Lewis Hailed and Harper Unveiled

Stephen LewisIn December of 2014, Stephen Lewis spoke in Charlottetown in an impassioned speech to save Canada. For our younger bloggers, Lewis is a former Ontario NDP leader, United Nations ambassador and lifelong human rights advocate – the man many called the Prime Minister we wanted but never deserved. In his speech, he took aim at the Conservative “pre-paleolithic Neanderthals” in office and their role in the decline of Parliament, the suppression of dissent, the plight of First Nations, their denier climate-change policy, and our rapidly descending world reputation.

Now Lewis may have been using the “pre-Paleolithic Neanderthal” label in every speech about the Conservatives for a very long time, but at 77 he is entitled to a modicum of repetition. And I would give Neadertals a little more smarts than our current government, but the implications for thinking that is extinct are pretty clear. This government is living in a world of its own fantasy, and, like a mad scientist, our leader elected by a minority of Canadians is leading us on a descent into a misogynist, white old boys, racist Hell where we become the Republican Tea Party’s newest State. He is clearly bent on retiring to become a commentator for Fox News before the End of Days when he is taken into the heavens to sit beside the right hand of a middle eastern deity.

Our patriachal white guy just doesn’t get it. Yes, whether that be aboriginal women victimized by a society that has marginalized an entire culture, or the embryo in a woman’s womb, or the choice of her partner, or the modesty covering on her hair and face. He just doesn’t understand the concept of a woman’s right to choose. That’s not his culture.

niqabSo, our world reputation took another hit when Stephen Harper played the politics of Islamophobia and took the Supreme Court of Canada to task, again, for overturning an “Our Government™” decision to violate their own immigration laws and ban the niqab from citizenship ceremonies. An unrepentent Jason Kenney still refused to accept any responsibility for the ban which he put into practice in 2011. He should have read the Charter, the Constitution and his own Party’s immigration laws first. But the facts have never stopped “Our Government™” from their agenda.

This latest action is simply another indication of a government completely out of touch with the world, a government much like a delusional religious cult that believes absolutely in their ideology and has lost total touch with the people with whom they share the world. Harper continues to insist, from the safety of his propaganda media room, that his Conservative Reform Alliance Party version of “open, honest, and transparent” policy is supported by a majority of Canadians. Just like his friend Rob Ford was the best Mayor Toronto ever had.

I want my Canada back, I want to wear my flag with pride wherever I walk in the world, and I do not believe in Stephen Harper’s vision of Canada for a single second. I choose instead the positive vision of Canada that Stephen Lewis espoused in Charlottetown.

“Somewhere in my soul,” Lewis said, “I cherish the possibility of a return to a vibrant democracy, where equality is the watchword, where people of different ideological conviction have respect for each other, where policy is debated rather than demeaned, where the great issues of the day are given thoughtful consideration, where Canada’s place on the world stage is seen as principled and laudatory, where human rights for all is the emblem of a decent civilized society.”

*****

Skid Crease, Caledon

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