Having awakened from my winter hibernation, and ready to tilt at windmills once again, I am greeted by the front page news that our aboriginal peoples have been shuffled to the back of the deck – encore – this time by two adorable pandas from China. It should not have shocked anyone that the Prime Minister chose the Pandas in Toronto over the People in Ottawa. After all, the pandas are the ticket to the Northern Gateway Pipeline and the flow of Alberta bitumen to Chinese refineries. The Nishiyuu Walkers have no economic value to the Harper Government.
Please remember, our Prime Minister is not a statesman, he is a businessman and an accountant. Stephen Harper is the CEO of Corporation Canada and the country is open for business. Had he been a statesman, he and Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe would never have conspired to bring down the Martin government and crush the Kelowna Accord. Had the Kelwona Accord been implemented by the Liberal government of the day, Chief Theresa Spence's hunger strike on Victoria Island, the Idle No More movement, and The Walk from Whapmagoostui would never have taken place.
There is a reason why the World Wildlife Fund chose the panda as its poster animal – it is the most irrestably cute creature on the planet. You could put Kim Jong-un beside a panda cub and his UN ratings would go up. Prime Minister Harper's panda posing is the beginning of a long marketing campaign, sort of a cuter version of the Economic Action Plan commercials, to win the hearts and minds of Canadians over to the joys of doing business with China. And that ultimately leads to the approvals necessary for the Northern Gateway Pipeline and the billions of dollars that will bring to the economy of Alberta.
Next time you go to the zoo, just remember with whom you are doing business.
Skid Crease, Caledon