Toronto-Danforth by-election: “a referendum on the Harper government of national importance.” Feb 13, 2012

CFN – The Honourable Sinclair Stevens, Leader of the Progressive Canadian Party (PC Party) and Party President, the Rev. Dorian Baxter PC Party candidate in the March 19th Toronto-Danforth, called following the passing of NDP Leader Jack Layton, stressed today that the by-election is in a very real sense a referendum on the Harper government of national importance.

“We are seeing the same contempt of parliament which led to the May 2nd general election. We are seeing that with a majority the Harper government believes it has a strong mandate to do whatever it wishes without regard for Parliament, proposing “to change how this country is governed” and using closure to silence the Opposition with the same contempt for Canadian democracy Stephen Harper showed in the two politically motivated prorogation crises.

We are seeing that despite claiming that the May 2nd election was about who is best to manage the economy, the Harper government is neglecting the economy with the exception of natural resources which he is willing to sell to foreign interests. The social contract of the Canadian government with the Canadian people is being betrayed as argued by the Occupy movement.  His threat of undebated “transformational change” to social programmes is evidenced by his announcing so-called pension reform, not in Parliament but in far-away Davos,” Stevens and Baxter noted.

Stephen Harper’s trip to China this past week well illustrates Harper priorities and policy.

Why is Mr. Harper so eager to disregard the issues of human rights, the abysmal working conditions of Chinese workers and of democratic government which he claimed so recently to be of great importance now that he wants to sell unrefined Alberta oil sands crude to China? Have conditions improved in China on any of these issues? Are the environmental issues or the need for good-paying long-term jobs in Canada any less? Why isn’t oil being refined in Canada for the benefit of all  Canadians?

Why is the Harper government binding Canada ever closer to the United States by integrating our economy and harmonizing Canadian regulations with American rules, purportedly to increase cross-border trade, and agreeing to a system of continental perimeter security, yet Mr. Harper’s current trip to China follows statements that if the Americans don’t want our oil, China will buy it?

Is Stephen Harper, in fact, attempting to interfere in American politics for the benefit of his ideological fellow-travellers?

Are the reputation and the interests of Canada to take second place to the provincialism, continentalism, and neoconservatism defining Mr. Harper’s regressive idea of a conservative party?

Is the Harper government mandated to govern Canada as a dozen provinces or is the vision of proud nationhood, of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy which inspired the Fathers of Confederation to continue to define Canada?

These are questions of national importance which the Harper government failed to address in the May 2, 2011 election and for which, the self-styled, “Harper Government” needs to be held to account.  For these reasons, the Toronto-Danforth by-election is a referendum on the Harper government of national importance.

Progressive-conservatives, Progressive Canadians, stand-up for Canada on these national issues.

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