Saturday, November 04, 2006

Harper Isolates Canada

Harper snubs European Union, and adopts the Bush theory of isolationism:
OTTAWA — Stephen Harper has surprised and annoyed European Union leaders by cancelling a planned Canada-EU summit, where he was going to be criticized for abandoning this country's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.

Mr. Harper told Finnish Prime Minister Maati Vanhanen yesterday by telephone that he would not be able to attend the summit scheduled for Nov. 27.

The Prime Minister cited the need to remain in Canada as much as possible while the House of Commons is sitting, because the Conservatives enjoy only a minority government.

However, Mr. Harper still plans to travel to Hanoi later this month to attend a meeting of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) leaders. He will also be in Riga, Latvia, at the end of the month for meetings with the heads of NATO.

“The undertone is pretty bitter,” stated one European official who asked not to be identified.

There is widespread belief that Canada cancelled the meeting because EU officials announced that the question of Kyoto Protocol targets would be placed on the agenda.

European leaders are upset with the Conservative government's proposed Clean Air Act, which abandons Canada's pledge under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

A pretty transparent excuse for not attending, but what sort of a message does this send to our allies? It was just the other day that Rona Ambrose was bragging about the Clean Air Act showing the world how serious Canada was about emissions. Ambrose said the Act would do a great deal for Canada's reputation abroad. Apparently, the opposite is true and Canada now wishes to hide from scrutiny, as though embarrassed.

Harper's latest decision is similar to his no-show at the AIDS conference. Harper is more worried about appearances than participation, which isolates Canada. Harper's approach creates bad feelings, betrays our historic role and is scarily similar to the Bush administration tactics. There is nothing to be gained by alienating people, with the exception of short-term political expediency.

How ridiculous that we now have a government that effectively hides for the world, while simulateneously saying we are a key player on the world stage. Harper should endure any criticism and make the case for his plans, if they are so "ambitious" as Ambrose argues. Why the fear if the legislation is really how you present it? The fact we avoid our allies tells us all we need to know about the true nature of our position. Harper, the control freak, worries about his inability to mask the truth with his propaganda machine in the face of outside perception.

9 comments:

knb said...

It's interesting to me how Harper's supporters describe him as a strong and sure leader, yet we can see that when under criticism, he avoids confrontation.

He apparently passes this on to MP's as Jim Prentice demonstrated this week by not meeting with Ontario on the Caledonia issue.

We are challenging our image abroad with this new Government. I heard a report this morning that the only time Canada has been mentioned in China in months, was in reference to the MacKay/Stronach "non-comment" affair.

I think we'll hear more on this cancellation, by the EU. Increasingly, people, including environmentalist's from abroad, are pointing out Canada's new stance under this government and the comments are not favourable.

fragmunt said...

"Harper's latest decision is similar to his no-show at the AIDS conference" ....
oh, no. This is much bigger and there will be consequences but those will be long term and Stevie doesn't do long term.
Echoing knb, he and his party are cowardly for sure. Heat, it appears, does melt their wings.

Steve V said...

It's hard to be a "leader on the world stage" when you hide.

Jeff Drebit said...

If the Liberals had done something about the enviornment when they had the chance - 13 years worth - maybe harper wouldn't be so embarassed to face the world. 13 years and nothing to show for it but $6.5 billion tax dolllars gone... SHAME!

Steve V said...

"If the Liberals had done something about the enviornment"

You're not in opposition anymore, it's about time to modernize the soundbites and take some responsibility.

Ti-Guy said...

If the Liberals had done something about the enviornment when they had the chance - 13 years worth - maybe harper wouldn't be so embarassed to face the world.

This silly explanation doesn't work as an excuse anymore (it never really did) unless you really believe Harper's a little teenager with a very fragile ego (which I happen to think is true). I hope the Conservatives learn soon how lame and embarrassing this sounds.

Harper should endure any criticism and make the case for his plans, if they are so "ambitious" as Ambrose argues.

The real reason is because Harper can't make the case.

Kuri said...

Huh. Well as a former European studies student, I find that rather embarrassing.

And no, I didn't find the Liberal lying on the climate change issue any less embarrassing.

knb said...

It occurs to me, that if Harper cannot control the agenda, (read manipulate it to favour his position), he beg's off.

burlivespipe said...

"...13 years and nothing to show for it but $6.5 billion tax dolllars gone... SHAME!"

Hey mr Tory-spinologist, the alternative is apparently 44 years of softball platitudes and deflection of responsibility and action, an agricultural meltdown and sahara-ization of southern ontario with $6.6 billion tax dollars gone --- NOW that's the shame!

Apparently, there's no kitchen where Harpor lives. Or when he doesn't like the room temperature, he fires the chef.