In Harperland, Any One Of Us, At Any Time We Stand Up As Citizens And Question The Government, Could Be Listed As Enemies Of Canada

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

The late Richard Nixon, the only president of the United States who resigned from that most lofty office in disgrace following the Watergate scandals of the early 1970s, became infamous for having an “enemies list.” It was a list Nixon put together of people who dared to openly criticize\ his policies and it was used to spy on these people and commit other abuses of power that ultimately led to his  demise.stephen-harper-is-watching-you

 Now we find out, thanks to information leaked to mainstream news outlets like The Globe and Mail and CBC that Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, is building his own lists of “enemy stakeholders” and is instructing his recently-sworn-in members of cabinet to do the same. The purpose of these lists, at least on the surface, according to the memo Harper sent out to his ministers and their staff, is to accumulate an inventory of individuals and groups across Canada his government may choose “to engage or avoid” in advancing its agenda.

 So this is where we’re now at my fellow Canadians – in a country that, up to recently, has had a pretty good record of respecting and taking into consideration the views of any and all citizens, including expert staff within our government ministries, who care to share their views in the course of deciding how best we should address the many challenging issues that face our country today.

 Instead of showing the respect any advanced democracy should to people with divergent views, and to people who care enough to dedicate some of their time to the civic affairs of our country, this Harper government is trying to divide us into warring camps of friends and enemies, and we shouldn’t let this government get away with driving those kind of wedges between us. Do we really want to live in a country where a government disenfranchises any citizen or any staff scientist or other in a ministry – as in completely cutting them off from a discussion – if their views don’t fit in nicely with that government’s pre-determined ideology?

 If this is where we are going as a country, then we are retreating from the values and principles many Canadians before us have held so dear – principles that many past generations of Canadians have fought and died for in wars against autocratic and totalitarian regimes. We are talking about moving toward a dictatorship where a free and open exchange of ideas, however much those ideas may challenge those of the powers-that-be, are flushed down the drain as if those who presented them don’t deserve any of the rights of citizenship.

 And what else might these enemy lists be used for other than creating a caste system where those who disagree with the prevailing government ideology are untouchables? How do we know that they won’t also be used to monitor email and phone calls, to target government critics for tax audits, to withdraw any environmental, health care advocacy or other group them may belong to of grants or charitable status, to give them an extra hard time at international border crossings, or something worse?

 I would certainly hope that opposition parties in Ottawa demand that these enemy lists be fully disclosed so that we might at least know who is on them. I would also hope that one of these opposition parties wins the next federal election in 2015 so that we might move away from this brand of ‘big brother’, totalitarian government that so soils a country that has been a beacon for free and open civic discourse and democracy around the world.

My fellow Canadians, the real enemy of our country and everything it has proudly stood for in this world is this Harper government and that election could not come soon enough. 

Our Canada will be celebrating the 150th year of its birth as a federation in a mere four years from now. By then, I hope we are able to say that Harperland was a dark stain on our history and we are getting back to the country that has been world leader for democracy, peace and tolerance toward others, and for environmental protection, health care, providing affordable college and university education for our young and other values so many generations of Canadians over the past half century or more have held so dearly.

P.S. – If or when those enemy lists are released, I will feel I have not done my duty as an engaged citizens of this country I love if my name does not show up on one of them. So bring it on Big Brother.

(Niagara At Large invites you to join in the conversation by sharing your views on the content of this post below. For reasons of transparency and promoting civil dialogue, NAL only posts comments from individuals who share their first and last name with their views.)

6 responses to “In Harperland, Any One Of Us, At Any Time We Stand Up As Citizens And Question The Government, Could Be Listed As Enemies Of Canada

  1. Gerry Chamberland

    A government tends to govern amongst other things, by strength, insight, an understanding of its constituents and, gut knowledge. With Harper and his cronies, their gut knowledge is you’re either with us or against Canada. There appears to be no understanding of differences, opinions, debate or the democratic process. You’re either with them or you’re an enemy. Black or white. This is a dangerous government.


  2. Patricia Fitzpatrick Naylor

    Let’s draw up our own list and make sure it gets out everywhere. Want to bet how many of your fans will have contributions that we all can agree on? You would feel you hadn’t done your duty and I would feel the same with the added guilt that I thought I had tried extra hard and extra long {I am older than you I think} to do my duty as an engaged citizen. I know the labels the greedy and corrupt give me and people like me and I am extremely proud to realize that they’ve noticed. I would be exceptionally grateful if the greedy and corrupt could sign themselves into rehab and re-emerge with the determination to right the wrongs they have perpetrated. Until then please count me in as a proud member-in-waiting of one or more of “the enemy list” chronicles.


  3. Gail Benjafield

    Let me try again, please. I want to be on the enemies list. That is, my MP li’l Ricky has had a personal animosity to me since 1997. Directed squarely and relentlessly at me. I feel privileged in that regard. An elder brother, Gord, is a York U professor of Sociology, much dismayed at the Harper gov’ts shutting down on facts (i.e., census information for future generations of researchers/historians/genealogists.) Gord has dared to “Commit sociology” something our Harper finds infuriating. I wanna be like my brother Gord, who is surely on the Enemies list. OK? Please?


  4. Greg Middleton

    Opposition parties??!!! Well that would be great if we had an opposition party worth voting for no? As it stands in Canadian politics there are no parties worth voting for in my opinion, but you have to wonder how things would have played out if a) the Liberals won – I am sure we would have more civil servants, higher taxes, more useless programs and perhaps a lesser degree of big brother, b) the NDP won – all of the above X 2 plus increased prevalence of unions in all facets of our lives and policies that encourage complacency and dependency on the government within our civilian base with no way to pay for it.
    Hate to say it…… but just sayin…….


    • Gerry Chamberland

      I am so tired of the blame game going to unions. Let’s look at Germany who is one of those countries that seem to defy every other country by doing well economically. And yet, guess what? They have more unions than any other of the OECD countries. How about Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc. They are all doing better than the Canada and to be sure, the US who has one of the worst union participation.


  5. I find that it is good strategy for a government to be aware of harmful components within the opposition’s ranks. If I were employed by the Harper administration, I would justifiably keep publications like this one, whose main aim appears to be the distribution of anti-government sentiment, on continual watch.


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