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Canadian PM to visit Thailand, Japan and South Korea

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"Harper will also discuss illegal human smuggling ...Thailand was a staging point for migrant ships bringing Tamil asylum seekers to Canada"

Canada is a hypocrite. Canada accepted nearly all of them, despite all the evidence many were terrorists, thereby playing into the hands of the traffickers, not to mention the terrorists. If Canada really wants to fight human smuggling, then it must reject anyone who is fluanting international laws on migration, both the businesses and their clients riding in the boats.

In the meantime, Canada should select among people who have done the legal paperwork, are waiting patiently in line -- and who aren't terrorists.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

where do I go to protest against dictator harper the worst PM in Canadian history!!!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

A little cheese to go with your whine, Philp? Harps won a solid majority and has done a great job steering Canada through the recent economic chaos. He has been accused for years of having a "hidden agenda" to take Canada back to the Dark Ages, and it hasn't happened. The scaremongering from the left has been unrelenting, and also inaccurate.

It's good to see him out in the world promoting Canada as a safe, ethical, vibrant nation. Once the pipelines get constructed, we can work on selling some oil and putting the kleptocrats in the Middle East out of business.

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Harper is an embarrassment!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If by embarrassment, you mean "provides consistent leadership, runs his government pragmatically, wins elections, safeguards the economy, and expands resource production", then I agree with you. Otherwise, could you be a little more specific in your criticisms?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Otherwise, could you be a little more specific in your criticisms?

For starters, one of his top priority is dealing with “rogue nations such as Iran". There is much more, but should not be discussed here.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In your world then, a leader who is against the proliferation of nuclar weapons is "an embarrassment". I see... What would you prefer he prioritize?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Love him or hate him, Harper has done a lot of good for the country.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That’s why we’re going on this trip on the heels of a China trip,”

Ooooh Japanese politicians wont like that wording! Japan, see you aint watchya used to be!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Harper, true Canadian.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

a big majority 60% of canadians voted against him you tool!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That 's the parliamentary system, Philip. You could say the same about the OTHER parties, too. 70% voted against the NDP, 80% against the Libs, 97% against the Greens. What does it prove? I think the last time any party won a majority of the popular vote was, ironically, the PCs under Mulroney in 1984.

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I didn't vote for this guy

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a big majority 60% of canadians voted against him you tool!!!

Lovely language, Phillip!

Harper was elected with an even bigger majority last year than in 2008. He is disliked by the bleeding-hearts in Canada because, god forbid, he made some cuts to the liberal arts forcing a lot of tax-funded "performance-artists" off the government teet. Meanwhile he has presided over a robust economy that was largely unaffected by worldwide economic turmoil. Oh, but his worst sin is hailing from Calgary,Alberta, the worst place in the world according to the latte-sipping, horn-rim gasses wearing, Mateus wine-drinking, 10 years in University studying Philosophy crowd.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Love him or hate him, Harper has done a lot of good for the country.

He's an odious creep.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Intertesting contrast in communication styles on display here. Reasable people can disagree about politics, but it seems that certain virulent radicals cannot do so with reason or evidence. Instead, they resort to childish insults when they cannot refute evidence or facts. It's a pity that decent discussions get derailed in this matter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In your world then, a leader who is against the proliferation of nuclar weapons is "an embarrassment". I see... What would you prefer he prioritize?

If he really was concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons he would not consider Iran a rogue nation; its a peaceful nation that has signed the NPT and follows its guidelines, nothing rogue about it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Intertesting contrast in communication styles on display here. Reasable people can disagree about politics, but it seems that certain virulent radicals cannot do so with reason or evidence. Instead, they resort to childish insults when they cannot refute evidence or facts. It's a pity that decent discussions get derailed in this matter.

I'm certainly not a 'virulent radical', maybe by US standards, but certainly not European ones. I think Harper is a right wing creep.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

1.6 billion dollars on security so that the G20 could promote a message of austerity. He is a fool.

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don't forget the indoor lake they constructed for the G20/G8 at the Direct Energy Center in T.O...

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Maybe Japan can buy oil and gas from Canada? They could build a pipeline to their west coast. This is something Japan should invest in! A stable source of energy is priceless.

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Harps won a solid majority and has done a great job steering Canada through the recent economic chaos.

Oh please. Harper won because of vote division and the distortions of the British electoral system, he got less than 40% of the vote. Not only that, but poll after poll reveal that, far from being the compromise PM (Like Chrétien was before, the one Canadians could tolerate most), he is thoroughly hated by the majority of Canadians. In a recent poll, only 34% of Canadians approve of Harper, a stunning 59% disapprove, many fiercely.

As to steering Canada through the economic troubles... you're completely wrong. First, the reason Canada wasn't that affected was because it had kept many of the financial regulations the US had gotten rid of. Had Harper had his way, he would have deregulated and brought Canada in the same place as the US. His first reaction to the crisis was austerity, not stimulus, it was because he was in a minority that he had to implement a stimulus program focused on infrastructure spending. This was DESPITE him, not because of him.

Finally, he squandered the surplus inherited from the Liberals even before the recession hit, and now he claims that he is forced to resort to austerity, which is BS. The deficit is his fault, him and his obsession about lowering business taxes, even if the rest of Canadians have to pay for it. It is clear he is in for the long run, with the habitual tactic of engineering a "budget crisis" to justify cutting social programs later on. No "hidden agenda"? Funny, I don't remember him promising he'll increase the age for pensions like he has talked about at Davos, telling foreigners before ever talking about it to Canadians!

Internationally, he is single-handedly destroying the good reputation of Canada across the world by renouncing the traditional role of moderator and peacekeeper that Canada has fostered for decades, of which Canadians are proud. He supports Israel's policies without any reservation, for instance.

Harper is a disaster on all fronts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@DavidB - He inherited a good fiscal and economic position 6 YEARS AGO? Yet somehow the Liberal Party are still the authors today? He was born in Toronto but has called Alberta home since 1978. Hows that Mateus taste today?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kchoze, thank you for actually having something to say other than random cheap insults and talking points. Although, again the shibboleth of the popular vote starts your message. Like I said before, the reality of the parliamentary system and the multi party nature of Canadian politics makes getting a majority of the vote almost impossible. 40% is an accomplishment.

I do give the liberals (Paul Martin in particular as finance Minister) credit for their fiscal policy. Unfortunately, they had grown arrogant and corrupt in the same way that the LDP did in Japan, seeing themselves as the natural governing party. Credit to both they and Harper for not creating the financial climate in Canada that was created in thet US and Europe.

What social programmes hsa he cut? Personally, I find him a bit too 'liberal' in how he spends money.

Yuri;

Canada IS making a pipeline !!

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Although, again the shibboleth of the popular vote starts your message.

Because you brought us the right-wing shibboleth about his"solid majority", which is a majority only due to the distortions of the electoral system, the majority of Canadians still are opposed to him and his agenda.

What social programmes hsa he cut? Personally, I find him a bit too 'liberal' in how he spends money.

He couldn't before as he was in a minority. But right now, he has demanded ministries find up to 10% in cuts in their budgets. Only fools believe that this could happen without services being cut. Also, he has announced his intention to increase the age for pensions from 65 to 67 in Davos, not even bringing up the subject in Canada first, as if foreigners had the right to learn of the plans the canadian government has before the Canadian people. He has already announced that he would cap the growth of federal transfers to provinces for health care, below the likely spending growth of health care costs, which will likely force provinces to cut coverage or open up to privatization, according to the provinces themselves.

So he has already announced intentions to cut the pension system and to reduce the federal contribution to health care costs. Health care and pensions are the two biggest social programs. QED.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A 10% budget cut is entirely reasonable, given the current economic climate. He is just trying to go back to pre economic disaster levels, and pay down the national debt. This is a problem that our US brothers are now fighting about.

Increasing pension age is also a demographic necessity. When CPP started, it wasn't expected to finance 20 years of retirement for each senior. The choice is either increasing the amount collected, or raising the age of eligibility. He chose the latter. Which would you have chosen?

Nothing wrong with reforming health care either. Virtually every other country that has national health insurance also has a private sector- just look at Europe, for example.

To me, "cutting" a prgramme means eliminating it, not just reducing the expenditures to sustainable levels. Plus, with plans to eliminate the deficit by 2015, Harper is showing that above all he is pragmatic about economics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Harper "runs his government pragmatically" and "safeguards the economy"?

Really? Does that include the recent "robocall" scandal where his party workers tried to rig the vote?

Does that include turning a budget surplus into a deficit in his first term in office? He's getting fired for that in the private sector.

Canada's economy made it through the recent global crisis not because of Harper but because its financial sector was heavily regulated and not able to do the stupid things US banks were doing before the crisis. That had nothing to do with Harper. In fact, he'd probably want to deregulate like the idiots in the US.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And only fools would build pipelines while the rest of the world is weaning itself off petroleum. If he really wanted to "put the kleptocrats in the Middle East out of business" he'd invest in alternative energy. But what can you expect when a PM comes from Oil-berta.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Weaning itself off petroleum"? Where? Not Japan, where nuclear power is being shut down and gas turbines are taking over. Not China, where the number of cars on the road is rising exponentially. Perhaps in 50 years or so, the world may, may move from petroleum and oil, but not anytime soon. Plus, please remember that oil is used for more than powering cars, it is essential to myriad products- anything with plastic is a petroleum product. Harps would do well to exploit the oil sands as fast as possible for as long as possible. In that time, alternate fuels and energy can be allowed to develop naturally, in the private sector.

Robocall is nothing. There is no evidence that any election would have been swayed by it. Nice tempest in a teapot.

I already gave Paul Martin credit for a good job of running the country's finances. There were a few messes left behind, such as the tragic underfunding of the military, that needed to be fixed. Harper did well to weather the storm of the collapse. I dont know his position on deregulation, and neither do you. It's all mindless speculation.

I have yet to see any "scary neocon" policies even being suggested. It's been nearly a year since the election and..... nothing. The hysterical left must be so disappointed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He is disliked by the bleeding-hearts in Canada because, god forbid, he made some cuts to the liberal arts forcing a lot of tax-funded "performance-artists" off the government teet. Meanwhile he has presided over a robust economy that was largely unaffected by worldwide economic turmoil. Oh, but his worst sin is hailing from Calgary,Alberta, the worst place in the world according to the latte-sipping, horn-rim gasses wearing, Mateus wine-drinking, 10 years in University studying Philosophy crowd.

Well said. He's not perfect but many Canadian need a smack up the head when it comes to what they think they are "owed". I am shocked by the sense of entitlement but so many Canadians when I go home. I am hoping he takes out a lot of government workers who really need a reality check when it comes to how unimportant their jobs are.

I was a long supporter of the liberals until I started paying taxes and looked at how easy those who abuse the system have it. Help those in need but stop making it a better way of life to sit on the pogey and not bother to get off your butt to get a job. He's called this and many, many liberals just can't seem to understand that things like this ruin the country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

VRWC, you are moving the goal posts. You said that he wasn't planning to cut social programs, I point out how he is going to cut spending, and therefore likely services, how he intends to reduce federal share of health care costs and how he is planning on cutting benefits for millions of canadians by delaying the age they hhave to be to benefit from pensions. Suddenly cutting spending isn't "cutting", and you defend the cuts he wants to make. You can't have it both ways, you can't argue that he's not cutting social programs, then praise him for cutting social programs!

Note that if he had put of lowering the GST and not lowered business taxes like he did, he wouldn't need to cut anything to eliminate the deficit. The reality is that the first thing he did in power was to get rid of the surplus the previous government left him, like George W. Bush, engineering a budget crisis even before the recession. Those who claim that he is such a great eeconomic steward also forget that he kept pretending during 2008 that the economy was dandy and strong, even as the world's financial system was collapsing, and that instead of stimulating the economy, his first reaction was cutting spending, which would have been disastrous. It was the opposition that forced him to implement a stimulus program.

People also conveniently forget how he is ready to throw away insane amounts of money when it sits his purpose. G8 summit anyone? The money allocated to the summit was used to build gazebos and public toilets more than a 100 miles away from the summit... in the riding of the minister responsible for how the funds were allocated, who almost lost the previous election.

Furthermore, he has created the most opaque government in recent history, he exerces an iron grip on his party, refuses to take questions from journalists unless he approves them beforehand, he treats Parliament with contempt, and didn't hesitate to hide facts from MPs who had the right to them, proroguing the Parliament against its will twice. Harper has no respect for democratic principles and for how democracy works in Canada. He is also bringing American-style politics in Canada, with constant negative ads and underhanded tactics like robocalls sending known Liberal and NDP supporters to vote at the wrong place to suppress their votes. Whether these tactics swayed the election's results or not is immaterial, what matters is that it is what they did and that it is a perversion of democracy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think we are talking cross definitions here. You meant "cut spending on a programme", which of course Harper did, and rightly so. I meant "eliminate the programme", which did not happen. Unfortunately.

He lowered the GST to (gasp) keep an election promise he made. Ditto business taxes, which were entirely too high.

As for the benefits of stimulus spending, they are unproven. I prefer that politicians take a hands-off approach as much as possible, that the government should stay out of picking winners and losers as much as possible. The G8 was a fiasco, partly the Conservative's fault no argument. Also part poor policing, Also part ridiculous, uncivilized and barbaric behavior on the part of the protestors.

Political dirty tricks are reality, not just an import from our brothers to the south. I was waiting for you to bring of the spectre of "American style (insert complaint here)", and you didn't disappoint. Negative campaigning has been around for decades, The rest are partisan political attacks, again no different than other governments have done in the past. The simple fact is that Canada is in good shape, moving forward, and has a bright future.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think we are talking cross definitions here. You meant "cut spending on a programme", which of course Harper did, and rightly so. I meant "eliminate the programme", which did not happen. Unfortunately.

I disagree. I think you set up a certain position, and when I proved you wrong, you attempted to retcon your initial position.

He lowered the GST to (gasp) keep an election promise he made. Ditto business taxes, which were entirely too high.

He sped up the GST cuts without waiting to see the results. The business tax was in now way too high, business tax cuts have not demonstrated any significant benefits in any study. The golden years of capitalism, after World War II, occurred while business taxes were at the maximum they ever were. The recent corporate tax cuts didn't spur corporate investment. Countries with high corporate tax rates are amongst the richest in the world (the US, Japan, Germany, etc...).

No matter, if Harper promised unwise tax cuts that would devastate the budget, that puts the lie to your claim that he is such a great economic steward. If he was, he never would have made these promises in the first place.

As for the benefits of stimulus spending, they are unproven.

That's another debate, but let's just say that you should read a history book about the Great Depression sometime, and not one written by a right-wing revisionist.

The G8 was a fiasco, partly the Conservative's fault no argument. Also part poor policing, Also part ridiculous, uncivilized and barbaric behavior on the part of the protestors.

How are 2 millions for creating a fake lake in the middle of Toronto a shared responsibility with protesters? Blaming the protests is a cop-out. I see you conveniently ignore how millions were taken from the G8 budget and spent on one minister's riding, including projects like building a 100 000$ gazebo in a parking lot and a 17 million expansion on a community center not even near the G8 meeting. In total, there is 50 millions in spending for which there is no paper trail and no accountability. Projects were selected by the minister in an obscure way.

Political dirty tricks are reality, not just an import from our brothers to the south. I was waiting for you to bring of the spectre of "American style (insert complaint here)", and you didn't disappoint. Negative campaigning has been around for decades, The rest are partisan political attacks, again no different than other governments have done in the past. The simple fact is that Canada is in good shape, moving forward, and has a bright future.

American politics is much more tarred by dirty politics than Canada has been for decades, but Harper is bringing an end to that. He has imported from the US the idea of permanent campaigning, paying for ads personally attacking other party leaders... even now, at 3 years of an election, he has financed an ad campaign to attack Bob Rae, the interim liberal party leader. And unlike the negative ads made in previous campaigns, he doesn't attack ideas, he attacks the person. He famously made an ad campaign against earlier liberal party leaders focused on a message that they were "not a leader".

He also made publicly-funded ad campaigns by government ministries to promote the government's initiative before the last election. He used public funds to promote his government to the public, which was despicable. The ads didn't say his name or his party's name, but they praised the government, government he led.

Canada's future is not as bright as you think. Tar sands will allow for strong growth in Alberta and Saskatchewan, but the rest of the country is suffering from the high dollar, which is damaging their manufacturing sectors. Real estate bubbles in BC and Ontario have yet to burst. Canada is still on the momentum of good economic stewardship from earlier governments, but with Harper, this will not last long. Even if Canada is in "recovery", the employment rate (not unemployment, but employment) has fallen in Ontario, Manitoba and Québec in 2011, provinces that are the heart of the country, with nearly two thirds of the country's population. Unemployment rates are falling because people are dropping out of the job market, not because they are finding employment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think you set up a certain position, and when I proved you wrong, you attempted to retcon your initial position.

kchoze - Having a different opinion from someone is not "proving them wrong", and u did nothing even close to it. As the mods might say, please try to raise the level of your discourse. We are all adults here, not pre-teens arguing over whether Justin Beiber is cool or not.

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kchoze - Having a different opinion from someone is not "proving them wrong", and u did nothing even close to it.

This wasn't a difference in opinion, it was a difference in facts.

I said that it looked like Harper was "engineering a "budget crisis" to justify cutting social programs later on"

VRWC replied: "What social programmes hsa he cut?"

I replied with the following: "But right now, he has demanded ministries find up to 10% in cuts in their budgets. Only fools believe that this could happen without services being cut. Also, he has announced his intention to increase the age for pensions from 65 to 67 in Davos, not even bringing up the subject in Canada first, as if foreigners had the right to learn of the plans the canadian government has before the Canadian people. He has already announced that he would cap the growth of federal transfers to provinces for health care, below the likely spending growth of health care costs, which will likely force provinces to cut coverage or open up to privatization, according to the provinces themselves."

All of these are verifiable facts, not merely opinion. Proof that Harper is looking to cut social programs.

VRWC's answer was basically to deny that cutting spending and services meant to "cut social programs": "To me, "cutting" a prgramme means eliminating it, not just reducing the expenditures to sustainable levels."

I never claim that I proved someone wrong on an opinion, I disagree vehemently, but until I have clear and evident proof that a factual argument is wrong, I will not say to anyone I proved them wrong. In this case, there was a factual argument, I said that Harper was setting the stage for cutting social programs, VRWC disagreed and asked for examples, I provided them, examples that are easily verifiable. I proved my point and proved that VRWC's counter-point was wrong.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All of these are verifiable facts, not merely opinion. Proof that Harper is looking to cut social programs.

kchose - put down that Mateus and read your posts again. You provided no facts whatsoever, just your opinion on every count. How is your intuition of what Harper might do in the future a fact??

Good lord in heaven, now I need some Mateus to calm my nerves..

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