Former prime minister Stephen Harper has been criticized for adding his name to a full-page ad in the New York Times that praised Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement.
Defence minister Harjit Sajjan, for example, said Harper’s comments weren’t helpful and that Canada should speak with one voice. But Harper’s message didn’t harm the Canadian government, nor did it undermine Canada’s role in the world. As even the current prime minister acknowledged, Harper is entitled to his opinion and has the right to share it publicly.
In this case, he didn’t speak in front of a Canadian audience about a domestic issue. He joined a group of other former world leaders in commenting on an international issue that doesn’t directly involve Canada and on which our government has not taken a strong stand. There’s nothing wrong with former politicians having opinions.
In fact, why wouldn’t we want to hear from experienced people on important issues? And even if it’s a different opinion from the current government’s, surely our international partners are smart enough to realize that not everyone in Canada has the same view about every issue.