The opportunity to express pride in having lived under the stewardship of any statesman is a rarity. Especially today, in an era where political leaders prioritize their self-aggrandizement over the state of their countries.
Just as I write this column, Canada’s sitting Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is busy doing…. as the New York Times put it this morning, “Justin Trudeau Is on the Cover of a Marvel Comic Book. He Is Now a King Among Memes”. Meanwhile, in the real world, Bashar Al-Assad is carrying out chemical attacks in Syria.
In contrast, Canada’s former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has just been awarded The Order of Liberty — of Ukraine’s highest honors — as recognition for his foreign policy and unwavering determination to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Seldom before Harper had Canada’s foreign policy been so clear and resolute. Under Stephen Harper, we sent a message to the world that left nothing to speculation. Canada stands by its allies, and will fight to defend their sovereignty no matter the cost.
Even before assuming office a decade ago, Harper had made it clear that under his tutelage, politics would not precede our moral duties. He famously said, “This party will not take its position based on public opinion polls. We will not take a stand based on focus groups. We will not take a stand based on phone-in shows or householder surveys or any other vagaries of public opinion.”
Back in 2004 — just prior to becoming Prime Minister — Harper was the leading voice in Canada’s official recognition of the Ottoman Turks’ systematic extermination of 1.5 million Christian Armenians.
Meanwhile Liberal Party leader and then Prime Minister, Paul Martin was not only absent from the vote, he actually ordered his cabinet to vote against the recognition of the Armenian genocide. (Nothing says progressive-liberal like genocide denial, right?)