It's not like it comes as a big surprise that the Harper Government is nasty. But the extent of their vileness continues expand.
First, the Harper Government seems to have decided to shut down basic literacy programs across Canada. The claims of the Harperites on this matter are the usual "we don't believe these programs are useful in their current form". Basic literacy is always useful, unless you're a Conservative and you like the idea of having an underclass of people who aren't in a position to think about what's happening to them because they're struggling just to get by in near slavery conditions.
But that's not all of it, not by any means. This week, Harper is hosting a "summit" on Child and Maternal Health, following up on the 2008 G20. In a fit of almost laughable hypocrisy, he said that people should pay attention to the science on vaccination. Coming from a Prime Minister who has been systematically dismantling science research in this country for several years, the admonition is laughable.
It gets even better. When confronted on the fact that the government is restricting the availability of funding under this program to organizations that do not provide abortion services, he replied:
"We're trying to rally a broad public consensus behind what we're doing, and you can't rally a consensus on that issue, as you know well in this country," he said.
"It's not only controversial here, it's controversial and often illegal in many recipient nations."Harper doesn't agree with the suggestion that he is exporting his beliefs abroad to other countries by not funding abortion services.
"We're really not taking a position on that. We have taxpayers' money and we have great needs," he said to Thibedeau.
"And frankly, there's more than enough things that we can finance, including contraception, without getting into an issue that really would be extremely divisive for Canadians and donors."The government is taking a position. Once again, we find Harper's often denied but impossible to ignore social conservative agenda. He keeps talking about "not opening the debate", but then he allows his back-benchers to put forward legislation on the matter (which the front bench mysteriously votes for until it would become a political liability). On this matter, he is essentially taking the anti-abortion stance that once a woman is pregnant, she has no say in the matter after that.
None of this is surprising, but that doesn't change the fact that this government is continuing to be fundamentally dishonest with Canadians on a variety of fronts.