HEADLINES

CDN: Closing of the Canadian Mind – Harper Government Legacy

By STEPHEN MARCHEAUG, August 14, 2015. The New York Times.

Stephen Harper hum haw

THE prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has called an election for Oct. 19, but he doesn’t want anyone to talk about it.

He has chosen not to participate in the traditional series of debates on national television, confronting his opponents in quieter, less public venues, like the scholarly Munk Debates and CPAC, Canada’s equivalent of CSPAN. His own campaign events were subject to gag orders until a public outcry forced him to rescind the forced silence of his supporters.

Where's Steve?

Harper’s campaign looks a lot like a Where’s Waldo adventure: “Wheeeere’s Steve?

Mr. Harper’s campaign for re-election has so far been utterly consistent with the personality trait that has defined his tenure as prime minister: his peculiar hatred for sharing information.

Americans have traditionally looked to Canada as a liberal haven, with gun control, universal health care and good public education.

But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.

His relationship to the press is one of outright hostility. At his notoriously brief news conferences, his handlers vet every journalist, picking and choosing who can ask questions. In the usual give-and-take between press and politicians, the hurly-burly of any healthy democracy, he has simply removed the give.

Mr. Harper’s war against science has been even more damaging to the capacity of Canadians to know what their government is doing. The prime minister’s base of support is Alberta, a western province financially dependent on the oil industry, and he has been dedicated to protecting petrochemical companies from having their feelings hurt by any inconvenient research.

3 blind mice touching backsIn 2012, he tried to defund government research centers in the High Arctic, and placed Canadian environmental scientists under gag orders. That year, National Research Council members were barred from discussing their work on snowfall with the media. Scientists for the governmental agency Environment Canada, under threat of losing their jobs, have been banned from discussing their research without political approval. Mentions of federal climate change research in the Canadian press have dropped 80 percent. The union that represents federal scientists and other professionals has, for the first time in its history, abandoned neutrality to campaign against Mr. Harper.

His active promotion of ignorance extends into the functions of government itself. Most shockingly, he ended the mandatory long-form census, a decision protested by nearly 500 organizations in Canada, including the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Catholic Council of Bishops. In the age of information, he has stripped Canada of its capacity to gather information about itself. The Harper years have seen a subtle darkening of Canadian life.

To read the rest of this article by STEPHEN MARCHE click on the link below.

The New York Times: The Closing of the Canadian Mind.

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • A 29-year-old woman who was raped in October 2015 by peacekeepers stationed in Bambari, Central African Republic. © 2015 Lewis Mudge/Human Rights Watch
  • Mona Relief has become a lifeline to the Yemeni families they reach; delivering more than physical aid, they bring with them a glimmer of hope; a reassurance that Yemen is not forgotten.
  • A malnourished child lies on a weighing machine at a therapeutic feeding Centre at Al Sabyeen hospital in Sana’a. (Reuters)
  • People searched for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by an airstrike in Sana, Yemen, on June 12. (Photo: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters) alistairreignblog.com
  • Geopolitics: Today's Yemen In One Map. Yemeni Civil War: The Territorial Control as of March 1st, 2016. In March, the Yemen’s embattled president Hadi fled Yemen by sea and arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, as Saudi Arabia and its allies launch military operations in Yemen to defend Hadi’s government.
  • afghan_clinic_bombed
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes Syrian refugees to Canada late Thursday night at Pearson International airport
  • Journalist Deniz Yücel, along with four others, have been jailed pending trial on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation and inciting the public to violence.
  • Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985.
  • Two homeless brothers try to survive on the streets of India.
  • Mona Relief Charity on Go Fund Me makes it easy and safe to donate. No amount is too small, or too large.
  • Yemen is the poorest country in the Arabian peninsula, with more than 40 percent of people living below the poverty line Reuters

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Donald Trump will save the day
  • In episode two he addresses the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the humanitarian catastrophe in the impoverished Republic of Yemen. Minhaj warns America to reconsider their attitude toward Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • When cartoons turn into people
  • Nicki 'Minnie' Minaj
  • Take Our Poll: Come on in and tell us who haunted your nightmares! Which vampire had the most ferocious fangs?
  • Britney Spears Looking Hot in black leather in Toxic music video. who was sexiest? Britney in Toxic or Taylor Swift in Bad Blood
  • Donald Trump kissing his daughter
  • Putin Pumpkin Head
  • Way-Back Machine: Who Owned It Best? Come on in and pick out your favorite Dracula cape! Who flaunted the full-length cape better than the rest?
  • Donald Trump for President
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.

Start a Conversation or Write a Caption This joke.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.