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3 posts from January 2010

January 11, 2010

Elizabeth May's Reply to My Letter to The Governor General

Remember the letter I wrote to the Governor General, urging her not to agree to Harper's request to prorogue Parliament? I just received the most inspiring reply from Elizabeth May's office. Here's what the letter says:

Dear Ann,

Thank you for your message regarding the prorogation of parliament. The Prime Minister's latest move proves once again his extreme cynicism and mastery in political calculation. The Green Party of Canada was the first federal party to denounce Harper’s second prorogation in just over a year. This extended vacation for MPs is an affront to democracy.
The move brings government committees to a standstill, particularly preventing investigation into the critical matter of the Afghan detainees.  It delays any bills currently before the house including the government's crime bills. Pressing issues such as the climate crisis and Canada’s economic recovery issues will remain unresolved until March.
What now?  We need to expect the unexpected. We need to kick and scream at this insult to democracy -- because that is what it is.  We need to support each other, efforts by other parties, non-political leadership. Wherever a clear and compelling call for democracy emerges, that voice must be supported.
Join Canadians across Canada on January 23rd rallying against the prorogation of parliament. I am attending the rally in Ottawa on Parliament Hill, but visit the Facebook group to find the rally closest to you.
Harper's move this week is premised on the assumption that enough Canadians simply do not care about democracy or the role of Parliament.   It presumes that Parliament can be shuttered for partisan political reasons.

In the interests of democracy, let's hope this time his cynicism has miscalculated.
Elizabeth May, O.C.
P.S. Please visit the Green Party website to read my latest blogs on the issue.


I should also mention that I also received a lovely note from Betsy McGregor, Liberal Candidate for Peterborough Riding, who was also copied on the letter. She wrote, in part: "Ann - thank you for sending this explicit letter of concern to the office of the Governor General."

And as for the Governor General? I haven't had any acknowledgment of the correspondence from her office. I'll keep you posted on that front.

January 23 Rally - Peterborough, Ontario - No to Prorogue!


You can download copies of the event posters (there are four different ones) and share them all around town. I don't know about you, but I think they're gorgeous.

For more information about the rally and the cause, please visit

Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament on Facebook

the website of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (noprorogue.ca)

noprorogue's Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com/noprorogue)

January 07, 2010

Do You Think it Was the Ventriloquist Dummy Analogy That Got My Letter Spiked?

It appears that The Peterborough Examiner isn't going to publish my Letter to the Editor, so I thought I'd have my say here instead.

What kind of country has Canada become when the Prime Minister is more concerned about holding on to power at any cost than showing any type of leadership, moral or otherwise; and Conservative MPs function as ventriloquist dummies, dutifully mouthing the messages of the puppet master?

Harper must go. The opposition parties must defeat the Harper government on a motion of non-confidence at the first opportunity. They must also pull together to offer Canadians a progressive alternative at the ballot box: one that spells out a vision for Canada that transcends party lines. The problems that face Canadians globally and across the country demand visionary, collaborative problem-solving; not narrow, partisan thinking.

I urge the leaders of the opposition parties to be bold and daring. Too much is at stake for caution or inaction.

And speaking of Letters to the Editor, I thoroughly enjoyed Alissa Paxton's letter, which ran a few days ago. Some of the other letters on the subject of prorogation (specifically from the pro-prorogation camp) haven't proven nearly as link-worthy, but this one, from a fellow anti-prorogation enthusiast, made me smile. (I like a letter to demonstrate logic and/or original thought. How about you?)

Note (added Mon. Jan. 11): It turns out my letter did run in the end -- on Fri. Jan. 8. I didn't receive my usual call from the newspaper's fact-checker verifying that the letter was mine, so I was surprised to see it in print. (Perhaps they saw it here and took that as confirmation. I don't have a problem with that as long as they still go through some sort of process of verifying the authenticity of letters. If that goes, there will be total anarchy when it comes to letters to the editor.)


Suspending Parliament Puts Focus on Games: MP