Wednesday, 16 September 2015 16:15

Harper brings pushback upon himself

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In a Saskatoon Star Phoenix column, (Sept. 11), talk-jock John Gormley says unexpected circumstances during the campaign, have hit Stephen Harper with the most political punches.
That shouldn’t surprise Gormley. Prime Minister Harper has been at odds with the sentiments of most Canadians — leading with his chin on several issues. First Nations concerns and proper care for wounded veterans are just two that spring to mind.
The Syrian refugee crises is the latest, but it was no sucker-punch out of the blue. With new restrictive immigration legislation, limits on health care to refugees, staff cutbacks and $135 million of unspent budget at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the issue was bound to smack him sooner or later. A belligerent and blame-shifting immigration minister, Chris Alexander doesn’t help.
Gormley spins the cause of Harper’s misfortunes as “His lack of inherent likability …”. No John — it’s his policies and questionable tactics, producing the pushback.
Take the Duffy scandal for instance. Gormley says “the lack of a smoking gun … would render the issue all but moot by voting day …” for Mr. Harper. Maybe there’s no firearm, but the guy is certainly covered with gunpowder residue.
Canadians won’t forget ‘Duffy-gate’ was of Stephen Harper’s making. He gave Mike Duffy a senate seat despite his own lawyer advising him the Duffster didn’t qualify as a resident of P.E.I.
Then with Harper’s approval, an entitled Duffy became a star Conservative fundraiser during the last election, travelling on the taxpayer’s dime under the guise of Senate business.
It’s become clear Harper and staff tried to hide the fraud in various shifty ways when Duffy’s fiddled expense claims surfaced.
John Gormley may not like it, but the un-choreographed public scrutiny forced by election campaigning has distinctly revealed the leadership shortcomings of Stephen Harper.
Doug Bone, Elrose, Saskatchewan

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