Minister must go

Stephen Harper won re-election in 2008 by pledging to create new rules for Parliament which would make government more transparent and accountable. The actions of International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda, and of the prime minister supporting her, show that we are going rapidly backwards on this front.

Oda, a minister of the Crown is alleged to have misled Parliament, recorded in Hansard, and ordered a legal document altered to reverse the recommendation it made. This is shameful behaviour.

In December 2009, just after Oda changed the document recommending funding to KAIROS, Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney told an audience that KAIROS’ funding was cut because the government didn’t like KAIROS’ views on Israel. But Oda stated in the House it was a routine Canadian International Development Agency decision.

If Stephen Harper has any genuine respect for Parliament, he will fire his minister.

Congratulations to the opposition parties for making this important issue front and centre in their questioning. If the prime minister does not fire Oda, the opposition parties must vote to find her in contempt of Parliament, or they will be guilty of allowing it to happen and set a terrible precedent.

Kay Osatenko