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EcoChamber #17: Stephen Harper's donut diplomacy

emily hunter

Homer Simpson eating a giant donut.Make way, Homer Simpson—there’s a new Donut King in town: Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Choosing donuts over climate change deserves the title of King. King not only of donuts (as one critic called Harper) but the King of climate deniers.

Last week, our Prime Minister skipped a day at the UN Climate Summit in New York for a photo-op at a donut shop in Oakville. Outraged by his obvious sense of priorities—a double double at Tim’s over our global climate crisis—two youth activists founded a Facebook campaign called “Donuts Over Planet,” with thousands of Canadians demanding an apology, and the chirps have been busy on Twitter.

One Tweeter, OldScot, said Harper is the new “Donut King.” While Greenpeace tweeted that perhaps there were “more important donut innovations to address.

Donuts over Planet founder, 26-year-old Jamie Biggar said: “I think for the majority of Canadians, especially the young, this was hugely offensive. I can’t remember ever seeing so many young Canadians so angry about what’s being done to their future, so sad about what’s being done in their name, and so determined to tell the world that Harper does not represent them.”

Harper said the visit to the Tim Hortons’ Innovation Centre was his chance to welcome the return of the company to Canadian soil, after running as an American operation for over a decade, reported the Toronto Star.

Critics say it is because Harper is not very found of the UN, or multinational organizations, having bailed out on other UN talks in the past.

But there is more to it than that. The Copenhagen Climate Conference is 69 days away and our Prime Minister is not even at the drawing board, choosing dough over tough talks we need. This is not apathy, but denial over climate change.

Critics say he has known climate denier friends, including John Weissenberger. He has appointed ‘climate critics’ to federal scientific institutes. He is a man who believes tar sands expansion is conducive to the fight against climate change. And let’s not forget how the Canadian government has obstructed global climate progress before, such as last year’s Bali climate talks.

With 69 days to go for the global climate negotiation, if Harper is going to be absent for preliminary talks or just obstruct them, then “maybe he should just stay home for Copenhagen,” says Lauryn Drainie, a youth activist. “It’s not our voice he is representing. We don’t need him there.”

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