Ottawa

The best kind of Parliament

Irwin Cotler rose during Question Period yesterday with a humble proposal.

Mr. Speaker, the government has used or abused free speech with respect to justifying what has been characterized as reprehensible actions, but it has limited free speech with regard to the frequency of in camera committees. May I, in the spirit of the Christmas season, suggest to the government that it reverse priorities, namely that it ceases and desists from reprehensible actions and protects free speech and parliamentary democracy?

In response, government House leader Peter Van Loan made the case against legislatures.

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of a fall session in which we have been delivering on the commitments that we made to Canadians at the same time as ensuring that debate occurs and decisions got made.

 One of the things that we see when we compare Canada with other countries is we have a strong economy. If we look at the United States or at Europe, one of the problems is political gridlock. Decisions cannot get made.

 Here in Canada we will continue to make decisions in the best interests of Canadians on the economy and on tackling crime. We will allow debate to occur, but we will not allow the political gridlock that the other parties want to see put in place here.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.