Editorials

Letter: Harper’s policies detrimental to our rights and freedoms

If Stephen Harper weren’t such a hawk for Israel, would you vote for him?

We are electing a Canadian Prime Minister for Canada. His policies for Canada are detrimental to our democratic rights and freedoms. His politics are those of fear, division, obfuscation, and lack of honesty or transparency. He brooks no discussion or openness. He lacks respect for our democratic and social institutions. He sees enemies everywhere and sends tax auditors to investigate charities that disagree with his environmental policies, muzzles Canadian scientists to the degree that, internationally, scientists have garnered over 800 signatures protesting their treatment and our lack of evidence-based policies.

With the indefensible cancelling of the long-form census, how can we plan long-term for anything, what will these decisions be based on? Harper didn’t plan for diversification of our resource industry and we are now held hostage economically by the Saudis, our friends and allies. Oil is prime. With prices down and the economy at risk, can he still retain the claim as the only person who can direct our economy through troubled times? Where was his foresight in developing alternate fuel sources as well?

Harper’s regressive law-and-order bills are meant to distract the public from well-known facts that our crime rates have been going down for decades and we don’t need to institute more punitive and regressive laws. Instead of funding CSIS to be able to do their anti-terrorist work, funding has been cut to the bone. Where is the sense in all this, the evidence-based material on which Harper declaims and proclaims? This is not what Canada is, not my country of compassion and social justice.

Does Harper even speak up for human rights anymore? What about Mr. Fahmy, a Canadian journalist imprisoned in Egypt on trumped up charges and being defended by an internationally respected human rights lawyer with whom Harper will not communicate? What about prisoner of conscience Mr. Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, sentenced to 1000 lashes and years of incarceration for defending human rights and freedom of speech, whose family was given refugee status and live here in Quebec?

While the rest of the world was campaigning for his release, we signed a $15 billion dollar military equipment contract with the Saudis, and our former Foreign Minister praised their human rights record. Is this my Canada?

If we get the government we deserve, what does that say about us if we re-elect Harper? Do not be fooled by his appeal to our baser natures. We are better than that. We are Canadians.

— Sandra Brown

One Comment

  1. It is not that Mr. Harper is perfect. It is that he is so much better than the alternatives.

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