Saturday, June 7, 2014

On Harper's Hateful Hypocricsy

There is little doubt that Alana Westwood will now be joining that ever-growing pantheon of proud Canadians inscribed on Harper's Enemies List. The PhD Candidate at Dalhousie University and volunteer coordinator at Evidence for Democracy has written a fine piece in today's Toronto Star entitled Stephen Harper’s blatant hypocrisy on science which merits reading.

Her starting point is what she describes as a rare one-on-one interview this past Thursday with the CBC (surely an act of hypocrisy in itself, given his abiding contempt for and constant cost-cutting of the public broadcaster). Out of deference to those delicately constituted, I shall provide no link to the interview - that are certain things no one should have to subject him or herself to, and watching Dear Leader is one of them, in my view. From past exposure, I know that I always have, shall we say, a Pavlovian response to him that is not pleasant to behold.

During said interview, in which Harper espoused his enthusiasm for vaccines, he chided Canadians, “Don’t indulge your theories; think of your children and listen to the experts.”

He added, for good effect, that “it’s a tragedy when people start to go off on their own theories and not listen to scientific evidence.”

The irony, as she calls it, is not lost on Ms. Westwood:

The PM’s sudden endorsement of science is a peculiar turn in the wake of systemic and sustained affronts to Canadian scientists, statisticians and record keepers. Just recently, we have seen announcements of cuts to research funding for the Department of Justice, massive closures of libraries (including consolidation and loss of collections from Health Canada) and even restrictions on the ability of meteorologists to say the words “climate change.”

She goes on to enumerate other examples of Harper's manifest hypocrisy and unfitness to lead the country:

- over 2,000 federal scientists dismissed since 2009

- the cut/closure of about 200 scientific research and monitoring institutions, many dealing with issues of monitoring food safety, environmental contaminants and other domains directly affecting the health of Canadians.

While Harper apparently extolled the crucial role of good baseline data during the interview, Westwood reminds us of this inconsistent and inconvenient truth:

How long after the axing of the mandatory long-form census will Canada hit the wall? From the drastically insufficient national household survey, we won’t even have appropriate baseline data about the basic demographics of our own country to plan hospital locations.

And of course, as has been noted previously, the avidity with which the Harper regime muzzles its scientists is behaviour worthy only of a third-world martinent.

To be sure, none of this is new or shocking to those of us who follow the downward trajectory of our country. It is only the latest reminder of the urgency with which each of us must convey, in whatever means are at our disposal, the truth of this autocratic regime so that as many as possbile are as engaged as possible, in 2015.


  1. At this point, Lorne, it should be obvious that the words "Harper" and "Hypocrisy" are synonyms.

  2. It is my earnest hope that all the Harperites have done to this country, the Liberals or others will undo what has been done.Anyong