"We also have no history of colonialism" - Harper lying at the G20

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martin dufresne
"We also have no history of colonialism" - Harper lying at the G20

(...) "Canada remains in a very special place in the world. . . . We are the one major developed country that no one thinks has any responsibility for this crisis," he said to laughter.

"In fact, on the contrary, they look at our policies as a solution to the crisis. We're the one country in the room everybody would like to be," he said at the end of the summit of the Group of 20 advanced and developing nations in Pittsburgh.

Canada, which was running a budget surplus before the recession and avoided major banking problems, has been less affected by the crisis than many of its partners.

Harper said the other G20 nations "would like to be an advanced developed economy with all the benefits that conveys to its citizens and at the same time not have been the source, or have any of the domestic problems, that created this crisis".

By this stage of his comments, the initial premise of the question had long since vanished and Harper - who leads the right-leaning Conservative Party - was focusing on several other factors that in his mind make Canada so irresistible.

"We're so self-effacing as Canadians that we sometimes forget the assets we do have that other people see," he said, speaking with a rare passion.

"We are one of the most stable regimes in history. . . . We are unique in that regard," he added, noting Canada had enjoyed more than 150 years of untroubled Parliamentary democracy.

Just in case that was not enough to persuade doubters, Harper threw in some more facts about the geographically second-largest nation in the world.

"We also have no history of colonialism. So we have all of the things that many people admire about the great powers but none of the things that threaten or bother them," he said. (...)

 (Calgary Herald)

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Now, Now...he meant no history of EXTERNAL colonialism.

500_Apples

That's how invisible first nations are.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Harper is such a piece of shit. Would anyone at the G20 bellieve this outrageous statement?

Frmrsldr

Ken Burch wrote:

Now, Now...he meant no history of EXTERNAL colonialism.

The Boer War? The First World War? The Korean War? Our political support of the U.S.A. in the Vietnam War? Gulf/Iraq War I (1990-1991)? The occupation of Haiti? The Afghan War? Canada's thinly veiled military support of the U.S.A.'s Gulf/Iraq War II (2003-)? Canada's diplomatic support of Israel in the Israel Lebanon War (2006)? Canada's diplomatic support of Georgia during the 2008 Georgia Russia War? Canada's diplomatic support of Israel in the Israel Gaza War? Canada joining in the current U.S. and Israel saber rattling against Iran over the bogus (Iranian) nuclear weapons issue?

remind remind's picture

Harper was speaking to Canadians. Not his in person audience.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

OK...then "'no history of EXTERNAL colonialism, except where there WAS a history of external colonialism".

That should cover it.

-=+=-

Haha.

 

Just like the U.S. doesn't torture.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Yeah.

Machjo

In response to the OP:

 

Even if what Harper said were true, it would have come across as tactless and arrogant. Now as for the indigenous people's being invisible, tell me about it. I've read a few books discussing French and English Canadians ad nauseum with not a mention of the First Nations. Two examples that come to mind are Lament for a Notion by Scott Reid MP and Sorry I don't Speak French by Graham Fraser, now the Commissioner of Official Languages. In neither case do the First Nations even exist. I remember e-mailing the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario (AFO)awhile back asking about its opinion of the First Nations in Ontario, and the response was that that assosiation's mandate is to defend the French language in Ontario but had nothing against other language communities defending their rights. Well, if we think about it, it's clear that millions of French Canadians are far more capable of defending their rights than a few thousand First Nations. Granted, this applies even more so to the English-speaking Community. Canadians for Language Fairness is so focussed on French and English that First Nations don't even cross their minds and even react to them as a pseky nuisance. So yes, teh First Nations are invisible to many across Canada.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Once again Stephen Harper humiliates Canada on the world stage.

NDPP

Making the Indigenous FACT disappear is a national task shared in by all Canadian politicians. It has never stopped, crosses all party boundaries and continues to this day. That is the essence of a settler state. Harper is not alone. As Ward Churchill has said, it is like being locked up in a room with "the sociocultural equivalent of Hannibal Lector.."

Machjo

And how do we explain Canada's participation in the Boer Wars?

Eric Lloyd Smith

The internal/external colonialism debate is moot for indigenous peoples never surrendered their lands. Canada exists as an illegal state imposed over territory that was never surrendered.

clandestiny

the reactionary right, which s.harpie is part of, gets to define the facts, the truth. But ...how can he twist the fact his government to survive, is a coalition with the lefty NDP and the separatist Bloc? Did the OTHERS set a trap for the vicious crank? did s.harpie stroll into trap knowing the pigmedia would pretend ...they actually admit s.harpie literally conspires in backrooms to gain a majority by any means possible, w/out the people realizing that- and that's ok, as s.harpie is a cutthroat political thuggee; unlike wimpy Jack or pretentious Ignatief, and heck the reactionary right makes its own rules, darn them fellers. But. For the first time the opposition to the reactionary right appears to have set the stage, or am i being overly optimistic? After all, it was only 1 year ago s.harpie and the reactionaries were screaming (you really hadda listen to hate radio am640, cfrb adler stafford, j.okely, ryan doyle, j.moore and coren/ledrew ie The Fishwives.....etc, for a taste of the vitriol they used to damn the traitors for daring to make Coalition!) Now they've done exactly that! Or...is s.harpie as smart as junyer bush was?

 

KeyStone

It's a good thing he has a small penis, or no doubt he would have whipped it out, and thrown that on the table as well.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

WRT the thread title, has no G20 leader stepped forward to denounce this nonsense from Harper? Or are they rolling their eyes and ignoring him? Or, are they truly ignorant, and believe him?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

I'll choose B: "rolling their eyes and ignoring him", Boom Boom.

Final answer.

remind remind's picture

Th penis commentary is just ignorant

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Laughing Good answer!

Machjo

Boom Boom wrote:

WRT the thread title, has no G20 leader stepped forward to denounce this nonsense from Harper? Or are they rolling their eyes and ignoring him? Or, are they truly ignorant, and believe him?

 

I hope they're just being tactful and polite.

martin dufresne

Why should they step forward when none of our alleged Opposition MPs has uttered a peep about this outrage?

 

kim elliott kim elliott's picture

Jean Crowder (NDP, Nanaimo-Cowichan) made this statement in the House:


On September 25th at the close of the G20, the Prime Minister told reporters at a news conference that Canada has "no history of colonialism."

That came as a surprise to many Canadians, not least of all Aboriginal peoples.

Maybe the Prime Minister has a different definition of colonialism. My dictionary says that it is “control by one power over a dependent area or people or a policy advocating or based on such control.”

The Indian Act was a colonial piece of legislation passed by Canada. It legislated that the Government of Canada would have power over Indians living on reserve.

The numbered treaties were signed with Canada, not Britain or France. Those numbered treaties took control of the resources and land that Aboriginal peoples had lived on for millennia. The land involved is from Ontario west to the Rockies.

In court cases today, the Government of Canada uses a remnant of colonial expansion - “the right of discovery” as a defence to explain why it will not honour agreements.

Bands in British Columbia have to prove that indigenous people were living in their communities with archaeological evidence going back thousands of years because the government still argues “terra nullis” or “land empty of people” as a reason why it doesn’t need to sign fair treaties with First Nations.

Mr. Speaker, Canada does have a history of colonialism. Reconciliation won’t happen until our Prime Minister admits that.

remind remind's picture

Yeah......Jean!

Thanks Kim!

effandtee

we've decided to take this serious educational matter into our own hands. we think that stephen harper should go back to high school and learn or re-learn the history of canada.

we've drafted a letter to the principal of the high school that stephen harper graduated from, as well as the superintendent and trustee of its school board on stephen harper's behalf:

Principal Zimny, Superintendent Winter, Trustee Campbell:

We were concerned to learn that at the most recent G20 Summit Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared that "Canada has no history of colonialism."

As we are sure you can tell, embedded in this statement are a few historical inaccuracies:

  • Canada was a "colony" of England and France. The history of Canada is actually undeniably "colonial." John Cabot explored what is now called Canada in the late 15th century and Jacques Cartier arrived for France in the early 16th century. The first permanent settlements were established in in the name of both France and England in the 1600's.
  • Generally speaking, there was a great deal of conflict between the different "colonists" of Canada: King William's War, Queen Anne's War, The Seven Years War, The War of 1812. These are described as "Intercolonial Wars" because they involved fighting between the Colonial powers, all trying to take control of territory in order to spread their colonies. This is otherwise known as "colonialism".
  • The original inhabitants of the country we now call Canada were the "colonized" population, since their land and resources were annexed by the incoming "colonists"
  • Due to the many injustices perpetuated by the "colonists" against the "colonized", systemic economic, political, and social inequity now exists in Canada which the Government of Canada has recognized.

We noticed that your website lists many of the courses that are available to your students including: "World History to the Sixteenth Century", "World History: The West and the World", as well as "Canadian History Since World War I." We wonder, what, given the mandate set by the history classes offered at this school, is the reaction to Stephen Harper's suggestion that Canada has no history of colonialism?

Harper's statement cannot be described as one of many possible historical interpretations, nor can it even be written off as a misinterpretation of Canadian history. Instead, it belies an ignorance of incontrovertible historical facts that should be the foundation of even the most introductory knowledge of Canadian history.

This leads us to believe either that Mr. Harper has simply forgotten the historical facts your courses presumably teach, or that a grave error has occurred and he did not, in fact, complete the History courses required to receive his High School diploma. In either case, Mr. Harper should be invited to take these courses, either for the first time or as a refresher of knowledge he has obviously forgotten.

As Member of Parliament Olivia Chow has written: "The Canadian Government worked very hard to make reparations with the First Nations Community with the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, and to hear Mr. Harper’s remarks on the world stage destroys this work."

As an elected official who is responsible for representing and speaking for Canada on the world stage, we are sure that Stephen Harper would welcome the opportunity to learn more about the history of his country.

We eagerly await your invitation and look forward to witnessing the process of self discovery that education offers.

Sincerely,

eff and tee
the pamphleteers "

http://thesepamphleteers.blogspot.com/2009/09/stephen-harper-one-child-l...

effandtee

we've decided to take this serious educational matter into our own hands. we think that stephen harper should go back to high school and learn or re-learn the history of canada.

we've drafted a letter to the principal of the high school that stephen harper graduated from, as well as the superintendent and trustee of its school board on stephen harper's behalf:

Principal Zimny, Superintendent Winter, Trustee Campbell:

We were concerned to learn that at the most recent G20 Summit Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared that "Canada has no history of colonialism."

As we are sure you can tell, embedded in this statement are a few historical inaccuracies:

  • Canada was a "colony" of England and France. The history of Canada is actually undeniably "colonial." John Cabot explored what is now called Canada in the late 15th century and Jacques Cartier arrived for France in the early 16th century. The first permanent settlements were established in in the name of both France and England in the 1600's.
  • Generally speaking, there was a great deal of conflict between the different "colonists" of Canada: King William's War, Queen Anne's War, The Seven Years War, The War of 1812. These are described as "Intercolonial Wars" because they involved fighting between the Colonial powers, all trying to take control of territory in order to spread their colonies. This is otherwise known as "colonialism".
  • The original inhabitants of the country we now call Canada were the "colonized" population, since their land and resources were annexed by the incoming "colonists"
  • Due to the many injustices perpetuated by the "colonists" against the "colonized", systemic economic, political, and social inequity now exists in Canada which the Government of Canada has recognized.

We noticed that your website lists many of the courses that are available to your students including: "World History to the Sixteenth Century", "World History: The West and the World", as well as "Canadian History Since World War I." We wonder, what, given the mandate set by the history classes offered at this school, is the reaction to Stephen Harper's suggestion that Canada has no history of colonialism?

Harper's statement cannot be described as one of many possible historical interpretations, nor can it even be written off as a misinterpretation of Canadian history. Instead, it belies an ignorance of incontrovertible historical facts that should be the foundation of even the most introductory knowledge of Canadian history.

This leads us to believe either that Mr. Harper has simply forgotten the historical facts your courses presumably teach, or that a grave error has occurred and he did not, in fact, complete the History courses required to receive his High School diploma. In either case, Mr. Harper should be invited to take these courses, either for the first time or as a refresher of knowledge he has obviously forgotten.

As Member of Parliament Olivia Chow has written: "The Canadian Government worked very hard to make reparations with the First Nations Community with the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, and to hear Mr. Harper’s remarks on the world stage destroys this work."

As an elected official who is responsible for representing and speaking for Canada on the world stage, we are sure that Stephen Harper would welcome the opportunity to learn more about the history of his country.

We eagerly await your invitation and look forward to witnessing the process of self discovery that education offers.

Sincerely,

eff and tee
the pamphleteers "

http://thesepamphleteers.blogspot.com/2009/09/stephen-harper-one-child-l...

remind remind's picture

So...Olivia took exception to it too.

And the Liberals are too busy infighting to give a rat's ass, in the job of Canada's Official Opposition.

remind remind's picture

Oh and good on ya, pamphleteers!

janfromthebruce

ditto - good to do this.

Machjo

Then we have the issue of slaver. We even engaged in the slave trade for a spell.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

FYI, Yves Engler has a recent release called The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy (He is someone who has written for rabble as well.) which is a good source of anti-imperialist protein and elaborates on Canadian colonialism.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Quote from the article posted: "...we think that stephen harper should go back to high school and learn or re-learn the history of canada."

Laughing

effandtee

we received an email back from the PM's office:

"Please know that your e-mail message has been received in the Prime Minister's Office and that your comments have been noted.  Our office always welcomes hearing from correspondents and being made aware of their views.

Thank you for writing."

maybe they would get the hint if more people copied and pasted the letter in some form and sent it to him? or sent it to their local papers etc?

it's shocking that he hasn't apologized and that no other party has even asked that he apologize.

an apology might be meaningless from harper, but letting this comment slide is just so beyond reproach!

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Colonialism - [url=http://links.org.au/node/1279]Who, us?[/url]

NDPP
Arius

I'm a bit late on the scene, but I thought I'd try to poke a hole in the internal/external debate. Up until very recently, Canada was a colony of Britain. So Canada just IS one giant exercise in external colonialism.

Also, apparently Harper was talking about "financial colonialism," and his statement was taken out of context. Of course, I'm still ashamed that he's our P.M.

Fidel

And instead of the British or French raiding our natural resources, today it's corporate America! Control of Canada's natural resource wealth has been passed between imperialist countries like so many bottles of whiskey on cowboy payday.

Kaspar Hauser

deleted