Feeling powerless so far away from Egypt? Help change the Canadian government’s response!


Like so much of the world I have been transfixed on the dramatic events in Egypt, but feeling a little powerless to help – until I read about the Harper government’s response (which, I guess, we shouldn’t be surprised about)!

What follows came from the Canadian Peace Alliance.

Stephen Harper backs Mubarak’s ‘transition’ plan


Contact your MPs to protest now! Canada must support Egypt’s democracy movement, not a dictator!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has thrown Canada’s support behind embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, despite growing pressure in Egypt and around the world for the 82-year old dictator to resign immediately. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said on February 3 that the Conservative government prefers Mubarak’s plan to step down in September instead of now.

Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/gRMSP9.

But even the Obama administration in the US believes that Mubarak must resign immediately, in response to nation-wide protests of millions of people in Egypt.

In 2003, Stephen Harper – who was Leader of the Opposition at the time – argued that Canada should join the US-led war in Iraq. Harper was on the wrong side of history then, and he is on the wrong side of history now.

Contact your MPs to protest Canada’s decision to back Mubarak. Canada must support Egypt’s democracy movement, not a hated dictator.

Step 1:

Cut-and-paste the e-mail addresses of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the opposition leaders, the government house leaders, and their deputies into your address line:

Harper.S@parl.gc.ca, HarpeS@parl.gc.ca, pm@pm.gc.ca, Baird.J@parl.gc.ca, bairdj1@parl.gc.ca, Cannon.L@parl.gc.ca, cannol1@parl.gc.ca, Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca, Goodale.R@parl.gc.ca, goodale@sasktel.net, McGuinty.D@parl.gc.ca, Rae.B@parl.gc.ca, Raeb1@parl.gc.ca, Layton.J@parl.gc.ca, Mulcair.T@parl.gc.ca, Mulcair.T@parl.gc.ca, Davies.L@parl.gc.ca, Dewar.P@parl.gc.ca, pauldewar@ndp.ca, Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca, ducepg1@parl.gc.ca, Paquette.P@parl.gc.ca, joliette@pierrepaquette.qc.ca, Dorion.J@parl.gc.ca, dorioj1@parl.gc.ca

Step 2:

CC your own MP. You can find your MP’s e-mail address here: http://bit.ly/MPsbypostalcode

Step 3:

Cut-and-paste this subject into your subject line:

End Harper’s support for Mubarak. Canada must back Egypt’s democratic movement.

Step 4:

Cut-and-paste the following message into your message. Feel free to personalize it. Don’t forget to sign your name and address at the end of the message.

Dear Prime Minister Harper:

I am writing to express my opposition to your government’s decision to back the so-called ‘transition’ plan of embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, instead of the demand of millions of Egyptians that the 82-year old dictator resign immediately. Even the Obama administration in the US has backed the call for Mubarak to step down now. Canada must support Egypt’s democracy movement, not a hated dictator.

I, therefore, ask you to take the following steps:

- Add Canada’s voice to the growing calls for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down immediately, and not in September
– Freeze the Egyptian government’s assets in Canada until Mubarak’s regime has been replaced
– Condemn the violence unleashed by Mubarak’s supporters and undercover police

The vast majority of Egyptians want Mubarak to leave now. Canada must not support Mubarak in the name of “stability” in the region. There can be no stability in the region unless all its people, including Egyptians, can live in a truly free and democratic system.

I look forward to your speedy response.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Step 5:

Send.

Step 6:

Forward this e-mail to all your networks, asking them to contact their MPs, too.

PM Harper’s New Year’s Toast to Canadians


Stephen Harper has shaken a bottle of champagne sparkling cider, held it against the collective ass of Canadians, and let the cork fly into our nether regions with a monotone “Bonne année Canada, happy new year Canada.”

At this time last year Canadians by the thousands held cold weather protests against dictator Harper’s proroguing of Parliament when, it must be remembered, his government was facing defeat in a motion of non-confidence over its handling of prisoner transfers in Afghanistan.  (Transferring them via Afghan handlers, it was alleged, had led to instances of torture.)  Never mind, countered the Tories, we need to move that off the front pages, for the sake of our troops, so we’ll ask/instruct the Governor-General to prorogue Parliament for an election to “recalibrate”.

That solved so much,didn’t it?

House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken, in a win for the Opposition, demanded the government release most, if not all, pertinent documents pertaining to the prisoner transfer issue.  Yet, despite such a moral victory, we’ve heard precious little about it since.

“Lake Wastemataxes” was the name coined by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff for the infamous fake lake built inside the Direct Energy Centre (near Toronto’s Lake Ontario shore, mind you) – the government’s showcase for Canada to visiting members of the media to the G-20 summit.  This, and party favours built in Tony Clement’s riding (the proximity to the earlier G-8 summit seemingly of no concern), were symbols of the restraint-preaching government’s hypocrisy.  Oh, and then there was that small matter of G-20 security…

With Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett hopeful her Private Member’s Bill might reinstate the mandatory long-form census, while Republican-style Conservatives rejoice that it has been nixed, this issue will only have legs so long as Canadians can be convinced that what will be missing from future, Conservative-drafted surveys is more important than whatever perceived intrusiveness our longstanding, highly-respected census gathering techniques have against it.  But, since the pros don’t fit on Conservative t-shirts as easily as the cons, Canadians may be denied the facts about this – or the facts about Canadian society which the Conservatives do not wish us to know.

When they return in late January, Members of Parliament will vote on Bill C-393 which aims to modify the ineffective legislation known as Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime.  I wish this would enjoy all-party support but it seems that it has its detractors both among government and opposition members.

While we are sometimes too powerless to persuade these head-strong Parliamentarians about all things, a victory for us now and then is possible.