Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed Monday he’ll engage in yet another egregious assault on Canadian democracy.
Addressing the media during his ongoing eighth tour of the North, Harper said he will prorogue Parliament until October. As a result, several bills will die on the order paper. The new session will start with a new throne speech and new government agenda.
The opposition parties was quick to point out that Harper is proroguing parliament to nuke a tumultuous session that saw his government rocked by the Senate expense scandal.
“People aren’t going to be fooled. This is clearly a desperate government worn out by ethical scandals and mismanagement. Stephen Harper refuses to answer legitimate questions from the public,” said Tom Mulcair, the Leader of the Official Opposition NDP.
Mulcair added that Parliament is the place where the Conservative government must respond directly to questions about their actions – including the lavish spending of their Senators, the $90,000 cheque given to Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy by Harper’s former Chief of Staff and the role of the Prime Minister’s office in the Senate scandal.
“The Prime Minister will shut down the work of the House of Commons for the fourth time because he will do almost anything to evade questions about a Senate scandal that reaches right into Mr. Harper’s inner circle. Putting a padlock on the door of Parliament will not silence us. Mr. Harper can run but he cannot hide,” said Mulcair.
Ralph Goodale, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, said Harper is trying to avoid accountability relating the Duffy-PMO scandal and fraudulent Senate claims of Conservative Sen. Pamela Wallin.
“Stephen Harper and his PMO are under fire for several scandals — from the recent Wallin report into potentially fraudulent expenses to the $90,000 cheque in the Wright-Duffy Affair — and are obviously keen to avoid questions and scrutiny by Parliament,” Goodale said in a statement.
“While starting a new session is an appropriate way to provide direction, Parliament has been on a summer recess since June and the prime minister has had plenty of time to write a throne speech.”
This will be the third time Harper has prorogued parliament since assuming power in 2006. In 2008, he prorogued Parliament to avoid a non-confidence vote. In 2009, he prorogued avoid questions relating Canada’s role in the Afghan detainee scandal.
Harper has also squashed rumours that he’s about to leave the political scene. He declared he intends to remain as leader of the Conservatives and run for PM during the 2015 federal election.