Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Harper and the AIDS Conference

I love the dramatic media. I was reading the paper yesterday and various articles cited Harper being "Slammed" for not showing up to the AIDS conference. He was also "slammed" for not showing up at the Outgames. They slam him for his leadership blah blah blah.....

But when he does show up to the evacuation of Canadian citizens in Lebanon and uses his own private jet to help, he gets slammed again.

Come on people. I'm one for saying that if someone does a good job, regardless of the political side, you give them credit for it. You can't just constantly criticize someone, even when they are doing a good job, because your criticism just lose their value. For many people Harper can do no good. But constant criticism just makes one sound like the boy who cried wolf. Eventually you tune them out and don't take what they say seriously.

Many Toronto Sun readers agree with me and put their opinions on the letters to the editors:

So Stephen Harper does not go to the AIDS conference and he is slammed big time by the media and the public (“Where was Harper?” Aug. 14). There are thousands of people who work for charities every day and we do it without any hoopla — because we care, not because Steven Harper is going to show up and say thanks. I guess if Harper was looking for votes he should have been there, the fact he wasn’t does not mean he cares any less about the AIDS epidemic. If anyone should be ashamed of themselves, it should be the celebrities and other politicians who think that because they are there for a good cause that the leader of our country should have been there to thank them. The PM cannot be at every event that celebrities put on and I for one want a strong leader running our country, not a leader who only shows up at events that have the rich and famous at them.

H. Martin
(When he does turn up, as he did during the Lebanon evacuation, he gets accused of grandstanding )

I’m really ticked! I had a family picnic and that insensitive Stephen Harper was a no show. His office gave me these same old worn-out excuses — other priorities, like getting Canadians out of a war zone, terrorists planning to blow up our air planes, etc.

Robert Johnston

So PM Harper didn’t address the AIDS conference. Can you imagine how many suffering people might have been helped if he’d spoken? About as many as were helped by the speeches of the other politicians.

Ed Lenarcic

In response to your article “Where was Harper?” (Aug. 14), he is exactly where he needs to be. Canada’s natural resources in northern Canada are now at risk of being exploited by other powers. PM Stephen Harper’s mission is to protect these resources from predators. He has nothing to apologize for. GG Michaelle Jean is the perfect representative from this country at the AIDS conference. Mr. Harper, you have my full support in protecting our natural resources. I fully respect your decision.

Mary Scobie

Will someone please explain the fuss over Prime Minster Harper’s failure to attend the AIDS conference in Toronto? (Aug. 14). Former PM Chretien did not attend when it was last held in Canada and I don’t recall any Liberals claiming it was embarrassing or due to some anti-gay stigma. If this was a cancer, TB or MS conference, would the PM be expected to be there?

Jeffrey W. Tighe

(All good questions. How quickly some Liberals forgot that their own former boss failed to attend the same conference 10 years ago)

Toque Tip: Joanne's Journey


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good collection of comments. The problem with the AIDS Conference is that it has become politically charged. Among other things, Stephen Harper's presence would potentially have caused enough of a reaction from anti-Harper political activists that it had the potential to detract from the purpose of the conference. I am surprised at Stephen Lewis's lack of perspective on this. And I am personally shocked at the crass performance of Mark Wainberg who publically ranted about the Prime Minister's non-attendance -- in a context in which Canadian Government has provided substantial funding for this event. It was a totally ungracious performance. He of all people should be trying to de-politicize this event -- for the sake of the cause he supposedly represents.

Tue Aug 15, 09:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said...

Great post, and thanx for the T/T. :)

I totally agree with the previous comments. This is looking more like a 'smear Harper' campaign than an AIDS conference. Surely their time and attention could be put to better use. I wonder who is behind all this.

Thu Aug 17, 07:38:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jdave34 said...

"But when he does show up to the evacuation of Canadian citizens in Lebanon and uses his own private jet to help, he gets slammed again."

-The reason Harper got slammed, O distorter of reality, was because he decided to bring his personal photographer along in order to turn what was supposed to be a mission of mercy into a photo-op. I don't think anyone ever criticized him for going.

But to be perfectly honest, I love the rationale conservatives are providing. If I'm to go by your logic, if I know my boss is gonna give me crap aboutr something, I don't have to show up for work that day. If my girlfriend's gonna rag on me, I can not come home until I'm absolutely guaranteed that she's gonna be all sweet and loving with me.

Wasn't Stephen Harper supposed to be the mature leader? A bunch of angry drag queens and African grandmothers scared him all the way to Tuktukyuktachuktuk.

Thu Aug 17, 12:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger WhiteBox said...

Harper's disappearance on his northern vacation disappointed many Canadians because it demonstrated a lack of interest in a global problem. He should have been there with Tony Clement to make the announcement, which was then postponed.

This arguement that the PM had to visit the far north to protect our resources is lame. While I agree that as the northwest passage becomes more accessible it will be necessary to reinforce our ownership, there was no pressing reason for him to go that particular week. There were no hordes of blonde, bearded Danes pulling their longships up the shores of Baffin Island to steal our seals.

Tue Sep 12, 10:56:00 AM EDT  

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