Thursday, February 11, 2010

Harper to Prorogue B.C. Legislature While CAPP Prorogues Harper

In a display of sheer hypocrisy, while Stephen Harper has shut down our own Parliament, he will be addressing the B.C. Legislature, which didn't have to shut down to host the Olympics.

Clearly this arrogant prime minister is just rubbing our noses in it.

But in all fairness, the poor man has had a busy week. He sold our country and introduced private health care. He needs a little down time.

Prime Minister criticized for addressing B.C. legislature instead of Parliament
February 11, 2010
OTTAWA - The federal Opposition is ridiculing Prime Minister Stephen Harper for a pre-Olympics speech he'll give today in British Columbia.

Premier Gordon Campbell says it will be the first address to the B.C. legislature by a prime minister. But the federal Liberals say Harper should be giving the speech in the House of Commons, where the parliamentary sitting has been put on hiatus until Mar. 3. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff calls it a ridiculous situation, and jokingly said Wednesday he hopes Harper doesn't prorogue the B.C. legislature.

To take some of the pressure off, Michael Ignatieff helped him out by drawing up some questions:

But not to worry Michael. CAPP will be there to ask them for you. Now remember this will be a peaceful demonstration, so if Dimmy Witty starts telling you otherwise, have him committed. By the way, the chains he's referring to in the video link, was one blue plastic bicycle lock that someone symbolically placed on a door. It was lifted off several times and never prevented anyone from coming in or out.

When he visits Victoria, let’s tell Stephen Harper to stop playing games in Ottawa
By Bob Hamilton

This Thursday (February 11), our prime minister, who is simply too busy to face Parliament in Ottawa, will somehow find the time to come to Victoria and address the B.C. legislature. British Columbians will not be amused. Stephen Harper will be met by a peaceful group of pro-democracy activists on the lawn of the legislature with a clear message: Harper, stop playing games with our democracy!

When Harper tried to slip the shutdown of Parliament past us during the Christmas holiday, he gambled that Canadians wouldn’t notice, or wouldn’t care. He lost.

Over 200,000 Canadians expressed their anger on Facebook, and thousands braved winter weather to show up at protests in cities across the nation. Speaker after speaker tore holes in Harper’s feeble excuses for prorogue.

They questioned why he needed to shut down Parliament to work on his Economic Action Plan”, when his own finance minister admitted that 97 percent of the funds had already been committed. They didn’t buy the excuse that “the Liberals did it too” either, pointing out that “two wrongs don’t make a right”. This anger spilled over into the polls, where Conservative popularity has dropped like a stone. In a lighter vein, a Facebook poll garnered over 150,000 “fans” for a plain onion ring, while Harper’s Facebook fans list stays stalled at less than 30,000.

The consequences of a lack of parliamentary oversight were evident again last week when Harper announced an agreement to allow Canadian companies some access to U.S. stimulus projects that had been restricted under “Buy American” provisions. Had Harper made this announcement in Parliament, he would have had to face tough questioning over why he made so many new concessions just to get the U.S. to stop violating the existing NAFTA agreement. The less charitable among us might argue that Brian Mulroney “sold off parts of the family farm” in 1988, while Harper “gave away the rest” in 2010.

The bottom line for the Victoria legislature protesters is that they’re tired of the incessant political tactics and game-playing in Ottawa. They want a prime minister who is not afraid to face parliamentary scrutiny. They want to see real leadership, and a real vision for our country.

Is this too much for Canadians to ask?

For Victorians interested in participating in a peaceful protest, the “Harper, Stop Playing Games With Our Democracy” rally will take place on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. on the front lawn of the legislature.

You can find out more on the Facebook event page.

Bob Hamilton is a member of the Vancouver chapter of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament. He’s also a self-described grumpy old fogey, who usually votes Conservative, but just got tired of Harper’s games.


  1. I agree with you, Emily, and with Bob Hamilton when he said:
    "They (Canadians) want a prime minister who is not afraid to face parliamentary scrutiny. They want to see real leadership, and a real vision for our country. Is this too much for Canadians to ask?"
    I don't think it's too much for us to ask, but I have a feeling we might ask in vain. I beg, however, to be wrong.