‘That’s not to say Parliament is unimportant’


Jason Kenney plans to get a lot done these next five weeks.

“As a minister, I often get more done when the House is not in session,” he said as thousands of Canadians were preparing to mount protests across the country against Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to suspend Parliament until March 3. “That’s not to say Parliament is unimportant,” Kenney told reporters after making an immigration announcement. “But from a ministerial point of view, I think any minister in any government will tell you that’s probably generally the case.”


‘That’s not to say Parliament is unimportant’

  1. Harper will prorogue next year as well.

    I fully support the idea of taking a break before the budget EVERY year to meet with Canadians and get their input on things.

    Plus the gov't and ministers need the time to shuffle cabinet, get up to speed, and recalibrate.

    So this is the new convention, the new way of doing things, and I think its great.

    • Minus one billion.

  2. "Plus the gov't and ministers need the time to shuffle cabinet, get up to speed, and recalibrate."

    Oddly, previous governments have been able to do these things while Parliament was in session.

    • Trudeau prorogued 11 times.

      • There were that many Confidence votes? There were that many demands to produce documents? What a terrible age I lived through. Imagine that.

        • Ah Trudeau was in office 15 or 16 years. And except with one exception had majorities…i don't know if he prorogued his minority, but there certainly weren't people in the streets or petitions in any case…your point was?….

    • To be fair, Harper hasn't exactly got the deepest bench. It takes time to transcribe all those crayon-written notes.

      • His bench is deep neither collectively nor individually.

  3. Kenny can't do both parts of his responsbilities – he can't do parliamentary responsibilities and cabinet responsibilities at the same time? Obviously, he's not up to the job.

    Also, he's being paid to be an MP – member of parliament and extra with lots of perks to be a cabinet member.

    I say we should cut his pay – immediately

    • Kenny is obviously very busy with immigration responsibilities right now.
      If Parliament was in session, he could be excused for not attending.
      Harper will be overseas, other ministers have high level meetings with their counter parts from other countries.

      Yes, the opps have had their 45 minutes of accusing the government of war crimes, whisked away from them.
      Name ONE other issue that the opps brought up in any significant way, the last 3 weeks of parliament……
      The opposition in this country is the failure, not the government.

      • Fast and furious, the conbots let the excuses fly.

        • Harper shut parliament down while under subpoena Wilson, clown!

      • Oh, and parliament wouldn't understand that Kenney can't be in the House regularly – are you that stupid?

        You know, it really is time to think about what's happening instead of resorting to you post-it notes with slams – grow up

  4. As much as I hate to indulge Kenney's odious and self-serving pap for even an instant, if this amount of time off serves Minister to a "T", then do MPs who are not Ministers have extra time to twiddle their thumbs, or are Ministerial MPs shirking some of their regular duties?

    • Why would MPs be twittling their thumbs instead of working in their riding?

      MPs go to Parliament to debate and vote on issues, but working in their ridings, working with and for their contituents, is by far their biggest job .

      Some MPs go to Parliament to hide out in the hallways to avoid voting and their constituents

      • If it galls me to have to make a comment on transparent idiocity like Kenney, what makes you think I'll give you an answer?

  5. Whoops meant to type: responsabilities – sorry

    • I think on Twitter the kids call that a #fail

  6. It's so inconvenient to have to meet with Members of Parliament who don't belong to your party, and have different ideas than you, isn't it? Just slows things down and leads to all kinds of inefficiencies. What a pain!

  7. Kenney's comments arguably got the biggest boos at the Waterloo rally today. Perhaps because most of us hadn't heard this latest talking point yet.

    I laughed especially at Jesse's point: the one about meeting with and listening to constituents. There were an estimated 500 constituents out in Waterloo Region today; not a one of our MPs had the time to stop by. Nor could they be bothered to read the letters sent to them and respond to the questions contained therein. Apparently, they all had the same form letter which some constituents received twice on writing a follow-up letter after the first time they got it. Not a question acknowledged, never mind responded to.

    • I didn't even get a form response back and I sent Woodworth an actual physical letter.

      • That really surprises me. With the number of fights (contentious issues we were on opposite sides on) I have had with that man over the years at the school board, the one thing I thought I could say about him was that he stuck to his principles. Principles I invariably disagreed with, but he stuck with them and I could respect that. And yet, his actions (or silence) on the committees and now this–it's like he got to Ottawa and sold his soul.

        • Somehow this isn't surprising, especially considering this seems to be a pattern amongst junior Con MPs.

          When someone pressed Woodworth on Twitter as to why he didn't attend the rally to which he was invited, his justification was that he arrived back from Ottawa last night at 8pm. Back from his conspicuous caucus meeting in the capital.

          • — ? Um, the rally wasn't until 11:00 a.m. I know he must be jet lagged from such a long flight (just over an hour Ottawa to Toronto) and then there's the long car ride to Kitchener (again, about an hour at that time of night) and I'm sure all that travelling exhausted him (like all the commuters who do that drive twice a day every day).

            Naturally, he couldn't be expected to put that time to any use, like say come up with a few words to say to the constituents.

            As we move into tax season, what I wouldn't give to get home at 8 p.m. and not have to go in again until 11:00 a.m.!

            But I guess that's why he earns the big bucks and gets the pension. Moronic.

  8. See, this is why Kenney never finished college. He couldn't concentrate with all those other students around him.

  9. Well, at least we can give Jason Kenney credit that he doesn't try to hide his disdain for democracy. What a big, big jerk! Of course it is easier to govern without the voice of the people. That is why it took thousands of years for democracy to become the norm. Of course it is easier to rule as autocrats. Canada will never forget this Conservative Party.

  10. Bearskin has YOW to YKF flights. It's really a non-excuse, either way. The man won his seat with a couple hundred votes. He's not exactly inspiring confidence.

  11. I often have heard CPC supporters commenting on these boards on this subject that Canada is better off since 'the government not working during prorogation means less things getting screwed up'. They really need to consider the implications in light of Kenney's remarks . . . if he and other ministers have more time to attend to their ministerial duties, then that would mean more things are getting screwed up, particularly when one stops to consider the level of competence at governing that could be expected from the likes of Kenney. They had better recalibrate their talking points!

    • Clearly your partisan interests are clouding your opinion. What Kenney is saying is that Ministers can spend more time on their portfolios (which is especially important after a cabinet shuffle). Claiming that Conservatives are "screwing up" for trying to do their jobs is no argument at all.

  12. I cannot believe the following on the front page of today's papers came from Mr. Kenney: "‘I get more done when the House is not in session,' federal immigration minister says." It is not only shameful and unintelligible but very disgraceful that a politician in the Western Hemisphere will make sure undemocratic comments. It shows that you, Mr. Harper and everyone else in your "political party" will prefer a dictatorship and allow Chairman Mao Harper to rule with impunity. Since parliament is unnecessary, why not just rewrite the constitution and introduce a state party with full control to Chairman Mao Harper?
    Let me remind you that it is the right of the representatives of the people of Canada (the Members of Parliament) to review the ruling party's programs, plans and actions, which makes parliament a very essential and central part of the democratic process, except of course you want to run a Siberia.

    • So Bob has Chairman Mao Harper in full control in Siberia. Just what were you guys smoking at those rallies yesterday ?

      If there had been some great national debate during the fall sitting of the House and the PM prorogued, then you might have a point. But there was endless stupid questions about a seasonal flu and a war time incident 4 years ago half way around the world. The public are sick of the opp. antics They are the failure in our system.

      • You seem to think that parliament only does what you see on TV, i.e. snippets of a 45 minute QP.

        What about all the debate and readings of bills, some very near and dear to the hearts of the government (tough on crime legislation) and committee work (some, admittedly concerned with the hot button stuff, but most concerned with study of the bills before the house).

        If it weren't simply for the appalling avoidance of accountability by this government, that has the chutzpah to claim they are the ones who brought accountability and openness to the Federal government, it wouldn't bother me that they prorogued. After all, the half-baked, tinkering measures introduced by the CPC aren't exactly earth shattering.

        No, this prorogation was clearly an exercise in avoidance and rebranding, to divert the public's attention from the woeful underperformance and lack of ideas of the CPC leadership. The real irony is that, apart from accountability on various issues (detainees, partisan appointments) the ones getting the most screwed are the rank & file CPC law & order supporters; they are getting jerked around with the govt "getting things done" on the L&O agenda of this core CPC support element. The govt is like Lucy pulling away the football from Charlie Brown all the time.

        • These important delays in Parliaments work you speak off will no doubt be given the proper attention by th opp. when parliament returns after it`s 5 week prorogation.

          • You make my point exactly. After the prorogation (during which the government is in full rebranding mode, whilst benefitting from a lack of facing accountability), the government hopes the public will not be paying as much attention to issues that were highly visible at the time parliament recessed, what with the distraction of the Olympics and other events that might intervene (and in the case of Haiti, have intervened) in the meantime. Also, it would be fair to say the government might have also been expecting that they would benefit in the polls from the non-sitting of parliament, as it has been observed in the past that its support has almost always declined when in session. Turns out that expectation didn't turn out the way they hoped, hence one reason for the cabinet shuffle and claims of recalibration.

            As to 'important delays', the delaying of some legislation doesn't matter to me personally, as I believe the bulk of it to be near-useless exercises in optics, but the fact remains the CPC tout that legislation as absolutely vital – a sop to their base. I don't understand why anyone in their base would be satisfied with prorogation, as it delays legislation that they strongly support. As an aside, don't even try to argue that the Senate has obstructed it, read Kady O'Malley, as she has disproved that assertion by using documented facts.

            So, if one is a 'base' CPC supporter, why would they expect anything to happen next time around? The track record of their government speaks for itself. Its their agenda the government is cynically throwing under the bus.

  13. It's a disgusting comment. If he can't handle the responsibilities of the job – and those responsibilities include being present in and accountable to parliament on a regular basis, he should resign immediately, or sooner. How about a retroactive resignation?

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