Well there he was, thundering over the tundra, on the last day of his Great Photo-Op Tour of the North.
Declaring that the greatest threat to his beloved Arctic are the Russians.
An emboldened Russia is a threat to it neighbours in the Arctic and Canada must be ready to respond to any Russian incursions in the region, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday as he ended his yearly tour of Canada's North.
And suggesting that only a strong military, under his strong leadership, can save the people who live in the True North Strong and Free.
His True North...
Even though he has been gutting the military, and we're in no better shape to enforce our sovereignty, or repel the Russians, than we were when he came to power.
And all he's doing is blowing smoke out of every orifice, and pandering to the ethnic vote. Again.
But what is so striking, and so disturbing, is that not once during his six-day junket did he talk about the real problems facing the people who live there...
The lack of good housing, the price of food, the poor conditions of many schools, the lack of proper health care, the epidemic of drug abuse and suicide.
Because as you know that's the kind of sociological phenomenon or catastrophe he doesn't even recognize...
Even when it stares him in the face.
And what's really scary, or just plain insane, is that in all his time in the Arctic he never once mentioned the greatest threat that region faces, CLIMATE CHANGE.
Even though, as Michael Den Tandt reports, it underpins his whole Arctic strategy.
The opening of northern sea routes now in its infancy underpins virtually every aspect of the Harper government’s Arctic strategy, from the search for the Franklin ships, to the need to project sovereignty northward, to the military’s Operation Nanook on Thursday, which envisioned a tourist ship running aground in York Sound, near the Davis Strait.
None of this would be happening were it not for the gradual withdrawal of the summer ice. Climate change is a fundamental to the emerging geography of the Canadian Arctic. And yet, the two words “climate change” were not uttered a single time over the span of six days, by the PM or any of his ministers, that I am aware of. At this late juncture, with the Arctic so central to their plans, that is simply astonishing.
Even though as this leaked report suggests, the threat couldn't be more ominous.
Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous – and it’s increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.
And even though our frontline defenders in the Arctic don't have the proper equipment to deal with global warming.
A new report says global warming has so altered the Arctic that the Canadian Rangers – largely aboriginal reservists who patrol the North – need new equipment to navigate a vast terrain they barely recognize anymore.
“We’re still using the same equipment as the first Rangers (in 1947): canvas tents, wood stoves,” said one ranger, who noted they have to use their own sleeping bags and warm clothing.
Or for that matter, repel the Russians.
There was a renewed call for more modern rifles, a long-standing complaint as the Canadian Rangers run out of stock and parts for their .303-calibre Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifles, which were purchased at the unit’s founding in 1947 and are based on a 19th-century design.
But then of course it's all an insane farce.
It's not about them, or the other people who live there, or defending the True North Strong and Free.
It's all about defending the interests of Big Oil, and re-electing Stephen Harper. By making him appear like a Great Strong Leader.
Which as I wrote last night, is what he would have us believe...
And all I can say is that with a Great Strong Leader like that one, who needs enemies eh?
And the sooner we discharge him. Dishonourably
The saner and safer we will be...
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