Pubdate: Sun, 10 Jan 2016
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Lorne Gunter
Page: 5

Canada could do without Justin Trudeau's international antics


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 ... 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? ... I 
am sad to see 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: Jay Bergstrom