This was inspired by a satirical piece in the Washington Post titled “Canadian regime roiled by provincial scandal, sparks fears of instability.” The series talks about Canada as if it was “China or Afghanistan,” highlighting the different way that the media covers countries that fall outside the Washington consensus. If only the idea of invading Iraq or overthrowing governments in Latin America was as absurd as the idea of regime change in Canada.
The increasingly erratic behavior of regional chieftain Rob Ford has forced the international community to ask if Canada is descending into anarchy. Ford’s prolific drug use and propensity for violent threats is reminiscent of the warlords of Liberia’s Civil War, but he’s merely the latest example of Canada flouting international norms. The regime of Stephen Harper has overseen a decade of unprecedented Canadian military buildup. Harper has demonstrated increasingly authoritarian tendencies upon assuming power, repeatedly shutting down Parliament on a whim. A prominent Canadian commentator has warned the world of Harper’s “billy-club governance, ironclad controls, scorning of accountability, censorship, smearing of opponents, [and] power unto one.” As Harper and his cadre have dispensed with the façade of Canadian democracy, his government has strengthened ties with Beijing and declared its commitment to the exploitation of Africa. Canada has also militarized its presence in the Arctic, threatening free trade, energy resources and global stability. The international community must set a clear red line that Canada cannot violate with impunity. The world has stood idly by in the past when authoritarian leaders set their sights on territorial gains abroad–never again.
The international community has also been too permissive while Canada violates global norms in its treatment of its own people. Canada has waged a longtime propaganda campaign against its breakaway western province, and a 1995 referendum on its independence was rife with accusations of illegality. Less well-known in the foreign policy community is the plight of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Indigenous Canadians have long been the victims of a campaign of violence by the Canadian government, with many members of this ethnic group suffering in living standards comparable to conditions in Haiti. When popular uprisings have erupted, the Canadian regime has shown no hesitation to crush them by force. Indigenous groups have repeatedly cried out for UN help, but like so many times in the past, the UN has proven itself impotent in the face of a humanitarian crisis. It’s time for America and our coalition allies to ask who else has the means to protect these people. More importantly, can we ignore the moral responsibility?
With any humanitarian intervention, some left-wingers parrot the same litany of criticisms. Some will say that Canada is America’s largest supplier of oil, and they’ll impugn the motives of the heroic men and women of America’s military. The lure of isolationism is appealing, but the dangers of non-intervention in Canada are too great to humor these discredited ideas. The threat of an expansionist, belligerent Canada is real and imminent. Not only is the continued stability of Canada in the strategic interests of the international community, but a failed state on America’s northern border would surely become a safe-haven for the Terrorists who threaten our freedom. Can we as Americans afford to take that chance, given what happened on 9/11?
Some warn that any intervention risks becoming a protracted conflict or even a quagmire. In Canada, the benefits of intervention will far outweigh the costs. The people of Canada are uniquely ready for democracy. Canadians have long suffered under the rule of a decrepit foreign monarch, whose governance takes a byzantine and undemocratic form. The Canadian people are hungry for democracy: we will be greeted as liberators.
Weakness emboldens the enemies of peace, and Ford is merely a symptom of a disease. Is it any surprise that a prominent Canadian regime figure evinces such flamboyant criminality when the colonial proconsul of Canada terrorizes its population by publicly eating the hearts of wild animals? Aspiring warlords like Ford are the logical outcome of the international community’s tolerance of Canadian aggression. No more can we turn a blind eye to this threat to world peace. America’s failure to act has brought us to this crucial decision point. History and millions of Canadians cry out for freedom, will we answer the call? The only answer can be yes. It’s time for regime change in Canada.