The creation of enemies both at home and abroad during bad economic times is nothing new and that the Harper Conservatives would resort to this most dangerous of tactics is indeed no surprise. Governments have favoured it throughout time because it gives people who are justifiably angry an outlet with which to vent their anger other than at the government itself.
In the process the Harperites have turned Canada into a nation full of hatred, one which many of us no longer recognise,one that leaves us ashamed and fearful for our once great land. We see our fellow Canadians cheering on the torture of a child in Omar Khadr,and the killing and maiming of innocent civilians simply because of their religion and the colour of their skin.
This week we have seen with the reaction of some to the Attawapiskat crisis that this hatred is not only reserved for Muslims and foreigners but for our own right here at home as well. Now I'm not naive I grew up in a working class neighborhood in Toronto so I know racism has always existed here in Canada, I have lived and toiled among those who hold racist views my entire life.
What is different however is the level and openness with which these people now feel free to espouse their hatred. What is different is that they now feel safe to do so. Where before it was whispered among themselves they now feel safe in shouting it from the roof tops. This is a direct result of the cynical and dangerous game being played by the Harper government. What is worse though, through their machinations this outburst of hatred will only strengthen and grow until our society boils over into violence.