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article imageIgnatieff endorses Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament

By Stephanie Dearing     Jan 20, 2010 in Politics
Liberal Party of Canada leader Michael Ignatieff endorsed the grassroots Facebook group, Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament Wednesday.
In an open letter to the Facebook group, Ignatieff said "I want (you) to know how heartened I am by the mere existence of this group – the largest spontaneous online political movement we’ve seen yet in this new digital age of politics in Canada. I am heartened because the vitality of our democracy depends on the participation of its citizens, regardless of their political stripes," Ignatieff also reiterated his promise that the Liberal Party would return to work on January 25th in Ottawa saying "When this group first formed, your rallying cry was “Get back to work.” Well, on January 25, the day Parliament was set to resume, my entire caucus will be back on Parliament Hill for several weeks of roundtables and working sessions on job creation, veterans affairs, the environment, health – issues you care about. Issues that can’t wait."
Ignatieff went on to say "Some dismiss your efforts as nothing more than a click of a button. They are wrong. I know that your organizers have been volunteering their own time for several weeks to prepare Saturday’s rallies. And I know that thousands of you will be taking time off school and work, or away from your families to attend them. Anyone who pretends that those sacrifices don’t count is highly mistaken."
The letter from Ignatieff was issued days before CAPP's national day of action, which takes place Saturday. The protests, organized by volunteers in 58 cities across Canada urge Prime Minister Stephen Harper to "Get Back To Work." Rallies have also been planned for Dallas, Texas, New York City and London, England. It is anticipated that thousands of Canadians will participate in the rallies.
Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament now has over 200,000 members. The group sprang up after Stephen Harper prorogued parliament at the end of December 2009, and membership grew by around 20 thousand a day after Harper said Canadians didn't care about what happened to Afghan detainees. Growth in CAPP's membership continues to grow, but not as quickly as it had just weeks ago.
Harper was in Toronto Wednesday to speak to the C.D. Howe Institute. He was greeted by a contingent of 35 members of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament.
Rick Mercer commented on the situation in his rant saying "... Now polls never tell the full story but this much is certain: whenever the party in power drops 15 points in 15 days, you can be assured of one thing -- someone in charge just did something really stupid.
In this case the Prime Minister figured he could suspend Parliament for three months and get away with it, because in his words Canadians just don't care. Boy was he wrong. Wow. He should get out more. Maybe go to a Tim Horton's ... "
Mercer was referring to the slide of the Conservative Party in Canadian polls, which last week showed the Conservatives and Liberals were virtually neck and neck.
Ignatieff is hosting a Q&A on Facebook Thursday afternoon from 3 to 4 pm EST for all members of CAPP.
175 Canadian academics sent Harper a letter to protest the suspension of parliament until March 3rd. The letter starts by saying "... The Prime Minister is not only making cavalier use of the discretionary powers entrusted to him in our Parliamentary system, but in so doing he is undermining our system of democratic government... " After explaining what is wrong with Harper's move to prorogue parliament, the letter states "... we conclude that the Prime Minister has violated the trust of Parliament and of the Canadian people. "
More about Michael Ignatieff, Canadians against proroguing parliament, Liberal party canada, Stephen Harper, Howe institute
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