As Prime Minister Stephen Harper goes about his extensive world travels, he is not making many new friends for Canada. In fact, he and his cabinet colleagues are making enemies. Judging by the comments of the head of the European Community in Mexico this week, it is not just refugee claimants who are bad-mouthing us.
Our reputation as a country is precious. It is not something for Stephen Harper to brush aside. When working abroad for non-governmental agencies, Canadians rely on the good will our country has earned over the years to help them do their jobs. It used to be that we could go to almost any country in the world and receive a friendly welcome as a Canadian. You would be constantly told that you come from a wonderful country.
It was the same for our military that was respected for its support for peacekeeping efforts. Our people wore the blue beret of the United Nations with pride. Today, there are people in Afghanistan and in Algeria who have learned to fear the Canadian warriors. Canadians died in Afghanistan and for what?
Now we have Stephen Harper telling people how to run their economies. He tells them they have to be firmer. He tells them they have to be more controlling. He preaches austerity to people when he has never known austerity. He wastes millions of taxpayers’ dollars to run G8 and G20 summits in Canada that ran roughshod over human rights.
It is most likely that Mr. Harper has no understanding at all of the Eurozone. He says that the European Community needs to have political control over its money when the entire concept of the European Community is cooperation. Mr. Harper worries about the Greeks more than he worries about how Canadians feel about his autocratic handling of the Canadian Parliament. The Greeks elected the parliament they want and Harper can expect that Canadians will elect the parliament they want at the next election. It is only too bad that the next election in Canada is more than three years away.
We can all hope during that time that Mr. Harper does not start to tell the Americans how to run their country or economy. It is not that they do not need the help but all they want from Canada is that cheap tar sands crude oil.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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