Evan Saugstad: A new world of kings and queens


Is anyone still watching Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his daily spiel? Notice how good he is at not answering questions that makes him and his government look bad? Notice how he will change the subject and, when pushed, say he is too busy dealing with a pandemic to answer any other questions about how Canada is doing outside of COVID?

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Case in point: His announcements on gun control and then the signing of an agreement with the Wet’sutwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and the B.C. government that will fundamentally change the way parts of Canada are governed.

I will leave the new gun control law for another time and focus my thoughts on this Agreement.

Ever think you would see the day our Prime Minister and Premier would knowingly eliminate democracy, and do something that has the capacity to forever change the Canada we currently know and love?

But first, a bit of a history lesson. Think back to what history said about the medieval times in Europe.

Think about how this period is portrayed in TV series like the Vikings, or in Hollywood’s blockbuster films like Braveheart, or the many other historical or not so historical depictions.

During those times, most people lived under the auspices of a King who owned almost everything (OK, there were also a few Queens involved). Each ruler owned most, if not all, the land within their empire and all the resources on those lands, and commanded their own army, servants, and loyal subjects.

This was also referred to as the feudal system.

Feudal meant that when a ruler had a dispute with their neighbour, you went to war, and whoever had the better army, or smarter commander, won. Feuds were the norm, and sometimes when everyone got tired of the fighting, the King would marry his son to their neighbouring King’s daughter and there would be peace in the valley for a generation or two.

This worked well for those who lived under the strong and benevolent, and not so well for those living under the weak and despotic.

During this period, life was neither easy nor settled. Poverty, petty wars, and disputes were the norm. Living under constant threats was part of life.

Fast forward to today’s Canada.

One federal government, duly elected by our loyal citizens, ensuring equality for all. No worries about rogue Kings attacking our towns or villages. No worries about Government arbitrarily taking away our wealth, because, after all, we are a democracy — right?

Although we like to complain about governments limiting our rights and making our lives more difficult, our current governance system works pretty well, at least up until we got this COVID and our Prime Minister decided he likes being our new King.

And then when we were all locked up nice and tight in our homes, Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan decided to arbitrarily create a whole new governance system for a singular part of Canada. 

A new system that has no room for democracy, one that does not value diversity, one that does not value public lands, one that does not value public resources. A system that will create a new set of Kings and Queens that will have their own authority to make up and enforce a completely new set of rules for us to live and die by.

This new governing system will be created in secret by select individuals who are born into specific bloodlines. We will be told that these new rules will reflect the way things were done before Canada became a democracy, reflecting back to a time when slavery was legal, and when it was OK to kill those who trespassed or removed resources from lands without the King’s permission.

For now, these new rulers will be called Hereditary Chiefs. No problem that they will be selected in secrecy and not subject to the whims of a vote.

Sadly, this new form of royalty will also exclude many of the indigenous peoples who currently live in these same areas, including most of their current elected leaders, as they too, do not have the same royal bloodlines as their new Kings and Queens.

The beauty of this new system is that there is no playbook to follow, no oversight by Prime Minister Trudeau or Premier Horgan, and certainly no involvement of anyone else, unless the new Kings and Queens see fit.

And typical of the governments, when push comes to shove and conflict arises, they will pass the buck back to the Kings and Queens and tell them to figure it out.

Many in rural B.C. will wake up with a jolt when this new royalty becomes a reality. And for the rest of Canada, watch out: this new form of governance may soon be coming to an area near you.

Evan Saugstad is a former mayor of Chetwynd, and lives in Fort St. John.

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