Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mr. Harper - you have two more days

These are the top twenty issues that as a voter in a democratic country, I expected to hear from the government during this election. Mr. Harper, you have failed to provide information on:

1. On “Turning the Corner”, explain how your $65 carbon tax will affect Canadian households. If, as some Conservatives are saying, lettuce will cost $8 per head under the Liberals Green Shift at $40 carbon tax then will lettuce cost $10 per head under your plan? You failed to present your plan to the public for review during this election. Instead of attacking the other plans, fairness demands that you present your plan for review.

2. Please explain the 110 absences of Conservatives at All Candidates meetings in their own ridings. Why do your candidates refuse to answer for your government, as is the purpose of the election process in Canada?

3. Canadians deserve to know about and discuss the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership which you have signed on our behalf. Please specifically explain "The cornerstone commitment of the partnership is its 'cradle-to-grave' plan to have all spent fuel from the world's reactors shipped back to GNEP uranium-supplier nations for secure disposal at nuclear-waste sites." Since Canada is a uranium-supplier nation under this agreement, when will we be receiving these shipments of spent fuel and which electoral district will be receiving these? (My other concerns related to uranium are here.)

4. Explain the discrepancy between your sworn testimony indicating the ‘Cadman” tape has been altered and your expert who has declared the tape as “unaltered”.

5. Canada keeps its contractual commitments. When will you implement the Kelowna Accord?

6. The Parliament is elected to represent the Canadian people. When a majority of the Canadian people choose members who vote to end deportations of Iraq war resistors, it is the duty of the Prime Minister to ensure that the majority will of the House is enacted. When will you end these deportations?

7. Describe your intentions under the European Free trade agreement and the items that are on the table for the meeting on October 17th. When will we have constitutional talks to meet the European requirement for provincial buy-in?

8. The House of Commons Natural Resources Committee called on Linda Keen, President of the CNSC to give her account of the events. However, late at night, on the eve of her appearance, Minister Lunn fired Ms. Keen for failure to "take into account the health of Canadians who, for medical purposes, depend on nuclear substances produced by nuclear reactors," delaying her testimony. Why, instead of working with the various agencies to effect a solution, did Minister Lunn fire a highly respected professional in an arms-length agency? Why hasn’t the government presented a plan during this election to deal with the aging reactor at Chalk River

9. Since my husband and I have recently suffered a paper loss of 25% in our RRSP holdings on top of the income trust losses two years ago, please explain how you expect us to support ourselves in our retirement. More of the same course is not working well for us. Hint: we’re out of money so we can’t buy any of those bargains you spoke of last week.

10. Why did you not appoint a Procurement Auditor, as you promised in 2006? Please explain the peculiar contracts by Jim Flaherty who hired several communications people with no-bid contracts for $24,844 each.

11. How will deregulation of the Food Inspection processes in our country make our food supply safe to feed to families? Please explain the discrepancy between your words saying you’re hiring more inspectors and the written record presented indicating that you intend to reduce the effective oversight of food inspections.

12. Since the last election, 67 Conservative candidates have been investigated by Elections Canada for irregular spending reports on advertising. Has your party used similar spending practises in this election? Will the Conservative Party of Canada be paying Canadians back for the abuse of the 10%ers?

13. Why did you make an undemocratic deal with Jack Layton to prevent Elizabeth May from participating in the debates?

14. As the head of government, you were charged with making Parliament work in a minority situation. Instead you chose to abuse the confidence more than any Prime Minister in history. Why did you issue a Commons Committee manual to Conservatives instructing them on proper methods of obstructing parliamentary committee effectiveness? If you have a minority government after Tuesday's election, will you work to make Parliament functional or will the crime bill trigger another election within 6 months as indicated by Justice Minister Nicholson.

15. Now that you have effectively destroyed the ability of the Canadian Wheat Board to represent the interests of farmers, how do you intend to support them in the coming economic crisis?

16.  Canadians know that innovation and research and development are a critical aspect of a prosperous economy. Now that the economy is failing, how will Canadians now focus on innovation without a qualified National Science Advisor? Why did you fire the National Science Advisor?

17. You have indicated that Arctic Sovereignty is important to our future, please explain the firing of Jack Anawak, the Ambassador of Circumpolar Affairs.

18.  Please explain the dismantling of the Canada Emission Reduction Incentives Agency. Does your plan “Turning the Corner” not need independent oversight or is there no intention to reduce emissions in your plan?

19. When will the Ambassador for the Environment position so effectively filled by Karen Kraft Sloan until September 2006, be filled?

20. Why have you chosen to politicize previously effective agencies of the government resulting in the resignations of highly-regarded officials, specifically in the Immigration and Refugee Board?

Given that there are only two days remaining, I’m not holding my breath in anticipation of an answer from Stephen Harper or his caucus in hiding. However, maybe a responsible journalist could pose one or two of these questions in the few hours remaining.


penlan said...

On James Curran's blog, in response to boycotting Duffy & CTV, you commented you had sent a letter to CTV. Would you be willing to share that with us readers? I, for one, would love to read what you wrote.

btw - we are practically neighbours. I live in Mitchell, not far from you. :)

penlan said...

Forgot to add - this is an excellent post!

Deb Prothero said...

Hi Penlan;

We are nearly neighbours! Isn't it great to touch base with Canadians online.

I'll put my letter as a post, that's a good idea. I'm a little sheepish about it because I copied Susan's letter from Jim's post then added a couple of lines. I'll pop over to Jim's and warn her.