Letter to the editor: Joan Bell — Aug. 21, 2012

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Our “stealth” prime minister has completely subjugated the role of Parliament by forcing Tory MPs to support his draconian bills. Do they fear losing well-paid jobs and pensions by being kicked out of caucus?

Harper’s government has abused power by taking powers, previously set out in statute, as rightfully Parliament’s and vested them in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Harper’s increased information officers by 16 per cent to spin messages from the military, scientists, environmentalists etc., whose representatives previously spoke directly to Canadians. Meanwhile Harper has clamped down on information available to the taxpaying public.                                                                                                     

MPs have witnessed Harper proroguing parliament twice, endured closure and restriction in time allocated for debate, been forced to debate the Omnibus Bill that cut funding to social programs and gutted environmental and Fisheries and Ocean legislation; no public consultation or input. In a June editorial, the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix wrote “This Omnibus bill goes farther to change the nature of Canada than any previous bills have done.”                                                                                

Government is destroying step by step Canada’s strong social safety net while slashing corporate tax rates from 28 per cent to 17 per cent; a revenue loss of $745 billion. Struggling Canadians could’ve received many services with this money.

Canadians should be outraged at Harper’s government trying to derail attempts by the UN to draft an international treaty to govern the global arms trade; outraged also at Canada becoming a militaristic nation.

It’s time Canadians demanded that Parliament’s MPs retain the rights guaranteed them in a parliamentary democracy.

 

Joan Bell             

Saskatoon

Organizations: Tory MPs, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, UN

Geographic location: Canada, Saskatoon

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