January 24th, 2021

Forgetting Tories’ prorogation

By Letter to the Editor on July 15, 2020.

Dear Ms. Rachael Harder, MP:

I delighted in your “Happy Canada Day” flyer and positive message about celebrating Canada Day. However, I was surprised by your negativity around the suspension of Parliament and insistence that Parliament meet in person during this continuing COVID-19 crisis. I would think that the federal government should continue to work remotely, use digital communications to set an example and encourage the distancing that is needed in order to work through this pandemic.

How soon you may have forgotten the Stephen Harper’s Conservatives’ prorogation of Parliament not once, but twice. The first prorogation happened in 2008 during one of the worst financial crises since the 1929 stock market crash. It is speculated the Conservative minority government feared a non-confidence vote as well as questions regarding Afghan detainees at that time.

The second prorogation by Stephen Harper happened in late 2009 because of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It is shameful that a sporting event should trump democratic process.

Our first prime minister – Sir John A. McDonald – also used prorogation in 1873 and did so for the nefarious purpose of avoiding allegations of conflict of interest and corruption regarding the Pacific Railway.

Yes, I agree our parliamentary process is an important pillar of our democracy. You can access an annual calendar compilation of parliament sitting days at https://www.ourcommons.ca/en/sitting-calendar/2020. Excluding election years, the previous Conservative government averaged 116 sitting parliament days per year (2007-14) while the Liberal government averaged 122 days per year 2016 to 2018. The 93-day sitting in 2008 during the world economic crisis is dismal compared with the projected 87-day sitting in 2020 in the midst of this world’s pandemic.

Barb Goertzen


Share this story:

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Southern Albertan

To add, re: the ‘Trudeau WE controversy,’ it seems that certain “Conservative worthies seem to have ties to the organization,” i.e. ‘WE.’
Again, this info can be accessed in an excellent blog at albertapolitics .ca:
“From US to WE, The Dikensian ‘Big Society’ Seems To Be Back Again, If It Ever left.”
The blogger wonders if the attack on Trudeau will “peter out” once the info on these Conservatives comes to light.


no matter which party one votes in, they each rip off the public purse. stop voting: you have become part of the problem.


also, the prorogation served as a wonderful reminder of how useless is the position of gov gen to our nation. while that office legally holds the right to limit the govt of the day, it does nothing to actually wield that power. so, govts go unchecked, and the gov gen throws expensive parties, takes expensive trips, and is an unnecessary drain on our limited public money.


Barb should not forget to also re-post this comment on the 20, 30, 40 and 50th anniversary of Harper’s prorogation. As well, perhaps Barb could spend some time on her next letter to advise us all of just how “ethical” Trudeau and his side kick Morneau actual are and the charges on this third and latest ethics violation is only just fantasy and everyone just has it wrong.


why do seemingly intelligent people continue to stay stuck in petty and limited and quite unevolved tribalism? rather than see the real picture – the full picture; the grand picture and its grand schemes – they choose to be partial: to their race, creed, religion, political party and whatever else blinds one to the greater reality. to have what amounts to a child’s debate around on who did “worser”, rather than discuss the obvious – that our system is mortally corrupted – one defends the all the wrongs of those whose bias they favour with trying to point out that the other options are even more wrong.
how about we get together on addressing the fact that our public institutions need to be cleaned up, municipally, provincially, and federally? it is graft that short changes us all, not incompetence. and when one factors in the cynicism our unchecked crony system breeds, it is far more costly than the wealth stolen.