It was recently announced that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be awarded the World Statesman of the Year award for his work as a champion of democracy, freedom and human rights by the New York based Appeal of Conscience Foundation.
One has to wonder if the Foundation has done any research on Harper’s track record of human rights abuses at home since he became Prime Minister in 2006.
The list of abuses is long including; in 2012 he killed the International Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Development, in 2010 he slashed funding for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, in 2009 he approved cutting off funds to Kairos, an organization of church groups that advocates for human rights, in 2006 Harper’s government severely chopped funding to the Status of Women Canada as well as shut down the Court Challenges Program which worked on behalf of the rights of women, immigrants and minority groups.
Harper’s Conservative government has been one of the most abusive in the history of our parliamentary system.
He orchestrated prorogation of Parliament twice in less than a year and was the first PM ever to be found guilty of contempt of parliament.
Then his government distributed the notorious handbook on how to disrupt and bring parliamentary committee hearings to a grinding halt.
As well he and his cabinet have continually ignored freedom of speech and information protocols by muzzling senior bureaucrats, withholding and altering documents and launching personal attacks on whistleblowers who may have damaging information about his government.
In the 2008 federal election, the Conservative’s orchestrated the “in-and-out scheme” whereby they funneled money in and out of local ridings that was then used to hide expenses in the national campaign.
Elections Canada charged them with overspending their federal election budget by $1.2 million. The Conservatives stalled and delayed the court process for four years then pled guilty and were fined $52,000.
Elections Canada and the RCMP are now in the process of investigating the “robocall” voter suppression scheme in the 2011 election, with allegations that the Conservative Party deceitfully won several ridings by dissuading voters from casting their ballots by telling them their poll stations had changed location.
The Foundation’s appointment of Stephen Harper as World Statesman of the Year with his deplorable record of defending democracy and human rights in Canada makes a mockery of the award and is an affront to all Canadians with a conscience.