To the editor:
The central proposition that brought Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to office was accountability, but it would appear that they definitely have lost their way and are eroding both our stated and unwritten rules of politics.
Here are a few examples of the abuses of power that have come to light in the past two weeks.
The Harper government failed to comply with a motion demanding that, by March 7, they provide the House of Commons with details concerning its plans to spend billions of tax dollars on corporate tax cuts, prison expansions and untendered stealth fighters.
Stephen Harper’s inner circle stands accused of a $1.2-million scam to break election spending limits and buy more ads. Senior Conservatives wired money “in” to local campaigns, transferred the money right back “out”—and now they face serious charges involving potential jail time. When candidates claimed the transfers to get $800,000 more in taxpayer-funded rebates, Elections Canada stepped in.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was caught using public resources for polling and marketing a Conservative advertising campaign aimed at what he calls “very ethnic” ridings. Minister Kenney has been exposed for the serious conflict of interest between his responsibility to make fair policies as the Citizenship and Immigration Minister and his political role of delivering the votes of New Canadians.
Over 24,000 people signed a petition calling for International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda to resign after she misled Parliament about ordering a ministerial document to be falsified. Even though she faces censure for breaching Parliamentary privilege, Minister Oda refuses to step down or answer questions about her conduct.
Instead of saying this dishonesty has no place in Parliament, Stephen Harper continues to shield and even applaud his minister.
Until she was questioned about it in the House of Commons, Conservative Minister Diane Ablonczy had no idea that she had been fined by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and cited for failing to pay the fine. Ms. Ablonczy is the third Harper Minister and 10th Conservative public office holder overall to be fined by the Commissioner, joining previous wrongdoers like Defence Minister Peter MacKay.
When they first came into power five years ago, they said they were going to make the government more accountable and honest.
After reviewing the above abuses of power it would appear that exactly the opposite has happened and the Harper Conservatives have become an arrogant and manipulative government.