Canada has voted with three other countries against a United Nations declaration on aboriginal rights.
The non-binding declaration passed 143-4 in Thursday's vote in the UN's General Assembly. Australia, New Zealand and the United States also voted against the declaration, with 11 countries abstaining.
Not even the symbolism of abstaining to recoginize the spirit, if not the final text. Nope, right in lockstep with Bush and Howard. Dion hits the nail on the head:
"By opposing this declaration the Conservative government has signalled to Aboriginal Canadians that their rights aren't worth defending," Liberal leader Stephane Dion said in a statement. "The government has also dramatically weakened the leadership role Canada has long enjoyed in the global human rights movement."
Dion’s criticism echoes what we have heard from delegations, who often view Canada as a leader on human rights. The damage to our credibility will go largely unseen, but it is real and Canada's future leverage is minimized.
Can someone point to one area where the Harper government has distinguished itself on the international stage (verbal gymnastics aside)? We hear all the rhetoric about Canada’s new role in foreign affairs, but apart from the Liberals commitment in Afghanistan, all the government seems to do is side with the other deadbeat countries, on any particular issue. We seem pretty adept at “undermining”, but no evidence of accomplishment. Another disappointing day, in what is beginning to look like a consistent trend.