Harper's mobs, oaths and long-term austerity plan
On the path "Stephen Harper has chosen for us."
Through no accident, most of the newly unprotected waterways are found in land far from the 49th Parallel, lands where First Nations and Métis populations live, and where new pipeline construction and tar sands expansion were being promoted aggressively by the Harper government.
First Nations protests – widely supported by non-aboriginal Canadians – began almost immediately, and within weeks a new social movement had formed: Idle No More. Originating in Saskatchewan, it spread like wildfire across the country, and within months, around the world. Social media buzzed with affirmation of the new organization’s challenge of Stephen Harper’s assault on First Nations land, and on the environmental legacy of all Canadians.
One commentator on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) described it as a “thorn in the side of all the First Nation peoples”. Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence was in the fourth day of a hunger strike against the bill on the day the Senate approved it.
Almost the only aboriginal voice defending the new enactment was suspended Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, now employed at the BareFax Gentleman's Club, an Ottawa strip joint.
Peaceful but determined flash mobs, organized by Idle No More proponents and their many non-aboriginal supporters, sprang up everywhere.
A similarly peaceful gathering of scientists outside the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa mourning the “Death of Evidence”.
Repeated demonstrations outside National Energy Board hearings focussed on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
Underpinning and justifying all the message control, the anti-environmental laws, the anti-First Nations rulings, is Stephen Harper’s bedrock, his oft-repeated claim to political superiority: that he and his party are handling the economy better than anyone else. His government is spending record amounts of money advertising this claim.
lThe Conservative Party is basing almost the entire future Canadian economy on fossil fuel extraction – Tar Sands oil, natural gas, and coal. This requires a) downplaying, denying or simply ignoring global warming, b) ignoring First Nations and others' concerns about destruction of the lands on which they live, and c) close or even seamless cooperation with the corporate sector.