Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government want to make changes to Parliament.
They want to reform the way Parliament runs, altering day-to-day operations of the House of Commons including limiting debates in Parliament and at committees. They want to do away with the long-respected tradition of consensus from the Opposition parties.
The Liberals are moving ahead with changes without the consensus and with very little, if any consultation.
One proposed change is to have the prime minister show up and answer questions in the House of Commons only one day a week.
The past month and a half of Question Period has been very revealing and troubling for me. While the prime minister has been taking most of the Opposition’s questions on Wednesdays, albeit he didn’t show up last week, he does not offer any answers during the valuable 45-minute session even to the simplest of questions.
My observation is even ministers don’t answer questions; rather, they rely on reading prepared responses and sometimes reading from the wrong sheet not even relevant to the question asked. It’s quite funny, but sad at the same time.
A prime example of this evasion tactic by Trudeau was his refusal to tell the House how many times he’s met with the ethics commissioner. It was a simple question. During a recent Wednesday Question Period, he was asked a total of 18 times, by me, my Conservative colleagues and the NDP.
Still he refused to answer. So the obvious question is why have the prime minister in Question Period if Trudeau refuses to answer simple questions?
The answer is just as simple.
For Trudeau, Question Period and Parliament in general, is an inconvenience. Both stand in the way of his agenda and so do the opposition parties who represent millions of voices in Ottawa.
If there wasn’t an opposition many more questions would go unanswered and information would remain hidden from you. Canadians would not know about Trudeau and his ministers selling access to themselves to people who have business with the government, while filling Liberal Party coffers.
Canadians would not be aware that the minister responsible for carbon taxes blacked out documents detailing the cost to Canadian families and businesses. The Liberals know the cost but are not saying.
It’s the opposition who keeps asking why is the minister responsible for massive debt and deficits not telling Canadians when there’ll be a return to balanced budgets, and how come the minister responsible for the proposed Liberal Infrastructure Bank scheme won’t say how much risk there is to your family with $35 billion in loan guarantees to rich investors.
My job and that of my colleagues is to hold the government accountable and we will continue to an effective opposition for you and your family. Trudeau is not interested in having an effective opposition, he just wants an audience.