Friday, October 23, 2009

Is Harper's New Speech Writer Steering Him in the 'Right' Direction?

There has been a recent announcement from the PMO that Stephen Harper has hired a new speech writer.

Many are concerned because the man is Nigel Hannaford, one of the most right wing journalists in the country.

Almost instantly, critics began pouring over his columns, which appear regularly in the Calgary Herald, and the snippets are indeed shocking.

However, his hiring appears to be part of a larger problem. Another building block on the infrastructure of a hard-right Canada.

Mr. Hannaford's name comes up in places like the Fraser Institute, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and even more alarmingly, the Civitas Club. He is a climate change denier, an anti-gay rights activist and a strong Social Conservative.

A Few Hannford Gems

Climate Change: “Less CO2, less jobs. It’s that simple“.

Canadian military mission in Afghanistan: “To end the mission in 2011 would thus be like Ottawa unilaterally pulling out of the 1939-1945 war in 1943, and leaving the rest of the allies to put the boots to Hitler“.

Multiculturalism: “They erected a shibboleth called multiculturalism, declared all cultures equally valuable, and set about promoting them as part of a so-called Canadian mosaic, lest anyone think we were an American melting pot. But, while all people are equal before the law, all cultures are not equally valuable.”

New Canadians’ right to participate in public policies: “If they feel that that is something that they can’t tolerate and don’t want to live with, then there are other countries that you can emigrate to, I guess, and you won’t have the same problems“.

Canadian Muslims: “So, some 80,000 Muslim Canadians think thuggery is the way to influence politics? That’s not to say they’re about to kill anybody themselves, but there are degrees of support for a cause, ranging from quiet encouragement for the home team, through assistance short of direct action, to full engagement. Frankly, if only one-tenth of one per cent of 700,000 people fall into the extreme category, that’s still 700 people to worry about“.

"Those were all excerpts from public conversations; imagine what he says behind closed doors. To my friends from the Reform movement, if you were worried that Stephen Harper was getting soft, there is no need to worry. He is still the same Harper we have come to know. It’s the majority of Canadians that needs to remain worried."

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