Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dan McTeague Says Harper's Closing Parliament Will Mean 50 Million Dollars Down the Luge

After a Durham, Ontario region newspaper printed a ridiculous article suggesting that closing down Parliament for the Olympics was a good thing, MP Dan McTeague wrote a letter to the editor, contradicting such nonsense.

Reformer Blake Richards told his paper that they would be busy hosting the event. Well you know what Blake, and all other Reformers who believe that it is YOUR PARTY hosting the Olympics; Vancouver and Canadians are the ones doing the hosting. NOT YOUR PARTY!

You have nothing to get ready for. Just pack your bags and charge us for your travel. It's pretty simple.

MP slams idea of Olympic break for Parliamentarians
January 13, 2010

To the editor:

Re: PM's decision made sense given timing of Olympics, editorial, Jan. 6.

Your editorial suggests this prorogation is acceptable, normal and ultimately "makes sense." You are wrong on all three counts.

There is no precedent to suggest Parliament be shut down during the Olympics. Of the two-week 1988 Calgary Olympics, the House sat for one week. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was able to attend the Games for the first week and attend the closing ceremonies -- all without skirting his obligation to remain accountable to the House of Commons. The rest of Canada will be expected to show up to work and do their job during the Olympics.

To suggest the work of Parliamentarians is meaningless, as your editorial has, is totally unfair. With Parliament operating, MPs could have continued to debate over 30 different government bills, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper's much-vaunted crime and consumer protection legislation. These bills have been at the centre of his agenda for the last year.

Prorogation stopped this agenda in its tracks.

Canadians elect and pay MPs to represent them in Ottawa. It is a job I respect and value. However, by March 3, Canadians will have spent over $50 million to operate a Parliament that is effectively padlocked shut.

Democracy can be messy and uncomfortable, but as Churchill said, it is better than the alternatives. The prime minister has a duty to attend the House and be accountable for the actions of the government. By shutting down Parliament just before New Year's Eve, Mr. Harper is gambling Canadians won't notice, but they have. Canadians demand any politician worth their salt won't take a break for the Olympics and will continue the important business of the people.

Dan McTeague, MP
Pickering-Scarborough East

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