Pubdate: Sun, 10 Jan 2016
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2016 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Lorne Gunter
Page: 12


One of the themes of last fall's election campaign, of course, was
that former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper had embarrassed
Canada on the international stage. For instance, his willingness to
commit Canadian troops to a combat role in the war against terrorists
and his unwillingness to play along with meaningless United Nations
symbolism on climate change had, allegedly, lowered Canada's standing
in the eyes of the world.

Just about the only people who care about Canada's international
reputation are self-important elitists. The average tradesman working
overtime to make ends meet couldn't care less. Nor could the average
commercial fisherman or prairie farm couple.

But what the Zimbabweans or the Japanese or the Belgians think of us
really matters in the editorial suites at the Toronto Star or the
green rooms at the CBC or the offices of Canadian NGOs.

Canada's chattering classes were aghast in 2011 when the Harper
government withdrew the country from the Kyoto accord on emission
controls designed to prevent global warming.

Never mind that Kyoto was entirely meaningless, that it imposed
restrictions only on 38 industrialized nations and not on such
big-emitters as China, India, Indonesia and Brazil.

And ignore the fact that no countries - not even the sanctimonious
Europeans - had fulfilled their Kyoto commitments (except perhaps
through sleight-of-hand accounting). When the Liberals were in power
for the accord's first eight years, Canada's emissions grew at a
faster pace than they did for the five years under the Tories until
our withdrawal.

The substance of the accusation that Harper was an embarrassment
didn't matter. All that truly mattered is that Harper refused to play
the rhetorical game. He refused to tug his forelock and bow
submissively at every pronouncement from the lips of the UN Secretary
General or some preachy foreign-policy academic.

The height of the outrage over the Conservatives' refusal to go along
with internationalist lemming-think came in the middle of last fall's
campaign when former Liberal PM Jean Chretien wrote an open letter to
three newspapers claiming the "cold-hearted" Harper had "shamed Canada
in the eyes of =C2=85 the international community."

"In my travels around the globe," Chretien went on. "I am regularly
asked: What has happened to Canada? What has happened to the advanced,
peace-seeking, progressive country Canada once was? =C2=85 I am sad to se
that in fewer than 10 years, the Harper government has tarnished
almost 60 years of Canada's reputation." Gag. It didn't matter that
the Tories followed the letter of the Kyoto accord and withdrew
properly using mechanisms within the agreement itself.

Now comes word that the new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau will
have to violate at least three international treaties if it is to make
good on its campaign promise to legalize marijuana.

Before I go any further, let me state that I endorse both the move to
make marijuana legal and any decision, if necessary, to ignore
pretentious, presumptuous and pompous international agreements.

But let me also say, if the Liberals choose to ignore international
agreements that require Canada to criminalize the cultivation and
possession of weed they are being huge hypocrites.

They are even hypocrites if they withdraw from these agreements, as
the Tories did on Kyoto.

The Liberals and their sycophants in the media made such a fuss about
the Tories' selective honouring of international accords that they are
all hypocrites if they now turn around and give the Liberals a pass
for the same behaviour.

At the Commonwealth meetings in Malta in November, Trudeau was hailed
as a conquering hero for declaring "Canada is back" on the UN/
internationalist stage.

Guess that commitment only lasted as long as the first toke.
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MAP posted-by: Matt