Tell MPs and the Prime Minister to respect democracy and heed the will of Canadians Stephen Harper has done what he promised not...
Dear Editor: Re Unelected Tory senators kill climate bill passed by House , Gloria Galloway, Nov.17/2010
I am so shocked and ashamed, and disappointed by this callous political act, once again.
This action by the Tory dominated Senate is the straw that broke the camel's back. The senators were undoubtedly following orders from the Tory leader who appointed them, even though he campaigned against such underhanded and devious tactics.
Harper holds tyrannical control of his party, and the government whenever he can, and wields it in a condescending and undemocratic manner. Little by little he has eroded Canada's democratic government.
But we Canadians just stand back and let him do it. Sometimes I wish we had more political gumption and fire in our bellies like our American neighbours.
Penelope Bell, Toronto
Keep Senate from subverting democracy
It was overwhelmingly supported by and passed in the elected House of Commons, thanks in part to the support of Canadians from across the country. This decision by Conservative senators to avoid debate and call a snap vote shows disrespect for our democracy and for Canadians, who time and again have told our elected representatives that we want the federal government to act on the most serious threat facing our country and the world.
Please call or write the Prime Minister and your Member of Parliament to let them know that we expect them to live up to their responsibility to be accountable to the will of Canadians and our democracy. Consider also sending a letter to your local newspaper to let others know how you feel.
Senate vote to kill Climate Act disrespects Canadians and democracy
18 November 2010 - 9:51am
OTTAWA -- The Green Party of Canada is denouncing the decision of the Canadian Senate to kill the Climate Change Accountability Act, Bill C-311, and in so doing, killing Canada's best chance to take real action on climate change and move into a Green economy.
"With COP16 less than two weeks away in Mexico, it is stunning that the Conservative majority in the Senate would use a sneak attack to defeat the only climate legislation before Parliament," said Green Leader Elizabeth May.
Elizabeth May is now calling on Canadians to get on the airwaves and into the newspapers letters section to protest this anti-democratic move. The Bill had passed Third Reading in the House of Commons in May. After being presented to Senate 193 days ago, Bill C-311 was defeated 43-32, with no debate and without being sent back to committee, an extraordinary move not seen in over seventy years.
"Voters should be outraged at the hypocrisy of Prime Minister Harper for using the Senate as an end-run around the House of Commons when he campaigned vigorously for an accountable Senate. His obvious abhorrence of the Bill surely influenced the Conservative members of the now stacked Senate who killed this Bill without any consideration," said May.
"Harper’s assertion that action on climate change throws millions of people out of work is utter absurdity. We could be putting Canadians to work in a Green economy, but this government only hears the special pleadings of the fossil fuel lobby. Even though we pledged at the G20 to kill fossil fuel subsidies, we have not even done that," said May.
A 2009 study by the European Commission found almost half a million jobs will be created by reaching their target of 20% of energy coming from renewables by 2020.
NDP Press Releases Wed 17 Nov 2010
OTTAWA — NDP leader Jack Layton said he was appalled to learn last night of the defeat of his party's landmark climate change bill at the hands of Stephen Harper's unelected and unaccountable Conservative Senators.
"Last night, Stephen Harper's appointed Conservative Senators quietly voted to kill a critical environment bill," said Layton. "This bill had already received final approval from elected Members of Parliament -- and yet Stephen Harper's unelected Senators killed it last night. So much for sober second thought.”
Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, received final approval by the House of Commons on May 5th when it passed Third Reading by a vote of 149-136. Last night in the Senate, the bill was defeated in a snap vote, 43-32.
“As a result of this bill's defeat, Canada now heads to the UN climate change meetings in Cancun completely empty handed," said NDP Environment Critic Linda Duncan. "Despite endless promises to act on climate change, Stephen Harper's government has not even tabled one law to address our rising greenhouse gas emissions."
From: Phil Little
To: Stephen Harper
Cc: Gilles Duceppe ; Jack Layton ; Rae.B@parl.gc.ca ; Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca ; Jean Crowder ; Charlie Angus ; Davies.L@parl.gc.ca
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 11:08 AM
Subject: Senate’s decision to kill Bill C-311
I am appalled at the way the Harper government continues to repudiate the will of the Commons - both the house and the people. The latest example is the Senate manoeuvre to kill Bill C-311 which had been passed by the House of Commons. The directed move by the Senate at the will of the Prime Minister displays another act of contempt of Parliament. Furthermore it shows that Canada, under the minority government of Harper, is unwilling to be a responsible global citizen.
Bill C-311 had been delayed and barely debated by the Senate. Instead, a vote was taken on an evening when a number of Liberal Senators were absent which enabled the Conservative appointees to kill the vote. I agree with Mr. Layton when he called this manoeuvre, which apparently hasn’t been used in 70 years, ‘fundamentally wrong’ and an affront to Canadian democracy. “Canadians must not allow the Senate to get away with this…”
Bill C-311 passed the House of Commons last May. It is unacceptable that an unelected Senate voted to kill this Bill without even having a full debate at the Senate, or opportunity for witnesses. Canadian democracy deserves better.
The climate crisis is real and requires urgent action. Bill C-311 was a first step in the right direction. It would have committed the Canadian government to emission reductions (25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020), these are half of what many at the Cancun UN climate negotiations are demanding is necessary.
I am very concerned about Canada’s international reputation entering the next major round of UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico November 29 to December 10. Canada’s current emission reduction target amounts a 2.5 percent rise above 1990 levels by 2020. When compared to the 25% called for in Bill C-311 and the 40% to 50% called for by many Global South countries, this is shocking.
And, yet, mere days ahead of the next major round of international climate negotiations in Cancun, the majority of unelected Conservative Senate members killed the Climate Change Accountability Act. Bill C-311 – this is shameful!
I can understand that these unelected Harper appointees have an agenda to play the partisan game at the behest of their benefactor, Stephen Harper. But these Senators are also citizens of Canada and the world, probably have children and grandchildren, live and breathe the same air and drink the same water as the rest of us. Can it be that partisan politics is more important to them than the long term survivability of the planet, its people and all other forms of life. For the sake of the prestige and benefits of a senate position are they so willing to contribute to the denigration and destruction of the environment and ultimately the good of future generations of Canadians?
I reject the recent actions of the unelected Senate, as manipulated by the Senators of the Conservative party, which not only is an affront to the will of Parliament, but an attack on the foundations of Canadian democracy. The arrogance of these Harper appointees brings shame to the Canadian people - and it demonstrates that our democratic institutions are as much threatened here at home as elsewhere in the world.
I urge Parliamentarians to use all means to repudiate this attack on Canadian democracy, including a vote of non-confidence. At this time Canadians will be willing to endure another election to remove Stephen Harper from the position of authority and power which he has abused in so many instances, supported by a weak and wavering official Opposition.
10846 - Grandview Road,
Ladysmith, B.C. V9G1Z7
LETTER: ARNEY: Senate reform
- Bill C-311 passed the House of Commons last May. It is unacceptable that an unelected Senate voted to kill this Bill without even having a full debate at the Senate, or opportunity for witnesses. Canadian democracy deserves better.
- The climate crisis is real and requires urgent action. Bill C-311 was a first step in the right direction. It would have committed the Canadian government to emission reductions (25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020), these are half of what many at the Cancun UN climate negotiations are demanding is necessary.
- I am very concerned about Canada’s international reputation entering the next major round of UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico November 29 to December 10. Canada’s current emission reduction target amounts a 2.5 percent rise above 1990 levels by 2020. When compared to the 25% called for in Bill C-311 and the 40% to 50% called for by many Global South countries, this is shocking.