START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
1,699,151 people care about Politics

What Is Harper Afraid Of? Asks Franke James

What Is Harper Afraid Of? Asks Franke James
  • 1 of 5

When it comes to criticism of their environmental record, Canada’s federal Conservatives have a standard operating procedure: silence it.  So when visual essayist and activist Franke James was invited to Croatia, they quietly torpedoed the trip.

If anyone is surprised that a democratic country would censor one of its artists, take a look at Annie Urban’s post from last April: “Canadian Conservatives Ignore, Censor, Bully and Threaten Critics”. In January 2012, I wrote about the “Harper Government’s War on Environmentalists” after Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver wrote in an open letter that “environmental and other radical groups” were trying “to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.”

That kind of petty sniping by a cabinet minister is common in the right-leaning world of the Conservatives. So the Harper government will likely wish Franke James were an organization or employee they could muzzle when they read her newest essay: “What is Harper Afraid Of?” 

  • 1 of 5

Read more: , , , , , , , , ,

All graphics courtesy of Franke James

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
3:30AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

As a majority government, are the Canadian Conservatives to silence debate?

leaning no
leaning yes

This question is so poorly worded that I don't know how to answer it. Are you asking whether the Harper government is in fact silencing debate (in which case my answer is "Yes") or are you asking whether the Harper government is justified in silencing debate because it has a majority (in which case my answer is "No").

9:57PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Hi Sue,

In case that wasn't clear, I meant the seals (and polar bears if that becomes necessary). Of course, I suppose Canada could just assert sovereignty over currently international waters and arrest foreign fishermen who over-fish. Then again, if I recall correctly, Canadian procedure is to order a ship to surrender, give warning, fire a warning shot, give warning again, and then fire upon it to disable. Three guesses what happens to civilian vessels not designed to sustain battle-damage when navies shoot at their engines, and what happens to fishermen aboard as their ships sink in freezing water. I still don't care how ugly things look, but something tells me others on this site would complain more about that alternative, even if it went only as far as warning shots.

9:25AM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

So Stephen B
''doesn't care how ugly something looks. Letting the fish- stocks become depleted by over fishing, without culling predators would do a lot more harm to the whole arctic ecosystem than does clubbing seals''.
Well if by predators he means the idiots with the hooked iron bars, or the even bigger idiots in Harper's party, and the biggest idiot of all Harper, then I totally agree with him.

8:58AM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

I've never been to Canada. I've read a bit about it, but one thing I'm sure of. Harper is no good for Canada, in fact he's downright bad for Canada, unless you are right wing, have plenty of money thank you very much, not an animal or the environment.

6:34PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Hi Ken,

Looking at the data and the metadata, there is little reason to believe that global warming would lead to reaping the whirlwind.

Hi Michael,

Aesthetics have absolutely nothing to do with ethics. I don't care how ugly something looks. Letting those fish-stocks get depleted by overfishing without culling predators would do a lot more harm to the whole arctic ecosystem than does clubbing seals. I used "cull" because there is a benefit.

"Shoot the messenger"? When did the Conservatives fire all the scientists? I must have missed something. The problem isn't them speaking about science. It's them abusing their positions as "experts" to play politics using the credibility of the Canadian government. The second the discourse went from theory of the natural sciences to policy-prescription, the scientists went too far. Like I told Ken, the science is far from sound. This is not a war on science. It is a government playing politics. Oh noes.

Yes, Goodyear de-funded the Genome Project ... except that apparently it's still going years later. Apparently the funding was reorganized such that there was no specific line for the project, but it kept going. This won't make sense to many on Care2, but conservatives often keep their personal beliefs out of their policy-decisions. I don't care what Goodyear believes.

7:41PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

He's a dicktator and we've got to boot him out - now!

7:37PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

We gotta get rid of this asshole !!!

10:51AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Harper’s censorship of artists and auditing of environmental charities is downright Nixonian.

8:40PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

...Science shines a light on the world around us. We are all the better for those scientists who have come before us, enriching our lives with technological advances, treatments for diseases, and a greater understanding of the natural world in which we live. The Harper Government's attempts to stifle the diffusion of scientific inquiry are no different than the Catholic Church's misguided persecution of Galileo hundreds of years ago.

Those who wallow in willful ignorance will eventually pay the price for their short-sighted stupidity. Harper is no different.

8:25PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

The Harper Government is doing much more than having scientists adhere to the party line. They are being muzzled, plain and simple. Haper's policy is as follows: "Don't like the message - shoot the messenger." And he does so with gleeful abandon.

What we have here in Canada is a war on science. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Harper was trained as an economist and harbours feelings of inadequacy from not studying a "real" science such as physics, chemistry, or biology. He seems much more content dealing with the "realities" of market forces, rather than dealing with the sound scientific evidence of what we are doing to our environment.

He finds it much more comfortable to rely on his narrow-minded, neo-conservative ideology to guide him in forming government policy. After all, why else would he be toughening up the criminal code and building new prisons when statistics show that the crime rate in Canada is dropping?

Who is in right mind mind would appoint a Minister of Science and Technology (hello Gary Goodyear) who doesn't believe in, much less understand the theory of evolution? That's right - the minister in charge of doling out money to do fundamental medical research, doesn't understand the fundamental concept underlying all of the biological sciences. How much contempt for science do you have to have to do such a thing?

Science shines a light on the world around us. We are all the better for those scientists who have come before us, enrich

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

This seems unlikely to go through unchallenged, but it is heartening to see the legislation introduced…

I also hope they are sincere. GREED comes before the life of innocent sentient beings. So we will wait…

There are four states to avoid. See what the GOP can do for you.

ads keep care2 free

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.