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What would you ask Mr. Harper?

Posted by Justin Trudeau on May 13, 2013 | No Comments

You and I know that this country cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class.

But at a time when we need to invest in reclaiming middle class security, a tired Conservative Government is more and more out-of-touch with the priorities of Canadians.

It’s time they heard directly from you.

I want you to send in your questions and I’ll ask some of them directly to Mr. Harper during Question Period.

Watch this video to learn how you can have your voice heard in Ottawa:

What would you ask Harper?

www.liberal.ca/be-heard

Thank you.

Justin

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  1. Avatar of William Laycraft William Laycraft said on

    More of this. This should be a permanent thing. Not just on the liberal.ca website, not just on every party’s website, but on parliament.gc.ca

    It would be too awesome if Canadians could vote on a weekly, or daily question to be posed by someone (i.e. speaker, clerk, random MP) on their behalf. That would be a novel way to get everyone involved in the happenings in the Commons and would keep the government just a tiny bit more accountable to the people.

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  2. Avatar of Kevin Dallaire Kevin Dallaire said on

    Re: Senate Reform.

    In my view, abolishing or significantly reforming the Canadian Senate would probably require constitutional amendment and therefore is next to impossible given the amending formula required to do so. There is however a different way of making a real difference without opening up the constitutional avenue. That is mainly in the selection and appointment processes.

    As the primary purpose of the Senate is provide a chamber of sober second thought, and to grant representation to the various regions so that one population is not the only driving force in our politics, it seems to me that a very logical way of proceeding is to have the provincial legislatures nominate candidates for the senate in whatever means they wish to do so. That could be an election, or could be by recommendation of the provincial government. However it is done is immaterial. The point is that it is the province that puts forward a number of candidates.

    Those candidates would then be vetted by an INDEPENDENT appointments board with a final recommendation to the Governor General for official appointment. The Constitution act states, “24. The Governor General shall from Time to Time, in the Queen’s Name, by Instrument under the Great Seal of Canada, summon qualified Persons to the Senate; and, subject to the Provisions of this Act, every Person so summoned shall become and be a Member of the Senate and a Senator.” So the appointment of senators could be conducted by the Governor General instead of the prime minister.

    I would like to see one qualification for senators that is NOT listed. Namely that a senator may NOT be a member of a federal political party.

    Now think of the repercussions of such a process. In time, without amending the constitution, you would eventually replace the current status quo of partisan politics in the senate with a senate that better represents provincial interests, that is separated from partisan politics, and that hopefully does a better job of critiquing legislation produced by the House of Commons.

    We end up with a more democratic system and decentralization of power away from the PMO.

    I know I’m idealistic, but is there anything wrong with this suggestion that I am missing?

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    • Avatar of William Laycraft William Laycraft said on

      I personally am very interested in your idea for senate reform. I agree that having a house of sober second thought is important and that the red-room should be as non-partisan as possible.

      You should consider crafting a policy amendment for the next biennial convention!

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      • Avatar of Kevin Dallaire Kevin Dallaire said on

        Well the senate gets a bad rap in my opinion. If you look at how the senate is constituted and why, it is actually set up to represent each of the four regions equitably, namely the maritime provinces, Quebec, Ontario and the western provinces. Each of those regions has their own view of the country and have diverse needs. The representation is NOT by population and is designed to balance a populous province such as Ontario from carrying more influence. That is fine.

        Also, the intention of an un-elected (i.e. appointed)senate and for senators to have life-long appointments, was so that they would be removed from politics by never having to seek re-election. The idea is that they would then be able to do the “right thing” rather than the popular thing.

        I think both of those founding ideals still have merit. My idea to disqualify members of federal political parties from being named is to strengthen (or re-invent) a non-partisan approach. I truly believe it is necessary.

        I think there is much to be said for a strong senate in acting as a check and balance against a majority government without necessarily creating a logjam such as in the states.

        I’ve heard often that people want an elected senate, but the problem then becomes which house has more legitimacy… the commons or the senate. Under our current situation, the House of Commons still is the “voice of the people”. The Senate simply critiques and proposes amendments.

        I think the existing system can still work very, very effectively, if partisanship is eliminated. Under my proposal, senators would be more inclined to service. And the independent review panel would eliminate it as a house of patronage appointments, thereby giving the senate more legitimacy in the eyes of the Canadian public.

        Next is how to sell it to a population that is for the most part ignorant of civics. I think basically you sell it as more direct influence of the PROVINCES, coupled with removal of the PMO from the appointment process. That way, Albertans (and all provinces) feel like they have a more direct effect on the selection process, which is one of the their concerns. And I think ALL Canadians would like to see less power controlled by the PMO.

        The down side is that any Liberal government would ALSO be constrained in the same way. But this is where Justin can truly say, “Hey, we said we were going to do things differently, and so here you go Canada…. a NEW way of making the senate relevant”.

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        • Avatar of Peter Skipper Peter Skipper said on

          How about putting the name of every Canadian who voted in the last federal election into a draw for a Senate seat for the next 8 years? Do half at each federal election so half the Senate would remain at any given time for continuity sake. Draws would be regional. If the Senate has to be appointed and regional this method of getting representation would likely spark a greater interest in politics and possibly a greater turn out of voters at the polls. Let’s say that they likely would do as good a job as the way present Senators are representing themselves.

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  3. Avatar of Wayne Roberts Wayne Roberts said on

    Mr Trudeau

    As a boy and a young man, I was a great admirer of you father. He was a man of integrity, passion and fairness. He did not always please everyone but you know he stood for the average Canadian and was always concerned for what was best for the nation.

    When the dark days of Brian Mulrony ended, many liberals rejoiced in the hope of a return to fair and reasonable policies for the middle class. How disappointed we were with the policies of Jean Cretien and later Paul Martin. We saw social programs watered down and a general shift to the right by the Liberal party. None the less, I hoped that the surplus government would eventually lead to a restoration of social policy.

    Then the Conservatives were elected. I knew that they would do nothing to help the middle class. I was not surprised by their tax cuts to the corporations and the rich while slashing the unthinkable, CPP and OAS. As someone who has worked his whole life paying into a system that was suppose to give me a little something when I retire this a direct attack on the middle class. I had long given up on the Liberals doing anything. I am now a card carrying member of the NDP. The Liberal party is now closer to the Conservatives so this is why I now support the NDP. Your party’s election of a leader who supported the invasion of Iraq shows how far to right the Liberal party has drifted.

    My question is not for the Conservatives. It is clear that they will never do anything to help the middle class other than stupid stunts like the cut to the GST that help the rich more than they help the middle class. My question is for you Mr Trudeau. Are you going to honor your father political legacy and restore social policy, protect Canadian business and industries, independent foreign policy and fair taxation of the rich and corporations? If you are going to follow the recent past of the Liberal party then I have nothing more to say to you or the Liberal party.

    Regards
    Wayne Roberts

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    • Avatar of Wolfgang Braun Wolfgang Braun said on

      Wayne ROberts wrote: ” Your party’s election of a leader who supported the invasion of Iraq shows how far to right the Liberal party has drifted. ”

      Someone correct me but I thought it was PM Jean Chrétien who decided not to participate in the invasion of Iraq. It was Jean Chrétien who revealed more reasons behind Canada’s decision not to join the U.S. in a war against Iraq.

      My question to Justin Trudeau and PM Harper is still the same… ” what do you believe is the sole purpose and main task of politicians? And what principles should be followed by elected officials when designing and implementing policies? ”

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  4. Avatar of Mary MacLeod-Leigh Mary MacLeod-Leigh said on

    Mr. Trudeau, the first time I voted in a federal election it was for your father.
    When discussing politics my father would always make this comment about PET.
    Sometimes you loved him, sometimes you hate him. But he always tells you the truth and for that you always respect him. I sense the same character trait in you.

    The topic I am most interested in is what the government will do for developmentally related disabilities.

    In 1993 1 in 1200 children were diagnosed with Pervasive
    Developmental Disorder. The most common of these being autism.
    Today 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with some form of PDD.

    The government and society have not come close to meeting the needs of these individuals. As they become adults the chance of getting proper care decreases drastically.

    Families are being financially and emotionally strangled.

    If Diane Finlay stands up in QP and talks about that $300.00 tax break one more time let her know that for a severely autistic child that equates to about 6 hours of in house care. Over the period of 1 year that is nothing for her to be bragging about.

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  5. Avatar of Geoff Costanzo Geoff Costanzo said on

    Re Duffygate:

    Let me see if I have this straight. Senator Mike Duffy took $90k in illegal expense claims. When he was unable to deny it any more, he “voluntarily repaid” the money. To Conservative Senate leader Marjory LeBreton, this was enough. The matter was closed. Duffy was completely off the hook.

    Except he didn’t repay the money. Apparently he spent it, since he is pleading destitution and saying he doesn’t have any money to repay it with. Instead his friend Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, repaid it for him in the form of a personal $90k gift to Duffy which he does not expect to have repaid to him. According to Parliamentary Secretary and Conservative Party spokesman Pierre Poilievre, this was the “honourable thing” for Wright to do.

    But it’s illegal for a senator to accept a gift, which Mike Duffy did. By extension, it’s also obviously illegal to tender a gift unto a senator, which Nigel Wright did. So the illegal is now the honourable, as long as Conservatives do it. This reminds me of Richard Nixon’s statement that if the president does it, it isn’t illegal.

    Perhaps the question would be why the Conservatives are putting in so much effort to cover for Mike Duffy and protect him from any form of investigation.

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    • Avatar of Wolfgang Braun Wolfgang Braun said on

      If all Canadians wrote, emailed or telephoned every MP and Senator, with copes to the media, expressing their disgust about Senate expense abuse the Government would be forced to deal with this. Unless Canadians hold the fire to the feet of Government not much will change. At least that’s what I think.

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  6. Avatar of Darlene  Savage Darlene Savage said on

    I would like to know how to impeache Prime Minister Harper. If it is at all possible, how would the people of Canada do it? Petition to the Governor General? Social media Petition? Can someone please tell me How.. Cause I am ready to fight!!

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  7. Avatar of Willa McMullan Willa McMullan said on

    I would like to ask Mr.Harper how gullible he thinks Canadians are. He and all Canadians knew that Ms. Wallin and Mr. Duffy had not been residents of their home provinces for decades. He and all Canadians knew that the two had been recruited to campaign for the Conservative party, along with other Senate duties. Mr. Harper reasoned that he could get away with that, and he very nearly did. Had the senators not been so greedy, they would have enjoyed long careers in the senate and comfortable pensions upon retirement. How ironic that their good fortune just served to make them want more. Mr. Harper is playing the righteous leader now, all but asking them to resign and make things easy for him…But I think Mr. Harper should be asked why these bogus senators were appointed in the first place and why their campaign expenses were charged to the Senate and not to the Conservative Party.

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