It’s said we have the governments we deserve. Do we deserve our current government in Ottawa? Should we re-elect it on May 2nd?
Here’s a checklist of its record on key issues:
- Managing the economy: $56 billion deficit, largest in Canadian history
- Spending: $30 billion planned for stealth jet fighters (for what practical purpose?); billions on mega prisons, when crime rates are dropping; $1 billion on G20
- Human rights: brutal police actions on innocent people at G20; treatment/neglect of Canadian citizens trapped overseas; treatment of Afghan detainees
- Democracy: first government in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament; suppressing information through cancellation of long-form census; ejecting bona fide students from Conservative rally, April 4th, 2011
- International relations: losing seat on UN Security Council; Canada no longer a respected peace-keeping nation
- Environment/climate change: Canada annual recipient of Dinosaur award
- Education: low priority
- Health care: low priority
- Arts and culture: low priority
- Poverty: not a priority—corporate tax cuts, spending on jets and jails, while poverty and homelessness index rises in Canada, a leading developed nation
- Accountability and transparency: a bad joke, Stephen Harper’s ultimate deceit
- Working with the civil service: dismissal and/or character destruction of any public servant who puts Canada’s interests ahead of Mr. Harper’s
- Nuclear safety: dismissal of Linda Keen for putting safety first, ahead of Mr. Harper’s ideology
Do we deserve such a government, and should we re-elect it? I believe we deserve better, far better.
The Canada that welcomed my family in 1968—the Canada of Expo 67—was riding high in the world, radiating energy and hope. In contrast, Mr. Harper’s Canada is inward looking, fearful, and sour, and losing respect in the world. Which of these Canadas do we deserve? It depends on how high we choose to set the bar.
I believe it is in the Canadian DNA to raise the bar way higher than Mr. Harper. And when we do, we will have the government in Canada that Canadians and the world truly deserve.
PJ Robertson – Morrisburg ON