David Barsamian speaks with best-selling author and independent journalist from Canada Andrew Nikiforuk about the new political landscape in Canada since Justin Trudeau became the new prime minister, ending 10 years of rule by Stephen Harper and the Tories.
“It is a substantive change. It is not a revolutionary change, but it is a relief. The Harper government was really a government of bullies that had little regard for law as well as almost no regard for government. The Harper government was very much of the Koch brothers school of thinking—the less government the better, the less regulation the better, the more free markets the better for everyone. With that whole parcel of things comes, of course, the push for lower taxes for the rich. Harper really changed the Canadian government quite radically. That was a revolutionary government in the sense that he had a very clear agenda to implement in a very serious way what the Koch brothers want the American government to implement: no action on climate change, a free ride for oil and gas companies, a free ride for mining companies, virtually no or little environmental regulation, no scientific capacity for government, no capacity for any kind of long-term planning, any kind of capacity for helping those who are vulnerable or the poor. And he was quite successful in putting that together.”
“Justin Trudeau came along and said maybe we should really go back to the way Canada used to be governed, which was with much more of a focus on fairness and equality and more welcoming to diversity. So when he did come to power, the whole country literally did issue a real sigh of relief.”