Opinion Letters

Get back to work

On Dec. 30, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would be proroguing Parliament and suspending democracy until March 3.

This is the second time he has done this in just over a year.

Proroguing means all 37 bills being debated in Parliament are thrown in the trash. Discussion on bills starts from scratch in March, wasting months of hard work by all parties. These bills included new crime legislation, limits on credit card insurance rates, etc.

Committees investigating accusations of torture of Afghan detainees stop working. Discussions and decisions about the pension crisis affecting Canada's seniors stops.

Questions about Canada's inaction at the Copenhagen climate- change summit are silenced.

Opportunities to move forward with Canada's plan for sustainable development are stalled for over a month.

MPs cannot raise our concerns in Ottawa. What Harper has done is irresponsible and immoral and we want him back at work in Ottawa on Jan. 25 -- as scheduled.

Government must be accountable to the Canadian people.

I'm not interested in hearing excuses and political rhetoric.

As Mr. Harper himself said while in Opposition: "When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it's rapidly losing its moral authority to govern." (April 18, 2005)

Harper needs to walk the walk...not just talk the talk. He and his government have lost their moral authority to govern.

We are tired of Harper's autocracy and want a government that will nurture democracy.

Historically, Parliament is prorogued in one of two circumstances. The first is upon completion of the sessions' business, precedent which does not apply as 37 government and many private

member's bills were still on the order paper at the time of the decision.

The second is upon a change in the governing party's leadership, which also clearly does not apply.

To date, Harper has failed to offer a satisfactory reason for proroguing Parliament.

Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament so that he could hide from the issues he just doesn't want to face. But the questions remain -what really happened to the detainees in Afghanistan and what did the government know?

If the economy is in recovery, why is the rate of unemployment still so high?

Why is Canada ignoring climate change?

Canadians deserve answers to these questions now, not in three months.

Get back to work. Stop avoiding your problems, and deal with the issues on the table. Fulfil your responsibility to the people of Canada and be accountable and transparent like Harper promised when he ran for office.

Ann Truyens Shanty Bay



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