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#Cdnpoli: Harper Watch

After writing blogs on Scottish and American politics, it’s time to return to my home and native land. There’s plenty going on in this country to keep an eye on. This weekend there were three articles about our current government that caught my eye.

Doug Saunders in Peak Oil? More Like Peak Canada writes about how the Canadian government has squandered good will toward Canada with its short-sighted energy policy from the perspective of a future instructor reviewing our time period.

Ordinary Canadians embraced the hubris, spending far beyond their means, believing that our oil-boosted economy was permanent and invincible. In November of 2012, the peak of the Great Hubris, Canadians reported record levels of personal non-mortgage debt, piling on expensive cars and credit card bills – everyone believed theirs was a rich petro-state and it would last forever.

Of course, reality checkmated us:

 … That fateful November, just as their personal debts were red-lining, most Canadians failed to notice the annual World Energy Outlook, published by the Paris-based International Energy Agency.

It predicted what we all know now – that the U.S. would become the world’s largest petroleum producer by 2017 and a major world exporter not long afterward …

Saunders uses bit of dark humour on the topic of petroleum deals and pipelines:

Of course, the ecological consequences of this were horrendous. That’s why we don’t talk about that shameful era, or the politicians who turned “Canadian” into a swear word in many countries. Who’d want to be reminded of that when we’re getting our January suntans on Churchill Beach?

However, nothing was as disconcerting as reading the words, ” … as Prime Minister Bieber used to say”!

In the Huffington Post’s article, Romeo Dallaire Slams Harper’s Foreign Policy, Romeo Dallaire is not only critical of Harper’s foreign policy, but also that he is bypassing both houses of Parliament and making foreign policy announcements outside of Parliament:

“They announce new policies all over the place before they even introduce them in the House of Commons, let alone the Senate,” Dallaire told The Huffington Post Canada after a recent speaking engagement at Free the Children’s We Day youth rally in Toronto. “[Harper] holds more power than the President of the United States in his country, and because we’ve been strong on convention, and not on written decrees or documents, it permits someone who doesn’t want to play by those rules to have all kinds of room to manoeuvre. And this is what we are seeing now.”

Dallaire also noted that Canada has spent years trying to convince other countries  that using child soldiers is a crime against humanity:

“I was recently in the Congo and South Sudan … and it’s fine for me to go out there and try and stop them recruiting child soldiers, but when they turn to you and say, ‘What about your own?’ I mean, it’s like being stabbed in the back.”

Dallaire plans to introduce new domestic legislation regarding child soldiers that he hopes will prevent the Harper government from “pulling back from the grey areas of humanity and trying to keep it dumbed down to black and white.” 

And finally, a report that the government is keeping an eye on our blogs:

Google’s latest Transparency Report shows that the Canadian government is increasingly requesting that Google remove content from its websites, primarily for reasons of defamation.

The Canadian government requested the removal of 405 pieces of content between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012. Of these, 325 were because the content was deemed defamatory. The Google service most targeted by these removal requests was Blogger, followed by YouTube.

Here today, gone tomorrow.



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