In the second of a two-part series, Bruce Livesey, writing for the National Observer, lays out a litany of decisions made by Prime Minister Harper that have undermined Canada’s reputation globally (“Is Harper the worst prime minister in history? Part two,” National Observer, 7 June 2015):
Indeed, back in 2010, when Canada sought a seat on the UN’s Security Council and lost to Portugal – the first time in 50 years Canada has never gained a seat – it reflected how other nations had become appalled with Harper’s foreign policy.
The decrease in aid to African countries, the dissolution of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), alongside the prohibition of Canadian funded access to safe and legal abortions in poor countries are just a few from a laundry list of poor decisions resulting in a push away from the Canada we once knew.
Canada’s UN peacekeeping role, which had already been slashed by the Chretien and Martin governments, has been nearly eradicated under Harper:
“We’ve gone from being a major contributor to a situation today where we’re an insignificant contributor at a time when UN peacekeeping is at an all-time high,” said Peggy Mason, president of the Rideau Institute. “Every indication of the Harper government is they have no interest in peacekeeping – which is part and parcel of their hostile attitude towards the UN.”
On Israel/Palestine, Livesey identifies the Canadian government’s unwavering support of Israel as one of Harper’s most polarizing foreign policy causes:
In 2012, Canada was one of only nine countries in the UN that voted against Palestinians achieving statehood. Since 2007, it has cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority, voted against all UN resolutions recognizing the rights of Palestinians and complained bitterly when Palestine was admitted as a full member state to UNESCO.
And then there’s Harper’s decision to send fighter-bombers to do battle with ISIS:
“I think [Harper’s bombing of ISIS] is a completely wrongheaded strategy that is ineffective, counter-productive and possibly playing into the hands of ISIS,” says Peggy Mason of the Rideau Institute. “Number one – the bombing campaign doesn’t work. And ISIS uses it to recruit people from all over the region – not just foreign fighters.”
Read Part Two in its entirety here: Is Harper the worst prime minister in history? (National Observer, 7 June 2015).
See Part One here: Is Harper the worst prime minister in history? (National Observer, 18 May 2015).
Image credit: J.J. McCullough, www.jjmccullough.com