Canadian PM faces fresh charges of copying

October 4th, 2008 - 9:16 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Oct 4 (IANS) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was embroiled in a plagiarism controversy earlier this week, Friday faced more allegations of copying.Harper, whose Conservative Party is likely to secure a majority in the Oct 14 polls, had to fire his former speech writer earlier this week for copying a 2003 speech prepared for him from former Australian prime minister John Howard.

The speech was delivered by Harper as opposition leader, seeking Canadian participation in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

But before the controversy could die down, the opposition Liberal Party fired another salvo Friday, accusing the prime minister of delivering yet another plagiarized speech in Feb 2003.

The opposition party said parts of the speech that Harper delivered in the House of Commons Feb 19, 2003 were stolen from a speech by former Ontario province premier Mike Harris at the Montreal Economic Institute on Dec 4, 2002.

To nail the prime minister, the party put out a press release, highlighting two similar paras in the two speeches.

While addressing the Montreal Economic Institute Dec. 4, 2002, Harris had said: “Thinking about things from a new and different perspective is never easy. It takes courage, conviction and the strength to know that in taking a new and innovative course, you are making change for the better. … Genuine leaders are the ones who do the right thing.”

And two months later when Harper spoke in the House of Commons Feb 19, 2003, he said: “Thinking about things from a new and different perspective is not about reading the polls and having focus group tests. It is never easy because it takes courage, conviction and the strength to know that taking a new and innovative course is going to make change for the better. Genuine leaders are the ones who do the right thing.”

Taking a shot at the right-wing prime minister, Liberal Party leader St├ęphane Dion said, “Mr Harper was caught copying again and, as you know, you have to show the door to students who are caught copying.”

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