Some things just need to be said...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Harper is dangerous even as Minority Government

This was cross posted at QueerThoughts...

There are many examples to choose from. Most think that having a minority government means that there is a counter weight called the opposition to keep a government in line. That has not been what has happened during the successive Harper minority governments.

Here are just a few short examples of how decisions can be made by any government including a minority one when you have a fractured opposition.

The House of Commons voted in the majority to support and NDP motion to allow US Armed Forces deserters sanctuary in Canada. The Harper government has simply ignored the motion passed by Parliament and forced the extradition of American deserters back to the USA.

Omar Ahmed Khadr remains prisoner in Gitmo, the only person from a western country (Canada) to remain in US custody. This despite a Supreme Court ruling telling the Harper Government to make efforts to re-patriot Khadr.

Several Canadians remain in US prisons after being convicted of crimes in that country. In most instances for the last 20 years the Canadian government has allowed them to serve their sentence in a Canadian prison, closer to family and community. Harper and his government has refused, even after the Americans have approved such transfers.

In the same vein, Canada has long held a position of being opposed to the death penalty. The death penalty was removed long ago in Canada, yet the Harper government has chosen not to intervene in the cases of several Canadians facing the death penalty in the US.

Funding for so called "progressive" health issues has been cut and or spent and the resulting work held up on the PM's desk. The federal government has refused to allow an HIV prevention campaign to be launched since 2007 because it is not the kind of campaign they would a approve of. They didn't say anything to the group developing the campaign, they kept the finished product from being used after spending 10's of thousands of dollars developing it.

If that is not enough, then lets look at water on First Nations in Canada. Its abysmal. At any one time there are 80 to 180 boil water advisories in First Nation communities in Canada. If that were happening in 'white' dominated communities all hell would break loose. When several deaths occurred in Walkerton Ontario due to e-coli in the water, the whole system of ensuring safe drinking water was overhauled as it should have been.

Next we have the H1N1 virus, known to most as the swine flu. This has been particularily harsh in First Nation communities due to overcrowded living conditions, unsafe drinking water and a lack of adequate health care.

Lastly though not all, we have the Children of Attawapiskat. They have been denied a new school after their old school was declared unfit.

Okay, can there be any other reason that the Harper government has done nothing for the Children of Attawapiskat than overt discrimination.

This is one of the old fights in this country. First Nations students are required to attend school just like all other children in Canada. Canadian children in general get very good education. Education is always considered a priority for provincial and federal governments.

Delivery of quality education is a priority for everyone except First Nation Students in Canada. At least that is the message being delivered by the Federal Minister of Indian Affairs, Chuck Strahl. In fact several Ministers in the last few years have promised a new school. Not one of those Ministers have delivered on a school to date.

Yet in 2007, then Minister of Indian Affairs, Jim Prentice announced the funding was there for the school. In December of 2007 in walks Chuck Strahl. He cancels the funding. The Harper Government says it will cost too much due to the rising cost of construction.

The government resorted to have civil servants respond to the issue. Listen to this employee of the Ministry of Indian Affairs try to defuse the bomb loaded by his boss, Chuck Strahl.

That was incredible. This Civil Servant is either scared for his job or between a rock and a hard place and thus has chosen to cast himself as a complete idiot to keep his job. He is a hired gun and it appears the civil service has decided to simply acquiesce.

There is little excuse for doing nothing. Yet when an MP, Charlie Angus sees that a school is needed it is portrayed by one government member as grand standing and as a sign that that member is choosing 'Indians' over white kids. The attack is that simple. See here.

I ask you to imagine a Canada with a Steven Harper majority. Is that the kind of Canada you want? In fact is a Steven Harper minority worth propping up for any reason? Look what he has managed to do while in office. Does he reflect your values?

I suspect most of you reading this will agree with me. Harper has to go and go soon. Now if the LPC will just stop being so self interested, ie waiting for just the right polling, and get out there like the NDP and stand for something. Together either in a coalition or in propping up a new government, they can undo a lot of whats wrong in Steven Harper's Canada!


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