The current shut down (prorogation) of the provincial legislature by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, past prorogations of Parliament by Prime Minister Harper and Prime Minister Chretien and some premiers, and the recent shutting down of provincial legislatures by B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale, make it clear that new rules are needed across Canada to ensure fairness and democratic accountability in the opening and shutting down of legislatures.
In the past decade alone, Prime Ministers Chretien and Harper, and provincial premiers in Alberta, B.C., Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and others, have either kept Parliament or the legislature closed, or shut it down, to help themselves or their political party escape democratic accountability.
In most countries in the world, including the parliamentary democracies of Britain, Australia and New Zealand, the constitution or written constitutional conventions or laws govern when the legislature opens and closes, not the whims of the ruling party leader. A survey of 2,030 Canadians commissioned by Your Canada, Your Constitution last May showed that two-thirds want such clear, written rules established in Canada, enforced by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Please help call for important changes to make the opening and closing of legislatures more democratic!
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