Appeared March 16th 2014.
I read with great disappointment the report of Maxime Bernier's speech in Avonmore (on March 3rd 2014) on behalf of the Government of Canada. While I second his praise of the freedom, the initiative, the risk taking, and the wealth creation by entrepreneurs, his rhetoric is extremely unbecoming for a minister of government.
Bernier suggests that entrepreneurs have enemies in the public service ("politicians and bureaucrats") and suffer from "hostility from many quarters of society". Nothing could be further from the truth. A government is supposed to be a government of all Canadians, with a message of unity and cooperation. Instead, the Harper government pits Canadians against each other, in a partisan effort to cater to their target voter, to promote selfishness, and to stoke the fires of resentment against others.
Businesses have partners in public service to provide infrastructure to get our product to market, enable fair agreements for international trade, police our communities against crime, and ensure the safety of our products and our purchases, among many other critical roles. We depend on a professional, competent, and motivated public service. The Harper government commits a disservice by belittling the public service as foul bureaucrats. Worse yet, Harper and Bernier are the government, the employer of our public service. It is very bad business for an employer to denigrate its employees in public. The same goes for the government's treatment of its employees.
Where is the hostility against entrepreneurs? All quarters of society express appreciation for entrepreneurs, job creation, rural vitality, community leadership, wealth creation, and especially their generosity in supporting community endeavours. This hostility is only in the partisan rhetoric of Harper's speech writers. They would do better bringing Canadians together instead of pitting us against each other.