Quote: Originally Posted by Avro
SHANGHAI, China–Rebounding after being brow-beaten by the Chinese premier for mishandling Sino-Canadian relations, Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised an elite business gathering Friday that he would forge stronger ties with China and build bigger business opportunities through trade.
But the Prime Minister again made it clear: he and his government won't back off on human rights.
Good for Harper!
It's not up to one country to dictate to another country any more than it is for a province to dictate to another province. Quebec doesn't openly criticize Ontario for its discriminatory Catholic school policy any more than Ontario criticizes Quebec for its language laws. Individual persons are subject to local laws, local governments are subject to provincial laws, provincial governments can settle disputes between one another in federal court or in some cases it can be resolved through the passing of a federal law if it doesn't conflict with the provinces' jurisdictional authority, and so naturally countries ought to settle disputes between one another through international bodies such as the world court or the UN General Assembly.
How would Harper react if Ontario suddenly decided to introduce trade restrictions against Quebec as long as it didn't repeal its Bill 101, and Quebec introduced trade restrictions against Ontario as long as it didn't repeal its religious education laws?
And then imagine provinces raising trade barriers against Alberta because they didn't agree with Alberta's environmental policy?
I'm sure Harper would not be happy. It's not up to one province to stick its nose in the jurisdiction of another; such issues must be taken up by a higher authority, and in the case of Canada it goes from the individual to the family (based on various family laws) to the city to the province or territory to the federal government to the world court.
We don't appreciate it when other countries stick their noses in our affairs either, such as the EU banning our seal products or dictating logging policies to BC as they've done before. We would also not appreciate it if China started criticizing Ontario's religious education policies or Quebec's language laws or our governments' disrespect for treaties signed in good faith with the First Nations, and rightfully so.
For the UN or the UNHCR or the General Assembly or the World Court to criticize Canada, that's appropriate since that's equivalent to the Supreme Court of Canada deciding on Quebec's language laws of Ontario's religious laws, or the Federal Government passing laws within its jurisdiction over Canada, or a provincial government passing laws or granting or denying local government powers or a local government passing or enforcing bylaws, and so on down the line.
It would not be appropriate though for another country to dictate to Canada any more than it would be appropriate for Quebec to dictate to Ontario, or Ottawa to Toronto, etc. down the line.
If Harper reserves the right to criticize other countries, then they have every right to stick their noses into our affairs too, unless we believe in double standards I suppose.