Little Stevie Harper’s Bad Manners

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© Rosette Jordaan

Steven Harper is like a petulant child, playing alone, but never questioning the effect of his self-righteousness.

Harper bullies, ignores, or snubs Governors General, a Supreme Court Chief Justice, premiers, heads of First Nations, parliamentarians, heads of independent agencies, and world leaders. With each year, the breadth of his peevishness spreads.

The following list of the Prime Minister’s Bad Manners, a topic suggested by a reader (Thanks, Nan), was compiled through Google searches with strings such as “Harper refuses …,” “Harper snubs …,”, and “Harper ignores.” I am sure there is more than my meagre compilation.

You can click any blue text to open the source article in a new tab.

These items are arranged by oldest first…


Harper Cancels the Kelowna Accord with First Nations  March 2007

The Kelowna Accord is a series of agreements between the Government of Canada, First Ministers of the Provinces, Territorial Leaders, and the leaders of five national aboriginal organizations in Canada. The Accord sought to improve the education, employment, and living conditions for Aboriginal peoples … The Accord was endorsed by Prime Minister Paul Martin, but was never endorsed by his successor, Stephen Harper.

Harper Refuses to Meet with Bono, as Head of AIDS Group  June 2007


Harper Snubs Former Prime Minister Joe Clark  May 2008

PM to miss Clark portrait event

In a break with tradition, Stephen Harper will not attend the unveiling of the official portrait of one of his prime ministerial predecessors.

Harper Refuses to Meet with the House; Prorogues Parliament  December 2008

In order to avoid defeat of his minority government in Parliament, Uncle Steve prorogues Parliament, and then accuses the opposition parties of unconstitutional behaviour.

Harper Bullies Governor General Michael Jean December 2008

Jean feared ‘dreadful crisis’ when Harper sought prorogation: ex-adviser

Mr. Russell [A former advisor to the GG], said the Tories were deliberately misleading when they attacked the legitimacy of the NDP and the Liberals teaming up to supplant the Harper government …

Mr. Russell said the notion, spread by the Tories, that a multiparty government must be approved by voters beforehand is “absolutely B.S.” He also criticized the Tories for maligning the Bloc as an illegitimate source of support for a Liberal-NDP coalition, saying their goal of an independent Quebec was no reason to dismiss their worth.


Harper Smacks Governor General Michael Jean  October 2009

A hot debate about head of state

Now, they’ve had a public dispute over whether the Governor General is Canada’s head of state … Mr. Harper has in a sense styled himself as defender of the Queen’s title …

Ms. Jean referred to herself as Canada’s “head of state,” prompting complaints from monarchists … Mr. Harper, through spokesman Dimitri Soudas, said the Queen is Canada’s head of state, and the Governor-General her representative in Canada.


Harper Offends UN; We Loose UN Security Council Seat  October 2010

Policy cost Canada UN seat: ex-ambassador

Paul Heinbecker, Canada’s former ambassador to the UN, said many of Canada’s decisions — including decreased African aid, its support of Israel, and its stance on climate change and peacekeeping — are unpopular with the international community.

Harper’s Senate Kills Environment Bill  November 2010

Tory Senate overturns opposition bill for first time on climate change

Federal Conservative senators have defeated a private-member’s bill on climate change that was passed by the majority of MPs in the House of Commons, marking the first time Prime Minister Stephen Harper has used the clout he has built in the Upper Chamber to kill a law his minority government does not support.

Harper’s Lackey Lies About Stats Can Chief  July 2010

Canada’s then Industry Minster, Tony Clement, told the news media in July 2010 that Statistics Canada had assured him “[I]f you do these extra things: the extra advertising and the extra sample size, then yes, we [Statistics Canada] can do our job.” [Chief Statistician] Dr. Sheikh had never advised the government as such. His advice was exactly the opposite …. ,


Harper Refuses to Engage with the Media  March 2011

Harper refuses to explain limits on media queries

[During the election,] Harper only provides one news conference per day, … Journalists who are travelling with his campaign tour are, as a group, only allowed to ask [five] questions.

On Thursday, Harper was asked to explain why he insists on no more than five questions.

Harper chose not to answer that question and moved on to the next questioner.

When journalists then pressed him for an answer to the question he ignored, Harper said. “If there’s another subject I’ll answer it.”

That led to another question from a journalist, who noted that politicians such as himself promise openness and accountability. With that in mind, he was asked again, why the limit on questions during the campaign?

“If there are other subjects I’m not addressing, I’ll take them. What’s the subject? One subject.”


Harper Snubs UN General Assembly  September 2012

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is under fire for turning down a chance to speak at the United Nations General Assembly.

Harper Refuses to Meet Provinces to Discuss Health Care  December 2012

Harper “sabotaged” health-care talks, Ghiz says

The premiers were hoping to sit down with the federal government to negotiate a new formula for funding health care. However, Ottawa had no interest in negotiating.

Harper Snubs Hunger-Striking Chief  December 2012

Stephen Harper won’t meet with hunger-striking First-Nations Chief Theresa Spence


Harper Boycotts Commonwealth Meeting  November 2013

Policy inconsistency and Canada’s boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting … is currently underway in Colombo, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not in attendance. [The] blatant cherry-picking of circumstances in which to engage with the Sri Lankan government blemishes Canada’s international image as a serious advocate for justice and democracy.


Harper Smacks Around Chief Justice of the Supreme Court  May 2014

Harper accused of trying to ‘intimidate’ Supreme Court justices

Last week, Harper accused McLachlin of inappropriately trying to make an “inadvisable and inappropriate” phone call to warn him that there might be an eligibility problem with Nadon’s appointment.

Harper’s Pit Bull Smacks Down Chief Electoral Officer March 2014

Ottawa’s partisanship bill is uninformed and short-sighted

Mr. Poilievre’s suggestion that Elections Canada is a “team,” with interests and an agenda of its own, is not to be taken lightly. The mandate of Elections Canada is the fair and impartial administration of elections. The “team” metaphor is clearly irreconcilable with this mandate.

Harper Disenfranchises 100,000 Canadians  March 2014

Harper government’s “leap of logic” to justify voter suppression

Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand estimates that putting an end to vouching would disenfranchise more than 100,000 people, especially aboriginals, seniors and students.

Harper Uses More Closure Motions Than Any Other Government  June 2014

Why is the Harper government using time allocation so often?

… the Conservatives managed to pass their 75th motion of time allocation in the current Parliament. … that far surpasses any previously known record of the measure being invoked to impose a limit on debate …

Harper Will Not Attend Climate Change Conference  September 2014

Stephen Harper’s Refusal to Attend Global Climate Summit Unacceptable

The Prime Minister’s refusal to join world leaders this week at the UN Climate Summit underscores how little environmental stewardship factors into this government’s agenda. …

Harper Refuses To Meet with Dalai Lama  October 2014

Harper Refuses to Meet with Premier Wynne of Ontario  December 2014

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper has spent more time with Russian President Vladimir Putin this year than Premier Kathleen Wynne.”


Harper Government Won’t Meet with Palestinian Aid Leader  January 2015

Harper won’t help the children of Gaza

Although he is honoured around the world for his superhuman refusal to hate those who killed his children, no member of the Harper government has ever spoken to Dr. Abuelaish about his ordeal in general or his 100-children initiative.

Harper Consistently Refuses to Meet with Premiers  January 2015

Why the PM Won’t Meet the Premiers

Prime Minister Stephen Harper hasn’t met the premiers together as a group since they gathered in Ottawa to discuss the economic crisis in early 2009. That’s six years ago.

Harper’s Senate Guts Political Reform Bill  June 2015

Conservative senators move to gut caucus colleague’s bill to reform politics

Conservative senators put forward a motion Friday that would gut caucus colleague Michael Chong’s Reform Act, a bill aimed at rebalancing power between MPs and party leaders.

Harper Ducks Leaders’ Debates  June 2015

Debate Refusal Could Prove Harper’s Achilles’ Heel

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is being even more arrogant than ever in refusing to take part in the broadcast consortium traditional televised election debates.

Harper’s Snubs First Nation’s Chiefs  July 2015

National Chief of the AFN Bellegarde invites Mr. Harper to meet with chiefs from across Canada in July – an invitation the Prime Minister does not accept.

Harper Snubs Former Senior Cabinet Minister  July 2015

Stephen Harper to skip ‘red Tory’ Flora MacDonald’s funeral

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not attend the funeral of former external affairs minister Flora MacDonald, a pioneering political figure credited with leading the advance of women in modern Canadian conservative politics.

Harper hasn’t offered MacDonald’s family a state funeral, a special privilege he extended to former finance minister Jim Flaherty’s family …

What did I miss? Please let me know in a comment and I will add it.

Photo Credit: © Rosette Jordaan, used under a purchased licence from iStock.


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