Sunday, July 6, 2014

Not So Hard To Understand

This morning's Star reports the fact that Canada's sesquicentennial in 2017 is eliciting something less than enthusiasm from the majority of Canadians living outside of Alberta:

Albertans are far more excited than other Canadians about the looming 150th birthday of the country in 2017, a new poll has found.

A full 70 per cent of Alberta residents intend to take part in the 150th celebrations — much more than the 58 per cent of Ontarians or 31 per cent of Quebecers who said they planned to participate, says the poll, which was carried out by Leger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies.

The article goes on to posit possible reasons for the results:

- It could ... be that Albertans are feeling good about the country because of the booming economy in the province, or that one of its own, Calgary MP Stephen Harper, is Prime Minister.

- Only half of the poll respondents in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces and only 56 per cent of those in British Columbia had any plans to celebrate the 150th.

- The poll found that only about two in three Quebecers claim some attachment to Canada

Perhaps there is a simple reason for the lukewarm enthusiasm in most parts of the country: the Canada that we have traditionally known and revered has been rapidly disappearing under the eight years of Harper rule we have been subjected to.

A litany of 'reforms' aimed at stripping away our traditions of civility, generosity, kindness and concern for the collective isn't necessary here. Most of us who follow politics are well-acquainted with them. However, a letter in today's Star captures, I think, one key element in the Harper plan to remake Canada in his soulless image: the silencing of dissenting voices:

Re: Stephen Harper's cowardly silence speaks volumes, June 28

The Harper government’s mealy mouthed response to the outrageous incarceration of journalists by the Egyptian court is understandable. This government is doing everything it can to silence those organizations trying to inform the public about its own outrageous activities.

It is doing its best to destroy the CBC. It has muzzled government scientists. It eliminated funding to human and women’s rights organizations both of which exposed the callous nature of some of its policies. It has tried to destroy unions on behalf of its corporate supporters.

Now it is using Canada Revenue Agency to undermine the activities of charitable organizations such as Amnesty International and the David Suzuki Foundation. By submitting them to long, drawn-out audits they are hampering the work of these organizations by taking up their time and money.

Its record regarding the public’s right to information is disgraceful. This government is spending an additional $7.2 million on top of the $8 million in the budget to harass these organizations because they expose the anti-democratic actions of the government.

Terminating the Parliamentary Budget Officer is an excellent example of how the Harper government is doing everything it can to end transparency.

Bill Prestwich, Dundas

All in all, not much to celebrate domestically these days.


  1. Surely the recent participation rate in the four byelections suggests that most of the country is not impressed by this government, Lorne.

    1. I can only hope that the people feel motivated to change things significantly next year, Owen.

  2. It is nice to see that the commenting rules have been relaxed on this blog so that we law abiding citizens can voice our opinions.

    We must be vigilant against those commie bastards at all times!

    1. Thanks for the link, Anon. A classic!