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Stephen Harper’s Conservative Majority: Abuses of Process; Abuses of Power

Stephen Harper’s Conservative Majority: Abuses of Process; Abuses of Power

Posted on December 13, 2011

OTTAWA— Stephen Harper is using his majority to force through flawed laws and to shut Canadians out of the decision making process, said Liberal Leader Bob Rae, Deputy Liberal Leader Ralph Goodale, Liberal House Leader Marc Garneau, Liberal Whip Judy Foote and Liberal Senate Leader Senator Jim Cowan at the Liberal Party end of session press conference.

“Stephen Harper doesn’t play well with others,” said Mr. Rae. “The numbers from the last session of Parliament speak for themselves–the Conservatives systematically shut out people who do not subscribe to their narrow, rigid ideology.”

Statistics compiled by Liberals show Stephen Harper is snuffing-out debate, and ramming through legislation at an unprecedented rate.

“What we see is that the government is using time allocation as a tool to stifle debate before it even starts, rather than simply expediting legislation,” said Mr. Goodale.  “In the case of the Wheat Board bill, they even tried to put a time limit on discussions before the bill hit the Senate floor!”

This worrying trend is also present in Parliamentary committees.

“Stephen Harper’s arrogance and obsession with control and power has only gotten worse since he got his majority,” said Mr. Garneau. “The Conservatives are relying far too heavily on moving committees in camera whenever possible. That means Canadians are being shut out of discussions about laws that affect them and their families. This is fundamentally wrong.”

Conservatives have continued their tradition of silencing, shutting out or simply ignoring advice from anyone who disagrees with them, including experts and MPs from other parties. This has led to ill-considered laws that are, at best, deeply flawed and at worst, outright unconstitutional.

“Conservative MPs blindly follow orders and are too scared to stray from Harper’s directives,” said Ms. Foote. “That is why we have a massive omnibus crime bill with no price tag. That is why they are charging ahead to kill the Canadian Wheat Board even though the Federal Court called it illegal. The numbers are adding up and the results are a frightening insight into what the next four years hold for Canadians.”

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