The risks of Harper government
For the first time I am beginning to realize what a threat Prime Minister Stephen Harper is to the average Canadian. As a 26-yearold graduate student from Newfoundland, I have always voted NDP, but have also believed that each party has tried to be representative of Canadians as a whole.
However, decisions made by Mr. Harper in recent months are pushing me to believe that the page who so bravely stood up in front of Parliament with a sign reading STOP HARPER was absolutely right. He has to be stopped.
For the first time, I feel as though Mr. Harper poses a threat to me, personally.
Ever since I can remember, I have been passionate about Canada’s national parks. They represent areas of natural wonder, protected by law for fellow creatures and fellow Canadians. I have been proud to work in national parks across the country for the past six years and am now in school working on a master’s degree to produce work that contributes to the improved management of national parks. Like others, I have gone to school and have incurred student debt because I dream of one day working in the public sector, specifically to help preserve the natural heritage of my fellow Canadians.
It now seems as though my work and the work of hundreds of thousands of people over the last century of the existence of the national parks system is to be trashed.
Mr. Harper’s sole goal is to pillage natural areas for the temporary betterment of the pocketbooks of the few. This isn’t right.
Canada has long been admired for the quality and vastness of its national parks system. Millions of people from Canada and all over the globe travel to, or dream of visiting, our national parks. Parks Canada protects and presents the natural and cultural heritage of all Canadians.
National parks and historic sites also contribute billions of dollars to the Canadian economy and their presence supports the economies of rural communities.
Mr. Harper has now chosen to gut the sys- tem of national parks and historic sites by essentially firing thousands of staff, forcing seasons to be shortened and privatizing services. And it doesn’t stop here. Not only has he just gutted the environmental assessment process, but he also has his eye on the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act.
In the words of Cyndi Lauper, it seems as though in his second (and God willing, his last) term in office, his true colours are shining through. Shame on him.
Our members of Parliament and the Canadian public must do everything in their power to stop Mr. Harper from devastating the national parks system and our natural areas as a whole.
Can we really risk another three years with him in power? Alice Will writes from Portugal Cove
Editor’s note: this letter also appeared in the May 22 edition of The Telegram