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article imageThousands of Canadians 'March for Democracy' in downtown Toronto Special

By Andrew Moran     Jan 23, 2010 in Politics
Thousands of Canadians protested in various cities across the country on Saturday due to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government deciding to prorogue the Canadian federal Parliament. More than 6,000 Canadians protested in Toronto.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government’s Dec. 30 decision to shut down Parliament for two months until after the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics has angered Canadian political parties across the country. The Parliament in Ottawa is set to resume on March 3 when a speech will be delivered from the throne and a presentation of the federal budget will be presented the following day.
Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale told CBC News that the Conservative government’s choice is “beyond arrogant,” “a joke” and “almost despotic.” Goodale added that three times in three years and twice in one year Harper takes these types of steps to muzzle Parliament, “This time it’s a cover-up of what the Conservatives knew, and when they knew it, about torture in Afghanistan. So their solution is not to answer the questions but, rather, to padlock Parliament and shut down democracy.”
The decision to prorogue government has not just seen strong disapproval from opposition parties but millions of Canadians across the nation. On Saturday, approximately 6,000 Torontonians, including Members of Parliament, protested against the Prime Minister’s move and called for the Parliament to resume on its expected date, which is Jan. 25.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday, according to the Windsor Star, Canadian organizers of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament said protests would be held in 50 communities across the country, including Calgary, Halifax and Vancouver, and outside of Canadian consulates in Dallas, San Francisco, Costa Rica and London. However, the largest rally will take place in Ottawa, reports 680 News, as Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton and Green Party leader Elizabeth May are expected to attend.
Thousands of demonstrators, with dozens of police officers in sight, at the Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto, held signs either opposing the Prime Minister, against proroguing the Parliament or supporting their own political initiative such as the New Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Marxist-Leninist Party or the Communist Party.
One sign read “The chicken is afraid of Parliament & Democracy,” while another one read “Turning a blind eye [to] torture is the crime – Prorogation is the getaway car” and another poster told Ottawa that “Parliament belongs to the people! Not Harper!"
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
march for democracy  toronto  prorogue government  stephen harper  ottawa  parliament
march for democracy, toronto, prorogue government, stephen harper, ottawa, parliament
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
march for democracy  toronto  prorogue government  stephen harper  ottawa  parliament
march for democracy, toronto, prorogue government, stephen harper, ottawa, parliament
march for democracy  toronto  prorogue government  stephen harper  ottawa  parliament
march for democracy, toronto, prorogue government, stephen harper, ottawa, parliament
march for democracy  toronto  prorogue government  stephen harper  ottawa  parliament
march for democracy, toronto, prorogue government, stephen harper, ottawa, parliament
march for democracy  toronto  prorogue government  stephen harper  ottawa  parliament
march for democracy, toronto, prorogue government, stephen harper, ottawa, parliament
march for democracy  toronto  prorogue government  stephen harper  ottawa  parliament
march for democracy, toronto, prorogue government, stephen harper, ottawa, parliament
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
Generally, the majority of posters urged Ottawa to get back to work or to fire Prime Minister Harper and brought their message to the downtown core as they marched along Yonge Street, Queen Street and Bay Street.
Roger, a Toronto demonstrator, told Digital Journal that he is not partisan and doesn’t care about the political parties in Ottawa but he does want the Parliament to go back to work and represent the Canadian taxpayers, “Constantly we hear in the news that whether it’s Liberals or Conservatives, or whatever, we’re never represented in a fair or Democratic way. I pay thousands in tax per year, for what? I don’t care if there are Socialists here or NDP supporters because we share the common goal of urging our MPs to go back to work.”
Members of Parliament Olivia Chow, New Democratic Party member, and Bob Rae, Liberal Party politician, were in attendance to support the grassroots movement, which has more than 210,000 Facebook members. Chow stood in front of a NDP banner at Toronto’s square.
Members of Canadian Parliament  Bob Rae  Olivia Chow  Jack Layton demonstrated with Torontonians and...
Members of Canadian Parliament, Bob Rae, Olivia Chow, Jack Layton demonstrated with Torontonians and Tamils against the Sri Lankan Internal Displacement Camps.
Interim Liberal Party of Canada Leader Bob Rae speaking with the media
Interim Liberal Party of Canada Leader Bob Rae speaking with the media
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
march for democracy  toronto  prorogue government  stephen harper  ottawa  parliament
march for democracy, toronto, prorogue government, stephen harper, ottawa, parliament
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
On Saturday  thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliamen...
On Saturday, thousands of Canadians demonstrated against the Harper government to prorogue Parliament. The roughly 6,000 Torontonians marched down Yonge Street to send their message to Ottawa.
The National Post reports that the Prime Minister is apathetic about the rallies and said the government is extremely “occupied” because it has a lot of work to get done for the upcoming agenda for the Parliament, “I would obviously simply urge our opposition to spend their time making constructive proposals. I think we've obviously had a successful year rolling out infrastructure projects, but we now have to turn our mind to a broader agenda to some of the economic challenges, including deficit reduction, ahead of us. And I would urge all parties to contribute constructively to that agenda.”
Nevertheless, one speaker at the event, a Hispanic comedian, called the Prime Minister “the devil.”
More about March for democracy rally, Prorogue government, Toronto
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