By all measures of governing standards, the Conservative government of Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper embodies the same racist policies as that of the governments of the former Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa. The Harper government’s patronizing policies over Canada’s First Nations is a case in point. Coupled with Canada’s abhorrent support for Israel’s expansionistic Zionist policies at the expense of the people of Palestine, the Harper government’s attempt to wrest control of resource-rich lands from Canada’s indigenous peoples for exploitation by multinational corporations is reminiscent of the same policies that saw native lands of South Africa and Rhodesia crudely exploited by DeBeers and British American Tobacco…
The Harper government represents the most right-wing government in the recent history of Canada. With its Anglo-Canadian base, it has alienated the French-speaking province of Quebec, where independence sentiment has been renewed; Muslims and Arabs, with its pro-Zionist policies; and Canada’s First Nations, with its attempt to grab native lands protected by treaties. The only area where the Harper government has shown itself to be “liberal” is that of gay rights. It should be recalled that favoring rights for homosexuals is not necessarily liberal. After the 1934 Nazi Party purge of Ernst Rohm and his coterie of working class homosexual supporters, gay Nazis like Reinhard Heydrich and Baldur von Schirach who originated from the German elite were permitted to hold high office and operate more or less in the open. In the Canadian government of today, reputed homosexuals like Foreign Minister John “Rusty’ Baird and Immigration Minster Jason Kenney, sometimes called Canada’s deputy prime minister, follow in the footsteps of Heydrich and von Schirach in frolicking with fellow Tory gays at “Fabulous Blue Tent” parties in Ottawa. Similar parties in Berlin were attended by some of the Nazi party’s top lieutenants at the height of Adolf Hitler’s reign.
Most of Harper’s inner circle consists of white males, particularly four bachelors. In addition to Baird and Kenney, Harper’s chief of staff, wealthy businessman Nigel Wright and Heritage Minister James Moore, whose major cause is Canada’s arts – ballet, plays, opera, musicals, and the like – are also single. All four are fiercely committed to Harper and Canada’s right-wing policies. Wright was formerly the managing director of the Onex Corporation, a Toronto hedge fund that has partnered with the George H W Bush- and CIA-connected Carlyle Group.
For public relations appearances, Harper has appointed minorities to his Cabinet but they hold minor government positions. Bal Gosal, a Sikh, serves as the relatively unimportant Minister of State for Sports; Leona Aglukkaq, the first Inuk appointed to a Canadian Cabinet, is Health Minister; Beverley Joan Oda, the first Japanese-Canadian Cabinet member; and Alice Wong, the first Chinese-Canadian woman in a Cabinet position, is Minister for Seniors. Harper has sprinkled other women throughout his Cabinet but with exception of Marjory LeBreton, the Leader of the Tory government in the Senate; Minister of Public Works and Government Services Rona Ambrose; Gail Shea, the Minister of National Revenue; and Lisa Raitt, the Minister of Labor in an anti-labor government, all the top jobs are held by white males: Attorney General and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson; Defense Minister Peter Mackay; Public Safety Minister Vic Toews; Treasury Board President Tony Clement; and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
Even white minority-ruled Rhodesia included blacks in the government, but these were mostly black landowners and tribal chiefs. They were all puppets of the white minority government of Prime Minister Ian Smith just like a Sikh turbaned minister, a few Asian-Canadians, and an Inuk in the group photograph of the Harper government represent mere tokenism and a public relations ploy to hide the true nature of Canada’s leadership.
Harper fancies himself as a politician who can unite disparate factions. Harper has managed to lure some Liberal Party politicians to Tory ranks and he named the former premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer, as his ambassador to Washington. Doer, a member of the official opposition, the New Democratic Party (NDP), is more interested in pushing for the building of the Keystone XL pipeline that will pump bitumen from Alberta tar sands to Texas for refining. Environmentalists in Canada and the United States have decried the left-of-center NDP’s sellout to the Tories and big business. What has occurred in Canada with the imposition of pro-corporate policies within the opposition NDP and the Liberal Party is what happens when big business takes total control of the political process. Today, there is little difference between the U.S. Republican and Democratic parties and Britain’s Labor, Conservatives, and Liberal Democrats when it comes to total support for the corporate agenda whether it is social services slashing austerity budgets or potentially destructive environmental issues like fracking and oil pipelines. In Canada, the United States, and Britain, corporations have, through large financial contributions, dulled the differences between major political parties by selling them on the concept of a pro-business “Third Way.” In many respects, the “Third Way” has the same commitment to corporate domination as did the Third Reich.
After the massacre of young school children in Newtown, Connecticut, Harper went ahead with plans to scrap Canada’s long-barreled gun registry system. That decision infuriated the separatist Parti Quebecois government of Quebec, which was already steamed at Harper for not requiring that all senior Canadian officials be fluent in French, an abandonment of Canada’s longstanding bilingualism policy. Harper has laid down the gauntlet to Quebec Premier Pauline Marois by refusing to grant Quebec any additional powers.
With the Tory budget bill, C-45, Harper has also declared war on the First Nations by dictating how native tribe-controlled land will be managed. On December 11, Atiwapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence went on a hunger strike and threatened to starve herself to death in her teepee within view of Parliament in Ottawa. Spence’s “Idle No More” cause has been taken up by First Nation leaders across Canada and Harper has smugly decided that he will act out the role of South African apartheid Premier B.J. Vorster in refusing to yield to the demands of Canada’s version of apartheid’s “kaffirs.” Harper has refused to meet with Spence and is going ahead with plans to turn exploitative multinational mining companies loose on native territories.
Harper and his Tory gang want to introduce the concept of private property rights to tribes that have always believed in “group property” rights. When a few tribal elders gain ownership of communally-held tribal lands, the Tories reason, they will be more than willing to sell the properties and the natural resources found on them to eager corporate buyers.
Native peoples will soon find themselves being ejected from their historical lands by greedy capitalists intent on building hydroelectric dams, deplete fishing and hunting preserves, and conducting strip mining.
Perhaps the First Nation revolt in Canada will spill across the border where anti-Canadian protests among some American Indian tribes over the Keystone pipeline that will transit their own lands have already occurred. What looms on the horizon is a united front of the descendants of the original inhabitants of North America – the Atiwapiskat, the Aamjiwnaang, the Lakotah Sioux, the Metis, the Anishinaabe, the Iroquois, the Nez Perce, the Inuit, and others -- all jointly disregarding the colonialist-imposed U.S.-Canadian border and vowing to take their battle to the halls of power in Ottawa and Washington, DC. Today, the Native Americans will find they have allies among the descendants of those who invaded and occupied their lands because we all have common foes in the greedy and environmentally-destructive capitalist corporations and their puppets who run the governments of Canada and the United States.