I was genuinely surprised yesterday when, after the Liberals announced a motion that would require some very reasonable accountability measures around the government’s suddenly-created $3 billion slush fund, the Conservatives immediately announced their opposition.
How can one oppose basic reporting mechanisms on the spending of $3 billion of taxpayer dollars? Here’s Conservative spokesperson Kory Teneycke:
But a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the Liberals are simply playing politics with the economic crisis.Sounds pretty ridiculous, no? Here’s what the motion called for in advance, what the Conservatives are supposedly objecting to:
Kory Teneycke says the Tory government has no problem detailing after the fact how the money is spent but it does not intend to produce an itemized list in advance.
the government shall, before approval of those Estimates, table in the House of Commons a comprehensive list of all the departments and programs which will have access to this extraordinary authorityWe woke up to headlines of election showdowns because the Conservatives don’t want to give us a list of what government departments can draw on a $3 billion infrastructure fund? Seems like madness. Bizarro world or something.
Actually, while there is definitely madness in Conservative-land, La Presse sheds some more light on this:
Le gouvernement n'a pas fait connaître ses intentions. Hier midi, le porte-parole du premier ministre Harper, Kory Teneycke, a indiqué qu'il ne se plierait pas aux conditions de la motion, mais il a admis en soirée qu'il n'avait pas alors pris connaissance du document.
To translate and summarize, Teneycke admitted the Conservatives didn’t even read the Liberal motion before they decided to oppose it!
Apparently, the Harper government has learned nothing from the calamitous events of the economic update. Apparently all this talk about wanting to make parliament work, about wanting to work with parliamentarians to bring the needed help to Canadians during this economic crisis, was nonsense.
Opposing entirely reasonable opposition motions, opposing basic accountability, without even reading the motion? It’s ridiculous. But then what else should we expect from a Conservative Party that sends out partisan attack press releases at taxpayer expense, that uses member statements to attack political opponents, and that is preparing a barrage of negative advertising to demonize its opponents, all during a time of major economic crisis?
It's clear where their priorities lay.
The hyper-partisanship of the Harper Conservatives is making increasingly clear just how how of touch with the mood of Canadians this government really is. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers