Star made of modelling clay, coloured with crayonI’ve been having a terrible time getting my debut novel to market.  I’m way behind the schedule I set for myself.  It’s a good book, and I’m very proud of it.   So what’s the problem?

Well, there is a lot to self publishing.  Just learning the technical stuff – crafting an ebook format that makes me happy is a bit more difficult than I expected.   Especially when there are other calls on my attention.  I think that I blogged more in November (NaNoWriMo) than any other time during the year because so many important political issues are coming to a head right now.

Then there are real life issues… like getting prepared for the festive season that is almost upon us.  I haven’t even got my annual Christmas card ready, which results in a twinge every time I open a card I’ve received.   I’m a dinosaur, I like mailing cards.  It’s a nice way to stay in touch with family.   The worst of it has been the politics.  I’m not a politician, I’m a writer.  A fiction writer.  But a lot of stuff is happening that I just have to blog about.   In the past, the world of politics has traditionally slowed down in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

But the reverse seems true this year.

American Flag

In the US: SOPA/PIPA threaten the Internet in Canada and around the world while the American Bill of Rights is taking an even greater hit with the passage of the NDAA yesterday.

canadian flag

In Canada: Our government seems in a rush to follow the American footsteps in becoming a police state with the prosecution of Byron Sonne and Julian Ichim

Canada is also fast tracking legislation that will assault Canadian civil rights with the Omnibus Crime Bill

A surge of public opinion regarding incursions against the Canadian right to privacy resulted in the removal of Lawful Access portion of Bill C-10, the Omnibus Crime Bill. However, the government is forging ahead and plans to push the pared down Omnibus Crime Bill through in spite of very real concerns raised on a variety of fronts. Serious issues raised by all stakeholders (the only exception being the corporate special interest group behind the draft legislation) have been similarly dismissed by the Government in respect of Bill C-11 “The Copyright Modernization Act”

Yet the Canadian Government has stated its firm intention to pass both of these highly controversial and unpopular laws by Christmas.

Are they doing this because they hope those of us who believe passage of these laws will be a tragedy for Canada will stop being concerned because we will be too caught up with our Christmas preparations, you know, peace on earth and goodwill toward men?

My child will be coming home from university this Christmas, so I want it to be special. That’s important.

But what is even more important is that the world he inherits should be at least as free and respectful of his Charter rights as it was when he was born.

Peace on earth is a good goal – maybe it’s time to bring our soldiers home from an unjust foreign war.

Good will toward men is another.   I raised my child to be a good citizen, to live with honour, to think for himself, to share what he has with friends, to help those less fortunate than himself, to safeguard the environment, and to respect the law.  When he was small, our family mantra was “people are not for hurting.”  Now that he is an adult, it still is.

So.  For 2009, my house will be messier than usual, my cards will be late, and my book delayed, all because I don’t want to see our government legislate away our privacy, our ability to share our culture freely if we choose, or our liberty without very good reason.   My grandparents escaped from Soviet Russia so they wouldn’t have to raise their family in the shadow of the Gulag.  I don’t want to see my child, or any other Canadians, deprived of liberty by incarceration except as a last resort.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it’s a lot cheaper, too.

My Christmas wish for Canada is to see some real “Good will toward men” … and women … and children.

these lights stretch to the Clock Tower, photographed at Victoria Park, kitchenerFurther reading should include Stephen Bradley Scott’s important three part Lawful Access series. Although removed from the Omnibus Bill, our Government remains committed to this legislation.


2 thoughts on “Priorities

  1. Got behind on my reading. Still catching up.

    So. For 2009, my house will be messier than usual, my cards will be late, and my book delayed, all because I don’t want to see our government legislate away our privacy, our ability to share our culture freely if we choose, or our liberty without very good reason.

    Don’t you mean 2011?

    A belated Merry Christmas.


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