This “Resistance” is Futile!

Political commentary by Skid Crease originally written for the King Weekly Sentinel


Whether it be scripted in an X-Men comic, spoken by the Borg collective in a Star Trek movie, or spewed in an Ann Coulter rant, villains love to intone the phrase, “Resistance is futile.” In reality, resistance is rarely futile, it just sometimes takes generations to correct the damage.

Trumpeting the title; “The resistance” Maclean’s magazine published their December 2018 issue featuring a cover photo with most of the political fossil fools in Canada: Doug Ford, Andrew Scheer, Jason Kenney, Scott Moe, and Brian Pallister. A collection of provincial and federal climate change deniers and skeptics who are sabotaging any hope Canada had for a national Climate Change strategy.

If there is any “resistance” here it is to the truth. It is resistance to scientific literacy and science based policy decisions. It is a sacrifice of the environment to the economy, to the corporate power and profit of the oil, gas, and coal lobbies.

This comes at the same time that the US Climate Assessment Report – compiled with help from numerous US government agencies and departments – contradicts the White House Trumpian view of climate change as a hoax perpetrated by environmentalists with a political agenda. This report warns of dire consequences to the U.S. economy, human health, and national security if policies to mitigate accelerating climate change are not enacted immediately.

This comes at a time when Brazil elects the far-right Bolsonaro as its populist president who wants to pull Brazil out of the Paris Agreement on climate change goals. And in Mexico we have the newly elected left-leaning President Obrador walking a double-edged sword between environmental security and the economic benefits of oil. There is not a single industrialized country in the world that is meeting its commitments to the Paris Agreement. Canada is nowhere close to reaching its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

True, some European and African countries and individual districts and states and provinces have made valiant efforts in reduction. But the world collective is heading towards a 5ºC temperature increase by the end of this century. That will be catastrophic for both the ecology and the economy of this planet. This is a nothing less than a war between the needs of the global commons and the special interests of a wealthy few.

“When war comes the first casualty is truth.” This is seen clearly in the denial by many of our political leaders in the truths of  scientific research and indigenous wisdoms . It is also seen in the erosion of social justice and economic policies designed to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

it is seen most chillingly in the death of Jamal Khashoggi and the lack of unanimous political leadership to bring to justice and hold to account his murderers. Bear witness. This was the world leadership saying, “It’s too bad that a Saudi Prince ordered the murder of a New York Times journalist speaking out for human rights, but we have to consider the economic benefits of doing business with an oil rich country.” The President of the United States refuses to listen to the recordings of the murder, refuses to accept international and his own intelligence agencies assessments that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the murder, and basically condones the political assassination of dissident journalists.

This is the same president who calls journalists “the enemies of the people.” This is the same president who gives birthday cake smiles to President Putin of Russia, while failing to honour his own fallen soldiers. This is the same president who denies accelerating climate change impacts in a fire-ravaged California, proclaiming, “Let them rake leaves!” No courage, No integrity, no empathy, no reality, no leadership.

The federal cycle in Canada is coming up soon; by 2022, our next election cycle in Ontario, I will be in my mid-seventies. My youngest grandchild will be just turning seven. As the end of the century approaches, at the point when these climate catastrophes will be peaking, he will be my age. He may by then have children and grandchildren of his own.

Hopefully by then, the sins of myopic madmen will be only the subject of nightime “never again” cautionary tales. Hopefully by then, the real resistance, the wisdom of seven generation elders and the actions of caring and intelligent people will have restored some balance of love and empathy and stewardship for our Home Planet.

That kind of resistance is not futile.

The way I see it.


*Image copyright of Macleans 

Skid Crease is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists, an author, an internationally renowned speaker, and a lifelong educator currently living in Caledon, Ontario.

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Lest We Forget

Once a month I meet my friend Bob Parkins at the Naked Café for an elder’s chat about the local news and views. Our last meeting was a melding of minds over the results of the 2018 municipal election, the joys of backyard hens, and our upcoming Remembrance Day.

Bob began to reminisce about growing up in England during the bombings of the Second World War, about raising chickens and growing their own food for basic rations. Besides food shortages, rural Wirral Cheshire, where he lived, was also not immune from the bombs that plagued London during the blitz, as the bombers would drop their loads anywhere to save fuel for the trip back to Germany.

I told him the story of my Dad, an RCAF Hurricane fighter pilot who got shot down over France in 1941 and spent the next three and a half years in prison camps. The first night of captivity, however was spent in a Chateau in Lilliers, France being honoured in the company of young Luftwaffe pilots who wanted to know all about Canada, and hockey, and canoe trips in the wilderness. He often told me this story, reflecting that if they had met under other circumstances, they would have just been friends.

Then Bob shared this story with me, and I will leave it in his own words. It is the story of Alfred Utsch, a German POW being held in England during the Christmas of 1946…


“Alfred Utsch served in the Luftwaffe as a ground crew technician. He was Initially captured by the Americans and interned in a POW camp in Mississippi. He was transferred to the UK after the war ended to await repatriation back to Germany.  In 1946 he was one of a large group of POWs based in an old Royal Air Force training camp about 5 miles from where my family was living in Wirral Cheshire (north west England, west of Liverpool)

The prisoners in the camp were trusted and reliable and were allowed to leave the camp during daylight hours but had to be back by nightfall as there was a curfew in effect.  It was about this time of year when the authorities at the camp contacted the local churches to ask if any families would be willing to invite one of the prisoners into their home for Christmas Day.  My mother after some thought, volunteered to act as a host.

Our relatives thought she was crazy but my Dad thought it was a nice thing to do and I was 11 years old at the time and couldn’t wait to meet whoever it might be. Alfred was dropped off by car at around 11 am Christmas morning and we were told he would be picked up by 5 pm.

Right from the start we all liked Alfred.  I thought he was in his 40s but on reflection now I think he was probably in his early 30s.  he spoke very good English and told us that back home he was a plumber (He pronounced it plumBer).  Before long it was as if he a was a friend who had just turned up after a long absence.  He played our piano and could sing very well.

The high point was his rendition of Silent Night in German and English.   Having Christmas Dinner with our family was very emotional for him and he looked forward to being back home the following year with his wife and young son.  They lived near Cologne and fortunately had survived the war.

After Alfred went back to the camp that afternoon, we all agreed what a wonderful experience it had been and although he was a German and had been the “Enemy” he was really just like us.  Just wanting to get on with his life.

In the months following in 1947 up to the time he was repatriated, Alfred visited us many times.  He did some plumbing work for my Dad but he was also handy with a paint brush and helping in the garden.  My Dad even loaned him a bicycle so he could get back and forth from the Camp to our home. My uncle had a car and we would include Alfred on trips into North Wales for a picnic.  We really missed him when the time came for him to go home.

Later, after he had arrived home, his wife sent us a beautiful letter thanking us for the kindness we had shown Alfred.”


Peace on Earth to beings of good will. The way I see it.

Skid Crease, Storyteller

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The Environment of Fear


First it begins with condemning the “others” be they liberals, conservatives or caravan migrants.

Then it moves to protecting us from “the others” with armed guards. We rename the others as “invaders.”

Then it becomes necessary to declare a state of emergency with military rule until the “invaders” are caught and imprisoned and deported.

Because there are so many armed guards we are afraid and do not speak out. And those who do are rounded up and imprisoned for the sake of the safety of “The Nation” that we once were.

We put the armed guards at schools and places of worship and shopping malls and everywhere. And we are afraid and do not speak out.

Then the armed guards become the security police for the dictatorship that replaced the democratic government that we elected.

And we thought “The Handmaid’s Tale” was fiction?

Not the way I see it.


Skid Crease

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The Day After the Night Before

Caledon appears to be safe for another four years! And considering that six (nearly seven) out of nine picks on my Dream Team were elected – a pretty reasonable prediction – I would say that my research was of a passing standard. Plus, most of those on my Scream Team list were defeated.

We returned our sitting Mayor and three solid incumbents, several bright new lights, and an old wisdom. If the paddlers can take Canoe Caledon in the same direction we may just make it to our destination. We have rid ourselves of one of the most divisive and disrespectful politicians who I have ever witnessed, and that alone should improve the atmosphere on Council. And we have a new Mayor in Brampton who may be more respectful of our place in Peel Region.

My work here is done and I am returning to do what I love best, environmental literacy and storytelling. There are so many sacred spaces and species in this world that need protecting and illuminating, and there are so many of their stories to tell. We have issues to resolve from reconciliation for residential school survivors to the consequences of half a degree more of warming on Turtle Island, and we’re complaining of traffic calming in our downtown core. Really?

Our backyard is safe; now it is time to get back to looking after our Home Planet.

The way I see it.


Skid Crease, storyteller

p.s. I’ll be watching …

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Skid’s Caledon Dream Team 2018 to 2022

 Tomorrow is municipal election day in Ontario and in the Town of Caledon. Advance polls are all done, and Sunday should be a day of rest and reflection as Caledon citizens of voting age ponder the impact of their choices Monday on the next four years of their lives.

We should also be tuned in to what is happening in Brampton and Mississauga given the rough ride that politicians in those two cities gave to the Town of Caledon last year.

I had the opportunity over the past year to sit at the media desk at Caledon Town Council and observe and record the words and behaviours of politicians and public delegations. Based on that experience, interviews with candidates, and research into the full slate of possible future captains of our ship, I have come to conclude that we have a chance to elect either a Dream Team or a Scream Team for Town of Caledon Council.

Since I only want to acknowledge the positive, eliminate the negative and leave out those in between, here are my choices for a positive, respectful Council. In some cases, the choice was simple. In others, with several strong new candidates running in some of the wards, the selection is much more difficult. Picking the best of some really good draft choices is a lot tougher than when there is only one Gretzky standing on the ice.

So, here is, my Town of Caledon Dream Team 2018:

Mayor: Allan Thompson

Ward One Area: Lynn Kiernan or Mauro Testani

Ward One Regional: Jim Wallace

Ward Two Area: Sandeep Singh, Chris Gilmer, or Christina Early

Ward Two Regional: Johanna Downey

Ward Three/Four Area: Nick DeBoer

Ward Three/Four Regional: Jennifer Innis

Ward Five Area: Steve Conforti or Joe Luschak

Ward Five Regional: Angela Panacci

Monday, October 22nd, 2018 – if we don’t vote, we surrender our voice and the purple wool pulled over our eyes will be testament to our apathy and gullibility. Either way on Tuesday Morning, Caledon citizens will have exactly the Council we deserve. Hope it’s not a nightmare.

The way I see it.

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