Thursday, January 21, 2010

Doug Ferguson Knows That Harper is on the Run

I really like Doug Ferguson. I have him as a Facebook friend and he is so down to earth. Such a benefit to the Liberal team and I just know that he will make London West proud when he wins that seat in the next federal election.

He wrote an op-ed piece for his local paper, that will open a lot more eyes to just what Stephen Harper is doing - AGAIN!

When the going gets tough, he gets going. Stephen Harper is not a leader!

Harper trying to hide from scrutiny
January 20, 2010

There is a groundswell of angry opposition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's latest tactic to run and hide from the Canadian public.

Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament is just one example of this. The Facebook group is growing by the tens of thousands each day. Letters to the editor pages and talk radio shows are flush with outrage from ordinary Canadians upset that Parliament has been locked out while the Conservatives take an extended vacation.

What concerns me the most is that Stephen Harper's ploy to padlock Parliament is far from an isolated act. It's just the latest in a pattern -- whenever he gets into political trouble, his first instinct is to steamroll over democratic institutions and shut down accountability to hide from public scrutiny.

Just look at his record. In late 2008, to escape a political crisis of his own making, Harper asked the Governor General to prorogue parliament -- before passing even a single bill.

He fires public servants critical of his actions and attacks their reputations. Consider diplomat Richard Colvin, who spoke out against the torture of Afghan detainees, or Linda Keen who blew the whistle on nuclear safety.

Harper also sent the heads of the RCMP's Public Complaints Commission and the Military Police Complaints Commission packing because they criticized his government.

Stephen Harper has starved Parliamentary budget chief Kevin Page of the necessary resources to do his job for being critical of the government's poor management of our public finances.

He cut off public funding for a Christian charitable group, Kairos, because its members held dissenting views about government foreign policy.

Now, the Conservatives are trying to hide behind the Vancouver Olympics as an excuse for stifling dissent, even though other democratic host nations continued to have functioning Parliaments right up to or during their Games, including Canada in 1988.

Canadians object to Harper's iron-fisted manoeuvre, killing 36 pieces of unfinished government legislation and shutting down every forum that exists to hold the government to account, including question period, parliamentary committees, order paper questions and the media scrutiny that goes along with Parliament.

Mr. Harper wrongly gambled that Canadians don't care about the health of their democracy and how they are governed. Canadians are not so easily duped. They do care -- and so do Liberals.

That's why, while Conservative MPs and senators take an extended vacation from Parliament, we will be hard at work.

Last week, Michael Ignatieff went on a cross-Canada tour to college and university campuses in order to engage our next generation of leaders in an exchange of ideas for building a more prosperous and fair Canada.

And on Monday, the date when Parliament should have resumed, Liberal MPs and senators will be back at work on Parliament Hill -- taking their jobs seriously and giving voice to the issues Canadians care about.

Each day that week, Liberal MPs and Senators will host working sessions on a series of issues, working with Canadians as we build up to our Canada at 150 conference in March.

At that conference, we will bring together some of this country's brightest minds to figure out how we want Canada to look in 2017 -- Canada's 150th birthday -- and what we need to do now to get there.

(Doug Ferguson will be the Liberal candidate for London West in the next federal election)

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