I saw a cartoon that read: “How kids clean their room: 1% cleaning. 29% complaining. 70% playing with all the stuff they found”.

Another cartoon pictured two skeletons. One said to the other, “I’m waiting for my kid to clean her room. How about you?”

Many parents can emphathize with those sentiments, however low percentages of activity are often evident in other areas besides the cleaning of a child’s room. When various groups of Canadians were asked if they had done any practical, helpful acts during the last federal election, besides voting, only 3% of the audience raised their hands. Keep that in mind as we take a look at the opportunities that are available.

The group called Suits and Boots have been pushing for amendments to Bill C-69, since they started their campaign in September, 2018. Now the Senate Committee studying that Bill has agreed to send back nearly 200 amendments to the Senate for full approval. This is amazing progress but it’s not the end of the battle.

They also have launched a campaign in support of Canada’s canola farmers, which has
been successful, resulting in inquiries from various media outlets wanting to know more. Suits and Boots reminds Canada that we are dealing with China, which is not a democratic country. In a world of liberalized trade, China ends up benefiting since its companies can access the protections of our legal system while our companies are subject to their undemocratic system. Suits and boots believes they will see success as they move the ball along on this endeavor.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) launched a “No Pipelines? No Equalization” campaign. This is in light of the premier of Quebec’s claim there’s no social acceptability for more oil pipelines, but at the same time willingly accepts equalization payments of $13 billion from the “have” provinces, which include Saskatchewan and Alberta.

According to the CTF “Nothing moves unless it’s pushed.” They keep pushing government to review the unfair equalization program, and remind Canadians to take a stand.

There’s also an organization called Canada’s Energy Citizens who are addressing a controversial tanker bill, Bill C-48, which they say would cause irreparable damage to our economy but do nothing to stop tankers from bringing billions of dollars a year in foreign oil into eastern Canada.

The Senate committee studying this bill narrowly voted in favor of scrapping this piece of legislation that would ban oil tanker traffic off B.C.’s northern coast. Once again, it’s a big win, but it’s only one battle.

These three groups have common ground: they all work on a volunteer basis, and don’t receive corporate funding. At the same time they all conduct thorough research, providing insight and solutions to government. It’s not politicians who are pushing for these solutions; it’s Canadians who are volunteering their time and expertise.

Like kids who are asked to clean their room, we Canadian citizens often spend 1% of our time actively engaged in some capacity, 29% playing around, and 70% complaining. We need a new game plan if we are to impact our nation in a positive way.

The Senate recessed for a week, but is back on May 27th and these organizations are asking us to reach out to Senators by phone and email urging them to adapt the amendments to Bill C-69. They’re also asking us to send a message to the Prime Minister, Transportation Minister Marc Garneau and Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi telling them to listen to the Senate transportation committee and kill Bill C-48.

They need our support, because as one Canadian observed, “The nation goes to those who show up.” Canada needs more than 1 – 3% of actively engaged Canadians.

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