UPDATED*** PM Trudeau's Government Leader in the Senate moves to shut down the democratic process
UPDATE: Senator Harder withdrew his Programming Motion on Thursday, April 4, 2019.
Senator Harder, the Government Leader in the Senate, moved an unprecedented and un-negotiated Programming Motion on Tuesday.
If passed, this motion effectively closes debate on all 11 government bills in the Senate.
This is a historic, rule-breaking motion that would stop Canadians from being able to share their concerns with Senators on key issues facing the country.
This draconian closure motion is an assault on Canadian democracy, and Conservatives will use all possible tools in order to resist the arrogance that lies behind this unprecedented motion.
This motion strips the Senate of its constitutional role to voice concerns on behalf of Canadians who have concerns with the government’s legislative agenda.
In any democracy, an organized opposition plays an essential role in speaking for minority political opinions. It is not only offensive to the traditions and practices of this Chamber but is an unprecedented attack on the integrity of our Standing Committees, our Constitution and the rules of Parliament.
Senator Harder, the Government Leader, has failed to manage his government’s own legislative agenda and is attempting to blame the Opposition for his failures.
This motion proves that Prime Minister Trudeau’s claims that he has ushered in a new era in the Senate are simply false.
In 2014, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said: “If the Senate serves a purpose at all, it is to act as a check on the extraordinary power of the prime minister and his office, especially in a majority government.”
These words ring hollow today. The Prime Minister and his Government Leader are hoping that the media circus around the treatment of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott distracts Canadians from noticing their attempt to shut down legitimate debate.
This motion is the most authoritarian motion ever introduced in the Senate of Canada. It represents a threat to fundamental parliamentary principles. Conservatives will resist this motion to the utmost of our ability.