Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Harper Quotes


Seeing as Mr Harper and his merry band of Harpocrites want to do a number on Mr Casey by quoting him out of context. I figured I'd do a little of the same. Here are a few Harper quotes I've amassed.

"Nova Scotia should be able to realize the benefits of the offshore to jump-start its economy just like my province, Alberta, was able to do with petroleum revenues," Harper said then. "If Alberta had been subject to these kinds of clawbacks, I tell you it would still be a have-not province today."

"There is no point pulling back non-renewable resource revenues from a have-not province," Harper told the House of Commons on Nov. 4, 2004. "It is a short-term opportunity to allow these provinces to kick-start their economic development, to get out of have-not status."

Back in 2004, Harper condemned the Liberals for trying to impose a similar condition while they were negotiating the Atlantic Accord. Neither Nova Scotia nor Newfoundland would be able to exceed the fiscal capacity of Ontario in any given year.

"The Ontario clause is unfair and insulting to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador," Harper said.

"Its message to that province, to Nova Scotia and to all of Atlantic Canada is absolutely clear: they can only get what they were promised if they agree to remain have-not provinces forever. That is absolutely unacceptable."


Two other pieces of Alberta's experience are relevant. First, when equalization was introduced in the late 1950s, Alberta was not wealthy and received equalization. But the formula then did not allow the clawing back of natural resource revenues by the federal government. That, plus the province's rich resource endowment, gave it the leg up it needed to become self-supporting and, eventually, a huge net contributor to the cost of running Canada.

After all, enforced national bilingualism in this country isn't mere policy. It has attained the status of a religion. It's a dogma which o-ne is supposed to accept without question.
Stephen Harper

And I think the real problem that we're facing already is that the government doesn't accept that it got a minority.
Stephen Harper

As a religion, bilingualism is the god that failed. It has led to no fairness, produced no unity, and cost Canadian taxpayers untold millions.
Stephen Harper

Atlantic Canada's culture of defeat will be hard to overcome as long as Atlantic Canada is actually physically trailing the rest of the country.
Stephen Harper

But I'm very libertarian in the sense that I believe in small government and, as a general rule, I don't believe in imposing values upon people.
Stephen Harper

But I've been very clear in this campaign - I don't believe the party should have a position on abortion.
Stephen Harper

Canada remains alienated from its allies, shut out of the reconstruction process to some degree, unable to influence events. There is no upside to the position Canada took.
Stephen Harper

First of all, I can't forget my first responsibility - which is to be the Leader of the Opposition and that's to provide an alternative government.
Stephen Harper

Having hit a wall, the next logical step is not to bang our heads against it.
Stephen Harper

Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack o-n our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society... It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.
Stephen Harper

I do not intend to dispute in any way the need for defence cuts and the need for government spending cuts in general. ... I do not share a not in my backyard approach to government spending reductions.
Stephen Harper

I don't believe an Alliance government should sponsor legislation on abortion or a referendum on abortion.
Stephen Harper

I don't know all the facts o-n Iraq, but I think we should work closely with the Americans.
Stephen Harper

I have no difficulty with the recognition of civil unions for non-traditional relationships but I believe in law we should protect the traditional definition of marriage.
Stephen Harper

I think in Atlantic Canada, because of what happened in the decades following Confederation, there is a culture of defeat that we have to overcome.
Stephen Harper

I think there is a dangerous rise in defeatist sentiment in this country. I have said that repeatedly, and I mean it and I believe it.
Stephen Harper

If Ottawa giveth, then Ottawa can taketh away.
Stephen Harper

If you want to be a government in a minority Parliament, you have to work with other people.
Stephen Harper

In my judgment Canada will eventually join with the allied coalition if war o-n Iraq comes to pass.
Stephen Harper

It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction.
Stephen Harper

It's the government's obligation to look really to the third parties to get the support to govern.
Stephen Harper

Make no mistake. Canada is not a bilingual country. In fact it is less bilingual today than it has ever been.
Stephen Harper

My own views on abortion, I'm not on either pole of that and neither of the interest groups on either end of this issue would probably be comfortable with my views.
Stephen Harper

On the justification for the war, it wasn't related to finding any particular weapon of mass destruction.
Stephen Harper

The nature of our constitution is that everyone is supposed to be able to do their own thing in their own area of jurisdiction.
Stephen Harper

This party will not take its position based o-n public opinion polls. We will not take a stand based o-n focus groups. We will not take a stand based o-n phone-in shows or householder surveys or any other vagaries of pubic opinion.
Stephen Harper

Toryism has the historical context of hierarchy and elitism and is a different kind of political philosophy. It's not my favourite term, but we're probably stuck with it.
Stephen Harper

We have in this country a federal government that increasingly is engaged in trying to determine which business, which regions, which industries will succeed, which will not through a whole range of economic development, regional development corporate subsidization programs.
Stephen Harper

We should have been there shoulder to shoulder with our allies. Our concern is the instability of our government as an ally. We are playing again with national and global security matters.
Stephen Harper

What the government has to do, if it wants to govern for any length of time, is it must appeal primarily to the third parties in the House of Commons to get them to support it.
Stephen Harper

Whether Canada ends up as o-ne national government or two national governments or several national governments, or some other kind of arrangement is, quite frankly, secondary in my opinion.
Stephen Harper

"What we clearly need is experimentation with market reforms and private delivery options [in health care]."
- Stephen Harper, then President of the NCC, 2001.
"It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."
- Stephen Harper, then Vice-President of the National Citizens Coalition, 1997.

"We also support the exploration of alternative ways to deliver health care. Moving toward alternatives, including those provided by the private sector, is a natural development of our health care system."
- Stephen Harper, Toronto Star, October 2002.

Martin also wants voters to believe Harper is soft on separatism, accusing the Tory leader of forming an unholy alliance with Gilles Duceppe's separatist Bloc Quebecois to bring down the government.
"Don't ask me what Stephen Harper is thinking. If you want to know what Stephen Harper is thinking you should probably ask Gilles Duceppe," said Martin.
Speaking at a lunchtime meeting sponsored by the Fraser Institute in Calgary on Friday, Harper fought back, saying he'd never stoop to a "deal with the devil."
"If I thought the way our prime minister did, I could go out tomorrow and sign a deal with the Bloc, and could be prime minister of this country without even holding an election," said Harper.
"But these are the kind of deals I will never sign."

Asked in a 1997 CBC interview, "Is there a Canadian culture?" Harper replied:
"Yes, in a very loose sense. It consists of regional cultures within Canada, regional cultures that cross borders with the US. We're part of a worldwide Anglo-American culture. And there is a continental culture."

In a letter to the National Post in 2000, Harper wrote:
"If Ottawa giveth, then Ottawa can taketh away. This is one more reason why Westerners, but Albertans in particular, need to think hard about their future in this country. After sober reflection, Albertans should decide that it is time to seek a new relationship with Canada. It is time to look at Quebec and to learn. What Albertans should take from this example is to become 'maitres chez nous'."

Will the Real Stephen Harper please stand up?
A citizen's guide comparing election campaign promises to deeply held beliefs
January 10, 2006
by Murray Dobbin
The biggest spectacle of the election has been the apparent transformation of Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader, and long time right-wing ideologue, into a born-again liberal. It's almost unbelievable.
Actually it is unbelievable. At the beginning of this election, Canadians worried about Harper's "hidden agenda". But after he said openly that a Conservative government would table a bill revoking gay marriage, for some reason, people seemed to think that all his agendas were on the table. Harper's more recent promises have gone largely unscrutinized.
It's time for a reality check. Canadian pundits often say that the Liberal party campaigns from the left and governs from the right. How can the Conservatives campaign from the left without anybody recognizing the pattern?
It's time for a reality check.
Let's compare Stephen Harper's recent promises with the record of what he has been saying for the last twenty years. As you may remember, Harper left the Reform party in a snit in 1997, when it became clear that Preston Manning intended to remain Leader for the foreseeable future. When someone asked how he felt about stepping down as MP in order to become Vice-President (and eventually President 1998-2001) of the National Citizens Coalition (NCC), Harper replied: "Frankly, I'm looking forward to being in a position where I can speak much more independently than I'm able as a Member of Parliament."
In a 1997 interview, Harper made it clear that he had supported the NCC as an MP and at every stage in his political career. He stated plainly that, "The agenda of the NCC was a guide to me as the founding policy director of Reform." When he became Leader of the Canadian Alliance Party, Harper received the 2002 NCC's "Freedom Award". NCC Chair Colin T Brown said, "Stephen, whether as a Reform MP, or NCC president, or Canadian Alliance leader, has consistently, energetically and articulately defended and promoted this country's economic and political freedoms."
Many of the quotes below came from Stephen Harper during the period that he was head of the National Citizens Coalition, the most virulently right-wing and anti-government organization in the country. He chose to go there because — in his own words — the NCC represents what he really believes.
There will be a test at the end.
In the December 15 debate, Harper said that he is opposed to two-tier Medicare. This is an astounding about-face. Right up until last year Harper believed in two-tier care and when asked by the CBC about a parallel health care system, said:
"Well I think it would be a good idea. We're alone among OECD countries in deciding that we'll have a two-tier system, but our second tier will be outside the country where only the very rich and powerful can access it and will be of absolutely no benefit to the Canadian health care system."
In October 2002, Harper was quoted in the Toronto Star as saying, "We also support the exploration of alternative ways to deliver health care. Moving toward alternatives, including those provided by the private sector, is a natural development of our health care system."
Remember Harper's allegiance to the National Citizens Coalition. The NCC was founded explicitly to oppose publicly funded, universal Medicare. In 1997, as NCC Vice-President, Harper said that Canada should scrap the Canada Health Act.
Harper's promotion of his child care program has been effectively exposed as actually undermining a national child care system. His pledge of a $1200 a year per child tax credit does nothing to contribute to a high quality, safe, early learning system — which is what genuine child care is about.
Harper is steadfastly opposed to any universal social program at the federal level. In a speech to the National Citizens Coalition in 1994, while still MP for Calgary West, Harper crowed over public policy changes that he attributed to the Reform Party's influence:
"(T)he Liberal government in Ottawa has announced... no new major social spending programs," he said. "Universality has been severely reduced: It is virtually dead as a concept in most areas of public policy. The family allowance program has been eliminated and unemployment insurance has been seriously cut back."
Harper has always seen culture just as the US sees it: as an entertainment industry. He NEVER uses the word culture. His contention — like Americans he emulates — is that there is a North American culture. In their extensive platform document, the word culture never appears. Asked in a 1997 CBC interview, "Is there a Canadian culture?" Harper replied:
"Yes, in a very loose sense. It consists of regional cultures within Canada, regional cultures that cross borders with the US. We're part of a worldwide Anglo-American culture. And there is a continental culture."
With respect to the CBC — expect it to be privatized, over time, in the hands of Mr. Harper:
At a news conference in Winnipeg on May 18, 2005, Mr. Harper spoke specifically of commercializing the CBC's English TV network and Radio Two — the precursor to privatization. He said,
"And I think when you look at things like main English-language television and probably to a lesser degree Radio Two, you could look there at putting those on a commercial basis."
During the French-language leadership debate on Monday June 14, 2004, Jack Layton asked Harper about his commitment to the CBC. Harper replied:
"Let me outline my policies on this issue. I would keep those services of CBC which are unique, including those for Francophones outside Quebec."
He did not say what he meant by "unique" but it could easily be argued that there is very little that is truly "unique" on CBC. Much depends on his definition.
On December 22, Harper pledged to protect Canada's north from incursions from US submarines. "[We] will increase surveillance, build icebreakers, deploy troops and aircraft as part of 'Canada First' Northern Strategy." This was a real jaw-dropper.
Harper's position — literally right up to that moment in the campaign — was one of total support for the US military and all that it did and stood for. He would have joined in George Bush's US Anti-ballistic defence shield. He supported US President George Bush's war in Iraq, calling the Canadian position "abrasively neutral."
As the US was invading Iraq in March 2003, Harper said on CTV's Question Period, "This government's only explanation for not standing behind our allies is that they couldn't get the approval of the Security Council at the United Nations — a body [on] which Canada doesn't even have a seat."
In a May 2003, speech to the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Harper said:
"The time has come to recognize that the US will continue to exercise unprecedented power in a world where international rules are still unreliable and where security and advancing of the free democratic order still depend significantly on the possession and use of military might."
He called for Canada to replace the "soft power" of persuasive diplomacy and peacekeeping with "hard military power" in the service of continental security. The implication was clear: in Bush's "You're either with us or against us" world, we should be with the US.
The media joked about Harper's inability — or refusal — to utter the words "I love Canada." While such a refusal may not mean much for most politicians, it does for Stephen Harper. While he was head of the extremist organization the National Citizens Coalition, he wrote a letter to the National Post lauding Alberta — and its adherence to "American enterprise and individualism" — as a better model than Canada's:
"Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status..."
In assessing the Conservative Party under Joe Clark, Harper wrote:
"We don't need a second Liberal party. Westerners, but especially Albertans, founded the Reform/Alliance to get 'in' to Canada. The rest of the country has responded by telling us in no uncertain terms that we do not share their 'Canadian values.' Fine. Let us build a society on Alberta values."
Harper now talks about a "Canada First" policy. But for thirty years, he and the pro-American think tank at the "Calgary School" (the political science department at the University of Calgary) have joined together to promote "Alberta First." That means a weakened federal government. In a letter to the National Post in 2000, Harper wrote:
"If Ottawa giveth, then Ottawa can taketh away. This is one more reason why Westerners, but Albertans in particular, need to think hard about their future in this country. After sober reflection, Albertans should decide that it is time to seek a new relationship with Canada. It is time to look at Quebec and to learn. What Albertans should take from this example is to become 'maitres chez nous'."
In his infamous January 2001 "firewall letter" addressed to Ralph Klein, Harper and his Calgary School colleagues stated:
"It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction."
Among other things, he recommended that Alberta:
"1. Withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan to create an Alberta Pension Plan... 2. Collect our own revenue from personal income tax, ... 3. Start preparing to let the contract with the RCMP run out in 2012 and create an Alberta provincial police force. ... 4. Resume provincial responsibility for health care policy. ...We can afford the financial penalties Ottawa might try to impose under the Canada Health Act. ..."
The implications of this attitude are truly alarming, if Harper ever becomes prime minister. He has already doubled his voter support in Quebec by promising a devolution of power to the provinces. This is exactly what Quebec has been demanding.
Under Harper we would see a dramatic down-sizing of the role of the Canadian government — a tacit alliance between Giles Duceppe and the closet Alberta separatist, Stephen Harper.
Stephen Harper has little to say about the federal government's role in evening out the economic disparities in Canada. At least that way he doesn't have to contradict himself. On May 31, 2002, Harper ridiculed people in Atlantic Canada:
"There's unfortunately a view of too many people in Atlantic Canada that it's only through government favours that there's going to be economic progress, or that's what you look to. The kind of can't-do attitude is a problem in this country but it's obviously more serious in regions that have had have-not status for a long time."
Mr. Harper has suddenly discovered "child poverty" and poor families in Canada. He touts his cut to the GST as his solution to poverty. But his announcement that a Conservative government would roll back the Liberal tax cut to the lowest income tax bracket (from 16 percent to 15 percent) would also eliminate the GST saving for many.
His attitude towards programs to deal with poverty, before this election?
"These [federal government] proposals included cries for billions of new money for social assistance in the name of 'child poverty' and for more business subsidies in the name of 'cultural identity'. In both cases I was sought out as a rare public figure to oppose such projects. ..."
There is no mention of human rights in the Conservative election platform. That's not hard to understand if you know how Stephen Harper feels about the idea.
In 1999, he told a writer for BC Report magazine that human rights commissions, "as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society. It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff."
Stephen Harper began the election campaign with a promise to get big money out of Canadian politics with his pledge to pass the Federal Accountability Act, "...a sweeping reform plan to clean up government." The act would end "the influence of big money in politics by banning corporate and union political donations, and limiting individual donations to $1000. ..."
This — from a man who had spent the previous fifteen years in politics doing everything he could to promote corporate money in politics — is perhaps the most unbelievable and hypocritical move the Conservative leader has made in this election. It is pure opportunism — a way of extending the party's efforts to exploit the Liberal corruption scandal.
The National Citizens Coalition (NCC) became known in the 1980s and 1990s for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars opposing legislation that would prevent well-heeled organizations (mostly corporations) from spending in elections. The 1992 Lortie Commission examined the issue and concluded that corporate spending did have a big impact on election outcomes — using the 1988 free trade election as an example. It also found that 93 percent of Canadians supported such legislation.
But Harper used the NCC's big budget (much of it from corporations) to launch a court case against the legislation that Lortie had recommended. He also went after similar legislation in Manitoba and BC. The Manitoba Act capped individual contributions at $3000 — three times the limit Harper is now committed to. But Mr. Harper attacked it, calling the law "..the most dangerous and oppressive gag law in Canadian history. ..." and accusing NDP premier Gary Doer of "waging a war against freedom."
On May 18, 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of federal legislation restricting third party election spending, ending the NCC's twenty-year success in fighting such laws.
We could go on and on, comparing Stephen Harper's statements in the last thirty days against his record of the last twenty years. But you must get the point by now. Most of what Stephen Harper has been saying since the election call is in complete contradiction to everything he has stood for previously.
Murray Dobbin is a Vancouver author and journalist whose latest book, Paul Martin: CEO for Canada?, published by James Lorimer, is in bookstores now.

A Prime Minister named Stephen Harper who in 2001 said that Liberal ridings west of Winnipeg are "dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada: people who live in ghettos and who are not integrated in Western Canadian society."

In promising to remove non-renewable resource revenues from the equalization formula, he explained his reason of economic development by saying "the hope is if you leave the resource royalties there, they will generate over time much larger permanent revenue flows in other areas which is what the experience in Alberta has been."

Harper government comes under fire from former PM Joe Clark
“The Harper government has embraced a pre-Nixonian policy towards China, deliberately distancing Canada from the emerging mega-power, thereby limiting our ability to affect China’s performance on human rights or on other issues,” Clark said.
“With the Harper government, there is a new, more deliberate insularity [in foreign policy] with the singular exception of our military engagement in Afghanistan,” Clark said. “I believe that Mr Harper and his colleagues are moving deliberately away from central elements of the foreign policy that has been a key strength for Canada under both Progressive Conservative and Liberal administrations.
“Mr Harper’s party, [formerly] known as the Reform Party, began self-consciously as a protest movement and it has no inherited tradition in international affairs … moreover, their method is wedge politics, so there is scant domestic experience with brokering and embracing contesting points of view,” Clark added. “These significant departures from Canada’s traditional foreign policy should not be considered as rookie mistakes, but as deliberate policy.”

Conservative policy
Fiscal imbalance
In the last eight years, the federal government has amassed enormous surpluses. Meanwhile,
many provinces have seen reduced revenues and have had to run deficits in order to pay for education,
health, and other social programs. While some sectoral and ad hoc agreements with provinces
have temporarily reduced the financial pressure, it is time for a comprehensive agreement.

The plan
A Conservative government will:
• Work with the provinces in order to achieve a long-term agreement which would address the issue of fiscal
imbalance in a permanent fashion.
• Ensure that any new shared-cost programs in areas of provincial/territorial responsibility have the
consent of the majority of provinces to proceed, and that provinces should be given the right to opt out
of the federal program with compensation, so long as the province offers a similar program with similar
accountability structures.
• Work to achieve with the provinces permanent changes to the equalization formula which would ensure that
non-renewable natural resource revenue is removed from the equalization formula to encourage economic
growth. We will ensure that no province is adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula.



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