FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, March 13, 2012. Starting at 12:01am on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, Ottawa activist and progressive political blogger, Obert Madondo, will embark on an indefinite hunger strike to demand that the Governor General of Canada use the Crown’s reserve powers to either withhold or reserve Royal Assent to the omnibus crime Bill C-10. Should Governor General abandon Canadians and yield to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s tyranny as the House of Commons and Senate shamefully did and sign the bill into law, Madondo will continue the hunger strike until the resultant Act is repealed in its entirety.
“Canada today faces a situation that constitutionally calls on the Governor General to reign in an authoritarian petro-prime minister who has become a serious threat to both our parliamentary democracy and to all Canadians,” Madondo said in the letter addressed to the Right Honourable David Johnson and mailed to his official residency yesterday. “I’m demanding that your esteemed office use the Crown’s discretionary and constitutional powers to counsel and warn. Now is the hour to force Parliament to return to sanity and respect our democratic and legislative processes. It’s the hour to encourage our elected representatives to listen to and value the concerns of all Canadians.”
Madondo, a permanent resident of Canada, believes that crime Bill C-10 is the lord of the Conservatives’ draconian bills, policies, measures, official rhetoric and attitudes through which Harper seeks to impose an insidious right-wing worldview on Canada. The resultant Act will expand state power, weaken the judiciary, divide society, take away Canadians’ rights and freedoms, create resentment of the “other”, punish the weak and marginalized, and transform Canada into a Zimbabwe in democratic disguise.
Madondo’s five demands are:
- The Governor General of Canada should use the reserve powers invested in his esteemed office by the Crown to either withhold or reserve Royal Assent to the omnibus crime Bill C-10
- Former Ottawa Police chief and newly-appointed Conservative Senator, Vernon White, should immediately resign
- The federal government should make a commitment to invest 100 times the cost of monitoring and dismantling Occupy encampments across Canada last fall to institute a national inquiry into the case of 600 missing and murdered indigenous women and girls
- The House of Commons must immediately institute measures to improve accountability and transparency. The measures should include limitations on the governing party’s power to a) manipulate parliamentary Standing Orders b) evade opposition scrutiny c) shut down debate d) impose gag orders to silence critics and e) lock up committees behind steel doors to muzzle committee members and prevent the media from informing us on the proceedings
- The Conservative government must immediately stop its covert war on Canadians and Canadian democracy, which currently manifests through a) the criminalization of dissent b) promotion of divisive legislation, measures, rhetoric and attitudes c) whipping up of unnecessary moral panic and d) blackmailing of citizens by pasting “Canadians” or “victims” or “children” or “mandate” labels to its draconian laws, measures and official rhetoric
Madondo also argues that Bill C-10 was debated and passed through a one-party-state tyrannical abuse of Canadian parliamentary process and democratic practice, and an environment where all Canadians were treated as potential enemies of the state. He further argues that the resultant Act will hurt the marginalized, weak and racialized minorities the most.
Madondo believes that Canadians’ collective security lies in a united and caring Canada whose justice and legislative processes are predicated on compassion, fairness and inclusion.
“Now is the moment for the Governor General to bring Canadian citizens, permanent residents and others together, and encourage us to create strong and generous communities,” he said. “It’s the moment to encourage us to set aside differences, dialogue and continue to build a national identity based on the Canadian values of multiculturalism, inclusion, diversity and compassion.”
Madondo will undertake his hunger strike from his apartment in Ottawa. He urges Canadians to support his effort stop Bill C-10.