MPs: Conservative government should be found in contempt of Parliament -

MPs: Conservative government should be found in contempt of Parliament

Move could trigger a spring election and non-confidence motion


In an unprecedented move, a committee of MPs decided Stephen Harper’s Conservative government should be found in contempt of Parliament today. The move could trigger a non-confidence motion and a spring election. After a morning spent hashing out a draft report and making a series of amendments, the procedure and house affairs committee said the government is in contempt over its refusal to fully disclose the costs associated with its tough-on-crime agenda, corporate tax cuts and plans to purchase stealth fighter jets. A formal vote is likely Thursday, though the government could try to delay it since Conservative MPs on the committee did not support the finding. They plan to produce a dissenting report. The committee is separately considering a possible contempt citation against International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda for misleading Parliament.

CBC News

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MPs: Conservative government should be found in contempt of Parliament

  1. Live from the court, where John Smith has just been delivered a "guilty" verdict by the jury. Mr. Smith downplayed the verdict, saying it's simply politicking on the jury side, as he's already compiled with the judge's ruling to saying "sorry" for the murder. He also said that he “fundamentally and profoundly” disagrees with the jury, as they had from the start planned to deliver this verdict. "Murder is a very nebulous word,” Mr. Smith said. “It's almost like in the eye of the beholder. … It can mean a lot of different things.”

  2. Conspiracy theories, anyone?

    • The conspiracy is…there's more non-government MP's than government ones. More a "democracy" than a "conspiracy".

    • The conspiracy is probably that there is no conspiracy on the part of the government but rather a plot/strategy by the opposition to trigger an election and establish a negative image of the Conservatives with which they can start a campaign. Are the Conservatives lowballing their budgets on these big issues? Probably. Do they lack transparency? For sure. Are they actually hiding anything or covering anything up? Almost certainly not! I think the government has probably given everything they have published on the matters of concern–it's just that they have (deliberately maybe but maybe not) omitted items from their items entirely. They cannot disclose more because the documentation has yet to be produced.

      The committee ruling is certainly unprecedented but the games played by the Conservatives are very very old. The Liberals behaved exactly like this through the entire Cretien's regime as well as much of Trudeau's regime–opposition members would request more details/complain/etc and the government would filibuster, dump thousands of pages of mostly blacked out documents and so forth. So why was Cretien's government never cited for contempt? Becaus eit held a majority in all committees and such judgements and even whether there is a complaint or investigation generally requires a majority vote in committee.

      The Liberals played the EXACT same games with gun registry–"fees will cover the costs" "only a couple million will be spent" etc. and the opposition in committee and in QP said "yeah? prove it!" and they spewed a bunch of BS, and since the Liberals steered all committees they out voted opposition, declaring "we're satisfied"…then they went on to overspend on the registry 1000-fold.

      ALL the parties are playing games here I think. The Conservatives are probably breaking out cost items deliberately to consider them separately, perhaps in future budgets, so that their spending plans on tax cuts and jets and jails are an easier sell. The FULL cost is higher, but they don't even know because they deliberately aren't looking. They show distain for the opposition on this matter because the Liberals are trying to act pious after having a long history of doing business that way.

      The whole thing is a circus and will do nothing to improve voter turnout–average Joe is thinking it is futile to choose between tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

  3. Wait a minute…. Didn't you know we are a war? Why, that committee (minus the Conservatives) is doing nothing more than to aid and abet those fierce Libyan forces, almost at Canada's door. That's treason. The Harper Government deserves better than this. I hope Glorious Leader will ignore or, better yet , deal with these nattering nabobs of negativism with someone of the likes of Bruce Carson and his trusty aid. These days, considering the way the Great Economist and his party tend to operate, he could no better.

    • lol I love sarcasm!

  4. Well…let's face it…Harper stepped right in this one.

    So did Bev Oda…I'll be surprised if the opposition dominated committee doesn't find her in contempt as well.

    The real question is…how much "traction" will this have with voters? To date…not much…in fact the latest polling information still has Harper gaining momentum, despite two weeks of bad P.R. Realistically….he should have been knocked down a good 10 points, but no, Current projection is that he would pick up more seats if a snap election were held.

    Pretty disheartening news if you're a Liberal supporter. Given their (and the NDP's) poor polling results even after continually hammering the Harper government…I suspect their self-preservation instincts will kick in right about now and we won't be going to the polls anytime soon.

    • Doubtful, as it is patently obvious that the "leader" of the opposition has had enough, and wishes to leave our fair land. Despite the cost to taxpayers, this is his way of doing it and save whatever face he has left. Look for an election asap. Mixed feelings, he was the best gift the cons ever had, next to Dion, of course.

      • As much as Liberals want to dump Ignatieff…and him wanting to back to academia…in this case it takes 3 to tango and I'm not sure Jack or Jilles are willing to give Liberals or Ignatieff what they want.

        • I have to agree. The talk around the budget is that Gilles may get close to the billion in HST compensation he's been after. In this scenario the Bloc would vote against the budget with a few members abstaining allowing it to pass. Appealing to the Bloc's self-interest without being seen as caving to the 'separatists' may be a suitable compromise which would allow the Conservatives to remain in power till next spring.

          • If the budget passes I doubt Ignatieff will be around next spring.

          • Same may go for Jack.

            I suspect his health problems are much worse than they are letting on publicly.

            Come 2012 we could have a Harper/Duceppe/Mulclair/Trudeau slate!

          • i like that slate, but Trudeau is still too green…will they pass over Rae for obvious reasons? Although in my opinion he's the best politician in the house.

          • Trudeau needs cabinet experience before he's propelled into a leadership position. Rae will never lead the party (remember Ignatieff was parachuted in to displace him).

            As for the Tories I'd like to see Bernard Lord take the party's helm. I think that as leader he could bring some civility back to the house and perhaps bring an end to the decade of hyper-partisanship.

          • Well…assuming the Liberals follow their time-honoured tradition of alternating Quebec/ROC leaders…and assuming they continue their search for the "quick fix" to get the back into power…I think you're going to see Trudeaumania II.

          • If so, i hope it's on his terms not the parties, and i doubt if it'll come to Trudeaumania..sixties are long gone..i just missed out on the sixties,If wecan have both back for just a little while i'd be happy.

          • From the little i know of Lord i'd second that. According to Harperland, Harper dodged a bullet when he didn't have to face him for the leadership of the CPC.

      • "Hell hath no fury like an ex-academic scorned" , if one might coin a phrase.

    • Well Harvey, there is no surprise here that I can see in the polls, because Canadian politics follows some universal laws.

      Law 1: Canadians vote AGAINST incumbants, especially based upon issues that affect them personally. Tell me–even with all the political news this month, do you really think ANY of it matters to the average voter? Not at all! It is just "all the clowns in Ottawa playing games".

      Law 2: Canadians vote FOR the opposition parties. The less they have to offer as an alternative government the less success they will have in an election. If the opposition only campaigns on how bad they think the government is they will fail. If they formulate an extensive platform that doesn't resonate with Canadians they will still fail. If they have good policies but do not sell them to voters (or let the governing party define the issues to the point the policies are irrelevant) they will fail. Only a "government-in-waiting" ever wins an election.

      Law 3: Canadians vote backwards–at least federally. They do not start by looking at their local candidates, then the party platform then the leader as is the case in many other countries (ie. in the US there is a large segment of unaffiliated voters that do just that–they'd vote for a Republican candidate who is socially progressive but a fiscal hawk even if they'd never elect the Republican presidential candidate). In Canada, we vote for MPs based on how much we like their boss first, their party policies second and the actual person they are voting for last! This is because the party that wins gets to have its leader as PM, and it is the PM who selects who represents our head of state, and our head of state lives in a castle in the UK and really has little to say about our affairs. Because our head-of-state isn't really the leader of our government we've taken to vote that way to make sure we get what we want in government.

      • Well put! Cold comfort to those of us who really want to see Harper gone – but I completely concur with your Three Laws.

  5. .
    Poetic justice.

    The Government of Canada has found the Government of Harper in contempt.

    Stephen you made the name-change with almost perfect timing.

    • No

      The House of Commons MAY find the Government of Canada in contempt.

  6. Sounds like its time to prorogue parliment again!

    Jean! Jean! Oh wait! David! David!

  7. Can the Cons legally prorogue Parliament again?
    I'm not all that well versed in Parliamentary proceedure.

    • Not a question of can…rather will…can't see any earthly reason why they would want to personally – that would be one bad move right now…hope they do it.

  8. This comment was deleted.

    • Heh…. couldn't be happening to a nicer guy…. ouch!!… NOW THAT'S CONTEMPT!!

  9. It was a foregone conclusion.Who didnt know the outcome, policy wonks abound knew.Average men and women ( who care) knew.LOL!
    I just saw the polls Cons dropped a little.But those polled chose the PM to clean up the mess, followed by Layton.Igg well he was, as per, THIRD! (giggles)

  10. You've got way too many rules dude!

    There's only one rule in Canadian politics: "Party above all else."

  11. Stack a committe with the corrupt Liberal/NDP/Bloc coalition and of course they're going to produce political hi-jinks and smears based on laughable charges – but that's typical of the type of politician you'll find in the more socialist circles, a desperate bunch of weasels who are entitled to their entitlements, they would make Canadians pay any price if it meant they could grab power again.

    • I happen to think they are right to find them in contempt – but I agree that once the Speaker opened the door, the outcome was foreordained, whether deserved or not.

  12. I'm shocked that the hyper-partisan kangaroo court of coalition A-holes has declared the Government in contempt… shocking! LOL!!! Who would of thought that the charade of a co-ordinated smear campaign would of ended with a predetermined conclusion… Shocking!! LOL!!! "Abuse", Contempt", "deceit", thy name is "Liberal".

  13. It's not just about contempt.

    "Nations with most poverty also have most right-wing gov'ts," CCPA Monitor, Dennis Raphael, February 2006, p. 7

    "The Tories' War on Canada's Poor" (longish article)
    "The Tories and Canada are Incompatible" (longish article)
    "A Quick One re Tory Scandals" (very brief article)

    (Click "About" re reading posts, or on my picture.)