Canada after Harper is, as the book’s subtitle says, a compilation of essays dedicated to Stephen Harper’s “ideology-fuelled attack on Canadian society and values, and how we can resist and create the country we want.”
Is this a relevant book in the wake of our post-Harper era? Most certainly. Perhaps even more so now that Canada’s new government is one with a rich history of dubious, neoliberal policy and practice. Edited by journalist and storied socialist Ed Finn, and with introduction by Ralph Nader, Canada after Harper reads as both a caution toward the increasing similarity between American and Canadian politics, while defining a model of best practices in governance toward everything from the exercise of democracy to stable social policy. And as such, this is a resounding success.
A book of four parts, Canada after Harper delineates our path to democratic rejuvenation by the environment, the economy, social issues, and government and politics. Contributors include ex-parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, David Suzuki, and many other leading authorities that fight for a Canada that has nonetheless become ‘…less egalitarian, less socially progressive, and less environmentally protective.’—a decline that tells a national history where income and social inequality have increased as a direct result of governmentled policy designed to benefit very few. While the Canadian identity under Harper has changed considerably from one that was more respected in the global community, social democracy in Canada is poised to recover in many meaningful ways. This is in large part due to the work of those featured in this book. Replete with many thoughtful contributions, the reader is provided with a clear and affective path forward. In a universe where history forever seems to repeat itself, this book is timely, engaging, and highly relevant. As much a collection of essays as it is a toolbox, readers are provided everything necessary to navigate the path from passivism to activism.