Wow, Canada’s really back on the world stage, eh:
Harper makes donut run
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, traveling in the United States this week, will be a no-show during U.S. President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday morning. The White House press office says Mr. Obama’s speech starts at 9:15 a.m., but the Prime Minister’s Office says Mr. Harper is scheduled to be back in Canada for an event in Oakville, Ont, at 11:30 a.m. The reason? Mr. Harper’s making a stop at something called the Tim Hortons Innovation Centre. That’s right. The coffee-and-donut heavyweight apparently has a research and development arm. Presumably they’re responsible for such breakthroughs as the Smile Cookie.
No word on when Mr. Harper will visit the Bud Light Institute.
Tim Horton’s was more important to the Prime Minister then Barack Obama making his first major address to the UN General Assembly and challenging the world leaders on several important issues. This follows yesterday’s antics where he decided to skip out on the Climate Change meetings that many world leaders – including Obama and the President of China – attended and actually spoke, but Harper decided meeting the mayor of New York was a bigger deal (He did make the climate change dinner however that night).
His decided lack of interest on the environmental front is pointed out rather prominently by these quotes today from UN officials, media editorials, and environmental groups.
Apparently, Stephen Harper was “just visiting” New York for a holiday, and nothing remotely serious on the policy front.
UPDATE @ 1:16 pm: The Liberals response in a press release:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s absence today from a special meeting of world leaders at the United Nations in favour of a doughnut factory tour highlights Canada’s faltering world voice under the Conservatives – especially in the global fight against climate change. “I love my double-double as much as the next guy,” said Liberal Energy and Environment Critic David McGuinty. “But examining the latest in doughnut technology while the rest of the world’s leaders gather to confront the challenge of climate change is like Nero’s fiddling while Rome burns…Only weeks ago, Stephen Harper slammed the United Nations behind closed doors, in marked contrast to leaders like Pearson, Trudeau and Mulroney, who knew that Canadian values could make the world a better place – and used their positions of leadership to do so,” said Mr. McGuinty.
That’s a very good point – Harper did in fact slam the UN in that taped speech that leaked out. This apparent snub of climate change talks and the General Assembly addresses would indeed show Harper’s disdain for the UN. I’ve no doubt that his core base of supporters thinks it’s a great idea to be looking inward and screw the rest of the world (in particular with climate change talks) , but I have my doubts the rest of Canadians do.