Stephen Harper: ceding Canada’s sovereignty to the U.S.?!
In a different context and another country, some could call it treason. In his final address at the Copenhagen climate conference, Prime Minister Stephen Harper abandoned any notion of Canadian sovereignty by announcing that our country’s climate-change-related policies and laws lie in the hands of the U.S. Talk about ceding responsibility for Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and environmental future!
Harper’s mention of a “harmonization” of Canada-U.S. policy tied his future decision-making as leader of an independent nation to a U.S. political process over which Canada has no influence whatsoever. It’s unlikely that he even consulted Obama before making this it’s-out-of-my-hands claim.
Harper’s blithe tone and delivery, presented with an offhand smile, conveyed no sense of personal conviction or commitment to Canadian-defined initiatives that address global warming. He still doesn’t even embrace the scientific case for climate change.
During the conference, Harper let his petro-bag man, Jim Prentice, Canada’s so-called Minister of Environment, represent our nation to the media and world. Harper, unable to fulfill the role of a true leader, was probably afraid that if he joined discussions, too many of his favourite words would spill out and spoil the atmosphere: Enbridge, Tar Sands, Exxon, Shell, and so on.
Harper is probably betting that the U.S. Congress will decimate any bill that requires a reduction of emissions. That way, he can continue not only to steer his dear Tar Sands on their present course, but expand them. And hey, that would work so well with having a new Enbridge pipeline through north-central B.C.
Why have our media voices remained silent on this issue of ceding sovereignty? As my husband, a U.S. citizen, says: “If Obama had made a similar remark in Congress, there’d probably already be a move for impeachment.” Are we Canadians that passive?
Canada currently stands as the top foreign provider of oil to the U.S. In the future, we’re going to be the Saudi Arabia of water, expected to provide fresh-water resources to the United States and many nations without it. We can’t afford to have a leader who’s too willing to give up independent decision-making and sovereign power. We need someone who’ll protect our environment, national interests and Canada’s resources, not someone who likes to woo the oil and gas industry. Who will it be? Certainly no forceful contenders at the moment. Sigh.