“By being engaged in the democratic process, we can help safeguard our institutions and help protect democracy worldwide.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
A Statement from the Office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Posted September 15th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the International Day of Democracy:
“Today, we join our international partners to celebrate the International Day of Democracy <https://www.un.org/en/observances/democracy-day>. We recognize that the respect for freedoms, human rights, and the rule of law are essential for democracies to thrive.
We also take this opportunity to remind ourselves of our shared responsibility to protect and promote democratic values.
“This year’s theme – COVID-19: A Spotlight on Democracy – highlights the impacts of the pandemic on the state of democracy around the world. From enabling the free flow of information to ensuring transparency and accountability, democracy has an important role to play in helping us confront the global pandemic.
“To continue the fight against disinformation and hate speech, the Government of Canada is harnessing the tools at its disposal to mitigate these actions online, including through the Digital Citizen Initiative <https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/online-disinformation.html>, which was launched in 2019.
This initiative supports democracy and social cohesion in Canada by promoting an information ecosystem that is trusted, diverse, safe, and free from disinformation and illegal content. The initiative also builds citizen resilience to online disinformation through third-party civic, news, and digital media literacy activities and programming to equip Canadians with the tools, and skills they need to critically assess information online.
“Canada also recognizes democracy’s place at the heart of our international system, and the need to strengthen democratic institutions around the world to promote peace and stability. That is why we are committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development <https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/issues_development-enjeux_developpement/priorities-priorites/agenda-programme.aspx?lang=eng>, to help create a more equitable, prosperous, and secure world for future generations.
We are investing to promote and protect democracy as well as media and press freedoms worldwide by supporting electoral processes, reinforcing democratic practices, and strengthening civic engagement. Canada stands with people around the world protesting peacefully, including recently in Belarus, Hong Kong, Venezuela, and Lebanon, as they seek to advance democratic principles.
“Today, we also celebrate a milestone in the history of Canadian democracy, by marking 100 years since the creation of Elections Canada <https://www.elections.ca/anniversary>, the longest standing non-partisan electoral commission in the world. Today, Elections Canada continues to ensure that the federal electoral process in Canada remains transparent.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I invite Canadians to reflect on our democratic traditions and the values that bring us together. By being engaged in the democratic process, we can help safeguard our institutions and help protect democracy worldwide.”
A Brief Footnote from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large
I’ve heard it over and over again from respected historians and scholars on democracy that democracy “is not a spectator sport.”
Only well-informed and engaged populations of citizens can keep democracy and the institutions that support free and open democratic systems alive, and one truly has to wonder as we look around the world today, and look insides our own regions and coutnries, how many citizens are willing to put in the time and effort.
Look across the border at the United States right now where it looks like quite a few, tens-of-millions of people, hero-worship Trump to a point where they are willing to let him do all of their thinking and make all of their choices for them.
Let’s hope that we are NOT slowly moving in the same direction in Canada.
Remember, the democracy so many past generations in our country fought and died for is not a spectator sport. Be informed and engaged, or risk losing it!
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
I am going to leave you this with a song about democracy from one of Canada’s best singer/songwriters, Bruce Cockburn. To hear it click on the screen below –
NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.