Gordon O’Connor Removed as Defence Minister, but Shuffle Indicates Little Change in War Policy

August 15, 2007 at 2:23 pm 1 comment

August 15, 2007

Steven Staples contributed to this news report which aired last night on CBC TV’s The National:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skDyOs20XEw

Dear Ceasefire.ca supporter,

Gordon O’Connor is no longer Minister of Defence! The former Brigadier-General and arms industry lobbyist was shuffled out of his post yesterday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

More than 1,000 Ceasefire.ca supporters have written to the Prime Minister, urging O’Connor’s removal – especially after the revelations about the possible torture of detainees transferred by Canadian soldiers to Afghan officials.

Now, former foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay takes up the role as Defence Minister and Maxime Bernier moves into MacKay’s old job.

Harper’s shuffle yesterday was almost entirely focused on the unpopular war in Afghanistan, which is dragging the Conservatives down in the polls.

In MacKay’s appointment, Stephen Harper has chosen someone who has shown he will toe the party line at any cost.

For instance, Peter MacKay, whose riding is in Nova Scotia, supported the federal government’s controversial position on the Atlantic Accord at a time when the region’s Conservative premiers were urging him to vote against the federal budget.

And as the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Maxime Bernier’s job will be to sell the war to Quebeckers.

Harper’s clinging to his “Titanic” Afghanistan policy.

Together, the appointments to National Defence and Foreign Affairs indicate that the Harper government does not intend to alter its policy on the war. This is a huge mistake.

By passing up an opportunity to change direction on Afghanistan to increase public support, the appointments of MacKay and Bernier show that Stephen Harper is climbing out of the lifeboat and back onto the deck of the Titanic !

When Parliament resumes next month, the main item on the agenda will be whether to extend Canada’s mission beyond the current commitment which ends in 2009.

Ceasefire.ca will be helping you to make your voice heard by Stephen Harper, his new ministers, and all of Parliament. This war must end, and it is up to us.



Steven Staples

Rideau Instituteand founder of Ceasefire.ca

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Entry filed under: Ceasefire.ca Newsletters.

CBC TV interview on MacKay’s Appointment to Defence Minister Reaction to 67th soldier killed in Afghanistan.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. OfficialPro  |  August 20, 2007 at 2:07 am

    By making your voice heard, you too can make a difference. But it’s like Marge Simpson said. “One person can make a difference, but most of the time, they probably shouldn’t.”

    This raises the question, why are you not demanding that the TALIBAN stop its attacks? Aren’t ya being a little too lopsided here in your outrage?


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