Canadians were quite happy not go to war in Iraq -- even though Stephen Harper said we had a moral duty to be there. And they were shocked this summer when the prime minister suggested that Canada should take on Iran. But, when Canadians learned during last week's budget that Mr. Harper had declared war on the environment, they shrugged. Christopher Hume writes in The Toronto Star that:
Even by the standards of a regime defined by its leader’s paranoia, Flaherty’s desire to stifle all debate about the environment was heavy-handed and ominously anti-democratic. Such vindictiveness indicates Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s generals are more concerned that they let on about the real impact of the tarsands, the exploitation of which has become his government’s Holy Grail.
If there was ever any doubt that Harper, Flaherty and Co. were in the pocket of big oil, last week's budget should have dispelled that illusion. Unfortunately, the majority of Canadians don't seem to be upset:
On that score, however, the population will give [Harper] a free ride. Though Canadians like to think they care about climate change, they are singularly unwilling to do anything about it. Mere mention of relatively benign measures such as road tolls, increased gas taxes and so on has normally mild-mannered Canucks sputtering in their beer.
Besides, these are hard times; Canadian should consider themselves lucky to have a resource such as the tarsands, one that will provide thousands of jobs for decades to come.
Harper claims to be far sighted, even as he takes Canada back to the days when we were hewers of wood and drawers of water, Like his ally, Rob Ford, he worries about the "war against the car." Yet 400,000 Torontoians voted for Rob Ford. And Stephen Harper -- admittedly by stealth -- is Prime Minister of Canada.
It happened on our watch. Cassius was unhappy when Julius Caesar declared himself Emperor. But he understood why it had happened. "The fault," he told Brutus, "is not in our stars but in ourselves."
This entry is cross posted at Eradicating Ecocide.