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What’s Happening to Canada? Open letter to Stephen Harper


#1

What’s Happening to Canada? Open letter to Stephen Harper

Ralph Nader

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister:

Many Americans love Canada and the specific benefits that have come to our country from our northern neighbor’s many achievements (see Canada Firsts by Nader, Conacher and Milleron). Unfortunately, your latest proposed legislation—the new anti-terrorism act—is being described by leading Canadian civil liberties scholars as hazardous to Canadian democracy.


#3

Brilliant letter, Mr. Nader! Thank you for dedicating your life to opposing corporate plunder and continually speaking hard Truths to power in the form of today's new corporate-state-media-MIC (empire-style) merger.


#4

I don't want to be rude, but I fail to see how this has anything to do with litigiousness or cable TV.

This is not some crisis of Canadian nationalism. The only reason that similarity to "yanquis" is a concern at all is that, like the United States, Canada is well into the process of establishing a totalitarian surveilance state.

That's what should be at issue here, not whether the (settler) people of one colonial capitalist state consider themselves similar to the (settler) people of another colonial capitalist state. We've never been that different, and we've never all been the same.


#5

Canada was always known as the peace keeper.
Lester Pearson established the policy of Canada being the one country that everyone trusted and allowed her troops to be used to separate waring factions.
Stephen Harper has destroyed that reputation.
He lead the cheering for the Israeli bombing of Gaza--with no mention of the slaughter of thousands of innocent children and women.
He begged Obama to allow him to send Canadian jets to join in the on going bombing in Iraq.
We only just escaped being involved in the Bush led invasion of Iraq. Harper didn't have the majority government that he now enjoys--so he was stopped from hanging on to Bushes coat tail in that big lie.
Our only hope is for a return to a government-- in the next election-- that returns us to our peace keeper image--if that is possible after what Harper has done to it.


#8

Thank you!


#9

We wouldn't need such restrictive legislation or even the thought of it if Harper hadn't decided to make war in the Middle East. What a fool making enemies for Canada where there weren't ones before!


#12

What a marvelous letter from Mr. Nader pointing out some of the conservative foibles of Mr. Harper's
move to the right and noxious similarities with the Obama administration. As a half Canadian (father),
it is disquieting to see the changes in the old Canada I love into this new corporate mold. It does not
bode well for the future, and I disapprove of it.


#13

Thank you for this letter, Mr. Nader. Part of the explanation for the policies of Mr. Harper and his conservative government is very well explained in an article entitled Evangelical Christianity, Stephen Harper, and the Canadian State by Joyce Nelson that appears in watershedsentinel.ca for Jan/Feb 2015.


#14

Thank you Mr. Nader for your letter. Frankly, I was uninformed of these machinations by the PM to the north. You summed up things beautifully: "But you may be misreading the extent to which Canadians will allow the attachment of their Maple Leaf to the aggressive talons of a hijacked American Eagle."


#15

Bronfman money is ruling Canada, Harper is merely their errand boy.


#16

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. . . . Power is not a means; it is an end . . . not power over things, but over men. . . . In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. . . . There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. . . . Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever. George Orwell -- "1984"

Welcome to America's dystopia Canada.


#17

Amping up the fear-security state is a key piece of Harper's work. It enables greater militarism and distracts from his continued transformation of Canada to fit his market fundamentalism.

From a recent book review:
In Harperism: How Stephen Har­per and His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada, Donald Gutstein makes the case that neoliberalism is far more sinister than simply having a desire for smaller government. A central tenet of his new book is that Harper is undermining democracy by marshalling the power of government to create and enforce markets where they’ve never existed before. “He’s gradually moving the country from one that’s based on democracy to one that’s based on the market, which means that the decisions are not made by our duly elected representatives through the laws that they pass and the regulations that they enact,” Gutstein says.
Google gutstein-reveals-extent-of-stephen-harper-revolution/

Other good summaries showing how this ties in to Harper's support for imperialism and his faith-based anti-environmentalism, are here:
Google:
canada-challenging-stephen-harpers-imperialist-agenda/5358559
Tyee Harper-Evangelical-Mission/


#18

harper's terrorism straw-man fear-mongering tactics and propaganda are designed to provide a strategic pretext for an unchallenged authoritarian rule in Canada, rapidly devolving into a democracy-in-name-only, like the american political cabal, whose playbook he slavishly imitates. Granted.
harper is doing the bidding of interests keen on consolidating centralized power over Canadians, their long and honorable history of Anglo-style democracy be damned. Granted.
harper is consolidating euro-centric neo-colonial control over the natural heritage of the indigenous first nations peoples whom canadian english dispossessed of their lands in a generations-long campaign of genocide, local thuggery and state terror, in which disappointingly large numbers of anglo-canadians willingly participated. Granted.
harper is a despicable and pathetic neo-lib mini-me. Granted.
substantial numbers of the Canadian people are mysteriously unresistant to harper's string of power grabs.

Oh, Canada, do too few of you recall that you must steadily and assiduously defend democracy and liberty if you intend them to survive the natural tendencies of power and wealth to seek and sustain control over the common people?


#19

Mr. Harper,
Precisely who are the “terrorists” who we are witnessing your current monopoly of Canadian Parliament seeking defense against? In Bill C-51, there is a tendency to promise “greater oversight” over the intentions and actions of these “terrorists”. My question to you sir, is: “Are these perceived terrorists far afield or close at hand?
I have witnessed over the years, the behaviour and the decisions of your former Minister of Defense, Mr. Peter Mackay, and I believe that under the terms and conditions of this Bill (C-51), there is a very real possibility that Mr. Peter Mackay may indeed be perceived as a potential terrorist himself! Let me explain. Were defense funds spent by him on the purchase of jets without engines, evidence of mismanagement of tax dollars earmarked for military spending deliberately intended to weaken Canadian military competency, thus leaving us at risk, thereby potentially aiding opportunity for terrorism? Was private use by him of public helicopters, a flagrant show of contempt of Canadian tax dollars and thereby a demonstration of how much power and ego a political appointee can exercise when under your watch? Was this an act of disdain for fixed income earners and senior pensioners and thereby an enticement to potential terroristic factions looking to target a country which had little democracy and military defending it? Was limiting Coast Guard availability so that resources used by the Coast Guard were seldom available on days when they were most needed to rescue Canadians lost at sea, a potentially perceived act of leaving Canadians unprotected and therefore further enticement to terroristic groups?
Canada is now at war with ISIS. This was decreed by yourself and I can only presume agreed to, by your then Minister of Defense, Peter Mackay. First attacks made on Armistice Day, 2014, could be interpreted as the type of disdain for fallen Canadian veterans that only a terrorist would admire.
Should CSIS, and whatever other bodies decreed by you to be responsible for providing oversight over perceived potential terrorist factions, be directed to look with greater scrutiny at you yourself sir, and your former Minister of Defense?
Finally, could the $10B defense-spending surplus we are now hearing about, be construed as a deliberate act to weaken Canada militarily, leaving troops in the field improperly supported while concurrently leaving current veterans scrambling from lies and unkept promises in past military wars and actions? Could these be seen as enticements for terrorist factions?
In short, Mr. Harper, do you consider yourself a terrorist? Is Peter Mackay a terrorist? Why didn’t the guard who gave his life at the monument on Parliament Hill have any bullets in his gun? Why were there very few rudimentary steps taken to monitor cameras on site so this didn’t happen? Why did you take refuge in a closet? Are you working on the “inside” for outside factions that Bill C-51 is intended to expose? Would a mental evaluation be in order, as a potential defense?

Just Asking,


#20

@listening I logged in to explain to you about the honour guard at the War Memorial. There were no bullets in their guns by design, the absence of bullets being symbolic as to the state of peace in the country with the war ended. But there was no honour guard at all, also, until a few years ago when someone urinated on it and did some graffiti; since then the honour guard rotates between different regiments, and all were without bullets.

They have bullets now, though....

The litigiousness since the new Constitution and Charter is largely due to big money - who else has money for lawyers? - either launching suits, or doing things in violation of the constitution/charter that wind up in court. Crown corruption - justices, prosecutors, police - is endemic (look up Jack Cram/Delgamuukw, Bruce Clarke/Gustafson Lake and the BC Mary blog about BC Rail and more, and that's just a taste) and for them it's a lucrative make-work industry. The bridging of police into politics has increased, also, elected or by appointment; the new laws to criminalize the environmental and native factions of the polity are yet more litigation....from on high.

Harper doesn't like the Constitution and has said so, and even moreso the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which he and other Reform-oids have always wanted abolished; the treaty with China is partly his way around both, by surrendering them to over-ruling from Chinese investment/influence.

And it's not just the Obama administration; Harper was a project of the Bush administration, and of the GOP and those behind its machinations; and he's on collision course against the US as his own troops denounce climate change as a myth (including the RCMP, as of the other day) vs the FBI/Homeland Security/White House stance that it's the number one danger to global stability; and national security. At some point the US may have to act to stop Harper in his tracks....what's holding Obama back, I'd venture, is similar Chinese penetration of American ownerships and investments and deals of various kinds.

And yes, why are so many Canadians collaborating and advocating for the Harper cause, and most people just shrug it off and don't seem to want to take action? Not just because the media are subtextually telling them to, but out of calculated and cultivated antipathy....and take note this was pulled in the midst of one of the worst series of winter storms in quite a while......

The apathy I can understand; I understand Harper's supporters too, and just shake my head at the alternate reality they live in and their lack of comprehension of science and humane society - actually their hostility to both. Authoritarianism has always been part of the monarchic enterprise in Canada; and armed force or legal authority used to cow the population in times of unrest and dissent; we never fought for our freedom, we only had it handed to us as a turn-key operation, with strict conditions and oversight; that oversight was cut off in 1982, and Britain washes its hands now......while the US and China move in for the kill on the carcass of what had once been the most important dominion.....that natives will fight for their freedom, and Quebecois youth seem like they're ready to.

But most people are digging out the car right now, that's the overriding reality, and Harper's exploiting it to he max, as are the media pitching the lie that some poll says 82% of us support turning Canada into a police state where environmentalism and native rights are now suddenly criminal?