In American politics it has always been a de facto strategy of the right-wing to undermine the power of the federal government. States rights has long been the slogan and banner of the right in America. This was the South's excuse for seceding from the union and the southern states used this slogan as a defense of Jim Crow laws and the effort to resist integration. The basis of this strategy, of course, that any genuine social effort has to have a major federal component. You cannot really institute social healthcare or education etc. without a real and strong process of national regulation and national organization. Services can be delivered in various ways but without a federal role, genuine social welfare cannot really take place. Harper is a student of right-wing American politics and his knows this strategy very well. Harper's main political impulse since he became Prime Minister has been to undermine the power of the Federal Government in anyway that he can while taking advantage of his federal position to undermine democratic processes at all levels. There is nothing conspiratorial about it folks. It is just a basic right-wing strategy; retreat from federal governance.
Rona Ambrose, Harper's first environmental minister, not only doesn't believe in global warming but is a serious follower of Ayn Rand and believes that all national strategies are necessarily evil. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Harper's government does only the most minimal effort on the environmental front, that is an effort that will not make alienate too many voters. Meanwhile that have done almost nothing on the environmental file. Retreat from governance is the strategy, it has been from the beginning.