Sunday, December 28, 2014

Remembrances Of Things Past

It was with some surprise that Canadians finally saw something positive emerge from the always suspicious and hateful Harper regime: its facilitation of talks between the U.S. and Cuba to begin the process of normalizing relations.

This echo of a time when Canada was looked upon as the world's honest broker prompted a Star letter-writer to express the following view:

U.S.-Cuba deal made in Canada, Dec. 18

Finally the Harper government plays a positive role on the world stage, by helping the U.S. and Cuba end over 50 years of hostility. This is the role Canada should be playing, and the role we used to play in the good old days – not the hectoring, finger-wagging, holier-than-thou lecturing of foreign leaders that is Stephen Harper’s preferred modus operandi.

Our Prime Minister should follow up this diplomatic triumph by re-opening Canada’s embassy in Tehran, pursuing serious dialogue with Vladimir Putin and putting some energy into resolving the crisis in Syria – which of course would involve actually engaging with Bashar al-Assad.

And while Harper’s at it, what about having a word or two with his buddy Benjamin Netanyahu about treating Palestinians like human beings?

None of this is any more likely to happen than a fat old white guy dressed in red fur coming down your chimney, but hey – this is a Christmas wish list. Canada’s instrumental and uncharacteristically statesmanlike role in the U.S.-Cuba deal was most likely a singularity, perhaps committed in a fit of absent-mindedness.

Too bad we can’t have more such lapses.

Andrew van Velzen, Toronto


  1. It probably had more to do with slighting Putin than any positive intent.

    1. it does see very difficult to attribute any positive motivations to this regime, Anon. Perhaps he also thought it would 'soften up' Obama over Keystone?

  2. When both Baird and Harper state that they played a minor role, you can rest assured that our government played no role in the deal