By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 0 Comments
It is unfortunate when Members of Parliament are reduced to automatons, dependable and loyal above all else. It is not easy to get elected to the House of Commons (or to win a Nomination for that matter). Everyone there brings unique experience and qualifications. In the CPC Caucus, there are lawyers, surgeons, soldiers, cops, teachers, a dentist, businesspeople and farmers. I suspect the other caucuses are similarly diverse and the members qualified.
The Public Service holds no monopoly over expertise in the policy making process. And the Ottawa mandarins are certainly much more removed from a diverse population than MP’s, who live in their ridings and return there every weekend. Our system would benefit if the experience and qualifications of Members of Parliament were given greater emphasis and if Members paid as much deference to their constituents as they do to their whips. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:46 PM - 0 Comments
The Conservative MP suggests, if the NHL season is cancelled, that the Stanley Cup’s trustees hold a competition to award it.
So if the 2012-2013 NHL Season is unsalvageable, I propose that the trustees exercise that very discretion and award the Stanley Cup to the best amateur or beer league or women’s or sledge hockey team in Canada. That would allow the trustees to fulfill their obligation to exercise their duties in the best interests of the original purpose of the trust, which was to promote amateur hockey in Canada.
How absolutely Canadian!!
If the lockout is not resolved by the end of January, perhaps a Private Member’s Motion…………………
Colby Cosh made a proposal in this regard in August.
The House does not return until January 30.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM - 0 Comments
After two proposed amendments were passed and one defeated, C-377 passed the House last night by a vote of 147-135. Five Conservatives voted against: Brent Rathgeber, Mike Allen, Patricia Davidson, Ben Lobb and Rodney Weston.
Russ Hiebert, the bill’s sponsor, insists the bill is constitutional, but the privacy commissioner still has concerns.
We believe that the amendments to the bill are a step in the right direction for privacy. However, we continue to have privacy concerns about the proposed legislation. For example, even with the amendments, the names and exact salaries of union officials earning more than $100,000 a year would be publicly disclosed. This is less privacy protective than the public disclosure requirements for registered charities in Canada, which Commissioner Stoddart has highlighted as model for balancing transparency objectives with protection of privacy.
The commissioner’s office also passes along her statement to the finance committee and a follow-up letter to the committee from the commissioner. The full transcript of the commissioner’s appearance is here.
The NDP’s Alexandre Boulerice, meanwhile, is generally unimpressed. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 10:19 AM - 0 Comments
Bill C-377, the union disclosure bill which John Geddes wrote about last month, will come to a vote in the House this evening. Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber, who expressed concerns about the bill in October, is planning to vote against it.
Some Conservative MPs are expected to vote against the bill. Edmonton-St. Albert MP Brent Rathgeber said the amendments would improve it, but he plans to oppose it because it is based on a “fallacious” premise that receiving a tax deduction is the same as getting federal tax dollars. Mr. Rathgeber, a former labour lawyer who represented management, said he expects other Conservative MPs to join him in voting against the bill.
“As a legislator, I’m just having a difficult time determining exactly what the public interest is in this type of legislation,” he said. Mr. Rathgeber said unions are essentially private clubs like law societies or industry associations that benefit from tax deductions. “So I just cannot accept the premise that tax-deducted union dues is somehow akin to public dollars and therefore creating a public interest,” he said.
At second reading, the vote split along party lines: Conservatives in favour, New Democrats and Liberals against. With full attendance, the Liberals, New Democrats, Bloc Quebecois, Elizabeth May and Bruce Hyer number 142. The Conservatives (and Peter Goldring) number 165. So another 11 Conservatives—depending on total turnout—would have to join Mr. Rathgeber to defeat the bill.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM - 0 Comments
The Conservative MP approves of the CNOOC and Petronas takeovers, but questions the idea of the federal government judging “net benefit.”
The further reality is that it is not entirely clear to me that governments and not shareholders are in the best position to make these decisions. Certainly, if you own a small business, you would be able to sell that enterprise to whomever you chose to. Why should stock certificates in a larger enterprise notionally be any different?? Absent some extraordinary security rationale, shareholders should be able to sell their personal property (shares) to whomever they choose. Why, in a free market, should they be forced to sell their stock at a discount in a smaller pool of government approved purchasers??
It is for this very reason that, in my view, the net benefit test has an inappropriate reverse onus. Absent an investment injurious to national security, deference should be given to markets and to the owners of property. If there is not “Net Harm” to national security, the transaction should be allowed to proceed. The issue of state ownership poses further issues, although more perceived than real. It is acknowledged that states will occasionally pursue political rather than economic objectives. That is why I am generally suspicious of Crown Corporations. But in the case at hand, the costs of bad decisions are bourne by the citizens of China and Malaysia, while the benefit accrues to Canada. The precious resource, while in the ground, does not belong to the extractor—it belongs to, and is regulated by, the provincial government. I see no net harm by allowing Asian State Owned Enterprises to pay royalties to the Province of Alberta and taxes to the Government of Canada.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 26, 2012 at 4:26 PM - 0 Comments
Brent Rathgeber pans David McGuinty’s comments.
This attempt of pitting region against region and Alberta against Ottawa is unhelpful. When the energy sector is healthy, not only does it create wealth for Albertans, it creates prosperity for all Canadians. We are all in this together. As a Member of Parliament from Alberta, the health of the Alberta energy sector and the Canadian economy are certainly worth defending and fighting for.
And celebrates the Grey Cup.
Yesterday was the 100th Grey Cup—the championship of Canadian Football, pitting East against West. The Grey Cup, unlike recent political attempts to wedge Alberta versus Ottawa or Alberta verses the rest of Canada, celebrates rivalries in a positive and unifying way.
The Conservatives used two members’ statements and one friendly question to attack Justin Trudeau this afternoon.
Somehow a computer simulation needs to be created so that we can see what would happen if Brent Rathgeber was able to moderate a debate on Alberta, Quebec and federalism between Justin Trudeau of 2010 and Stephen Harper of 2000.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 9, 2012 at 4:29 PM - 0 Comments
Earlier this week, John Geddes looked closer at Conservative MP Russ Hiebert’s bill on union disclosure.
The bill’s union opponents protest that if the tax deductibility of dues means their finances must be fully transparent, the same should go for professional and business organizations—from lawyers’ and doctors’ groups to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business—whose membership fees are also deductible. In any case, labour law is largely a provincial jurisdiction, and labour codes in most provinces already require unions to disclose financial information to their members. The Canada Labour Code does the same for unions under federal jurisdiction. Hiebert argues, though, that the public, not just the union rank and file, deserve access to that information. As well, he points out that U.S. law requires detailed disclosure, which means the best source of fine-grained financial data on any Canadian unions affiliated with American unions is often the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.
Still, while Hiebert professes to be for transparency, and not against unions, his allies are hardly friends of organized labour. Merit Canada, the national lobby group for the “open shop,” or non-unionized, construction industry, has thrown its support behind Bill C-377. Merit has mounted a campaign under the slogan, “Why is big labour afraid of the light?” According to a publicly disclosed report filed with the federal lobbyists’ registry, Merit’s representatives met on Oct. 23 with Hiebert and Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s powerful chief of staff. Also attending that top-level lobbying session were Alykhan Velshi, Harper’s director of planning, and two senior officials from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s department.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 5, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Regarding transsexuals (people who have had or are in the process of changing their gender), it is my understanding that such individuals already enjoy Human Rights protection because “sex” has always been a prohibited ground of discrimination. Certainly, at all times, regardless of the stage of completion of gender reassignment, a person has an identifiable gender. Moreover, although a person interested in changing genders presumably is struggling with gender identity, not all people with gender identity issues have any interest in changing gender. The terms are separate and distinct.
Now, cross-dressing may be an expression of gender identity or gender expression or may be unrelated to either. Nothing precludes a non-transgender person from occasionally dressing up in drag to attend a theme party or event. The terms are simply not interchangeable. Accordingly, the lack of definitions with respect to the terms creates a huge ambiguity as to who or what activities are to be protected and arguably is a fatal flaw.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM - 0 Comments
Unions are private clubs; they are not public institutions. They serve only the interests of their members arguably counter to the public interest by bidding up wages. The public has very limited access to expenditures and salaries at public institutions (Privacy Legislation prevented my quest to obtain the salaries of Peter Mansbridge, Rick Mercer and George Stroumboulopoulos). So exactly why does the public have a legitimate interest in knowing the salary of a union President or the aforementioned Sally the Receptionist?? A very good but not easily answered question. The proponents of C-377 argue that the tax deductibility of union dues somehow creates a public interest in what the collector of those dues does with them. According to the theory, tax deductibility equals forgone revenue to the treasury, which makes it akin to public money and thereby creating a public right to know how the forgone tax dollars are spent.
A dubious proposition because tax deducted dollars are not public dollars; they are private dollars that the state has chosen not to tax. Moreover if tax deductibility truly created a public interest, it would have to be more consistently applied. As a lawyer, my law society fees are tax deductible. Does that mean that the public has a right to know what the Law Society pays its staff?? I would argue no and certainly there is no existing obligation for the Law Society to disclose. As a member of the club, I believe I have a right to know but do not see a similar right for non-members of the club.
For other concerns, see this op-ed by two business professors.
Mr. Rathgeber, along with seemingly every other Conservative present, voted in favour of the bill at second reading
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, September 28, 2012 at 4:20 PM - 0 Comments
Conservative MP Bryan Hayes explains his support for Motion 312.
“In my opinion, the formation of a committee does not pre-conclude what the results or recommendations that come forward from that committee might be. So I think it’s reasonable that a committee have some respectful dialogue around this piece of legislation. Obviously the committee was going to be tasked with some responsibilities within their realm as a committee, so when I looked at those responsibilities I thought it reasonable that those questions they would be tasked to answer deserved dialogue.”
… Hayes concluded: “Our government has gone on record as stating we will not revisit the abortion debate, but this piece of legislation states that a child is not a human being before the moment of birth. The definition of when someone is officially declared a human being is 400-year-old legislation, and I think conversation needed to occur as to whether or not that piece of legislation makes sense today.”
NDP MP Brian Masse explains his vote against.
“Generally I believe it’s a woman’s right to choose,” Masse said. “It’s as simple as that. It’s a rights issue. This motion made that rather complicated and eroded that.”
Conservative MP Randy Kamp explains his views.
“To say that it’s a completely closed issue, to have no legislation of any kind on when an unborn child deserves protection – that I think is what all that motion is about,” Kamp said.
Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber blogs.
Motion 312, which would have called for an examination of when human life begins, was defeated in the House of Commons Wednesday night by a vote of 203-91. Predictably, the “Nay” forces were claiming victory and many in the Pro-Life crowd required consoling. Neither reaction was warranted; certainly any celebrations were premature. As I told Alberta Talk Show Host, Rob Breakenridge, the sad reality is that the vote on Motion 312 resolved nothing. This matter would keep coming back until Parliament has the courage to deal with it in a fulsome and respectful manner. Refusing to study a matter does not resolution of an issue make.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM - 0 Comments
Brent Rathgeber explains his views on abortion and why he’ll be voting in favour of Motion 312.
There is a vacuity in Canadian law which I believe Parliament must address. When the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) struck down Canada’s abortion law in 1988, the issue was, in fact, not settled. The then law was struck down due to procedural inconsistencies from varying Hospitals’ Therapeutic Abortion Committees. The Court expressly invited Parliament to draft an abortion law that was fair, reasonable and consistently applied across the country. Parliament attempted this seemingly impossible task in 1991 and although a bill passed the House of Commons, it was narrowly defeated in the Senate. A void exists in Canadian law regarding this issue; Canadians are perhaps unique among western democracies in that we have neither sanctions nor regulations approving abortion or the rights of fetuses. The void in Canadian law means there are currently NO LEGAL restrictions regulating the process. Theoretically, a very late term procedure, if performed, would not attract criminal sanction.
Governments and Parliaments have been reticent to deal with this issue given how controversial and divisive the issue can be. Families and even political parties, who normally agree on everything, find themselves in bitter disputes debating the rights of the unborn versus the rights over one’s own body. Accordingly, given how divisive this issue is, I concede that if the matter were settled, it ought to remain so. However, this matter has never been settled in Canada; at least not since 1988 when the SCC ruled in R. v. Morgentaller. So Parliament must do what the Supreme Court invited it to do in 1988: fill a vacuity in Canadian law, no matter how divisive and polarizing that debate will be.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, September 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM - 0 Comments
On August 2, I proposed in this blog that the system of Supply Management in agri-industries requires a “critical examination”. I stand by that suggestion; however, it is quite possible that certain supply managed industries might actually survive that critical examination.
Many economists believe that Supply Management artificially reduces supply in order to increase price. This is partially true; however, the reality of the dairy sector, for example, does not fit well into microeconomic theory. For one thing, the input costs of a dairy farmer do not always conform to perfectly functioning markets. But the bigger problem is the highly perishable nature of milk and milk products. Unlike the notional widgets that economists are fond of, which can be stored indefinitely, milk must be delivered to the dairy within 48 hours and processed and sold within days or it is valueless.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, August 31, 2012 at 2:25 PM - 0 Comments
While Rathgeber makes some reasonable points I have my doubts very many other government MPs will be lining up to publicly criticize the government and its policies. One reason is that political people with all parties are quite tribal and put a big premium on loyalty, so any hint of disloyalty can cause problems. A second is that some might view Rathgeber’s criticisms as grandstanding, which also doesn’t go over well. A third reason is money. As you can see here, there are plenty of financial reasons to stay in the prime minister’s favour.
The minor outbursts of independent thought—from the minor to the profound—are actually starting to pile up: John Williamson, Mike Wallace, Brad Trost, Stephen Woodworth (and his supporters) and David Wilks (however briefly).
Paul argued last night that so long as the criticism has to do with the government not being conservative enough, the backbencher is probably free to speak. Call it the Bernier Principle. Criticize the government in a way that echoes the concerns of the opposition and then you’re in trouble. Call it the Wilks Principle.
The exception to the Bernier Principle might be Mr. Woodworth and his supporters. In that case (I’m guessing), the Prime Minister’s Office might be concerned by the prospect that a significant number—rather than a lone maverick or two—would publicly take a position that the government would rather not have to deal with. It’s one thing, in other words, for Mr. Rathgeber to question supply management, it would be something else if a significant proportion of the Conservative caucus endorsed revisiting abortion law.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM - 0 Comments
Brent Rathgeber considers his own maverickness.
One can occasionally be critical of the Government without being disloyal. I proudly serve in the Conservative (Government) Caucus but do not leave the viewpoints of my constituents behind every time I board a plane to Ottawa. It is natural for me to question Supply Management, since I represent 140,000 consumers but not a single dairy farmer. Similarly, all of my adult constituents are taxpayers but only a tiny fraction work for the federal government; as a result, I believe it is appropriate that I question public pensions (including my own) and demand respect for taxpayer dollars generally.
Constructive criticism and holding government to account will invariably lead to better government. The Opposition’s constitutional mandate is to criticize and oppose. However, sometimes a critique from the Conservatives’ own benches will be more effective, as Opposition barbs are frequently written off as partisan gamesmanship. Moreover, in the current Parliament, with a Socialist Official Opposition, how realistic is it that a critical examination of spending, social programs or the CBC is going to originate from the side opposite??? Accordingly, I will continue to raise and speak out on matters important to me and my constituents. Advocating for limiting the size and role of government and respect for taxpayer dollars will occasionally and invariably irk those who are the Government. But holding the Government to account, will force a well performing Government to perform even better!
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, August 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM - 0 Comments
Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber considers the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly and the future of supply management.
It is difficult to justify maintaining a sector of our economy that is protected from competition thanks to a government-sanctioned system that restricts supply to ensure a higher price. There are 34 Million Canadian consumers but less than 14,000 dairy farmers, 3,000 poultry producers and 1,000 egg farmers.
Possible entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership is going to necessitate a critical examination of supply management. I do not represent any of the 14,000 dairy farmers who benefit from supply management; I do, however, represent 140,000 consumers of their artificially priced milk. Their interest also necessitates a critical review.
As the grain farmers near Kindersley can attest, grain and beef farmers in Western Canada have proven that they can successfully compete without a government-sanctioned cartel.
All previous supply management coverage here.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 3:41 PM - 0 Comments
All of which raises a question as to why Canadian taxpayers are subsidizing a rail service that so few Canadians, especially in Western Canada, ever use. And why would we, when it takes longer and costs more than comparable commercial travel?? In the more densely populated central Canadian corridor (Windsor-Quebec City), the train is actually quite popular and with enough customers, presumably could be operated without taxpayer subsidy.
However, so few people are using the VIA service from Toronto-Vancouver that it was recently announced that the service was being cut back from three to two times per week in each direction. This announcement went so unnoticed that our MP office received not a single call or e-mail complaining about this service reduction. If VIA disappeared all together in Western Canada, would anybody even notice?? If VIA Rail Canada really is “A More Human Way to Travel”, why are so few humans actually travelling via VIA?? And is this good value for the Canadian taxpayer??
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 4:44 PM - 0 Comments
Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber questions Christy Clark’s position on the Northern Gateway pipeline.
If she truly believes that the possible risks of a pipeline outweigh the $6B in proposed benefits, than she should oppose it unequivocally. That is the apparent position of the BC Opposition Leader Adrian Dix; a position shared by federal NDP Opposition Environmental Critic, Megan Leslie. They oppose the Northern Gateway Project full stop. I disagree with their position but at least I respect them for taking an unequivocal position and having the courage of their conviction to stand by it.
That is quite different from the position of the BC Premier. She apparently has environmental concerns. Fair enough, but she has publically stated that for enough money or BC’s “fair share”, she will give the project her blessing. The BC Premier is stating that her supposed concern for the environment has an undisclosed price tag. I am being kind when I call her position “disingenuous”.
Ms. Clark, meanwhile, wants “Alberta and Canada to come to the table and sit down with British Columbia and work to figure out how we can resolve this.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, July 6, 2012 at 3:18 PM - 0 Comments
Conservative backbencher Brent Rathgeber explains why he opposes the death penalty.
As with any socially controversial policy, individuals have varied and strongly held viewpoints. As a result, I fear that a jury, comprised of several death penalty opponents, would be much less likely to convict knowing a Sentencing Judge had a death penalty option following that jury’s finding of guilt. One can debate which is worse: finding an innocent man guilty or letting a guilty person be acquitted; suffice it to say both need to be minimized for the justice system to be just.
Moreover, I actually believe that in many instances, life in prison without any possibility of parole is actually a “stiffer” and therefore more appropriate sentence than sentencing a prisoner to death. A libertarian, facing the prospects of spending the rest of his natural life behind bars, might instinctively prefer to reduce the actual time liberty is to be denied.
Stephen Harper said last year he believes “there are times” when the death penalty is appropriate, but that he has no plans to bring the issue forward.
The Canadian Election Study included the death penalty among its various questions about public policy and found the following responses.
It depends 5.8%
Don’t know 4.1%
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 5:20 PM - 0 Comments
PM Harper tells Rutherford no Cabinet shuffle until midterm; I guess no limo for me anytime soon!! Lol.
Meanwhile, Global has obtained Bev Oda’s limo invoices.
The invoices requested under Access to Information were released on Wednesday, a day after Oda retired from politics and more than a week after the department told Global News no such records exist. The department later backtracked and promised to hand over all records of Oda’s limo and car rental expenses since August 2007.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM - 0 Comments
Ironically, I received infinitely more media attention in the last 72 hours than I did in the last 6 months. Admittedly, this was quite unexpected. Normally, my musings on this little blog attract a very limited audience. Although, I stand by my comments, I think they received more attention than was warranted. I suppose it is newsworthy when a government backbencher is seen to be critical of the Ministry. However, it should be axiomatic that government treat taxpayers’ money respectfully. This is so especially in times of fiscal restraint; pointing out the obvious shouldn’t be newsworthy at all!!
He also defends the budget bill.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 8:49 AM - 0 Comments
“I see the role of a backbench MP to hold the government to account,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that I’m disloyal or that I’m a maverick or that I’m going to vote against the government or cross the floor. It just means that from time to time I feel an obligation to point out to the government that they need to respect the taxpayers’ dollars.”
For reaction, the Canadian Press talks to Conservative MP Rick Dykstra.
Ontario Tory MP Rick Dykstra said he, too, has received an earful about Oda’s spending and cabinet cars. But he said the budget is prompting questions as well and not the kind he’s used to hearing. Ever since he’s been back in his St. Catharines, Ont., riding, Dykstra said he’s received a “boatload” of queries on the marathon voting session in the Commons earlier this month, when MPs voted continuously for almost 24 hours on hundreds of opposition amendments to the budget bill. “It’s very rare when I get constituents actually talking to me about what’s happened in the House of Commons, actually in the House itself,” Dykstra said.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM - 0 Comments
The Cabinet Minister Limousine Service represents one of the most egregious displays of Ottawa opulence. Every Minister is entitled to a vehicle and a driver. For security reasons, I do not take issue with Ministers being chauffeured to events around the Nation’s Capital. But there is little justification for Ministers being driven around the Parliamentary Precincts, especially when the House of Commons also operates a continuous Shuttle Bus Service for MP’s and all Parliamentary Staff.
But the worst waste of taxpayer money involves the 6,548 hours of standby service limo drivers recorded in 2011. The House of Commons frequently sits until late at night and if votes are being recorded, conceivably more than 30 limousines complete with drivers, will be parked outside Center Block for hours; the whole time overtime being charged for this standby “service”.
Surely there is a more cost effective method of getting Cabinet Ministers to and from meetings. Surely, as government preaches fiscal discipline such extravagance must be eliminated. Surely, having limo drivers on standby for hours is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Surely, there are taxis available in Ottawa.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM - 0 Comments
Twice last week—here and here—the Speaker seemed to fret that questions asked by the opposition were not sufficiently specific to the administrative responsibilities of government. I’ve noted this issue and the Speaker Scheer’s rulings in the past, see here, here, here and here. And now, as Colin Horgan notes, Peter Van Loan is voicing some concern.
For the sake of discussion, you can include a question the government side had Brent Rathgeber ask last month. One that was not ruled out of order.
Mr. Speaker, Albertans are very concerned about the NDP’s position regarding the oil sands. The NDP appears all too willing to abandon the interests of construction workers and oil sands workers. For example, both the former NDP environment critic, an Albertan, and the current leadership contender, Mr. Brian Topp, have called for a moratorium on oil sands development. Meanwhile, the NDP natural resources and environment critics have actually taken it up a notch and are telling our international trading partners not to trade with Canada.
Could the Minister of Natural Resources give this House an update on the latest academic research on the viability of the oil sands?
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, October 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM - 17 Comments
Steven Fletcher, Oct. 19. Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the member’s question.
John Baird, Oct. 19. Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to my friend from northern Ontario that I do not agree with the premise of his question.
Ed Fast, Oct. 19. Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the premise of that question.
Stephen Harper, Oct. 19. Mr. Speaker, I completely disagree with the premise of that question.
Denis Lebel, Oct. 18. Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the premise of that question.
John Baird, Oct. 17. Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to that member or to the House that I categorically reject the premise of the member’s question.
Brent Rathgeber, Oct. 17. Mr. Speaker, I absolutely disagree with the premise of that question.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 8:25 AM - 11 Comments
Yesterday, during committee hearings, a Conservative MP termed the director of the John Howard Society an “advocate for criminals.”
Here is the Harper government providing a total of $604,217 to John Howard Society projects in Belleville, Brandon and Hamilton in 2006. Here is the Harper government providing a total of $200,000 to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto in 2008 so that it could “work with the John Howard Society to provide short-term supportive housing for participants involved in the Toronto Drug Treatment Court program.” Here is the Harper government providing a total of $507,610 to John Howard Society projects in Winnipeg and Ottawa in 2009. Here is the Harper government providing a total of $550,031 to John Howard Society projects in Alberta and New Brunswick in 2010.
Earlier this month, a Conservative MP criticized the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.
Here is the Harper government providing the Elizabeth Fry Society of Manitoba with $300,000 to help fight gangs in 2007. Here is the Harper government providing the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society with $4,490 through the Victims Fund as part of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week in 2008.