Harper’s not-so-strong stance on pro-democracy protests

10/08/2018 Posted by admin

by Jacques Bourbeau

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Geneva to co-chair a commission that is trying to come up with rules to track the $40 billion in aid money that has been pledged to save the lives of the world’s poorest women and children.

Harper says the world has an opportunity to do tremendous good, and he says, “Nobody wants to blow it.”

That is why he’s pushing for accountability rules to make sure donor countries deliver the money they’ve promised – to track how the money is spent in recipient countries and to determine if the money spent has actually achieved results.

Having spearheaded this maternal and child health initiative at the Muskoka G8 summit, the PM is pushing hard to make sure the money is spent, and spent wisely.

But on another subject today, the PM was much less vehement.

He was asked about the protests that began in Tunisia, and have spread to other countries, including Egypt. And whether he stood with those protesting for democracy.

Harper’s answer? “As you know, our government has been very consistent in our support for fundamental values, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

But he failed to connect how those principles apply to what’s now going on in those countries.

Harper is heading to Morocco, where several people have set themselves on fire. He says during his visit, he will talk about trade and issues with the Moroccan prime minister.

But the prime minister ignored the opportunity to speak more forcefully about the cries of democracy reverberating in the region he’s about to visit.

Jacques is Global National’s Ottawa bureau chief, and is currently covering the prime minister’s trip overseas. Follow him on Twitter: @jbourbeau.

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