I didn't vote for Stephen Harper, Canada's Prime Minister. Neither did most other Canadians. However, due to the archaic first-past-the-post political system we have here, Harper got to be our nation's leader. I admit, I was choked when he won. But I thought, as I'm sure most Canadians did, "How much harm can one man do?" And "He'll never get re-elected anyway."
I stayed quiet, apathetic even, as Harper has laid waste to many of the things I think Canada has done pretty well in the past. Environmental stewardship - gone. International reputation of moderation and peace keeping - gone. The dear old CBC - gutted and all but gone. In fact, Harper has done so much damage it makes me nostalgic for the days of Brian Mulroney, notorious for being Canada's most despised Prime Minister. Lawrence Martin puts it well here.
But what has knocked me off my rocking chair, where I am busy sewing a duvet cover, (oh yes, I am such a dangerous radical) is the news that Transport Canada thinks it's just fine for oil tankers to cruise the treacherous, environmentally sensitive waters off of B.C.'s north coast. The story is here.
Amazingly, all relevant government agencies have signed off on the project. But, since Harper won't allow any dissenting individuals to speak out, (oh yeah, that's another thing he did, muzzle government employees, including scientists and researchers) it's not like those agencies had a choice.
For those of you who haven't been following this, Harper desperately wants to allow a private company, Enbridge, to build a pipeline through northern B.C. that will carry bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands (another horrible environmental disaster) to Kitimat, where it will be put onto tankers who can sail their merry way to China, where it will be refined and used to manufacture cheap consumer goods for the rest of the world.
This cannot be allowed to happen. It is wrong on so many levels my head spins. Seriously, I am thinking, "What have I got to lose?" If there were some kind of militant rebel forces here I would sign right up. I'm a middle-aged lady, and the future looks like crap anyway.
I have been working hard the last few years, cultivating inner peace, patience and tolerance. That's another thing Stephen Harper has destroyed. Although I have never believed the Devil, that personification of evil, exists, I am starting to think that he does indeed walk this earth, in the body of Stephen Harper.