With the recent G-8 summit now behind us, many Canadians are feeling embarrassed and disillusioned. Until recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his team had refused to even acknowledge that climate change was happening and only took action when public demand left no alternative. Harper's attempt at the G-8 summit to try to sell the world on the merit of intensity-based emissions targets, when the world needs deep overall emissions reductions, is not only irresponsible but also reneges on our international Kyoto commitments.
In the area of foreign aid, Harper is also failing, falling well short of reaching the Lester Pearson-envisioned target of 0.7 per cent of the GDP, despite a flourishing economy and a hefty budget surplus. Harper's alleged attempt to sabotage G-8 advancement on its Gleneagles agreements on increasing foreign aid is beyond reprehensible.
Despite campaigning on the concept of accountability, Harper seems only to be accountable to the five-year plans of Big Oil and the foreign policy objectives of the U.S. – neither of which are meeting the needs of his own country or the world at large, but instead serve only the US economy and not Canada's.
As one observer noted: "Mr. Harper does indeed seem to be out of touch with the people of this country." It is now up to Canadians to demand true accountability from our government.