(picture above courtesy of Patrique Brisson)
Thousands Gather On Parliament Hill to Protest
Ottawa Ontario – Rallies in 50 cities and 4 countries were held today in protest against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s prorogation of Parliament. MPs were expected to be back at work this upcoming Monday after a holiday break. Mr. Harper reasoning to delay the resumption of Parliament was to concentrate on ways to improve Canada’s economy.
A Facebook group named “Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament” is responsible for organizing the rallies.
Jon Allen a member of this group was asked during an interview with CTV what his groups’ main problem with proroguing was, Allen said, “We bestowed upon the government the authority to govern. But we do not bestow them the right to misuse their constitutional privilege.”
NDP leader Jack Layton was one of the speakers at the rally on Parliament Hill today. “Unlock these doors Mr. Harper,unlock the doors of the people’s house it’s not your house,” said Layton during his opening remarks. Layton spoke furiously to the roughly 5,000 people in attendance while making a reference to a King, who once continually prorogued Parliament who ended up being beheaded because of the people’s frustration. “In no way will I promote the beheading of Harper, we have elections to prosecute such punishments,” stated Layton. The Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff also took the podium today to speak to the crowd. “When Harper phoned the Governor General on New Years Eve, he had no idea you would be here today,” said Ignatieff.
The Liberal leader also spoke about the significance of people rallying about this issue when he said, “this is a demonstration that Canadians understand their democracy that they care for their democracy, and if necessary will fight for their democracy.”
Local NDP Member of Parliament hopeful Darlene Jalbert went to the rally today.
“Everytime I go to a rally like thisand see the people protest for what they believe in it makes me proud to be Canadian,” said Jalbert.
Throughout the rally the crowd chanted “pass the bill” which was music to Jalbert ears as she believes this is a great motion when she said, “we need to be able to stop Harper from proroguing parliament for no reason other than to ignore the issues.”