Canadian prime minister hires speechwriter with baggage

“Harper’s new speechwriter is a gay rights opponent,” exclaims the story on the online Canadian publication X: Where Queers Conspire, with plenty of back-up from strident anti-gay quotes from former Calgary Herald columnist Nigel Hannaford.

The question isn’t, as a gay activist claims in the piece, whether Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper agrees with Hannaford’s views. It’s why a nation’s statesman and an elected representative of all its citizens would hire a speechwriter so thoroughly on the record with hostile views toward any one part of the populace.

I’m left taking one of two messages from Harper’s decision to hire Hannaford. Either Harper actually is sending a message, “Harper to gays: Drop dead.” Or Hannaford is so good and so valuable a communications aide that Harper doesn’t mind provoking gays with the controversial hire.

The proof’ll be in the writing. We’ll be watching.

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