Thursday, January 25, 2007

Please daddy, can we go outside?

I understand security, but really, as this article points out other dignitaries have been escorted outside the base. It reminds me when O’Connor and Steve wouldn’t let the Governor General go over to visit the troops because of security concerns, but then let a minister go over just a little later, the concerns apparently having evaporated. Security concerns Gordon, or political concerns?

Canadian MPs may get to leave Afghan base
Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Visiting Canadian MPs confined to base in Afghanistan might be about to get a weekend pass.

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor has relented a bit and announced that eight MPs visiting Kandahar may be allowed to leave the NATO base — provided the military can ensure their safety.


I’m heartened by Gordon’s “change of heart” but seriously, why is he treating Members of Parliament, the elected representatives of the people, like children? I think someone needs a refresher course on the roles of the executive and the legislative branches.

Liberal MP Ujal Dosanjh, who is one of the visiting committee members, raises a pertinent point:

“I believe it's highly improper for a minister of the Crown to interfere with the travel of the committee,” he said Tuesday. “I thought that was the kind of decision that one makes on an operational basis. The general makes that decision. What does the minister know about safety, sitting in Ottawa?”

The commander of the Canadian troops in Afghanistan, Brig.-Gen. Tim Grant, confirmed this one has been O’Connor’s call all the way:

He said Mr. O'Connor made the decision about travel arrangements for the group, not the military.

I support our mission in Afghanistan. But playing stupid political games like this, just like Steve did when he banned cameras from covering the return of fallen soldiers and then lied about why, will not help build public support for the mission at all.

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Anonymous said...

So what happens if the MP's vehicles come under attack,or hit a roadside bomb?Will Harper be responsible?

A BCer in Toronto said...

As in could Harper be sued for damages? I'm not a lawyer, but I'd suspect not.