A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

What are they hiding?

Recently MP Guy Caron called on the Commons public account committee to resurrect 14 studies that were left unfinished when Parliament fell last March. Seven of the 14 are complete and just need to be tabled in the House of Commons, they include studies into costs related to the renovation of Parliament's West Block, the helicopter procurement deal, and the regulation and supervision of large banks.
The majority of Conservative MPs on the committee quashed Caron's motion, they also barred the public from that meeting despite there being nothing confidential being discussed.
One of the main concerns expressed by many observers, this one included, with a majority Conservative government was that the secrecy and difficulty in obtaining information about such items would increase. It would seem that those fears were not unfounded given that this oversight committee is charged with studying issues of transparency, of accountability and public expenditures. That they would not table the seven reports already completed indicates that as always they are hiding something in those reports that reflects poorly upon their governance. Nothing new about that, expect much more of this sort of thing in the coming months and years!

Meanwhile they continue to ram massive bills through the house without proper debate or consideration of the consequences. I have to agree with the Green Party on this one:-
The omnibus crime bill is 103 pages long. It holds nine separate bills, some of which will create major changes to the Canadian justice system. Harper wielded his majority as a bludgeon this week and limited debate to a mere two final days before sending it to the Conservative dominated committees for approval.
The worst of these changes are ethically and economically expensive. They look back to the 19th century instead of responding to the realities of the 21st century.  A government that respected its citizens would allow reasonable time for examination, debate, and change—and not limit parliamentary debate to an average of less than six minutes per page!”
So the omnibus bill now goes to committee and we have already seen how those are going to work under this government ........ as a conservative rubber stamp without regard to differing opinion, nothing new here!
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