Opinion Column

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Banking on serious reform

Jacob Kearey-Moreland, Special to the Packet

Veronica Campbell's sketch shows Rocco Galati during the hearing at the Federal Court of Appeal Monday.

Veronica Campbell's sketch shows Rocco Galati during the hearing at the Federal Court of Appeal Monday.

"I'm the bad guy," I overheard the government lawyer say jokingly, introducing himself to former minister of defence Paul Hellyer in the Federal Court of Appeal this week.

Why do Canadians allow private banks to profit off our public debt when the Bank of Canada is legislated to provide low- or no-interest loans for human capital and infrastructure spending? The Bank of Canada has not issued such loans since 1974, after it funded Canada out of the Great Depression, the Second World War, the infrastructure boom, universal health care, universities and colleges, CBC and more. Monday, three judges upheld the previous ruling of justiciability. The next step is to determine the statutes of the Bank of Canada Act and if they have been subverted by conspiracy.

The monopoly of private banks' exclusive privilege of lending money to governments will, for the second time in our history, soon be put on trial. The first time it was debated in the House of Commons, it led to the creation of the Bank of Canada. It's time to restore the Bank of Canada and jail the banksters.

We are in a perpetual-debt crisis because we've allowed foreign private interests to control the creation of money and, by extension, federal economic and social policy for their private interests. Banks are guaranteed billions in profits every year as families slide deeper into debt. Forget income splitting; imagine the tax relief once we escape debt bondage and compound-interest payments.

Arguing for the plaintiffs -- Ann Emmett, centenarian William Krehm and the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (comer.org) -- is perhaps Canada's most prominent constitutional lawyer, Rocco Galati. Galati, who consistently undermines and reverses government decisions and actions, is not shy in declaring Canada "a quiet dictatorship." The erosion of democracy is not complete without the erosion of justice and the independence of the judiciary, for which this government has received international condemnation. Galati has reason to believe there is a government-issued media blackout on this case. Sorry, Harper; I didn't get the memo.

Saturday prior to the hearing, there was a five-hour seminar in Toronto City Hall chambers on the subject of money, tax, poverty and public banking, with the keynote speech delivered by Toronto Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam on the creation of the Toronto Public Bank. We heard from a renowned investigative accountant, Al Rosen, who described the existence of "hundreds of Nortels" that go un-investigated because of a lack of resources to address white-collar crime, tax evasion and more, as the Canada Revenue Agency has been co-opted for partisan purposes to attack charities and birdwatchers critical of the Harper government.

The report Banking: A Proven Diversification Strategy, commissioned by Canada Post, was killed by the Harper government a day before it eviscerated the public institution. After access-to-information requests, the report was released, with more than 701 of 811 pages redacted. The report detailed the win-win nature of postal banking, given Canada Post is the largest distribution network in the country, with branches in more than 6,300 communities, more than all banks combined, said Mike Palecek, the representative from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Even grocery stores have their own banks, from which they make hundreds of millions a year. With a few simple software upgrades and ATMs, Canadians from coast to coast to coast could have low-cost, accessible banking services, among 700 pages of other benefits the Harper government doesn't want you to know about.

Chew on that, Grandma, when you're trudging through snow to get your mail.

Jacob Kearey-Moreland is a local resident and gardener. He can be contacted at jacobkeareymoreland@gmail.com


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