ODYSSEY OF A GREAT LAKES SAILOR – The Untold Story Of Canada Steamship Lines Paul Martins Shipping Empire Years 1973-1994.

You shall judge a man by his foes as well as by his friends.When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. 

I WOULD LIKE to start this odyssey by introducing a letter, which I wrote to Mr Martin, when he was a rookie member of the Canadian Parliament, and for which he did not have the decency to respond. His legacy is not what is written about him by others. If future generations of Canadians are to believe history of what makes a great nation, it is by examples set by others who provide a great moral and ethical leadership.

I am not a journalist. All that I had learnt has been self taught. I had learnt in my early years as a young man growing up in British India that through nonviolence many things can be achieved and that all things in life are negotiable and I truly believe that the Pen is mightier than the sword.

This is not the Canada I once knew. I am a first generation Canadian who immigrated to this country seeking to make a better life for my family and I, and I am sure like most other immigrants and a lot of people in this country believed that this great country had much to offer. I was truly disappointed, shocked and dismayed utterly that such things could happen to one man seeking to make use of opportunities that were available to others but denied to him.

Yet today he is the Prime Minister of Canada and on his path of self destruction, caused by his own folly. Canada deserves better and this man is an insult to this great office.

Read on then my dear friends such is life, for what its worth it is like Shakespeares Macbeth…

 Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. .

As Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau espoused  participatory democracy as a means of making Canada a  Just Society. His desire for greater citizen involvement in government appears to have been frustrated by lack of support within his party, and he later opposed greater involvement for citizens in representative democracy.

Trudeaus most enduring legacy is the 1982 Canadian constitution. Some hail his creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the 1982 constitution as having had a profoundly positive effect on the nation. It is seen as advancing civil rights and liberties and, notwithstanding clause aside, has become for many Canadians a deeply respected institution.

But in spite of all this we were still considered second class citizens in this so-called number one country and as such had to ut up with all the hardships that go towards making this an unjust society.

The following letter was written to the newly elected Member of Parliament from Quebec, Mr Paul Martin, whom I had known since I joined his Shipping company since 1973, and soon after my wrongful dismissal from this Company where I had given my life blood, sweat and tears.

Mr Paul E. Martin.
Member of Parliament Room 481,
Confederation Building OTTAWA,Ontario,K1A OA6 Feb 3. 1993.


Dear Sir:

After twenty years of dedicated service with your company and carrying forty million tons of cargo on your ships, top management has finally seen fit to terminate my service ,with your company. It seems very obvious as per the attached letter that the company is downsizing but it fails to mention as to what they are downsizing. Let me tell you what it is. It is downsizing, Canadians of Indian origin and make C.S.L. Corporate White.

This is like the phrase from the book  Bury my heart at wounded knee,  where it says,  The white man broke every promise except one. He said I will take your land and he took it. My lawyer is looking into the so called downsizing, whether it applies to me alone or a host of others.I was promised a ship at the end of the 1992 navigating season. When it was time to deliver, top management decided to terminate my services.

Attached lawyer’s letter is self-explanatory.

I thought for a moment in time that Canada was a great country and that such things happened only in South Africa.

Now I tend to believe otherwise. This is definitely not in line with the principles which this great country was built on. It is people that make the difference.

Your company’s top management has absolutely no business or work ethics. This definitely is not a way to enter the twenty first century.

I have slaved and slogged for the last twenty years in spite of being harassed in a sick industry. The company’s undesirable list speaks for itself. My case is strictly a witch hunt and a case of corporate lynching.

When the new company G.L.B.C. was formed in 1991, a select committee was responsible for pushing most of Canadians of Indian origin out of C.S.L. and hiring in their place, whites. It is a story of ten little Indians repeated.

I thought I was one of the fortunate few left to carry the CSL Flag. But I have been so harassed by Mr. G. Buchanan, the director of Fleet operations, in the last two years that I had to go to a Civil Litigation Lawyer to secure my job with your company.

What about minority rights?. There must be laws in the country of Canada against violation of Civil rights, harassment and discrimination. You, as a lawyer, should know this. You should take some responsibility to what happens in your shipping company.

I am next in line to become a Commodore Chief Engineer and my family and I was looking forward to flying the C.S.L.flag high. Now I am about to drag it in the mud.If you want to be Prime Minister of Canada, Sir, you should think again.

The news is going to be a Media Blitz. I am definitely not part of the  SILENT SUFFERING MINORITY.

Awaiting your response, I remain,
Yours Sincerely
Roger Ranganathan

Mr. Martin never responded to my letter, as we were only small fishes in a big pond. My prophecy though a little late but not too late, is coming true. I am bound by my code of ethics to see through this unjust ordeal so that I can be free once again.This is my Karma in this life. As you can see the glorious path of self destruction and the path to hell is truly paved with good intentions.

Now they are self destructing before our very eyes as this country is led by a leader who is morally corrupt. You can read about this so called leader who is leading this country to destruction in the following pages of my Odyssey. I know this to be true as I was unfortunate to work for him for over twenty years.


389 Pages of one Man’s Odyssey Story

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Regards, Coyalita

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