowances for children, pensions for elders, ensured healthcare for everyone. Transportation infrastructure pulled the country together by building the Great Lakes seaway and a highway across Canada.
A productive, healthy, prosperous nation without serious inflation, with an easily managed debt load.
What went wrong?
(a) Canada's chartered banks were released from the lending restrictions that prevailed through the 1960's: maxima 4 year terms, 6 % interest.
Reserve requirements were later removed as well.
(b) By adding a section (s18-m) to the Bank of Canada Act
operational control of our central bank was turned over to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), a private central bank owned by the private banks of Europe and Great Britain.
Deposits from those banks, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank would bear interest, and the reserve requirements of the BIS were to be respected without fail.
(c) Only a tiny fraction of Canada's money supply would be created by our central bank. Almost all new money was via borrowing from the private banking system, domestic and foreign -at interest.
The resulting annual deficit has meant an increase in the national debt that was charged the going rate of interest and compounded year after year, often at double digit rates. Thus, Canada's debt of about $20 Billion in 1974 became $600 Billion, while the unnecessary interest paid exceeded a Trillion dollars.
Are Bill Krehm and his associates just dreaming when they talk about the country taking back control of our monetary system? Perhaps. The government's response to the lawsuit is both standard and predictable: Delay, deny, argue status, argue jurisdiction. Bill was 100 years old in November so he won't live to see success for his five decades of valiant effort, even if this judge's decision is favourable.
Or perhaps his associates' dream will become reality. Maybe the youngest activist in the crowded courtroom (Patrick, aged 19) will rally his generation to stop the takeover and takeaway of our country. Patrick is aware of the websites COMER.org and occupyourbank.ca, More sites appear monthly.
Social media will assist communication. Over 3 million You-Tube readers listened to Victoria Grant's diagnosis and prescription 20 months ago (she was 12 then). At the Public Banking Conference in Philadelphia her 6 minute speech simply said: "If our government needs to borrow money, they should borrow interest-free from our own bank."
Quoting Canada's 10th prime minister in 1938 will help as well:
"Once a nation parts with control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes that nation's laws.
Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. Until the control of currency and credit is restored to government
and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and democracy is idle and futile."
My own dreams of sovereignty for Canada? Recurring nightmares!
When I recall how important it was in the 1950's that my aging parents had a pension to replace their steady struggle of 30 years of subsistence farming, how family allowances helped my young family, and how medical
costs were always affordable, I accuse the subsequent governments of betrayal of the public interest -- at every turn.
Policies and practices established and maintained for the last 3 decades have destroyed the future I want my offspring to share with their fellow Canadians. Public goods and services have been underfunded or privatized. Our work force has been undermined by unfair trade agreements. Globalization has meant 'gobble-my-nation'.
Bailing out banks has meant robbing the taxpayers. Bail-ins (as in the June budget and the CETA and TPP agreements) will mean robbing the depositors. (Our Finance Minister doesn't recognize them as taxpayers.)
No recourse will be possible from either the judiciary or legislature.
I fear for Canada's financial future.
Dr. Gerald Ackerman, Financial analyst, professor, author, business and investor consultant (email@example.com)