An economic report card for Mr. Harper

Canada needs to diversify export of its manufactured and processed minerals, food and technology-based products...

Editor, The News:

Re: Cheesemaker annoyed by trade deal (The News, Oct. 18).

Canada  needs  to diversify export of  its manufactured and processed  minerals, food and technology-based products to establish its economic independence.

We have  been  exporting more than 70 per cent to our historical partner, the U.S., and putting all eggs in one basket.

The recent announcement of a free trade deal with Europe is welcome news and could trigger our future economic diversity and prosperity.

This will involve some 28 European countries, 500 million people and $17 trillion in annual trade.

However, parallel to several economic advantages, it is inevitable that there will be a few setbacks for some businesses. These few businesses are likely to be compensated for their losses by the government.

Let us give credit to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for promoting this deal.

If we were to evaluate Mr. Harper’s performance as our prime minister, here is a summary of the key negative points:

• environmental compromise while promoting minerals/petroleum projects;

• indifference to climate change;

• Senate scandals and misleading Canada about his no prior knowledge of Nigel Wright’s payment to Mike Duffy;

• silence about misuse of taxpayer’s money by other senators;

•closed-door manipulation of the issue by suspending three senators without pay, but with possibilities to draw salaries under medical pretext;

• handling of Canadian First Nations’ long-standing cultural, economic and social justice problems.

Positive points:

• development of Canada-Europe free trade agreement.

Soon, all the negative points, which unfortunately overwhelm the positive ones, will be remembered by Canadian voters.

Hari Pal

Maple Ridge

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