Sunday, June 5, 2011

Harper stunt interrupts Canadian statement delivered by DePape

In a politically-motivated protest, the Harper government interrupted a statement of Canadians delivered by Brigette DePape. The Parliamentary page held up a sign summarizing the 60% vote in the recent federal election—Stop Harper—and elaborated on the views of the majority of Canadians:
“Harper's agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation. We have to stop him from wasting billions on fighter jets, military bases, and corporate tax cuts while cutting social programs and destroying the climate. Most people in this country know what we need are green jobs, better Medicare, and a healthy environment for future generations.”
     But in a show of disrespect for democracy, she was removed from Parliament and fired from her job. Stephen Harper is welcome to his own political view, but while he has been in office expected to serve he has consistently bent the rules—proroguing Parliament rather than addressing allegations of torture, doctoring Parliamentary reports to deny funding to aid groups, and issuing a manual on subverting Parliamentary committees. There are also concerns that the government is trying to smuggle in minority conservative views like opposition to abortion, women's rights and gay rights. DePape outlined Canadians response to this inappropriate behaviour: “Contrary to Harper's rhetoric, Conservative values are not in fact Canadian values. How could they be when 3 out of 4 eligible voters didn't even give their support to the Conservatives?”
     The Harper government took advantage of the throne speech to bury its own record, disrespecting the intelligence of Canadians—claiming to pursue a “principled foreign policy” (despite occupying Afghanistan against the wishes of its people, and ignoring Israeli and Sri Lankan war crimes), “support all veterans” (despite gutting their benefits), “protect civilians in Libya” (despite NATO bombing civilians), “address the problem of violence against women” (despite eliminating funding for women’s groups), “made it a priority to renew and deepen our relationship” with First Nations (despite denying Canada’s colonial post and ignoring missing and murdered aboriginal women), and "expanded protected lands" (despite expanding the Tar Sands). This stunt continued as the speech was used as cover for an inappropriate political agenda—continuing its hysteria over human smuggling and crime to criminalize refugees and build expensive unnecessary prisons.
     While Stephen Harper showed disrespect for the democratic process of the Arab spring—by being the last to support Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, and then comparing the revolution to toothpaste—DePape’s statement represented the democratic needs of Canadians, and outlined an action plan for the next four years:
“This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring, a flowering of popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people, when we act together in our streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces.”


  1. Unfortunately not much of anything can stop the Dictator now for the next 4 years. Kudos to the young lady for standing up for what she believes in.

  2. we can stop him. if we truly want to. but it will take some cahones. we have to do what we did not do during the election. we have to stand united against him.

  3. Great piece, Dr J!

    We did *plenty* during this election - millions said NO to corporatist politics and YES to change from the left. Now the real work begins.

  4. I feel sick at heart watching Canada seemingly headed in the direction that the U.S. took under Bush. I doubt my country (U.S.) will ever fully recover but there is still time, and hope, for Canada. My best thoughts are with you all. Thanks Dr J for this excellent post.

  5. I agree with hopefulandfree that there is hope for Canada. I just want to note that the US did not take a new direction under Bush. It just became a little more blatant about the same course it had been on for decades.