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Advice to Harper

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STEPHEN HARPER
AP

Prime Minister Harper,

Your first parliamentary majority comes at a time of considerable change in Canadian political culture, liberty movements in many nations and a systemic crisis in the global ecology. It's worth noting that the Conservative party's founding principles include a commitment to upholding our "obligations among the nations of the world," with references to fair trade and future generations, and to "integrity, honesty and concern for the best interests of all."

That, then, should commit you to transparency, civility and co-operation. In this spirit -- and for your legacy -- please consider the following:

- Apologize to Canadians for being in contempt of the House -- the true reason your minority government was brought down, and a rightful concern for Canadians, which you've dismissed as mere "bickering." Have the humility and courage to say, "I'm sorry."

- Stun the country with massive support for clean renewable energies to make the Tar Sands a footnote in the sad history of polluting industries. Make Canada a world leader in the clean jobs sector.

- Respect the clear and compelling climate science that should put Canada in the forefront of climate action. Support "the right to a future" for all Canadian kids.

- Reduce crime by investing in early years and increasing literacy, not by ineffective and costly prisons.

- Show your respect for Canada's children by legislating a ban on direct advertising and marketing to kids 12 and under.

Show us you're truly committed to balancing "fiscal accountability, progressive social policy and individual rights and responsibilities" and want to "build a national coalition of people who share these beliefs" as the Conservative Party's founding principles state.

Canadians want to believe their Prime Minister. We all expect you to set a good example, especially our children and youth.

Raffi Cavoukian, C.M., O.B.C., is a singer, author, children's champion, and ecology advocate, founder of Centre for Child Honouring on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada. Among his awards are the Order of Canada, the Order of BC, the UN's Earth Achievement Award, the Global 500 Roll, and three honorary degrees. Raffi is a member of the Club of Budapest, and he blogs for Huffington Post and similar online news sources.