Stephen Harper paid $4,000 by Donald Trump-supporting Republican Jewish Coalition

Stephen Harper paid $4,000 by Donald Trump-supporting Republican Jewish Coalition

by: Obert Madondo | Published Monday, May 9, 2016, by The Canadian Progressive

According to information made public by the Federal Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Stephen Harper was recently paid almost $4,000 by the Trump-loving Republican Jewish Coalition for advising US Republicans. Photo: Stephen Harper / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
According to information made public by the Federal Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Stephen Harper was recently paid almost $4,000 by the Trump-loving Republican Jewish Coalition for advising US Republicans. Photo: Stephen Harper / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Canada’s Conservatives would have us believing that they’re opposed to Donald Trump and his racism-filled election rhetoric.

According to the Globe and Mail, last December, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose said this of the now Republican Party’s presumptive Presidential nominee: “I think he’s off the spectrum, frankly. That’s not a voice that we welcome in our party.”

Really?

Stephen Harper was in Las Vegas on April 7-10, advising the Republican Party on “how fractured parties can unite”. According to information made public last week by the Federal Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, the former PM was paid $1,838.92 for transportation and $2,122.03 for three nights’ stay by the Trump-loving Republican Jewish Coalition.

Before the disclosure, media reports associated Harper’s trip with casino mogul and GOP billionnaire Sheldon Adelson.

As Politico reported on April 9, “Adelson hosted some of the organization’s top officials at his palatial mansion. While former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed how fractured parties can unite, Adelson listened but said little, according to three people who were present.”

Harper, we were told, went to Vegas to advise Republicans and GOP donors opposed to Trump, and those disillusioned with the presidential primary process. The GOP group Harper advised, led by Adelson, was reportedly “reevaluating whether to invest in the 2016 presidential contest at all” because of Trump’s hate-filled campaign rhetoric.

The real estate billionaire once accused Mexican immigrants of “bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and their rapists” to the US. He has proposed to impose a blanket ban on Muslims entering the US. He has advocated the killing of families of terrorists.

Turns out Harper didn’t exactly advise a Republican Party faction opposed to Trump.

Following Trump’s win in Indian last week, the Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement that celebrated Trump and, simultaneously, trashed Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner.

National Chairman David Flaum said:

The Republican Jewish Coalition congratulates Donald Trump on being the presumptive Presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Throughout the course of this long campaign among Republicans there has been unity in the belief that Hillary Clinton is the worst possible choice for a commander in chief. Secretary Clinton has proven time and again through her record and her policies that her candidacy will compromise our national security, weaken our economy and further strain our relationship with our greatest ally, Israel. Along with the Presidential race, the RJC will be working hard to hold on to our majorities in the Senate and the House. It is critical that these majorities be preserved. To do this we must remember our core principles: peace through strength, unwavering support for Israel, and robust American leadership at home and abroad.

The New York Times reports that Adelson now supports Trump. The Washington Times quotes Adelson as saying the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee “will be good for Israel“.

To sum up: The suggestion that the Conservatives and Harper are against Donald Trump is pure bologna.

But what should really piss us off is the fact that the former prime minister doesn’t seem to care at all about the job he was elected to do. Harper is still the MP for Calgary Heritage, a position for which he collects the base MP’s salary of $167,400. The Hansard shows that Harper has not participated in debates in the House since losing the 2015 federal election.

Still, Harper is one busy man. Recent disclosures from the Ethics Commissioner’s office reveal that, after being kicked out of the PMO last October, Harper joined prominent Calgary-based clubs that cater to oil executives. He’s listed as a “privileged member” of the Ranchmen’s Club of Calgary, and an “honorary” member of the Calgary Petroleum Club, since March.

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Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter: @Obiemad

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