Why Travellers Should Get Rid Of Harper – Part 1

This is a short series in response to Canada’s federal election. Harper’s government has done a lot to harm travellers, and this series will explain why a traveller should vote to get rid of Harper, among other reasons. 

Today, Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has announced the intention of creating a ban on travel by Canadians to certain “terrorist controlled areas,” by implementing Criminal Code provisions thereto. He would seek to impose these bans if the Conservative Party is again elected as government.

This would be an unprecedented restriction on the mobility rights of Canadians. Frankly, it’s a disgusting idea. Who is the government to tell me that I can or can’t go to a certain place? Sure, travelling to certain places might be downright stupid, as I am risking my health and safety, however, incurring that risk is my choice. I would go so far as to say (without an ounce of research ;)) that such laws would be a violation of my mobility rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

There are legitimate travel reasons to go to these dangerous places, not limited to seeing friends, family, as a journalist, etc. Some people enjoy “danger travel.” Indeed, the first modern tourist to Mogadishu, a lawless city, was a Canadian citizen in 2010. Intrigue and tourism is a legitimate reason, and the government has no moral right to make the determination as to the intent of travel.

Not only is this idea a moral wrong, it sets a dangerous precedent. The government would be set-up to ban travel to states that don’t share similar political leanings, as the United States did to Cuba. North Korea, Iran, and a number of other “rogue” states have significant tourist industries, and I give a big middle finger to any government that would restrict my right to assume my own risks for the travel that I want to do.


  1. Harper’s record on travel is in the toilet to begin with but this is beyond!

    First he has prevented UAE carriers from expanding service into Canada.

    Allowed airlines to continue to rip pax off with fuel surcharges disguised as taxes.

    Is still charging airports rent to lease the land they operate on which put them at a disadvantage in attracting more carriers and flights as they are charged high landing fees and pax being charged higher fees and fares!

  2. Could it be that you were/are a Harper hater anyway, and this is just an opportunity to vent your frustrations? I don’t check your website for political advice, or cooking recipes, or anything outside “frequent” travel advice; maybe just stick with the “don’t call the airline”.

    1. The point is, Harper has no respect for democracy. He’s more than happy to take away your rights/freedoms if it suits his plan.

  3. @Calin, the post is ravel related so your comment has no merit.

    Or maybe you are a Harper lover and will troll any outlet to defend your support for him?

  4. or it may have more to do with trying to restrict the flow of people into IS-controlled territories, but no, by all means make this about you and your own risk-appetite *SMH*

      1. Not quite sure I got your response correctly, but this has nothing to do with publishing messages, it’s about the relevancy of the way you chose to write your post. It’s great to be notified about stuff that’s going on in the country and around the world. However, when you start with a headline that calls not to vote for a certain candidate in the upcoming elections you’re sharing your own political opinion, not informing people about news. Obviously, this is fine, as we live in a democracy (to some extent), and this is your blog, but it’s much less appreciated by most readers that simply go to this website to read about credit card bonuses, travel tips, etc.
        You’re going to get many readers around BoardingArea that every time they see a post from dcta they’re going to think something like: “oh, it’s this Harper hating, hippie communist again”, and this will bring less readers to your blog.

      2. I’m with Colin. If you truly believe that this message needs to be published, it is your right to do so.
        However, we should be able to agree that there are far more important messages to be publicized than this one. Yet this is your first political post, so it’s clear that you used this issue as an “opening” to vent your frustrations with Harper.
        So I think you should decide whether you want this to be a travel blog, political blog, or both. I like you’re blog enough to ignore the politics so I’ll read it either way, but other readers may not feel the same way.

  5. Perhaps you should be allowed to go to dangerous locations as long as you vow to give up your health insurance and surrender your passport if you join ISIS. Tell your family of your true intentions and renounce Canadian citizenship if appropriate. I am tired of these radicalized youth going over to fight for Allah and then after 3 months finding out the real truth.

  6. These are restricted areas because if you get in trouble ( though you have been warned) you will ask the Canadian government to come and help you get out of jail, etc. The government of Canada does not want to make a political statement or deal with these countries to represent you.

  7. Prime Minister Harper has increased the duty free allowances for Canadians, made clearing customs easier with the expanded use of automated machines at airports like YYZ, and continues to expand customs facilities at land border crossings. I’d say he’s been very good for travellers!

  8. Bottom Line: Your blog, your thoughts, your time. Write away. We love your content and for those that don’t, can CHOOSE to not read.

  9. I’m not a fan of Harper and don’t plan to vote for him, but you should try to research a bit about his proposal before making false accusations. A similar law already exist in Australia. What Harper suggest is to require people to give a proper explanation as to why they need to travel to some places when they come back to the country. What he suggest does not limit travel for humanitarian, family, journalistic and various other reasons. And this is limited to countries that are declared as terrorist controlled areas.

    Like other people who commented, this is not what I signup for so I’m unsubscribing.

    1. So because Australia has the same law that makes it just peachy? Australia’s Prime Minister Abbott is a pretty questionable guy himself with borderline racist policies that are putting refugees who come to Australia into horrible internment camps. Australia under Abbott is hardly a model for Canada.

      I don’t understand this vapid “Harper hater” label that gets thrown around. It’s completely legitimate to dislike the man and his policies and in fact it’s probably accurate to say most Canadians do. He is the most divisive, most extreme leader we have ever had. If he doesn’t like his reputation he has only himself to blame.

      1. Maybe you should re-read my comment instead of taking one line and put it out of context. I started my comment by clearly stating I don’t like Harper. However if you write an article against him, the arguments need to be valid. In this case the article completely misunderstood the proposal. I pointed out that Australia has a similar law so anyone reading can do their own research about what the proposal is about. Perhaps I should’ve mentioned Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries that has a similar law.

        Since you seem to follow politics, then you also know that Harper made this proposal after 2 Canadians, who were fighting with ISIS, announced they wanted to come back.

        Your hate for Harper should not cloud your judgement and does not mean you can write a misleading article about him.

        Canadians are not banned from traveling to any countries by our gov’t, but if you want to come back then you need to give a proper explanation. I think most Canadian don’t mind that at all.

  10. The quality of this blog has dropped significantly in the past few months. This is the nail in the coffin for me.

    I come here to read about flying, credit cards, travel, etc. I do not come here to read your personal political commentary.

    It’s safe to say that your disdain for the Prime Minister has clouded your judgement. I suggest you delete the post and apologize to your readers.

    What’s next, a post on why Christianity is the only true religion?

  11. Thanks Roger!

    The blogger of this website is garbage. If you own a blog and write to the public, make sure you do some research first. Below is what I found from CBC.

    “Conservative Leader Stephen Harper said Sunday if re-elected he would introduce legislation that would make it a criminal offence for Canadians to travel to parts of the world under the control of extremist groups”

    Why would you want to travel to these places controlled by ISIS like? You know you will need to obey their law and convert to what they believe or they will kill you. If you obey their laws and follow their practice, stay there and don’t come back. Stupid! You deserved for people calling you name.

  12. Many angry comments denouncing this post, but it is a legitimate position with mainstream Canadian support. Even the right wing newspapers such as Sun and National Post wrote critical columns against this suddenly proposed policy. The biggest newspaper in the country actually wrote an article saying Harper is more of a “threat” (to global concerns, like climate change) than IS.

    Reference: “Why Harper (and friends) are a bigger threat than IS” at,


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