Spring is no time to be consulting with Canadians


The government side feels the House of Commons is not presently scheduled to sit for a sufficient amount of time.

Facing an outpouring of anger and criticism over prorogation, the Conservatives are cancelling March break on Parliament Hill and one other off week scheduled for mid-April…

Government Whip Gordon O’Connor sent an email to Tory MPs and senators today, telling everyone to change their schedules (i.e. cancel any vacation plans) to ensure they’re in town… Mr. O’Connor writes: “Our position is clear: there is no reason for the House of Commons to take constituency breaks during these weeks. Quite frankly we would be surprised if the Opposition disagreed.”


Spring is no time to be consulting with Canadians

  1. I'll take less swordplay and more good government for $600 please Alex

    • Do you sincerely believe that less of the former would guarantee more of the latter, from this or any other government?

  2. this can't be real

    • You don't seem to realize that proroguing created an image problem
      Evening up days on a balance sheet is not going to change that image, no matter how much you want it to.

      • But it does give Harper and co. the private pleasure in knowing that the opposition, currently making merry and scoring {justifiably] points on the proroguers now, will not be able to take their vacation at another scheduled stop.
        Even when he's losing, the PM manages to keep it petty.

        • Petty? They should call him Tom

          Perhaps he can cover Free Fallin on his next star turn at the piano

          • He's a good guy, loves his party
            Loves caucus discipline too
            He's a good boy, crazy 'bout Harper
            He's sorry for misleading the House

            It's a long month in the whip's office
            Prorogation, not much to do
            And they're bad boys, all those backbenchers
            Yeah they're bad boys if they miss their cue

            And they're free, they're free fallin'
            Yeah, they're free, free fallin'

            All the Senators stalk the Red Chamber
            Or wander through the West Block
            And all the MP's are standing in the shadows
            All the Chief Whips are home with broken hearts

            And they're free, free fallin'
            Yeah, they're free, free fallin'
            Free fallin', now they're free fallin'
            Free fallin', now they're free fallin'

            I wanna drag race straight down Wellington
            I wanna sky dive over the Hill
            I wanna free fall according to Nanos
            Get my pension, send you the bill

            And I'm free, free fallin'
            Yeah, I'm free, free fallin'
            Free fallin', etc.
            [youtube 5gqT6En2O78 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gqT6En2O78 youtube][youtube 5gqT6En2O78 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gqT6En2O78 youtube]

          • Nice!

          • LOL!

          • Brilliant. For a moment, I thought you were setting it to the tune of "Rich Girl" by Hall and Oates. That would have worked too.

    • Well, uh, yeah. You'll note Gordon O'Connor sent an email to Government MPs–not Opposition MPs, who didn't get the memo on prorogation, either. No, they set up their holidays and their constituency schedules having them in Ottawa from the 25th of January, through to March break, then again through to the April week.

      That is disrespectful of Parliamentarians (contemptuous, even), who have committed to events in their ridings, or committed to holidays with their families.

      • seriously. this guys seem intent on occupying the space as the 'baddest' high school bullies imaginable.

    • i certainly hope your employer offers you the same contemptible acideous treatment. Then we'd hear how life as a purple hippo is so unfair.

  3. Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

    My palindrome is bigger than yours

  4. way to play the game

  5. Trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted is not all that effective, in my experience.

  6. Well, he is basically asking for a do over isn't he?

  7. Wow, it was certainly worth the government ignoring an vote of the entire House and killing 30+ pieces of their own legislation.

  8. This is really useful – now we can get a better idea of how much of the prorogation outrage was about MPs being lazy versus the government using parliamentary procedure to delay and possibly reroute committee discussion.

  9. "So, they wanna work do they? Well, I'll show 'em work! "

    • Malicious compliance, one of my all-time favourite behaviours – to witness, that is, only to witness.

  10. I hope the opposition doesn't capitulate to Harper's demands. Show some spine.

    • You mean they should all avoid Parliament weeks after belittling Harper for avoiding Parliament? You might want to reconsider the optics of that.

      • While it's not likely the opposition will refuse
        Honest Question: How do you think they should phrase their response?

        • Disclaimer: I am not a Liberal partisan, or a Dipper (major shudder at the very thought).

          I suppose the response should/will take the shape of: "These incompetent weasally boobs have got the message from the spontaneous nonpartisan outrage when they sought to shirk their responsibility to honour the will of Parliament to get to the bottom of Afghan detainee abuse… Of course we will be here to serve the people of Canada; you will note that's what we have been calling for since they pulled this silly prorogue stunt… We will continue to press for respect of Parliament and basic human decency to get to the bottom of the prisoner abuse story, and you can be sure we will push for a responsible position on the Khadr file now that the Supreme Court has told them to be responsible, and we'd better have a decent budget for all this 're-tooling' nonsense…"

          And honest reply to your honest question: my own heart is not totally into the rhetoric above. I'm just trying my best to play a Liberal partisan on this here internet thingy.

          • You did a pretty good job!

          • Thanks. You should see me when my heart is in it…

  11. From the linked article:

    “We take it for granted that they will agree,” a senior government official told The Globe. “Anything less would be uncivilized.”

    Why do journos (and pseudo journos like Jane Taber) grant anonymity to people granting comments such as this?

    • I suspect it is because they know that the party giving he line just looks foolish. That is why the real journos do. The pseudos are just dazzled by access.

    • “We take it for granted that they will agree,”

      Taking it for granted is what got you into this clusterfcuk in the first place. Maybe it's time to stop taking it for granted.

  12. I’ve always liked theatre of the absurd

  13. Seems a little desperate from Harper… perhaps trying to convince his core that he is still playing chess. However, I suspect it is poorly played for the long run. Harper's issue is that collected wisdom has made the subtle shift from strategic and brilliant to sneaky and clever. My observation is that it is extraordinarily difficult for a politician to shift their negatives once established, but still yet another sneaky/clever maneuver can hardly help.

  14. From the same column: “We take it for granted that they will agree,” a senior government official told The Globe. “Anything less would be uncivilized.”

    They really do need some more time for re-calibrating. Now they are reaching out to Charles Barkley for talking points.

    [youtube LT2JZtZoL4o http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT2JZtZoL4o youtube]

    It certainly is true, though, something does indeed smell.

  15. The Opposition should agree to the schedule change on the condition that the government fulfill its constitutional obligations and comply with the Parliamentary subpoena to produce documents to the AFGH committee. As they said, "anything less would be uncivilized."

  16. This is really pathetic, even for Harper. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this one will get voters even more upset. Just how stupid do these people think we are?

    • And what's your problem? After the opposition has demanded that Parliament meet, you think they are stupid for agreeing to work? Huh?

    • "Just how stupid do these people think we are?"

      I ask myself this constantly. I half expect Harper to saw a lady in half or start spinning plates on sticks… and the hard core supporters would loudly proclaim their whole-hearted approval.

      "**** Brilliant!"
      "**** A Game-Changer"
      "**** Tactical Genius"
      "***** That'll Show Em!!!"

    • …..and Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned.

    • You could say that if he had announced this at the same time as prorogation. The public anger stemmed from SH ditching work. The damage is done now.
      His handling the Afghan issue was poor, and so is this.
      Your man is losing his touch and if you think this is well played then you simply can't tell the difference

  17. Someone the other day on here asked if the government thought we were stupid in response to some asinine thing that Dean Del Maestro said. I guess the government decided they should remove all doubt.


    I say we have another scandal de jour.

    No doubt this change in scheduling spells the end of democracy as we know it…..or…er…Harper's a dictator, or something like that.

    • Sorry biff, we (Harper haters) are all just laughing now.

  19. I suspect if Harper was seen rolling up his window blinds,

    that would work its way into some adverse commentary, complete with corresponding anti-Harper frothing in the comments.

  20. The Opps should propose restricting the PMs power to reschedual their holidays.
    These 'working days in Parliament' should be decided by an arms length panel of experts!

    • For a brief fleeting nanosecond I almost believed you were serious.

  21. Mr Harper, you can remove all the nails from the fence in the backyard, but the holes remain.

    • Wouldn't removing all the nails cause the fence to fall apart?

  22. "These 'working days in Parliament' should be decided by an arms length panel of experts! "

    Or the Obama Administration…

  23. So no poison pill coming in throne speech I assume. Is there an opposition day before these breaks that Harper isn't now planning to chew gum during??

  24. Doesn't this keep prorogation in the news for another week, at least, and once again expose the manipulative nature of the PM?

    Couldn't the Liberals/NDP challenge the government to come back two weeks earlier, like say next week?

  25. Here's how I ould respond if I were the Liberals:

    "We're happy to agree to add days in March to partially make up for the ones canceled by Harper's unnecessary and unethical prorogation to avoid questions about the Afghan detainee issue.

    At the same time we feel this latest episode just highlights the difference between our two parties. The Liberals have spent the past couple of weeks discussing issues that matter to Canadians such as combating unemployment, child care, a national strategy to combat brain disease, Canada's place in the world, human rights, and the digital economy. Meanwhile Stephen Harper continues to be interested in playing games and trying to set "traps" for the other parties. Canadians deserve better leadership than this."

  26. Harper couldn't stand being away, he was missing walking down the hall, kicking his backbenchers in the a** and screaming at them to shut the f*** up….

  27. Ted? Is that you, Ted?

  28. I'm tired of these "traps". I'm tired of these games. Just govern, damn it. Govern. Or find someone who will.

    • I think that last bit is our job.

  29. Hey, this works out. More time for the opposition to ask questions about all the things that the Conservatives originally prorogued Parliament to avoid. Starting with the Afghan detainee issue.

  30. No scandal here. Just a PM making it up as he goes along

  31. If I unexpectedly announce I won't show up to work for a month i don't get to say two weeks into it "so how about I make it up by coming in weekends?"

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