Monday, April 1, 2013

Some Inspiration From Kevin Page - UPDATED

There is an excellent piece in this morning's Star by outgoing Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page. In it, he talks about how his son's death was the catalyst for his abandoning a natural desire for job security and his subsequent pursuit of the job which has incurred so much Harper wrath while at the same time endearing him to millions of Canadians. Unfortunately, the piece seems to be only in the print edition, but should it become available online, I will provide a link.

At the end of his article, Page urges all of us to write to our M.P. and let them know how they feel about the government's purposeful and myriad efforts at concealing information essential to a healthy democracy and informed Parliamentary debate. Inspired by his words, I have sent off an email to my Conservative M.P. David Sweet. I reproduce it below. If you find any part of it useful, feel free to use it in your own communications with your representative:

Dear Mr. Sweet,

Having read outgoing Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page's column in this morning's Star, I have decided to take his advice and write to you. As his five-year tenure made abundantly clear, your government has consistently betrayed its commitment to openness and transparency in a number of ways, not the least being its refusal to provide the kind of financial information to Parliament that would have allowed for a full and informed debate and evaluation of government policies. While examples abound, the true costs of the F-35 fighter jets and details on how the government will meet its deficit-fighting targets are but two. A true democracy does not conceal information as a kind of precious commodity to be guarded at all costs.

I have written to you several times in the past, not so much with the expectation that my words would in any way influence you or your government but rather to make you aware that there are many who oppose Mr. Harper's policies in general and your constituency representation in particular. I am writing now to ask you to look within and ask yourself why you went into politics in the first place. Have the goals, methodology, and policies of your government, which have done so much to impair democracy and disaffect so many citizens from its processes, been consonant with your original purpose?

If they have not, then I call upon you to try find the kind of moral courage shown by people like Mr. Page and the former head of Statistics Canada, Munir Sheikh, and do the right thing by speaking out for the needs of Canada and not just your party's narrow interests.

I know that what I am asking is not easy, but I firmly believe that the future of this country depends upon M.P.s who are willing to risk their careers for the betterment of all citizens. Otherwise, our democracy will continue its descent into a sad parody of what it once was.


Lorne Warwick

UPDATE: Kevin Page's article is now available on the Star's website.


  1. The trouble with writing to my useless CON MP about anything is that I'll get back a form letter.

    (s)he was recently on TV in some kind of scrum and a commentator who saw it said (s)he was like a parrot.

    I guess all that can be said is bring on 2015.

  2. I agree that there is little hope of effecting any change in a Conservative M.P.'s behaviour through a letter (or just about anything else, I suppose), Anon, but I like to remind mine every so often that all is not well in his constituency; that way at least he knows we are not all tuned out to what he and his government are doing to this country, and that we will be there to vote against him in the next election.