Friday, August 29, 2014

Harper Family Values

As a rule, I believe the families of our politicians should be off limits.  We don’t vote for their spouses, kids, or parents and they didn’t run for office. 

The exemptions are a certain politician’s famous father and if a family member steps up and answers a question that they might better have ducked saying something about that being a government issue and that I cannot speak for the government. 


Stephen Harper wants your money.  Again.

In his party’s recent begging letter they are telling all the faithful about their Family Values and how much better theirs are than say one or two other political parties’ Family Values.

Which brought me to pondering, what are Stephen Harper’s Family Values?  What do they look like?

From what I can tell, Steve looks to be something of a doting father.  He makes time for his kids’ events even if it means putting a school on a veritable lockdown because he came to see his boy play volleyball.  Most of us would do the same if we could, my parents were good about coming out to see our games when I was growing up.

He takes his kids on vacations with him to his summer hideaway, we went to a camp ground, but it boils down to basically the same thing.

And he has taken pains to keep his family, at least his kids out of the spotlight most of the time.  Any one of us would likely do likewise.

But the true worth of a person is shown by how they treat people who can do nothing for them.  A wise person once said “Be nice to your children, they’ll pick your old age home.”

Steve and Laureen, just wrapped up the ninth tour of Canada’s Arctic.  One of the stops was at Iqaluit where Steve brought hockey equipment courtesy of Canadian Tire.  There was no time for the Press as Steve was involved in a game of floor hockey with the local kids and so it fell to Laureen to handle the questions.   APTN news was there and asked Laureen, who was standing in for Steve about the problems that people in the North have feeding their kids.

There had just been a report that Northern Aboriginal children are shorter than other kids because of a lack of food in their growing years.

APTN asked Laureen how they could help the kids in the North who go to bed hungry because their parents cannot afford to buy food to feed the family.  You can see the news video here: APTN News Story.

Laureen tries to give an answer mentioning that Canadian Tire donated hockey equipment to Iqaluit and finally gives up saying that free hockey equipment would allow the parent to have more money to feed their kids.

I’m going to ask you, what would you give up to ensure your kids had enough to eat each day? 

I seriously doubt if any of the Harpers have been truly hungry.  Like most of us, a hunger pang means that you skipped lunch because you were running late and if your child goes to bed without supper it’s usually a punishment, not that you ran out of food before your next paycheque came in.

A while ago I read an article about a single mother who told how she skipped meals to stretch the food budget to make sure that her child had enough to eat.  And sometimes that wasn’t even enough.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that parents of these kids in the Far North are not skimping on their kids to buy a new TV or something of that kind, it is just that the cost of food, even the cost of hunting is prohibitively high and these people just cannot make do with what they have.  If putting food on the table means hand me down and borrowed hockey equipment, I’m sure they do that.  If putting food on the table means sitting out of hockey, I’ll bet that happens too.

The saddest part of all this is that for the most part, no one even noticed.  The Arctic Tour is more or less a snooze-fest.  A few photo ops and a little military pageantry that most of us choose to ignore.  The APTN story is a blip that no one seems to be interested in following up on.

This is a real issue and deserves to be acknowledged and addressed by the Harper government.  Obviously the current way of handling the issue is not working and we need a better way, but I don’t see that coming from Steve and his pals.

Once again Steve spent most of his tour ducking the questions of the Press and the questions of the residents of the North.  They want answers, but Steve only wants photos for his album.

Comments are always welcome, but that’s it for now.


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