View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Canadians Have a Right to Know – November 19, 2010 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON  – “Canadians are waiting for a clear, detailed position from the government. Citizens have the right to know what the government intends to do clearly with respect to our engagement in 2011.” For once, Ignatieff has it right; we do deserve to know before, not after the decision is officially recognized by NATO.

No one is foolish enough to believe that just days before a key NATO meeting that the government is still examining its options for the extension of the Afghan mission. This decision was finalized by the Prime Minister days, if not weeks ago. For Lawrence Cannon to stand and pretend we still don’t know what we are doing is a sham. That type of bluffing (most likely directly by PMO) is not only silly but disrespectful of the House and the public.

One could also question why it is Cannon answering questions about a NATO military deployment. While all the reporters are focused on whether or not MacKay is leaving, has anyone asked him why Cannon is in charge of the file? Has anyone asked him if he and our military agree with this particular deployment and our new role in Afghanistan?

Extending our mission may be the right thing to do, but it is a decision that is going to have a strong impact on our country, and more specifically on the men and women of our armed forces and their families.

Because it is so important, it is one of those occasions in politics when Ignatieff and Rae should have been briefed by the government. Both are members of the Privy Council and as such could have been fully briefed in complete confidence. This would have lessened the tone of the debate and shown a government not only intent on doing the right thing in Afghanistan but also on the home front.

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for True North Public Affairs in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.

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  1. I am still waiting to be consulted on multiculturism, bilingulism and the metric system, and may be for them if the benefits out number the negatives.

    Some of us vote for a government, some do not show up and there are various levels of involvment with each of those groups. The one common point though as Mr Beardsly says, we all should know what is going on, unless of course, it effects the safety of those in the field. After all, the Taliban get CNN too!

  2. Yes, absolutely, Keith. But tell that to a man who doesn’t listen, doesn’t care, and thinks he makes the rules.

  3. It’s coming out now that Lawrence Cannon and Bob Rae and others have been secretly discussing this issue for a few months now. Talk about governing by stealth. No debate in The House. No public discourse by either the government or the official opposition. Both the Cons and the Libs seem to know how best to handle this mess, and they sure as hell don’t want input from Canadians.

  4. We voted them in to run the country and that’s what they are doing

  5. We, Stan? 37% only. Running the country? Good luck.

  6. Yes Stan they are running the country, into the ground. Rumour is that Peter Mackay is on the outs now with Mr Harper. The PMO is excluding him from major defense announcements and all because he wore an UAE hats during one interview. Looks like another portfolio for John Bard. Pretty soon there is only going to be Harper and Bard running the government, the dictator and his mouth.

    Hmmm, maybe I can get Mr. MacKay to head my COMIC party.

  7. Stan, The way I understand it is that we elect MPs to represent us in the decision making process. That involves consulting with constituents, public discussion, and debates in the House. We’re getting none of that.

  8. Reg, make that Soudas, Harper and Baird. How low can they go? How low will they pull us?

  9. Grim, It’s scary how something like that can be completely off the media radar. Can you say “police state”?

  10. Thats why I pointed it out Furtz, we’ve been bickering about some of the wrong things, we just experienced yet again some smoke and mirrors tactics by these cons in office.. whats worse, with their con dominated senate now, they can actually make this pass… why do farmers like Lauzon? this just put a gun to all farmers heads if Health Canada decides to get nasty!

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