Stephen Harper the Outlier

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In the prestigious magazine Foreign Policy, Calgarian Andrew Nikiforuk rips Canada under Stephen Harper a new one.

His basic premise attested to by many veteran diplomats and any thinking Canadian who has been paying attentiion , is that we have become an outlier, an ecological renegade and  an embarrassment on the international stage. We have lost respect almost everywhere in the global community under the hamfisted control freak, Stephen Harper.

Nikiforuk who has paid serious attention to the deleterious effects of the Alberta Tar Sands for a long time, begins his wonderfully titled piece Oh Canada this way:

Over the last decade, Canada has not so quietly become an international mining center and a rogue petrostate. It’s no longer America’s better half, but a dystopian vision of the continent’s energy-soaked future.

That’s right: The good neighbor has banked its economy on the cursed elixir of political dysfunction — oil. Flush with visions of becoming a global energy superpower, Canada’s government has taken up with pipeline evangelists, petroleum bullies, and climate change skeptics. Turns out the Boy Scout’s not just hooked on junk crude — he’s become a pusher. And that’s not even the worst of it.

With oil and gas now accounting for approximately a quarter of its export revenue, Canada has lost its famous politeness. Since the Conservative Party won a majority in Parliament in 2011, the federal government has eviscerated conservationists, indigenous nations, European commissioners, and just about anyone opposing unfettered oil production as unpatriotic radicals. It has muzzled climate change scientists, killed funding for environmental science of every stripe, and in a recent pair of unprecedented omnibus bills, systematically dismantled the country’s most significant long-cherished environmental laws.

And the author is just beginning! More in the future.

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