The recent scandals going on in Canada at the present time have me wanting to write an article about politics and how it affects everyone – not just humans. There are several reasons why I am not living in my home country, but the prime minister is not making it easy for me to want to go back – or to be proud to call myself Canadian.
Of course, I never originally left because of Stephen Harper per se; I needed to get away, and was long due for a trip to discover part of the world. So, off to South America I went, and landed in the interesting city of Bogota, Colombia. I have been in this country for almost a year, and don’t regret it one bit.
I still receive emails from Canadian political parties and non-profit organisations that defend my country’s population’s rights. Although not successful – due to an incredibly stubborn prime minister – they work hard and succeed on another level: informing the masses.
The latest scandal that triggered my inner fury is a phone scam that happened during the latest elections, the ones that took place shortly before I left. They were called because the opposition was fed up of having to force Canadians into accepting a leader’s unwillingness to listen to them while taking decisions for us, the 35 million that occupy such an immense territory. Not only is Harper deaf to our pleas, he doesn’t even have the courtesy to pretend to listen. He downright ignores us.
This phone scandal was made from a still unknown source. Even though Harper claims to be working at discovering it, the witnesses who received the dubious calls are being quieted by not allowing the Court hearings to even take place. What they claim is that they were either lied to about the Liberal Party or blatantly tricked into going to a fake voting location, thus rendering their ballots void.
I am writing here about this because I firmly believe that there is a link between political and corporate greed and animal rights. This form of unhealthy business and leadership is the reason why there is so much environmental damage and imbalance in the lives of animals of all forms – domestic, farm and wild. It is this sort of mean streak that makes people like Harper not give a rat’s furry little unprotected ass about others, whether they be human, animal or plant.
Take, for instance, another Canadian controversy: the tar sands. Harper claims that without them, our economy is dead. However, we were doing no differently than we are now before we discovered them, or not enough to give them that much importance. Although I am willing to admit that they provide jobs, they also provide us with an incredible increase of cancer rates up to 25% in the population that lives near them, and the wonderfully embarrassing title of most polluting oil source on the planet. Oh yeah – and the lovingly devastating spills that have been occurring in Canada and close to our borders, either right in the ocean or in some major drinking water sources. The quantity of animal and plant death is exuberant.
To make matters worse, we also have Paul McCartney advocating right in the northern parts of our east coast against yet another world famous animal rights controversy: the cruel killing of baby seals by beating them with clubs on the nose. Those that practice this harsh and merciless sport claim that they kill them on the first whack, but this often not the case, nor is the killing of baby seals in any way justifiable. We had a recent scare that they would go extinct, but since we managed to control the population, Harper announced that not only would he allow it again, he would work hard at promoting the sale of their fur. Incredibly warm and perfect for the harshest of winters, these furs protect from water as well, since these mammals live partially in the sea. However, due to the nature of the hunt, most countries refuse to allow them in their countries. Canada, a long-time protector of near-extinct species, has now stained its name with this useless tradition. Yes, because it is part of the aboriginals’ way of living that this form of work was saved. Claiming discrimination because people spoke against their out-dated killing methods, Harper chose to allow them to carry on, saying that this 3-month per year job was their new way of earning a living. Even though they get right back on welfare for the remainder of the year, these hunters are supposedly well-equipped to survive on their own. Or so says our darling prime minister. Instead of giving them training in a field that would truly enable them to provide for themselves, he chose to make them dependent on our social security system 9 months every year.
There are many other themes I could relate to you about him: how he closed the government entirely for several months amidst the economic crisis, instead of taking care of his people; the talks with the current American president, Obama, to give them full responsibility of our borders, even though Canadians are outraged by the idea; the purchase of high-tech jet fighters we absolutely cannot afford; the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement that he signed without even listening to the board – composed of several NGOs and members of both countries’ communities – before the allotted date to do so and against everyone’s cries of lack of environmental and social justice and protection; the threats to entirely cut all pension plans; and the list could go on. Named the Canadian Bush, I see nothing but trouble down the line so long as this man is allowed to stay in power. Voted back to his throne with over 60% of the seats in the House of Commons by no more than approximately 35% of Canadians, he rules with an iron fist and may well be seen as the closest Canada has ever known to dictatorship.
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Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)