Earth Day? Canada, God Help Us, Has Taken Earth Day, And Shoved It!

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Oh my dear God – not that I am all that religious – do I ever miss Margherita! I’d  be one of those she might call a “stupid bastard” if I didn’t.

Margherita Howe, always listening but never ready to say yes to B.S. - A photo courtesy of the Howe family.

I miss being able to call her up today – this time around Earth Day, 2012 – and asking her how she feels about Canada’s federal government walking away from environmental protection reviews on major public works projects that may impact on what’s left of our natural resources. I miss asking her how she would feel about the so-called natural resources minister for Stephen Harper –  Joe Oliver or whatever the frig his stupid name is – calling people who advocate for environmental protection in this country a bunch of villains or enemies of Canada, or whatever other Fox New/Rush Limbaugh-induced rhetoric Harper and Oliver clamp on to for describing anyone who has the democratic balls to disagree with them.

If I were able to make a call to Margherita Howe right now, I am almost certain her first response would be; “Why, the stupid bastards,” as it was almost every time when the worst of government would do or say something awful when it came to just plain doing something to protect a little bit of our natural resources for future generations, as if that is too bloody much to ask.

If you don’t know Margherita Howe, she was first and foremost a great lady who might give you one of the warmest hugs in the world if you weren’t a ‘stupid bastard’. She was also a Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario resident and a veteran of the Second World War, as a matter of fact, who emerged as the head of an environmental group in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake called Operation Clean that fought for a cleanup of toxic chemicals bleeding their way into the Niagara River and Great Lakes during the Love Canal environmental crisis of the late 1970s and 1980s.

For her efforts, Margherita was both vilified by her detractors and honoured by others with an Order of Canada medal at a time when Canada’s federal government would still grant such awards to citizens who often did not agree with it. (Can you believe that in Harper’s Canada? There was actually a time when the federal government still awarded some recognition of good citizenship to people in this country who did not agree with it.)

Of course, we know that In Stephen Harper’s Canada, those days of granting Order of Canada awards to individuals who might have the audacity to disagree with his dictatorship are gone. And on this Earth Day, we not only have Harper’s Oliver spewing venom that anyone, including this environment writer, I would suspect, is an enemy of the Canada I was born in for giving a crap about environmental protection.

Margherita Howe - An unabashed guardian for our Great Lakes

On this Earth Day, we also have the federal government of Canada moving to gut environmental reviews, cut even more funding for Environment Canada and turn over more jurisdiction for environmental protection to the provinces, which can only mean the province’s racing to have the weakest environmental regulations to attract more business, because attracting more business (at whatever cost to the life-sustaining waters, air and other resources of this planet) is all that seems to matter now.

We also have David Suzuki, the host of CBC’s Nature of Things and long-time advocate for environmental protection, being treated like a piece of human garbage by Canada’s government and b many Canadians. If you don’t believe me, click on the following link and read the comments by Canadians below it. But don’t do that before reading the rest of this post by yours truly, Doug Draper. Please don’t do that, but the link, when you come back to it is tp://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/14/david-suzuki-resigns-to-save- and I hope there are still a few out there who join me in finding the comments against this person, who many of my American friends have said to me should be regarded as a “treasure” in our country, is shameful.I have no illusions any longer. I know that many Canadians these days could care less about protecting the environment unless it involves their own personal space or backyard, or whatever they want to call it. Thus, we have Oliver and Harper, and they can do whatever they want with what’s left of Environment Canada and whatever other environmental programs have been put in place in Canada since the first Earth Day 42 years ago.

If I could call up Margherita about this, her first line would be; “Why, the stupid bastards.”

That line would be enough to keep me going on and writing more. I am beginning to wonder the point of writing on now. On the Earth Day front, how many people out there still give much of a damn?

(Niagara At Large invites you to share your views on this post in the comment area below. Remember that we only post views by those who are also willing to share their first and last names.)

 

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15 responses to “Earth Day? Canada, God Help Us, Has Taken Earth Day, And Shoved It!

  1. I’m deeply saddened by the direction the Federal Government under Mr. Harper is going. I’m angered by the disregard that is shown in short-cutting real concerns about the environment for the sake of the “economy”. There is a much greater cost to be endured if we continue to neglect the environment, greater than any advantage to industry and the economy of short-cutting environment concerns on projects like tar sands and pipelines.

    However, I’m not surprised. Harper, as I understand, was an economist. Economists seem to judge everything in terms of “growth.” Unfortunately, the earth is a finite planet. Growth must have limits. Unfettered growth in confined bodies — like our own — is called cancer!

    We have already seen the cancer plastics have become in our oceans and other waste in our landfills. We have assaulted our air, and will soon have even more carcinogens in our water. Indeed, we have already begun to pollute other planets with our technological “advances.” Will we ever learn?!

    Now, Harper and his cronies are a growing cancer in our country.

    Be sure most people do care about the environment. But, I see little real evidence that we care enough to sacrifice jobs, creature comforts, and/or conveniences to save the planet for our children and their children. Or do we? We’ll see! Before it is too late, I hope.

  2. I would ask, but nowadays not expect a positive reply, that Mr. Harper and his cabinet and followers in the oil patch and nuclear industry and elsewhere,
    “walk with a light foot upon the land, caring that it be there forever, and giving our children, seven generations and on, hope for the future.”

  3. [from an inside fly-on-the-wall] I have listened and heard the environmental scientists – and they are entirely right! They are responsible and in accord with the most advanced thinking in the world vis a vis so-called climate change and real resource exploitation. Be that as it may, my unique political job is to promote Canada’s economic future despite (frankly, in spite of) proper world views. (Who cares about Canadian views!) My federal cabinet, without a single exception, fully agrees with me. (You all had better!) We now have a ten to twenty year window of opportunity to get away at last with our long-planned focused plans. We can do it – easily exploit our natural resources – by shifting oversight down to the provinces and up to big businesses and giving them free economic reign. By doing this, we will not only be able later to deny total responsibility but also to shift most blame. My brilliant political thinking will control the day (for at least a few years) and will change this country forever. Mark my words!

    [response] Hurrah S.Harpo-con! Hear, hear…

  4. [from an imaginary inside fly-on-the-wall at an Ottawa cabinet meeting] I have listened and heard the environmental scientists – and they are entirely right! They are responsible and in accord with the most advanced thinking in the world vis a vis so-called climate change and real resource exploitation. Be that as it may, my unique political job is to promote Canada’s economic future despite (frankly, in spite of) proper world views. (Who cares about Canadian views!) My federal cabinet, without a single exception, fully agrees with me. (You all had better!) We now have a ten (to twenty) year window of opportunity to get away at last with our long-planned focused plans. We can do it – easily exploit our natural resources – by shifting oversight down to the provinces and up to big businesses and giving them free economic reign. By doing this, we will not only be able later to deny total responsibility but also to shift most blame. My brilliant political thinking will control the day (for at least a few years) and will change this country forever. Mark my words! [response] Hurrah S.Harpo-con! Hear, hear…

  5. I didn’t know Margherita, but if she knew what was currently happening in “Harper’s Canada”, she’d probably say,”Oh, those f****** bastards.” And she’d be right. And at this point (like the younger Trudeau),I wouldn’t blame Quebec if they wanted to separate from our current petro-state. I’d likely want to move there if they did.

  6. christina c. patterson

    Thanks for keeping Margherita Howe’s ‘spirit’ alive and well on this Earth Day.

  7. Gentle Folk
    There are economists and then there are “corporate economists”. The difference is “corporate economists” only concern is the bottom line on a profit and loss statement.
    A “true economists” is one who does NOT ignore the facts and bases his/her actions or lack of such on the cost factors relative to what is sustainable to the existence of the very planet we happen to live on.
    As for Harper I thought I read in Mr. Martin’s exposee (Harperland) that this dude never did get his degree when he ventured through the venerable steps of the University of Toronto, only to leave Ontario and Party up with the National Citizens Coalition of Colin Brown in Alberta.
    If you remember Mr. Brown, a wealthy Insurance man from Ontario ( LOndon) formed the NCC to prevent the implementation of Tommy Douglas’s dream The Canadian Health Act and for some reason or other to eliminate the Canadian Wheat Board?
    Harper dabbled in politics while in Alberta being elected with the help and finances of the NCC but like the study of Economics he would not finish? Then he joined Mr. Brown as an executive of the NCC before literally taking over the “Reform Party of Canada (Alberta).
    Mr. Martin, a columnist with the Globe and Mail wrote a very extensive and thought provoking novel that if read should have scared hell out of the readers…But…
    The media which is NOW almost completely own by Corporate Canada has eliminated true “Journalists” and instead has enlisted a bunch of SHEEP and “Right Wing Buffoons” to push the agenda of division and hatred down the throats of the peoples resulting in people basically giving up on the voting process. Thus we have GOVERNMENTS that are owned through the implementation of what was once called brainwashing by a very function and devious media.
    I have to be careful not to use inflammatory terms and it is difficult when one sees this fabulous country being sold out for the buck.by sick governments, the corporate media and all agents of corporations National and International.
    To H…..with Harper and the goons

  8. Stephen Harper reportdly has a MBA, just like the Rebublicans demanded proof of Obama’s birth certificate, we should demand proof that Stephen has the credentials that he supposedly earned in Toronto, look at how many people got high paying jobs in government by embellishing their education qualifications , we had one just recently, was it Dr Mazza of Ornge?.

    • Do we really need to demand Harper’s credentials? He certainly knows economics and he can clearly lead a political party. We may not like the way he leads but his followers do. Problem is, he thinks like an economist that can only see growth as the measure of our nation’s success and he leads his party accordingly.

      There are completely different models of commerce extant. Few who love the “greedy” aspects of economics, however, would embrace them. Any thinking person realizes our planet is in serious danger due to our relentless pursuit of growth as the measure of how well we are doing. To a point growth is necessary. However, the kind of growth we seek in our commerce is killing our planet, slowly but surely. We may be just too late in fully realizing that we cannot fix our mistakes with our next technology.

      Just consider how we embrace the use of pharmaceuticals. Yet, thousands–yes, thousands–die in North America annually due to medical errors and improper medication of patients!

      Cancer is cancer wherever it may be found: in us or in our planet.

  9. I’m afraid that the ‘almost’ silent majority of sensible Canadians may not be ruling, or saying even little, for much, much longer. Why? They have allowed ‘dictator’ S.harpo-con and his goons to get a majority. Harpo-philosophy is not ‘let us agree to disagree in words’ but is ‘if you don’t agree you’re my natural enemy.’ A ‘loyal’ opposition cannot exist in such an atmosphere. Extremism, fiat and other approaches alien to the traditions of Canadian public life are thus beginning to run wild. Before it’s too late, a union of the NDP and the old Liberals is essential to bring down this emerging Hitler-harpo-type.

  10. George I lent Harperland to Yvette Ward and will get it back today because I would like to be sure that HE did not finish at the University of Toronto and Mr. Martin surely would not put that in his novel without being absolutely certain of the validity. (Whether it was Law of Economics)

  11. MBA is a degree in Business Administration and Yes Harper supposedly did acquire “Economics” in Alberta…Thank you Lawrence Martin for that tidbit of information.

    • My son has a MBA and also an engineering degree from Mc.Master Hamilton he is going to his 25 year reunion June 2nd 2012. he specializes in ceramic engineering , glass for sky scrapers and special purpose glass, doing something to make the world a nicer place to live in.The world needs people that finds answers to problems not cause misery and disgust with the system.In a Democracy the people have rights, Fascism, the state has all the rights.the people have none,. millions died to protect the freedom to choose their rulers and voice the direction they want government to go.

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