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News Release

Hypocrite Harper Continues to Mislead on Federal Conservatives’ Promise-Breaking on Accountability and Democratic Reforms
Will Media Continue to Ignore Harper’s Dishonesty?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s second throne speech and follow-up speech to the federal Conservative MPs for continuing to hypocritically mislead Canadians concerning the 24 election promises they failed to include in their so-called “Federal Accountability Act” (FAA) and other related bills.

“Prime Minister Harper’s hypocritical and dishonest federal Conservatives are making themselves look like fools, not fooling Canadians, when they claim that they have kept their word and cleaned up the federal government,” said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch.

Harper is a hypocrite because according to his November 4, 2005 speech an FAA containing the 52 measures he listed that day was needed to “begin the process of fixing the system . . . to clean up government.”  However, the FAA passed by the Conservatives in December 2006 only contained 30 measures (six of which have still not yet been implemented -- click here for details)) and weakened ethics rules for Cabinet ministers, their staff, Cabinet appointees and senior government officials.  Yet, in yesterday’s throne speech, Harper claimed that “the results are clear . . . the government is clean . . .”

Harper is dishonest because in today’s speech to Conservative MPs he claimed “We keep our word.”  Clearly, promising an FAA with 52 measures, and then passing an FAA with only 30 measures (as well as rejecting proposals by opposition parties to add some of the promised measures to the FAA), does not amount to keeping your word. 

Beyond the broken FAA promises, Harper’s Conservatives also broke their promise not to tax income trusts, and have done nothing to keep their promises to “Ensure that party nomination and leadership races are conducted in a fair, transparent, and democratic manner” and to “Prevent party leaders from appointing candidate without the democratic consent of local electoral district associations.”  In fact, actions by Harper and the Conservatives concerning nomination races in ridings in Alberta and Nova Scotia have been unfair, undemocratic and ignored the decisions of riding associations. 

(To see the full list of the 24 broken accountability and democratic reform promises, click here)

Democracy Watch and its coalitions will continue to push all the federal parties, including the self-deluded Conservatives, to close the dozens of loopholes that remain in the federal government’s accountability system. (For more details, go to Clean Up the System webpage).

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Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179

To see a summary of the key measures in Bill C-2, the so-called Federal Accountability Act, click here

To see a summary of the 90 undemocratic and accountability loopholes in the federal government's accountability system that Bill C-2 does nothing to close, click here

To see the details about the ethics complaint Democracy Watch has filed about the Conservatives' breaking their election promises concerning Bill C-2, click here

To see an opinion piece about Bill C-2 by Democracy Watch Coordinator Duff Conacher which was published in two Canadian newspapers, click here

To see Bill C-2, the so-called“Federal Accountability Act”and related federal government documents go to: http://www.accountability.gc.ca

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