Thursday, October 29, 2015

Calling all Canadians: Dump your junk in the Stephen J. Harper Landfill!

Harper airport idea "just not ready," critics suggest

By Charles Mandel in News, Politics | October 29th 2015

Calgary International Airport (Photo courtesy of SMP Engineering)

A petition to rename Calgary International Airport after Stephen Harper has raised indignation and ridicule on Twitter and sparked a number of competing petitions.

Justin Trudeau had barely trounced Harper in the October 19th federal election when a proposal popped up on right-wing commentator Ezra Levant’s website, suggesting a name change to the Calgary air terminus.

Levant noted that Calgary’s airport is the third busiest in Canada, but he added plaintively: “But it doesn’t have a name. It’s called the Calgary International Airport or YYC, its letter name.”

“So why not rename it Stephen Harper International Airport?”

Why not indeed?

Levant’s suggestion quickly blew up on Twitter, where #HarperAirport trended, reaching over 7,000 tweets.

"#HarperAirport, where every flight is magic. Because we don't believe in science," was a typical tweet. "At #HarperAirport they won't let you board a plane. They keep saying, 'They're just not ready.'" was another.

Levant’s petition has reached over 15,000 signatures, but at least three other petitions against the renaming of the airport are gathering names as well.

Over at Care2Petitions, a petition to prevent the renaming of the airport has surpassed 24,000 names.

A second petition calls for the renaming of the East Calgary Landfill to the Stephen J. Harper Research Archive. The accompanying image shows a dumpster full of reports and books, a reference to the trashing of the Lethbridge Agricultural Centre research library in 2015 under the Harper government.

Another petition also calls for the renaming of the East Calgary Landfill to the Stephen J. Harper Landfill.

The latter petition notes: “Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s legacy of trashy politics, garbage policies and wasteful corruption makes this an excellent way to remember him. Canada dumped him as PM and now you can dump your junk in the Harper Landfill!”

Whether or not Levant’s petition will amount to anything remains to be seen. The convention in Canada is to name airports after deceased heads of state, but as one wag on Twitter noted, perhaps Levant knows something the rest of us don’t.

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