Harper and His Movement Were No Friends to Mandela - 2013-12-16
Of all the hypocrisies revealed by Stephen Harper, perhaps none are so morally offensive as his sudden, solemn respect for Nelson Mandela. We will never know how Harper would reconcile his past attitudes towards apartheid with his trip to South Africa to honour the iconic statesman at his memorial.
In 1989 Harper was a member of the Northern Foundation (NF) about the same time that he became policy chief of the Reform Party. The exclusive mandate of the NF was to counter the serious efforts of the Canadian government of Brian Mulroney to pressure the South African government to release Nelson Mandela from prison and to end apartheid.
The membership of the NF read like a who's who of the far right in Canada. Many, if not all, of its members were also members of the Reform Party. In 1991 Harper told Trevor Harrison, who was researching his PhD on the Reform Party (later a book entitled Of Passionate Intensity): "I helped establish something called the Northern Foundation before it (much later) deteriorated into a kind of quasi-fascist organization. I was actually expelled from it. It's got stranger and stranger." Yet there was no doubt about what the organization stood for when Harper was still a member. And by his own account he didn't leave voluntarily.