There is very little that is more Canadian than Maple Syrup. At least there is very little more Canadian than Maple Syrup to someone who grew up as and when I did in Canada. But as with the rest of the known universe Canada is constantly changing.
Some of the changes please me… some annoy me… some are neutral…and some scare, scandalise, Terrify me.
Scare and scandalise may simply be a product of old age and the usual conservatism and wishing for a return to simpler days that so often afflicts people of my age.
However the Terrifying has nothing to do with my age or conservatism. It has everything to do with Prime Minister Steven Harper and how he is attempting to change Canada.
Canada, for all her faults has always tried to be a country of laws. Not that the laws were always good. But they were followed until a better law could be crafted. The great Lakota Chief ‘Sitting Bull’ exemplifies the ideals of the law in Canada. When he and his people were fighting the American government and being pursued by the American military they moved across the border into Canada.
The Canadian government could have done many things but chose to send seven North West Mounted Police to explain to Sitting Bull and his 1,000 warriors the way things worked in Canada. For all the time they were in Canada Sitting Bull and his people both followed and were protected by the law.
Harper is in the process of destroying the Canadian belief that we are protected by the law. His attack on this belief comes in a simple form. He constantly changes the law to suit his needs. If Canadians do not fall into line and kiss his ring he simply changes the law to make their dissent irrelevant.
The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal is the clearest example of his tactics. To push through this project Harper has gutted the Environmental Protection Act because people were using it to hinder this project. The fisheries Act has also been changed and for the same reason. The JRP has had it’s rules, timetable and authority altered so that it became quicker and absolutely meaningless because Canadians were using the existing rues, timetable and authority to challenge the project. Because so many upright, church/temple/synagogue going Canadians are against this project Harper has declared any Canadian who opposes this project an environmental radical and probably treasonous. Nothing like a little Black propaganda to help the cause.
But undoubtedly the most terrifying thing he has done is to pull Canada out of the Kyoto Accord.
‘Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent delivers a statement announcing Canada will formally withdraw from the Kyoto protocol on climate change on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Monday’ read the newspaper headlines around the world.
Canada was taken out of the accord by Harper because he has decided that Canada will exploit to the fullest the Athabaskan Tar Sands that will be carried by the Northern Gateway Pipeline. The Athabaskan Tar Sands produce the worlds dirtiest and deadliest carbon based fuel. Canada could not fulfil its commitment to the Kyoto Accord so Harper pulled us out. Instantly we went from being in the forefront of environmental leadership to a pariah.