Friday, February 11, 2011

The Conservative Government of Canada is an Embarrassment to the World

In November of 2010, the Conservative government of Canada under Prime Minister Stephen Harper killed Bill C-311, which sought to bring greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. That meant going into Cancun for the climate change conference later that same month, Canada had nothing of any significance to offer in the way of reducing carbon emissions and pollution.

In addition, this government, in lockstep with the Tories of Alberta, continues to deny the harmful impact of the tar sands near Fort McMurray on the wildlife and the people living near its toxic spewing. They also have the support of the Edmonton Sun newspaper who proudly announce that anyone who speaks out against the tar sands is "anti-Albertan". I guess pro-Albertan means to allow rich multi-billion dollar oil companies to destroy the environment, steal from the native communities and spread carcinogenic effluvium for miles around.

Today, this same Canadian government wants the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a "formal dispute resolution panel" to review the European ban on Canadian seal products to see if it "complies with WTO rules".

Fisheries minister Gail Shea said this challenge was "a matter of principle". Well it certainly isn't a matter of ethics. She claims that she is on the side of "the thousands of Canadians in coastal and northern communities who depend on the seal harvest to provide a livelihood for their families".

The good people at Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics also depend on the millions of dollars in U.S. aid that Egypt receives under President Hosni Mubarak to come back to them so they can build tanks, missiles and machine guns to make a profit selling death, while at the same time "providing a livelihood for their families". Would she say that a dictator like Mubarak should remain in power so that a few people in North America could keep their jobs?

If your job is responsible for causing the suffering and death of others, then you deserve to be unemployed when people stand up and say, "No, I will not support your harmful profession".

It's high time that whatever government is elected in this country, they focus less on running it like a profit making business, making as much money as possible irrespective of how much pollution is caused or how many must die to serve their greedy ends, and concentrate more on a clean environment, preserving the natural beauty of this country, protecting its wildlife, and providing its citizens with adequate health services and the best in affordable education.

If they cannot, or will not do that, then the onus is on the Canadian people to organize themselves and force the government to comply or force them to say goodbye.

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