Veteran Harry Smith, 92, is warning that Stephen Harper's "politics of austerity" will return Canada "to the dog-eat-dog world of the 1930s."
In a blistering attack on the Prime Minister, broadcast Saturday at the Broadbent Institute's Progress Summit 2015, Smith said Harper "has treated veterans with disdain, intimidated scientists, environmentalists, and most importantly the poor," "robbed the vulnerable" and "enriched the 1% at the expense of the 99%."
Smith authored the 2014 book Harry's Last Stand and is one one of the last remaining survivors of the Great Depression and the Second World War.
Smith, who was born in a British coal mining town before immigrating to Canada, called out Harper for working to "eradicate" Canada's social programs and "enrich the mighty." Watch his takedown of Harper's "politics of austerity" below:
Smith's speech warned against growing inequality, arguing that post-war improvements to the social safety net are being clawed back by the government.
Here are some of Smith's best quotes:
"The answer does not lie with the Harper government. Their message of austerity and restraint to the 99% and untold wealth to the 1% will return Canada to the dog-eat-dog world of the 1930s.
"The Harper government has robbed the vulnerable of their benefits to enrich the mighty and they have snatched from the workers of this country the right to a dignified wage. Harper has used fear instead of good governance to rule Canada."
"He is working to eradicate the progressive society that my generation built to protect the vulnerable, balance the books and defend our shores from real threats. Not from the made-up dangers cynically created by conservative media professionals."
"You are worth more than a Harper recovery that enriched the 1% at the expense of the 99%. You are worth more than a life enslaved to student debt or a life-time spent running from pillar to post on a below-subsistence wage. You are worth more than a cost-of-living crisis that insures you will never have a home to call your own. You are worth more than corporations who won’t pay a living wage and hide their profits offshore in tax-free havens."
"My generation built a strong social safety network. We created universal health care and public pensions, and we built affordable housing and demanded that education was everyone’s right. We enacted laws to protect workers, families, our youth from misfortunes caused by power being concentrated in too few hands. Sadly my generation's greatest achievement, the Welfare State, has become tarnished by the politics of austerity espoused by right-wing demagogues."