OTTAWA – Prime Minister Harper has gone into hiding to avoid defending unpopular decisions made in secret by his government since Parliament rose: gutting the census and signing a $16 billion sole-sourced military contract.
“The buck is supposed to stop with the Prime Minister. He needs to be accountable for these decisions,” said Mr. Brison. “He’s trying to use the summer lull to dump bad news, and has gone into hiding without answering a single question because he knows how unpopular these ideologically-driven policy shifts are.”
Mr. Brison noted that our Prime Minister has made seven visits since July 1st, and took a media question only once, on July 6 – three weeks ago.
In contrast, Mr. Brison noted that since the month began, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has already traveled over 12,125 km and held 53 events in 40 communities with plans to visit 62 more before the summer is over. As part of the Liberal Express summer tour, Mr. Ignatieff has conducted an average of five media interviews a day and taken dozens of unscripted questions from Canadians in town halls.
“The total of 102 communities that Mr. Ignatieff will visit is all in addition to the trip that we took to China in early July to discuss trade and foreign affairs issues,” said Mr. Brison. “If there was any doubt that Mr. Ignatieff is the hardest working political leader in Canada, compare his accessible agenda to a prime minister who won’t even pop his head up in Ottawa to be held accountable for costly and far-reaching decisions that his government made in secret.”
Mr. Brison called on the Prime Minister to show up and publicly announce that he will reverse course on plans to end the mandatory long-form census and spend $16 billion on a sole-sourced F-35 fighter jet contract – the largest single military contract in Canadian history.
“Canadians are demanding answers from the Prime Minister and yet he seems content to hide behind his ministers and make them take the flack for his unpopular, ideologically-driven policies,” concluded Mr. Brison. “That’s not accountability and it’s certainly not leadership.”