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Monday Morning Commentary

Rick Swenson

The wrong-headed policies of the European Economic Community are coming home to roost. The EEC was set up as a way to rebuild western Europe after the devastation of the Second World War. It was also a way for these countries to work together to stave off the advance of Communism coming out of Stalinist Russia.

By allowing access to each other's markets, keeping personal income tax low and using the VAT (value added taxes), western Europe rebuilt itself and Germany in particular became an economic powerhouse. This successful program has expanded to include all of western Europe.

The problems started when they created a vast bureaucracy and started to usurp the democratic rights and traditions of member states. The issues of foreign workers, unrestricted immigration between member states and in the last few years the waves of political refugees have put huge strains on the system that was not designed for the social economic side of what was essentially an economic model. By allowing conflicts like the Syrian civil war to go on for years and years, the world has created a mess which may destroy the successes of the European community.

Watching the vote in Great Britain on whether to remain in the European community or go back to being their own economic entity, the issues around immigration played a much bigger role than they should have. The Labour Party strong holds in the midlands voted strongly to exit the EEC. The Labour Party has always been the strongest proponent of Great Britain being part of the European community. Obviously, the sense of fear, job loss and the perceived loss of economic mobility had these people turn away from what logic would tell you would be a stronger economic footprint.

The fact that Britain and Europe are being flooded with political and economic refugees from predominantly non-Christian societies where the rule of law does not exist is more than many people can stomach. The backlash was evident in the vote.

If other countries in the economic community follow Great Britain's path, the world will probably be a more difficult place in which to find consensus on many issues and it will not stem the tide of humanity fleeing oppressive regimes and genocidal war. In my view, the world community needs to stand up and help these people in their home countries to establish the rule of law and economic prosperity. If that means putting boots on the ground, so be it. We have done it before and unfortunately, we may have to do it again to make our world a better place in which to live.

We have the privilege of celebrating a free and open society every July 1st on Canada Day because our citizens were prepared to put their lives on the line to ensure our freedom and the freedom of others.

Whatever you have planned, I hope everyone enjoys a safe Canada Day long weekend as we remember our many blessings as a country.

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These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons

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