Canadians for Democracy & Prosperity is a very small not for profit organization that brings together a very diverse group of people. They are concerned with maintaining a political regime that can guarantee the Canadian population the maintenance and development of a balanced and just society. The organization’s network spans several sectors that are essential to assure prosperity and democracy, providing a set of support services to society.
In this edition of Milénio Stadium, we had the opportunity to speak with Prem Singh, founder of Canadians for Democracy & Prosperity, to whom we asked an opinion on the present state of democracy, both in Canada and in the rest of the world.
Milénio Stadium: We live in a time when the governments of democratic countries are imposing restrictions that interfere with individual freedoms. In your view, to what extent can this situation undermine the values of democracy?
Prem Singh: As Jay Cameron from the Justice Centre of Constitutional Freedoms said “In Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that laws which infringe constitutional rights can only be justified in accordance with the law (meaning laws which are duly enacted by democratically-elected members of Parliament or the legislatures) and within the parameters of a free and democratic society.
We are a long way from a free and democratic society right now. There is nothing “democratic” about public health officials’ orders. Canadians are living in a state of medical authoritarianism where the rule of law is in tatters, and constitutionalism and democracy with it.” Once freedoms are taken away it is extremely difficult and rare to ever get them back.
MS: When we think about a solution to the pandemic, one word comes up: vaccine. Given that we are talking about disease on a global scale, taking this vaccine, at least in the beginning, will oblige governments to establish criteria of priority over which citizens will receive it. How can we move forward with vaccination while still defending the democratic concept of equal rights?
PS: Much has been learned worldwide over the past 10 months about Covid. Given the CDC own published numbers with respect to survival rates it should be those that are in higher risk and more vulnerable that we need to address first.
MS: The actions of anti-maskers, COVID deniers have led some countries to consider the implementation of a mandatory vaccine for COVID-19. Although nothing is yet defined, what do you think about this subject?
PS: Vaccines should not be mandatory, people should be able to make their own decisions with input from their personal doctors.
MS: Much has been said about the contradictory information that circulates, so often, in the media, but mainly on social networks. Do you think that this environment of disinformation and confusion, can somehow shake the pillars of democracy?
PS: We have seen censorship by social media of dissenting views and critical thinking with their warning labels, etc. It is very dangerous to allow censorship which threatens democracy outright.
Take for example the PCR testing in itself as referenced in the recent Portugal ruling: “The PCR test “is unable to determine, beyond reasonable doubt, that a positive result corresponds, in fact, to the infection of a person by the SARS-CoV-2 virus”, said the Lisbon Court of Appeal.” (https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/2020-11-27/covid-pcr-test-reliability-doubtful-portugal-judges/56962) (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/25/health/coronavirus-testing-false-positive.html). The fear and restrictive measures associated with false positives must be taken into consideration. Social media networks tend to censor such information which does not suit their narratives.
MS: The pandemic has triggered an economic crisis whose consequences cannot be fully predicted. However, it is obvious that Canada is showing signs of poverty—for example, there has been an exponential increase in people turning to food banks. Do you believe that there is a fear of poverty, and that people, who need their jobs, are afraid to protest or speak up?
PS: Yes, many people are afraid to protest or speak up for fear of being maligned publicly and or fined by local authorities. Many Canadians who are immigrants fled their homeland to Canada because of our freedoms and democracy. They are very aware of the dangers of losing such rights and freedoms having seen and witnessed it firsthand.
MS: In your perspective, is this pandemic undermining democracy?
PS: Yes, we must be very cognizant about it and voice our opinions to politicians and bureaucrats across the board. This is not a partisan issue, it is about all Canadians.