Open, accountable, transparent government

We want open, accountable, transparent government that is civil, compassionate, and cooperative. 

We want the government to welcome dissenting voices and to encourage and support advocacy.
We want our politicians to respect and abide by international agreements made by our parliamentary democracy.


That the omnibus Crime Bill C-10 was pushed through parliament by a majority Conservative government in December 2011 in spite of opposition by several national groups that demonstrated publicly and thousands of citizens who wrote letters to their MPs.  At least one Conservative Senator opposes the bill.

That several officials have resigned or been sacked. Here are a few:

Pat Stogran – Veteran’s Ombudsman – sacked for his criticism of poor treatment for veterans
Chief Marty Cheliak – Director General of the Canada Firearms Program – sacked after defending the gun registry
Munir Sheikh – head of Stats Can – resigned after the feds ignored his battle to keep the long-form census
Steve Sullivan – Ombudsman for Victims of Crime – tenure not renewed by government in 2010
Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax offices of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (which together receive 70% of all signed complaints) closed
Peter Tinsley – chair of Military Police Complaints Commission – had his tenure ended over Afghan detainee controversy 

That our government has ignored requests to rectify the violations of Omar Khadr’s rights as a Canadian citizen.  Not only has our government shown disrespect for the Supreme Court of Canada, by ignoring the directives of Federal Court Justice Zinn, but even more astoundingly, it has ignored the requirements of our hard fought for Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

That the prorogation of Parliament to avoid defeat in the Commons and the government’s refusal to allow access to documents on the "handing over of prisoners to Afghanistan for torture", are examples of the undermining of the primacy of Parliament, the rule of law and the erosion of democracy as we know it in Canada. It is the secret and arbitrary nature of this government’s actions that makes us uneasy.

That the selection of downtown Toronto by our government for the G20 meeting in 2010 in spite of Toronto's Mayor Miller's request to change the location and the subsequent attempt to criminalize dissent was a most serious attack on the basic tenets of a free and democratic society.

That  the final Omnibus Bill (C-9 Canada’s Economic Action Plan) passed by Parliament on 12.07.2010, was 880 pages long! This has been a legal way for governments in power to include initiatives that are not debated or related to the subject of the Bill. Passage of the bill can be forced under the threat of making it a confidence vote. 

That accountability is a fundamental protection of our society. Incidents of "sidestepping civil rights and the rule of law for the sake of political expediency" seem to be developing into a pattern with this government. (Stephen Bede Scharper, University of Toronto Professor of Environmental Ethics. “The Price of Political Expediency” Toronto Star 19.07. 2010.)

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