Ignatieff Wins House Motion Calling Out Canadian Neocons

The passage of a motion in the House yesterday received virtually no press. I was browsing the Hansard record last night (don't ask) and discovered that Ignatieff passed a motion criticizing the Neoconservative Party of Canada of doing everything from stacking judicial appointments, to neglecting child care, renouncing Kyoto, assaulting democracy, and being "narrow minded." Here's the text of the motion (YEAS 155; NAYS 122):

"That, in the opinion of this House, the government is failing to act in accordance with the democratic and open values expected of its office by imposing a narrow minded, socially conservative ideology as reflected in its approach to the judicial appointment process to dramatically increase the influence of right-wing ideology in the judiciary, its refusal to honour Canada's international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol including a refusal to act immediately to introduce regulations under the Canada Environmental Protection Act, its misconception that Canadians don’t want or need a dramatic increase in child care spaces on a national basis, its budget spending cuts directed at aboriginal people and silencing advocacy work done on behalf of women and the most vulnerable Canadians even in the face of budget surpluses, its failure to protect and promote linguistic and cultural diversity, and its undemocratic assault on farmers who support the Canadian Wheat Board."

The only press I found was in the National Post, which played the role of Conservative Apologist, pointing out that Liberals exercised partisan patronage during their long tenures in power.

Here is a link to the debate in the House when the motion was presented on February 15. Some excerpts from that debate:
  • [Ignatieff, Lib]: The Prime Minister is turning back the clock on the social reforms of the last 30 years. It is not surprising that the Conservative Party decided to drop the word “progressive” from its name. That means we are no longer faced with the conservatism we know but with an ideological conservatism, a movement conservatism that will take Canada backward.
    Bit by bit, the Prime Minister is shaping Canada into his vision and it is less progressive, less fair, less just and less equal.
  • [Ignatieff]: This is a government that has plans to build more prison cells instead of child care spaces.
  • [Day, CPC]: Mr. Speaker, I am just wondering if either the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore ... can tell us if there is a typo here because everything that is being referred to are failures of the former government....As far as Kyoto, the Liberals did not follow any of it and we are 35% below the levels that we should be. It is this government that created child care spaces. They created none. As far as aboriginals, it is this government that has provided a $3.7 billion increase over two years, more than four Liberal budgets altogether, and as far as an assault on the farmers being undemocratic, it is the former government that put farmers in jail related to the Wheat Board.
  • [Neville, Lib]: The issue of the $3.7 billion [increased funding to aboriginal peoples] includes the residential schools agreement, which was negotiated by the previous government and ratified by the Conservative government. It is not part of the regular operating dollars of the Department of Indian Affairs. Therefore, that is misleading to the public and to aboriginal peoples.
  • [Anderson, CPC]: The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food last fall announced that we would hold a plebiscite on the marketing of barley. That plebiscite is now under way and, let me ask members, how much more democratic could the process be than what we have put in place?...Each farm operation, whether a single producer, partnership or corporation, will be eligible for one vote as long as it has produced grain during the last year and has produced barley in at least one of the last five years between 2002 and 2006 inclusive.
  • [Nash, NDP]: ...under the previous government it was unfortunate and terrible that there was a missed opportunity, because after signing the Kyoto agreement, in fact our environmental record deteriorated. Our record is now worse than that of the United States. It was a phenomenal embarrassment and a betrayal of the confidence of Canadians.

An interesting and lively debate.

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