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David Suzuki blasts PM Harper over erosion in “democratic principles”
By Andy Radia | Canada Politics – Mon, 17 Jun, 2013
It’s no secret that David Suzuki and Stephen Harper don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues.
The well-known environmentalist has long chided the Harper government for its position on the Kyoto accord, its promotion of Alberta’s oils sands and for weakening the Navigable Waters Act.
But Suzuki’s latest attack goes well beyond the environment.
In an op-ed piece published in the Globe and Mail on Monday, Suzuki blasts the Conservative government over robocalls, accountability and even the Senate.
We’re witnessing an erosion of democratic principles. When accusations arose that robocalls were used to misdirect people from polling stations, I was appalled that people here would attempt to undermine the very heart of democracy, using a tactic found in banana republics. Even more shocking was the absence of outrage from political leaders, especially Mr. Harper, whose party was the focus of the accusations.
Our current government’s policies are guided by ideology rather than facts. Its tactics include demonizing opponents, ignoring valid concerns and shutting down avenues of information. The list is long: cancelling the long-form census, ending the long-gun register, opposing safe-injection sites, muzzling scientists, shutting down the Experimental Lakes Area and climate-change research programs and more.
Conservatives — both of the small ‘c’ and big ‘c’ variety — aren’t innocent in this battle.
In 2012, the Conservative government warned charities that they will ask CRA to enforce rules against charities — like the David Suzuki foundation — that blur the line between charity and politics. The policy, widely viewed as an attack on environmental organizations, was the key reason that Suzuki stepped down from the board of his charity.
And then came the personal attacks courtesy of the right-leaning Sun News Network.
Earlier this year, Sun News — especially Ezra Levant — railed against Suzuki about his speaking fees and his alleged preference for female bodyguards.
There’s no doubt that Suzuki is a left-of-centre political activist: In the past he has publicly endorsed the likes of former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Liberal leadership candidate Joyce Murray.
Regardless, writing things like “Stephen Harper may claim a commitment to the principles of fairness and democracy, but his actions show otherwise” is a pretty blunt verbal salvo by one of Canada’s ‘greatest Canadians‘ against a sitting prime minister.
I can’t wait to see if Ezra Levant has a response.
David Suzuki is a well-respected, honest man.