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Happy Canada Day Stephen Harper. Here's 59 cents.


It’s hard to look at yourself objectively, but rightly or wrongly, I’ve always thought of Canadians as  peaceful, fair, decent, thoughtful and compassionate people who respect diversity, care about social justice and try to do the right thing. Oh sure, there are plenty of exceptions, and we’ve had our share of collective ugliness too.  Overall, though, I see us as basically good and decent.

But lately I get the sense that we’re not as good or decent as we used to be. With Stephen Harper at the helm, Canada is becoming increasingly stingy, short-sighted and mean-spirited. Canada is becoming unkind.

Take, for example, the proposed cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which provides extended health care to refugees. “Extended” includes everything from essential medications for non-communicable diseases, chemotherapy, dental care, vision care and counseling.

Refugees are one of the most vulnerable and devastated groups in Canada. Many of them have come from absolutely brutal sub-human conditions, and some of them have lived in these conditions their entire lives. They’ve endured war, rape, famine, poverty, disease, stress and trauma.  When they arrive, finally, in a safe place, they generally need dental care and medications, and they need help to recover from all they’ve been through.

In Stephen Harper’s Canada, we say no to a refugee mother whose child is in agony from toothaches. We say no to to a diabetic man who can’t afford insulin. We say no to a young woman who suffers from PTSD after being repeatedly raped by soldiers as a child. We say if you don’t have the money, you can suffer.

It all comes down to priorities. We can afford far more expensive and less humane things, like multi-billion-dollar fighter jets and prison expansion during times of falling crime rates. We can afford a new network of Canadian military bases around the world. We can afford a billion dollars to host that appalling 2-day G8/G20 summit in Toronto.

And yet we can’t afford approximately 20 million dollars per year for health care for refugees. That’s 59 cents per Canadian.

Happy Canada Day, Stephen Harper. Here’s my 59 cents:



8 comments to Happy Canada Day, Stephen Harper. Here’s 59 cents.

  • I heard about this on the CBC and it was so upsetting. There just seems to be no reason at all for the cuts – the money savings is minimal. It does just feel like a mean thing to do. Man, I am so not a Harper fan.

  • Deb

    Thanks for explaining this campaign in plain English

  • Lisa in Toronto

    Great idea!

  • I’m afraid Mr. Harper is cut from the same cloth as the right-wing American politicians who have pushed this country into being a such a cruel place for almost all of us to live. My condolences.

  • Sheila

    I was appalled by this. I was also appalled that he cut 200 research scientist jobs (mostly environmental jobs), 40 meat inspectors, and gutted the Food Safety Board. The Food Safety Board does not have to verify what is on the label anymore. It is up to the consumer to prove the label is wrong. I have a daughter who is on a special diet and I find this deeply disturbing that her health is now at risk because I can’t trust the food we eat. All so that Harper can have his jets. The prisons make sense because with all these cuts and so many people out of work, there will be more criminals as people resort to crime to feed their families. Bill C-38 was such an appalling piece of legislation that words fail me. From the distruction of our environmental protection laws – now endangered species are only protected if they are not on land where an oil pipeline can be built – to the slow dismantling of our healthcare to the selling of our water to the highest bidder, Canada is no longer a country I remember. In fact I have taken to calling myself a Canadian living in StephenHarperLand.

  • Gillian

    Well said.

  • The City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia) just cut off it’s welfare checks to everyone with no warning. They allowed people to keep the medical assistance and food stamps but cut the already piddly 205 dollars cash each month out entirely. How much did this help balance the budget? It’s less than half of 1%. Booyah. Let’s balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

  • mycho saniac

    happy 4th of july, mr harper – your masters to the south are well pleased with your efforts to erase that border