Canada first to withdraw from UN drought convention; not very Christian on Maundy Thursday Mr. Harper


The Government of Canada, under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and by order of Cabinet, has become the first and only country to withdraw from the United Nations convention that studies and fights world drought.  All 194 member nations and the European Union are signatories of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Stephen Harper

This decision to withdraw has come as a shock to the UN; it was only five years ago that a Canadian representative told the UN “Canada has been a strong supporter” of the convention. Yet not only has the government pulled out of the convention, it isn’t talking about why. According to the Globe and Mail, requests for explanations and information have been referred elsewhere and then rejected, leaving Mr. Harper’s government wide open to suspicion.

The Harper Government is no friend of the environment, having already opted out of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. But in that case they followed several other countries, including the United States and New Zealand. This time we’re a “leader”, although not necessarily one to be proud of.

It’s ironic that this decision should come to light today, Maundy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper. At this gathering Christ is said to have humbled himself and washed the feet of his disciples. An act that illustrates we are all responsible for each other, no man or woman is too great to provide assistance.

Maundy Money

In Britain the Queen will continue a long tradition of distributing Maundy Money to seniors in need. The coins are minted for the occasion and are much sought after by collectors. This represents the Christian ideal of helping the needy.

In her controversial book The Armageddon Factor and the Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada, journalist Marci McDonald points out that Canadians need to recognize “that slowly, covertly, the political process is being co-opted by an extremist vision of Christianity.” Is this extremist vision one that calls for foreign neighbours in need to be ignored?

It therefore seems paradoxical to me that Mr. Harper, who is a member of the evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, has decided to withdraw from a most-Christian-like agency seeking to help those less well off. This is a somewhat selective Christianity to my way of thinking.

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

2 thoughts on “Canada first to withdraw from UN drought convention; not very Christian on Maundy Thursday Mr. Harper

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