The Harper Government, has chosen the way of dictation rather than persuasion. Although this is not surprising, it is always sad when a government of any stripe uses violence to end debate on an issue that is by no means uncontentious. At this very moment community groups  and a number of provincial governments accross Canada are communicating their concern about a great many parts of the Bill.

Why should the Harper Governmet not invoke closure? Here are several very good reasons:

-They have a clear majority and don’t need to do so.

 -There are other levels of government that are not comfortable with certain provisions of Bill C10 that will force them to spend tax dollars on measures that they cannot afford to support financially. They are quite right to ask, “If the Federal Government is mandating something that is not needed, why should they foot the bill?”

-There are a host of community groups and NGO’s that are clearly against the Bill and are asking questions which are clearly not being answered.

-The Harper Government has tried to claim the high ground regarding the importance of our democratic institutions and yet here they are, yet again invoking closure and stifling parliamentary debate as well as public scrutiny on a very serious issue. One could hardly see this action as being respectful either of the Canadian Parliament or of the Citizens of Canada as a whole.

I do need to acknowledge that the Federal Liberal did the same thing when they were the government. But just because both parties have shown a lack of respect for Canadians does not mean we have to enshrine this lamentable practice. Indeed there are times when a government needs to get on with governing and the invoking of closure is a sad but necessary parliamentary tool. The present government in its brief time in office has already used closure seven times.

In this specific case it is not just inappropriate, it smacks of dictatorship. They need to remember that even though they have a majority of seats in the House of Commons, only a little more than a third of the voting public put them in office. Nearly two thirds of the voting public rejected them.

 If the “occupy movement” has taught us anything, surely they have shown us that people are fed up as much with politicians as they are with the “captains of industry”. My advice to the Federal Government is, “Don’t think you are secure and can do whatever you like. The times are a changin. The people are watching and they are showing clearly that they are willing to act if provoked.