Opinion Jun 4, 2020 2:22 PM EST

Trudeau's parliamentary power grab must be fought

This election will decide whether Canada will continue to be a free and prosperous nation, or whether we will slide downwards into tyranny, corruption, and authoritarianism.

Trudeau's parliamentary power grab must be fought
Warren Steinley Regina, SK.
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For the past several years, Justin Trudeau and his ministers have taken every opportunity to avoid public scrutiny. This Liberal government has shown a continual disdain for democracy, alongside a shameless and arrogant pattern of behaving like rules don’t apply to them.

A few examples of this behaviour include Michael Wernick’s shady attempt to silence Jody Wilson-Raybould and exert political influence over a sitting Attorney General, breaking over a century of precedent by underfunding and overworking the Auditor General for multiple years to avoid audits, and of course behaving like a culturally insensitive college student in India—just one of many diplomatic catastrophes.

These seemingly endless humiliating and historically significant scandals would likely plague the reputation of this government far greater without the help of their media allies running cover for them. But thanks in part to certain media outlets’ willing participation, Canadians are being sold the idea that Parliament is some kind of ‘roadblock’ preventing urgent action in the case of emergency.

Quite the contrary; Conservatives worked early and often with colleagues from all parties to deliver emergency spending measures needed to keep our economy afloat. Furthermore, Conservatives were the ones pushing this Government to close their borders far earlier than they did, an emergency measure that could have saved lives and been highly effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There is no question that the Conservative Party is absolutely focused on doing whatever is needed to get our country through this maddening time as unscathed as possible, even if that means supporting extraordinary measures.

The question remains: why shut down Parliament?

When it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19, there are countless adaptive measures that Parliamentarians could implement to allow business to proceed as normally as possible. I’ve been impressed by countless examples of businesses in my riding utilizing the incredible potential of video conferencing technology in order to keep themselves running, much of which has been done at an overnight pace.

Why can’t we adapt and come up with innovative new ways to minimize person to person contact while upholding the critical responsibilities of Parliament? To me, it’s clear that if the political will existed to do so, it would be entirely possible to find ways to resume Parliament’s critical oversight, while safely observing physical distancing guidelines.

The problem is that it’s clear there is precisely zero political motivation to do the extra work needed to make Parliament work while protecting our health and safety. The Liberals and the NDP have shown that they would much rather govern by proxy or daily press conference from the cottage, ignoring over a century of Parliamentary precedent by shuttering the doors to the House of Commons for several months.

I remain unsurprised by Justin Trudeau’s enthusiasm to silence opposition voices. For the entirety of his administration’s tenure himself and his ministers have repeatedly misled and complicated key details, refused to answer direct questions, and silenced criticism whenever possible.

What I can’t figure out is why Jagmeet Singh, somebody who fancies himself a ‘democratic socialist’, has acted completely counter to his advertised beliefs by fully enabling Justin Trudeau’s unprecedented power grab. Perhaps we should now refer to Jagmeet as an ‘authoritarian socialist’, seeing as he has thrown Canadian democracy under the bus.

Not only has he broken faith with over a century of historical precedent, he has even directly contradicted his Saskatchewan NDP comrades who have been calling for Legislature to resume sitting as soon as possible. Meili and the Sask NDP caucus clearly believe in-person sittings are essential, saying important questions to government should be answered “in the Legislative Assembly with enough time for proper scrutiny and debate”; but clearly democracy is no longer a priority for Singh’s ‘New Authoritarians’, a fitting new title given their obvious and total disregard for democratic process.

If Canadians don’t hold Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party and Jagmeet Singh’s NDP to account at the ballot box in the next election for launching a shameless assault on Canadian democracy, the carnage will not stop here. With each riding win that he is able to squeak out, Trudeau has shown he will only continue to be encouraged in his never-ending quest to realize the ‘basic dictatorship’ he so clearly wishes to create.

Conservative MPs will continue to do whatever we can from the opposition benches to bring this government’s repeated occurrences of corruption and incompetence to light, but there is no way to guarantee the safety of Canadian democracy without electing a Conservative majority government to unseat Justin Trudeau and undo the democratic damage done by his Liberal government.

That is why it is more important now than ever that die-hard Conservatives and moderates begin preparing for what will be one of the most unorthodox and unprecedented election cycles in the history of democracy. This election will quite literally decide whether Canada will continue to be a free and prosperous nation, or whether we will give the Liberal Party a green light to continue our slide downwards into tyranny, corruption, nepotism, and authoritarianism.

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