Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

PM Harper accused of plagiarising a speech

Latest update : 2008-10-01

Canada's prime minister was accused of plagiarising Australia's then-PM John Howard in an election campaign speech. One of his campaign writers quit after admitting he had stolen large chunks of Howard's speech in his work.

A row about plagiarism embroiled Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday after his former speechwriter admitted to copying a speech in support of the US-led Iraq war by Australia's former leader John Howard.
   
Ahead of elections in October, Harper's Liberal opponents seized on the incident to tie Harper to former Australian prime minister John Howard and US President George W. Bush, who were close allies in the "war on terror."
   
Harper's former speechwriter Owen Lippert claimed responsibility for the gaffe and resigned from his job as a researcher for the Conservative Party.
   
In a statement, the staffer apologized for being "overzealous in copying segments of another world leader's speech" and said his bosses at the time were unaware he had done so.
   
Liberal Member of Parliament Bob Rae suggested the speech was "more evidence" of Harper's foreign policies being in "lock-step with the right-wing foreign policy of the Bush administration."
   
For that and for plagiarism, "Harper has to go," said Liberal leader Stephane Dion.
   
Conservative Party spokesman Dan Dugas told AFP the "five-year-old speech" was no longer relevant.
   
"This Conservative government is focused on the economy and the stewardship of the country's finances ... which is what mostly concerns voters now," he said.
   
Speaking in parliament on March 20, 2003, Harper, then in opposition, delivered an almost "verbatim copy" of a speech by Australia's Howard two days earlier, the Liberals said.
   
"How does a leader in Canada's parliament, on such a crucial issue, end up giving almost the exact same speech as any another country's leader, let alone a leader who was a key member of George W. Bush's coalition of the willing?" said Rae.
   
"Liberals have been arguing for over two years that Canada is losing its independent voice in foreign affairs under Mr. Harper," he said. "We just had no idea that Mr. Harper was prepared to borrow the drafting of the actual words he would use from another country."
   
Rae said a new Liberal administration would reverse this direction to ensure "that Canada again speaks with its own voice on the world stage."
   
General election are scheduled in Canada for October 14, with the Conservatives holding a lead in polls.
   
Canadians have not been surveyed on the Iraq war of late, but are generally said to dislike Bush and remain divided on Canada's deployment of 2,500 troops in southern Afghanistan.
   
In 2003, Canada's then Liberal government refused Bush's request to support its Iraq invasion, but supported the US incursion in Afghanistan.
   
Most Canadians were fiercely opposed to the Iraq invasion at the time, but thought the invasion of Afghanistan was justifiable after the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States.

Date created : 2008-10-01

COMMENT(S)