Thursday, December 9, 2010

Falling on Deaf Ears: Government fails to respond to citizen's concerns

This post is a follow-up to my previous post expressing concerns about the Alberta Government's Police Amendment Act 2010.

Pasted below is a copy of further communication dated December 3rd, 2010 to representatives from the various levels of Government, including Alberta's Minister of Justice (Alison Redford), Alberta's Solicitor General (Frank Oberle) and others.

Aside from the fact that the Police Amendment Act 2010 was approved by our Government and now only awaits the rubber stamp otherwise known as Royal Accent, my mini-campaign to inspire a modicum of consideration for the ultimate impact of shielding police from meaningful accountability has apparently fallen on deaf ears.

What is troubling is that not a single member on any level of Government (Municipal, Provincial or Federal) bothered to reply to a citizen they represent with even a form, "thank you for your interest", response.

A Government that is prepared to simply ignore citizens whom it represents is not democratic. Though I appreciate Ms. Redford may not be able to respond to every Albertan who corresponds with her, I doubt very much that either she or Mr. Oberle are so inundated with mail that they could not make even a "form" response in the instant case? Interestingly, as a member of the Law Society of Alberta, Ms. Redford was arguably obligated to respond, and still did not.

Additionally, given our communities are represented by Alderman (Mr. Hodges) and Members of Parliament (such as Mr. Anders), who are tasked with the important responsibility of representing their constituents, I see absolutely no excuse on their part.

These people are employed by the taxpayer to represent Canadians. In the case of Ms. Redford, for her $209,000 per year of taxpayer money, a form letter bearing her signature, stamped by one of her underlings, was minimally required.

Whether or not you agree with my views on the Police Amendment Act 2010 or anything else, I encourage all citizens to become active in the governing of this country. In my view, an apathetic citizenry is the catalyst for an undemocratic government. In the years ahead, we may not like what we see....

For what it's worth, I don't like now....


dateFri, Dec 3, 2010 at 7:02 AM
subjectRe: Bill 27: Police Amendment Act 2010 - Criticism

This correspondence is to express my deepest concerns that not a single member of my Government (Federal, Provincial or Municipal) took the time to even forward a "form" letter or "form" email regarding my response to the Police Amendment Act 2010.

Let me be perfectly clear, I did not truly expect anything more than some kind of pre-fabricated -- "thank you for your input" -- meaningless response, but I actually received less than that....

To my chagrin, I noticed the Alberta Provincial Government rammed the legislation through earlier this week, with not so much as a meaningful press release to the citizens of Alberta. I discovered the legislation had been rammed through whilst reading the Vancouver Sun.

Though I suspect nobody in any level of Government in Alberta sees any difficulty in this process, for those who actually care, I say governance in so-called democratic systems reliant upon the ignorance of the bewildered masses is no democracy at all. More importantly, I see any government that declines to make even a form response to a citizen of this country who expresses concerns about a government initiative -- a citizen whom they represent -- as a government standing in opposition to the vary tenets of democracy. A government that fails to properly and meaningfully inform citizens of its actions, intentions and initiatives is a government existing for itself, not for the people. Finally, a government that would seemingly rather keep citizens existing in a state of ignorance operates in contradiction to the fundamental precepts of democracy.

It appears the only thing that is transparent about Government is the fact that Government is not transparent at all.



David G. Chow
Calgary Impaired Driving Lawyer
Calgary Criminal Lawyer

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