The strategic, pragmatic, secure, proven leader.
Adjectives, repeated by journalists, conservative politicians and supporters during his nine-year tenure as Canada’s prime minister.
Adjectives, some of which, aptly describe his Machiavellian gamesmanship in the art and science of politics.
Adjectives and a positioning, in contrast to his administration and its implications for Canada.
From the time he prorogued Parliament, Act I, Stephen Harper pursued a high risk, low reward economic plan, focused on one industry.
One industry in need of a low-cost transportation method to move landlocked oilsands bitumen to refineries in the United States and markets overseas.
Calling himself a friend to this one industry, Harper proceeded to expunge environmental and waterways regulations and standards. In cahoots with Canada’s security agencies, the federal government spied on any parties objecting to oilsands expansion, and obstructed any and all attempts at legitimate carbon pricing.
He also used hundreds of millions of public dollars to advertise the virtues of Alberta’s oilsands in North America and Europe. Under cover. At least until recently.