Conservative Candidates don’t show up for all-candidates meetings in ridings all across the country. Someone orders them not to attend. Do the orders come from Harper himself, or is someone else pulling the strings?
Not showing up, however, is a prime ministerial tradition that Mr. Harper started all by himself. Here are some of the places we would expect leadership from the prime minister, but Harper just didn’t show up.
- He didn’t show up for the ceremony to mark the completion of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Instead, he sent Bernard Valcourt who refused to join in the standing ovation when they called for a commission of inquiry on missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
- He didn’t stand up for aboriginal peoples a week later when he had a private audience with the Pope in Rome. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report recommended that the Pope be asked to apologize this year for the Church’s part in the residential schools system. Amidst the dozens of photos Harper posed for with the Pope, he couldn’t find the time to relay the request for an apology.
- He didn’t show up for the leaders’ debate on women’s issues organized by Up for Debate, an alliance of “more than 175 women’s organizations and their allies,” and the debate was cancelled, later to return as a live-streamed event featuring interviews with each leader. Harper refused to attend that event as well.
- He didn’t show up in the House of Commons for the two days of debate on bill C-51. He announced it at an event in Richmond Hill, Ontario, rather than in the House where he would have to defend his position and hear proposals from other MPs.
- He didn’t show up for a UN Climate Summit in 2014, where 125 heads of state met to discuss global warming and to explore international commitments to the control of greenhouse gas emissions.
- He didn’t show up to walk in procession with other world leaders after the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
- He didn’t show up at the International AIDS conference in Vancouver in 2006. Speakers included Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. http://www.bcmj.org/editorials/harper-no-show-aids-conference
- He has never shown up at even one of Canada’s gay pride marches, just like his buddy Rob Ford.
Where does Stephen Harper show up? Photo ops, especially for stadium level crowds watching hockey and baseball games. Everywhere he can tout capitalism, especially at exclusive gatherings like Davos in the Swiss Alps where the world’s super rich annually meet to decide how to divide the spoils.
Oh, and we bet he’ll show up to sign the secret Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement (TPP) if it goes through before he gets kicked out of office.