Too little, too late. When Harper is disinterested in something, or if he dislikes something, he pays it some lip-service, feigns interest, and tries to dupe we the Canadian people into believing he is doing something. Here is Ralph Goodale's take on the current China trip, and what Harper's dislike for China has done to Saskatchewan's economy...
Remember: Harper is the PM who basically said, "screw the world, we're going to focus on the Americas"...
MR. HARPER PLAYING “CATCH-UP” IN CHINA
With much fanfare, Stephen Harper is travelling to Asia this fall, most especially to China. It’s about time!
He’s only four years late! And now, he’s very much on the defensive, struggling to do damage control, instead of pushing Canada ahead.
For four years, Mr. Harper’s attitude toward China has been openly hostile. Driven by extreme ideology and an amateur’s approach to diplomacy, he tried to influence China’s human rights record by long-distance lectures and calculated insults (including his personal boycott of the Beijing Olympics).
Such tactics have damaged Canada’s credibility. And Saskatchewan feels the consequences.
One of our key exports to China is potash. That market has been in trouble for months. And the trouble is hitting the finances of the Saskatchewan government. Provincial revenues are down. Programs and services for people in Saskatchewan are being cut back because potash sales to China have not been going well.
So what has Mr. Harper been doing to help? In a word – nothing!
Copying the highly successful “Team Canada” trade missions, which begun under Liberal governments, this Prime Minister should have been in China a long time ago – with Premiers and business leaders – strengthening the personal, governmental and business relationships upon which trade with China depends.
Specifically, Stephen Harper should have been playing a direct, personal role in correcting the potash problem for Saskatchewan.
But he was in no position to do so. To repair the damage done by his ineffectual petulance, he now has to mend fences and play catch-up, just to get Canada back into the game.
Mr. Harper’s timing couldn’t be worse. His belated visit comes when China has the upper hand in bargaining, and the Chinese are preoccupied with the more impressive visit of Barack Obama.
Just another case of Stephen Harper squandering Canada’s advantage!