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Pretend you’re a backbencher


 

There is apparently some consternation around an internal memo sent to Parks Canada employees.

Parks Canada employees across the country have received letters warning they’re not allowed to criticize the agency or the federal government. The directive comes as the agency cuts hundreds of jobs or curtails work hours. “I am aware that during this time of significant transition, the concept of loyalty can have a very particular meaning. However, as employees of the public sector, our duty is to support the elected government,” employees were told.

The NDP’s Annick Papillon was rather critical in her questioning of the government’s about this during QP this morning.

Annick Papillon: Monsieur le Président, après avoir imposé l’obligation de loyauté aux employés de Parcs Canada, voilà que les conservateurs ont adapté le maccarthysme à leur image, afin de punir la dissidence. La chef du service du patrimoine du Centre de services de Parcs Canada à Québec a été renvoyée chez elle la semaine dernière, après 30 ans de loyaux services. Sa seule faute aura été de critiquer, à l’interne, l’impact des coupures de postes dans le secteur régional. Les conservateurs punissent les gens pour délit d’opinion maintenant. Réalisent-ils à quel point leur amour pour la pensée unique va trop loin?

Michelle Rempel: Mr. Speaker, I, too, have had the privilege of working with some of our dedicated Parks Canada staff across this country, especially those in the Rocky Mountain National Park area. I know personally we have a very close, productive working relationship with these hard-working staff who understand how to protect our natural heritage. There are ways that they work with us to ensure that we continue to invest in these great programs. Certainly that is the working relationship that we have. However, I think it is right to say it is entirely reasonable for Parks Canada staff to work toward protecting our great national heritage, including visitor experiences for visitors, and not on partisan politics.

Annick Papillon: Monsieur le Président, la liberté d’expression, ça vous dit quelque chose? Tous ceux qui critiquent les conservateurs sont coupables de crime de lèse-majesté. Franchement! Les conservateurs veulent imposer une loi budgétaire bâclée qui coupes des emplois et s’attaque aux régions. C’est normal que les gens critiquent ce qui se passe. Pour contrer la dissidence, les conservateurs créent un climat de terreur chez les employés fédéraux et licencient sur-le-champ ceux qui ne boivent pas le Kool-Aid conservateur. Ce genre d’intimidation idéologique est inacceptable. C’est ça, la réaction des conservateurs: envoyer la police de la pensée dans les édifices fédéraux?

Michelle Rempel: Mr. Speaker, the millions of Canadians who look toward our government to ensure the success of the long-term prosperity of this country refuse to drink the orange Kool-Aid that the party across offers. What we do is tell Canadians that we will ensure their long-term prosperity by promoting jobs and growth through policies, including sustainable development of our natural resources. I certainly hope that the NDP, rather than this rhetoric it continually puts forward, will actually focus on helping us grow the country in a time of global economic fragility.


 

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