If you were hoping that Stephen Harper was re-evaluating his approach to people -- particularly Barack Obama -- yesterday should have dashed that hope. Speaking before the Canadian American Business Council, the prime minister said that, on the Keystone Pipeline file, he wouldn't take no for an answer:
The logic in support of the project going ahead is "overwhelming," and governments at all levels on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border are endorsing it, Harper told a high-powered business audience in New York.
"My view is that you don't take no for an answer," Harper said. "We haven't had that. If we were to get that, that won't be final. This won't be final until it's approved and we will keep pushing forward."
That must have sent shivers down Barack Obama's spine. The prime minister made his statement in the wake of a New York Times editorial which lambasted Harper for trying to promote public ignorance by muzzling scientists:
"This is more than an attack on academic freedom. It is an attempt to guarantee public ignorance.
"It is also designed to make sure that nothing gets in the way of the northern resource rush — the feverish effort to mine the earth and the ocean with little regard for environmental consequences. The Harper policy seems designed to make sure that the tar sands project proceeds quietly, with no surprises, no bad news, no alarms from government scientists. To all the other kinds of pollution the tar sands will yield, we must now add another: the degradation of vital streams of research and information."
Our prime minister is a master of diplomacy. That is why he goes to New York as the United Nations begins its new session and skips it. One wonders what planet he is living on. Like St. Exupery's little prince, it's his own planet. And it's very small.
This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.