Here are a few comments to wind up the year 2006 and get started on 2007. To begin with Stephen Harper is looking more and more like a Prime Minister whom is determined to have his way regardless of public opinion. Some would define this as strong leadership and they may be right. I see it a bit differently. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a man bent on having matters his way regardless of what anyone thinks. This trend began early when he appointed some people to Cabinet that went against everything Harper and the conservatives had claimed to stand for if grassroots ever really meant anything.
Harper is establishing himself as a Prime Minister that will have you agree with him or he will eliminate you one way or another. It is an odd style for a Prime Minister leading a minority government. He has fired people, including those in his own party and caucus. He broke election promises respecting his government’s Trust Fund announcement that severely cost many Canadians and the federal Equalization formula that is severely costing the people of Saskatchewan. These broken promises may cost conservative MP’s in Saskatchewan a few votes at the next election. He fired the head of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) after removing a few thousand farmers from the official voters list regarding the CWB. I also believe he had some influence in the recent surprise retirement of Canada’s Chief Elections Officer.
I expect that Harper will remove Rona Ambrose from her position in Cabinet as Minister of Environment. She will be removed for failing to sell Harper’s failed policy on the environment. This is hardly fair to Ambrose, but it is the price you pay when you work for a Prime Minister that is becoming increasingly dictatorial in the way he manages the Government of Canada. This is where the Harper conservatives and I must part company. The fact that I have been a life-long conservative is of little consequence to a man like Stephen Harper. Too often it seems Harper is using the power of his office to bully Canadians to his way of thinking.
Harper’s operatives attempted to intimidate me before he became Prime Minister. I am one person who will not be intimidated by anyone and that includes the Prime Minister. I don’t care who is in government. I do care about how they run government and this country and I will speak out whenever I choose to disagree. I am sure many people disagree with me from time to time, but I will forever defend their right to disagree with me or anyone else. Prime Minister Harper should consider a New Year’s resolution to begin listening to people as opposed to removing those who dare to disagree with him. This is my best wish for Stephen Harper as he leads the Government of Canada into the New Year.