A Charter Of Division And Greed
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A Charter Of Division And Greed

Ottawa : Canada | Apr 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM PDT
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Never mind the Charter Of Rights And Freedoms which, according to former P.M Chrétien, celebrates and unifies Canada as “un pays de tolérance par excellence”.

P.M Harper recently had more important matters on his plate, namely, the “courtesy call” from Li Changchun, head of propaganda, and Member of the Communist Party of China’s Standing Committee of the Politburo. According to Forbes magazine, Li Changchun apparently “controls what 1.3 billion Chinese see, hear, and speak.”

Possibly, the two regaled each other with media renditions of Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave, but more likely, they shared strategies for moving Tar Sands crude from Alberta to China, despite the protestations of radical environmentalists and other extremist groups.

PM Harper and his neo-conservative party certainly did their homework in anticipation of the previously unpublicized meeting. The Economic Action Plan, 2012 effectively guts the Environment Canada budget, cancels the National Roundtable On The Environment and the Economy, slashes the budget of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (by 43%), cuts federal science budgets, ozone monitoring, and on and on., while simultaneously maintaining tax incentives/subsidies for energy companies. Changchun would no doubt have been pleased.

In 2006, PM Harper accurately remarked: “Canada’s environmental performance is, by most measures, the worst in the developed world. We’ve got a problem.” Seemingly, the problem being described was that the environmental bar had not been lowered sufficiently. Currently the “bar” has been grounded, so maybe the goal is within sight.

There’s nothing new about the strategy of “divide and conquer”, and the fact that it works is a “no brainer”, but it’s still about as sleazy as electoral fraud. Harper has renounced intergenerational responsibility with the rejection of KYOTO, and he has embraced Canada’s new status as “international pariah”. He pits one generation against another with OAS cuts. He pits the rich against the poor with health care cuts and unprecedented income disparities. He wages war on truth and science. And now, this conflicted country is plunging blindly “back to the future” with its obsession on one private sector to the detriment of others.

PM Harper once promised to “change the face of Canada.” He has succeeded. The statement also begs a question though: Will we ever recover?

By Mark Taliano

MarkTaliano is based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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