More than just ‘a distraction’

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To the Editor,

Re: ‘Senate scandal a distraction in 2013, Shea says’, published Dec. 28, 2013
Like other Harper Ministers, Gail Shea is faithfully 'parroting' the Prime Minister Office's message: Conservatives have accomplished 'important' objectives and the Senate scandal, which involved a certain P.E.I. Senator, is nothing more than 'a distraction'.

Really? This 'distraction' involves a possible criminal act by the PM's staff, perhaps with Harper's knowledge. Chief of Staff Nigel Wright wrote the cheque that 'assisted' Duffy. Several PMO staff allegedly knew some details of the attempted 'whitewashing' through a Senate report, of the Duffy situation.

The Senate scandal, and Harper’s potential role in it, brings to mind Watergate and the illegal acts by former U.S. President Nixon and his staff. Like Harper, Nixon denied knowing about the crimes committed from within his office.

Harper is trying to distract Canadians, including Islanders, by suggesting the trade agreement - or CETA - signed with the EU will be beneficial. We have yet to see the final text, so any potential benefits are just theoretical at this point.

Shea's government should allow those who will have to live with the consequences of the CETA to see the text. I’m sure Islanders are more than capable of judging how the CETA will help or hurt them.

Of course, any benefits must be weighed against the CETA's costs and harmful actions taken by the Harper government.

Does Minister Shea consider it an accomplishment that her government's attack on seasonal industries, including Islanders employed in them, is causing some to leave for jobs elsewhere?

Is it an accomplishment that her leader is giving provinces the proverbial cold shoulder regarding national discussions on renewing the health accord?

The Harper government has lost the trust of Canadians. Why? Many factors, including ethical lapses, lack of national leadership on health and pension issues, and the absence of a plan focused on Canadians' key priorities.

Minister Shea shouldn't be surprised if Islanders are skeptical of her government's so-called 'accomplishments'.

As 2014 begins, Islanders and other Canadians should ponder: did the Harper government make your life better in 2013? Is the Conservative agenda aligned with your hopes for the future?

Wayne Easter

Liberal Member of Parliament for Malpeque


Organizations: Islanders, EU

Geographic location: U.S.

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