Monday, 20 February 2012

An Open Letter To Stephen Harper

Dear Mr.Harper, 

21st century politics seem to be your government's specialty. I'm a Canadian, an extremely proud Canadian. I've been to seven provinces, met many Canadians, and I have a great deal of trouble identifying how exactly your government is promoting Canadian values. 

First, your government accused anyone who opposed a bill that would mandate ISPs monitor all online activity of siding with child pornographers. Now, you're threatening the EU  for labeling the oil sands as polluting. One man's science is another man's inconvenient truth I guess. I also know that the economy is your top priority. This really does create a picture of what your Canada looks like. 

Is it the Canadian way to disregard the science and instead try to protect corporate oil interests? I understand that it's also an attempt to protect Canadian jobs, but at what point would the factual environmental impact of those jobs have an impact on your decision making? For example, if we knew that the world would end in 50 years if we continued production in the oil sands would you continue to protect economic interests? What if we knew that 30% of Albertans would die if we continued production, would the economy continue to take priority or would the health and safety of our countrymen take priority then? Does the answer to the previous question change if it's Quebecers dying? What if it was Africans dying? Would killing foreigners make your economic priority more reasonable? 

Of course, I'm not suggesting that when it comes to the oil sands you don't care about the health and safety of foreigners. Your view on abestos exports has already made it clear that you value the economy over the health and safety of foreigners.  

In regards to your "child pornography" bill - I've yet to see one piece of evidence come from this government outlining  previous cases that this bill would have facilitated the capture of child pornographers. It's my belief that until you are able to provide such evidence, you don't have a valid reason to force ISPs to create an infrastructure that will monitor everything every Canadian does online. Frankly, even if you could do so - Orwellian style laws like this don't jive with what I consider Canadian values. 

I'd note that it's some pretty slick politicking though. Bring out a bill that calls warrant-less surveillance "lawful access" and claim to be on the side of "lawful access". It's quite the political score to stand up in the house of commons in an outrage that the opposition is against lawful access in the pursuit of child pornographers. I also have no doubt that there will be a couple of changes made so your government can claim to have listened to the will of the people, but the fact that our ISPs are mandated to monitor everything we do online and provide warrant-less access to you will stay. I guess these are Conservative values, the kind that you try to claim are Canadian values. 

Remember, Mr.Harper - less than 40% of Canadians voted for you. To claim some kind of moral high ground on these issues would be silly. I'm happy that for the most part you do not. In fact, you've made it quite clear that the Economy is what you value most. 

Canadians value much more than profit, though. We value fairness, equity, sophistication in world view, and have an inherent desire to do the right thing. Thusfar, as much as you may like to claim otherwise, the values your government demonstrates are certainly not Canadian values. 


A Canadian With Very Different Values Than You

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