Party of One: Stephen Harper And Canada's Radical Makeover
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A scathing indictment of a prime minister determined to remake Canada.
In Party of One, investigative journalist Michael Harris closely examines the majority government of a prime minister essentially unchecked by the opposition and empowered by the general election victory of May 2011. Harris looks at Harper’s policies, instincts, and the often breathtaking gap between his stated political principles and his practices.
Harris argues that Harper is more than a master of controlling information: he is a profoundly anti-democratic figure. In the F-35 debacle, the government’s sin wasn’t only keeping the facts from Canadians, it was in inventing them. Harper himself provided the key confabulations, and they are irrefutably (and unapologetically) on the public record from the last election. This is no longer a matter of partisan debate, but a fact Canadians must interpret for what it may signify.
Harris illustrates how Harper has made war on every independent source of information in Canada since coming to power. Party of One is about a man with a well-defined and growing enemies list of those not wanted on the voyage: union members, scientists, diplomats, environmentalists, First Nations peoples, and journalists.
Against the backdrop of a Conservative commitment to transparency and accountability, Harris exposes the ultra-secrecy, non-compliance, and dismissiveness of this prime minister. And with the Conservative majority in Parliament, the law is simple: what one man, the PM, says, goes.
oil. In his speeches, he came across more as a government spokesperson than the head of an independent research facility. He dismissed Kyoto as unrealistic, and defended the Harper government’s environmental policy at every opportunity. Carson used the school to fund a series of multi-million-dollar energy exhibits in national museums, which were criticized by environmentalists as a public relations show for the tar sands. Carson returned briefly to the PMO on January 5, 2009, on unpaid leave
More members had stood at the door of the Langevin Block and begged their chiefs not to enter and to hold fast with Chief Spence. Grand Chief Charles Weaselhead perhaps said it best: “Idle No More and our grassroots peoples force both of us to take heed and address these issues.” The number one priority for the First Nations was a renewed relationship and full implementation of treaties. The nations had very specific demands they wanted met, not interminable negotiations imposed on them for
into cold lay-up.” As for terminations, the scientists would likely be gone before the facility itself was closed. The final call, the one to external and university scientists working at the ELA, followed the same government talking points, but this time the director general’s message was more rigorously challenged. This group had greater independence and posed questions David Gillis couldn’t readily answer. How could the government claim that other freshwater facilities could do the research
Guergis/Jaffer affair, while playing coy with the media that an investigation was actually in full swing. They were backed up by a prosecutor in the Ontario Attorney General’s Office. One of the investigators’ initial interviews, on April 16, 2010, was with Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton, who rode the elevator to the fifth floor of the RCMP building at 155 McArthur Street in Ottawa. The interview was conducted by lead investigator Inspector John Keuper and Staff Sergeant Stéphane
the rabid partisan—one of the reasons that for the first time in sixty years the world chose a bankrupt Portugal over an economically strong Canada to sit on the UN Security Council in 2010. Former mentor and Reform Party leader Preston Manning explained to me part of Harper’s aversion to diplomacy and his preference for extreme partisanship—a short route to the wrong side of history in this momentous standoff: “I tried to keep a more even hand than Stephen has. I thought that somewhere down the