It is remarkable to hear the Harper Conservatives take credit for what they believe is Canada’s favourable reputation when, in fact, the way we are viewed by other countries is rapidly declining under the Harper government.
In 2010, Canada lost its 60-year seat on the UN Security Council to Portugal.
In 2012, Canada was ranked “the worst performer of all industrialized countries” in climate policy by Climate Action Network Europe.
In 2013, Canada was ranked “last” for environmental protection among 27 OECD nations by Washington-based Center for Global Development.
In 2015, the UN condemned Canada for human rights violations, including:
Refusal to hold an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, refusal to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and neglect of indigenous rights.
Anti-terrorism Bill C-51, saying it doesn’t have enough safeguards to protect civil liberties, and could lead to “mass surveillance and targeting activities’’ by CSIS.
Concerns regarding freedoms of assembly, association and expression.
Excessive use of force by police during demonstrations.
Human rights abuses by Canadian businesses overseas.
Immigration and refugee policies.
In 2015, we dropped to 68th place (from first place in the 1990s) as a contributing nation to UN peacekeeping missions, preferring instead to send our troops to war.
Is this the Canada we want? Do we want to live in a country in which our government’s policies lead to fear, hate, ignorance, division and racism? Harper was right when he said “You won’t recognize Canada when I’m through with it.”
We desperately need a new government that reflects our values. On Oct. 19, we can vote together to restore Canada to a country that we can once again be proud of and that others can respect.