In the last election Canadians indicated that they wanted Parliament to work. They wanted a Parliament that would ensure stability during this time of economic uncertainty. Canadians also said that they wanted the tone of Parliament to change from one of hostility and bickering to one of cooperation.
The Prime Minister apparently agreed.
However, it has become abundantly clear that the Prime Minister was not only not interested in working with the opposition, but in a stunning lack of respect for democracy, wanted to silence all opposition. The ideas offered by the Liberal Party and others were treated with contempt and were summarily dismissed. He spent millions of dollars ridiculing Stephan Dion. All the while he seemed to be unaware that he had received less than 40% of the popular vote. The Canadian people had not seen fit to trust him with a majority. Twice.
Secondly, the insult to Canadians contained in the fiscal update showed that not only was there no fiscal stimulus like that of every other G7 nation, it was in fact an anti-stimulus package, instituting ideological cuts. All of the world’s leading economists are calling for governments to stimulate the economy, but Mr. Harper goes in the opposite direction.
The projections produced by the Finance Minister can only be described as “economical with the truth.” In an effort to conceal from Canadians the reality of a looming deficit he projected the sale of Canadian assets. Under no set of accounting principles do you book a sale of assets before they have been identified for sale, let alone sold, and then add those imaginary sales to your fiscal projections. It is a little like spending money from the sale of your home before you’ve even put a For Sale sign up on your front lawn.
Thirdly, the Prime Minister launched an attack on the fundamental principles of our country and society. He attacked democracy by unilaterally taking away civil servants’ guaranteed right to strike, funding for political parties (both of which he has since retracted) and women’s right to equal pay.
After the Prime Minister realized the magnitude of his miscalculation, he has been furiously back peddling. Simultaneously he has launched a massive advertising campaign to help his job.
Canada needs strong leadership during this time of economic uncertainty – not ridicule, political brinkmanship and efforts to silence democratic debate. Canada needs a government that will act as a steward to the economy, not a government that is content to leave Canadians to fend for themselves.
It is the duty of a responsible opposition to ensure that the government is acting in the interests of its people. A firm resolution to create a cooperative coalition will ensure that the government of Canada takes action to strengthen the economy, works to ensure the financial security of Canadians, and brings stability to our fragile democracy.
Canada at its foundation is a coalition of people with diverse interests and backgrounds, lead by great leaders like Sir John A. MacDonald and George Etienne Cartier who recognized that our strength and genius as a nation lies in our ability to compromise and work together for the good this great land and its people. It was the ability of our founders to cobble together diverse, yet stable, coalitions that gave birth to the Canadian federation. It is an inherent part of the tradition of our country, and it is a tradition that makes our democracy durable and robust.
I have spoken to many constituents and have received an overwhelming amount of correspondence, much of it supportive, though some have concerns. I have endeavoured to take all of your thoughts into account and communicate them with my colleagues. I thank you for your calm and resolution during this time of historic political and economic change.
Finally, this issue boils down to the most basic principle of Canadian democracy. Does the Prime Minister, the leader of the Canadian government, enjoy the confidence of his elected colleagues or does he not? At present, a majority in the House of Commons have no confidence in the current government’s ability to govern Canada responsibly. Mr. Harper should put the issue to vote and let the people’s chosen representatives decide. The prorogation of Parliament shows that Mr. Harper is afraid to face the House the Commons.
Hon. John McKay P.C., M.P.
From: Fry, Hedy – M.P.
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 11:49 AM
Subject: RE: Prime Minister has no one to blame but himself for the crisis he finds himself in.
Thank you for your letter regarding the current situation in Ottawa.
It’s time to put the country first.
The Conservatives claim that it is undemocratic to offer the Governor General the option of a Liberal/NDP coalition government (representing 45% of votes) instead of a costly $300-million election, so soon after an equally costly and unnecessary one in October.
That’s an interesting double standard.
In September 2004, soon after the election of Paul Martin’s minority Liberal government, Stephen Harper, then leader of the Opposition, wrote a letter to the Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, co-signed by the Gilles Duceppe’s Bloc and Jack Layton’s NDP, suggesting that she use her constitutional authority to consult with the opposition parties, who “form a majority in the House”, in order to find and alternative to an election in the event that there was a vote of no confidence in Martin’s government.
How was this a viable option in 2004, when it served Mr Harper’s interests, but the same suggestion is undemocratic now?
The letter in 2004 from Mr Harper et a. was signed by the same “separatist” Gilles Duceppe and the same “socialist” Jack Layton.
Why was it acceptable to join with those forces then, but unacceptable now?
Furthermore, according to documents received by the Globe and Mail, Canadian Alliance Lawyer, Gerry Chippeur confirmed that during the 2000 election, he wrote and presented an offer to the Bloc Quebecois and The Progressive Conservatives, that would see Alliance leader Stockwell Day, Gilles Duceppe and Joe Clarke form a “new government of consensus” in the event that Chrétien Liberals won a minority government..
On Wednesday in the House of Commons, the Leader of the Bloc Quebecois reminded Stockwell Day of that proposal and asked him why he would tell the House that he would never make a deal with the “separatists”, when he did in 2000.
The idea that the Conservative Government would deny these truths in Parliament in order to cling to power underscores even further the lack of trust that the opposition parties have in the government and the contempt that we collectively feel for their unashamed deception to the Canadian people.
The Harper government has let Canadians down. They let us down when they did not present a plan of action to help the workers, seniors and businesses that have been hit hard by the current economic crisis. They added insult to injury six weeks ago, choosing to fatten the Harper Cabinet by 11 MP’s at a cost of $20 million annually. This is reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s resp
onse to her starving people crying for bread: “let them eat cake!”.
The Harper government deceived Canadians when they continued to pretend that there is no fiscal deficit. They deceive with their assertions that the opposition’s suggestion to the Governor General is undemocratic, and they further deceive when they suggest that an agreement with the Bloc is traitorous.
The proposed coalition government is between the New Democrats and the Liberals only. The Bloc will continue to sit as an opposition party; they have only agreed not to bring the coalition government down, on a confidence motion, for 1 1/2 years in order to allow for stability of governance in a national crisis. Yet, the Conservatives deceive Canadians by suggesting that the Bloc will be part of a coalition government.
Steven Harper’s government performs the ultimate deception when it denies its own past agreements to form similar alliances with the same political parties.
Hon. Hedy Fry, P.C.,M.P.
From: St-Cyr, Thierry – Député
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 10:44 AM
Subject: RE: The Prime Minister has no one to blame but himself for the crisis he finds himself in.
On behalf of Thierry St-Cyr, MP for Jeanne-Le Ber and Bloc Québécois Citizenship and Immigration Critic, I want to thank you for your e-mail message.
It will be brought to Mr St-Cyr’s attention as soon as possible.
Adjointe de circonscription
Bureau de Thierry St-Cyr
Député de Jeanne-Le Ber
Porte-parole du Bloc Québécois
Citoyenneté et Immigration
4071, rue Wellington
Montréal (Québec), H4G 1V6