Friday September 23, 2011


Political Comment

Offence to Common Sense

Most Wanted war criminals lists and unequal representation in the House

Submitted by Robert Pearsall PA, Chilliwack-FC MP

Mark Strahl/Voice file photo


ne of the things I always admired about Preston Manning and the Reform Party was their commitment to common sense policies.


For instance, back in the early 90s when deficits were out of control and Canada's debt rating had been downgraded, as has recently happened in the US, Preston used to say, "If you want to get out of the debt hole, the first thing you should do is stop digging." It was good advice, and it was common sense, but until he said and advocated the policy, no other leader or party was willing to do it.

I said when I was elected that I was going to take the common sense of the common people to the House of Commons. Unfortunately, a couple of recent happenings on the federal political scene have shown that common sense isn't always appreciated.

The first instance surrounds our government's decision to publish the names and photographs of thirty of the most wanted criminals who were on the run or in hiding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). All thirty had been ordered deported after they had been given due process under Canadian law and had been found to be inadmissible to Canada. These guys are not suspected of being petty thieves. They are suspected of having committed serious crimes against humanity, or war crimes, before coming to Canada.

Now common sense would dictate that if you're suspected of having committed heinous crimes abroad, have been ordered removed from Canada, and have gone into hiding, that your name should be published and the authorities should do everything that they can to send you packing. And while most Canadians have applauded our move to aggressively pursue these individuals, some left-wing Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) and some media outlets have condemned our government for trying to enforce our laws, stating that the human rights of these suspected human rights abusers are being violated!


One media outlet in particular refused to publish the mug shots of the fugitives. It just doesn't make sense. Luckily, in spite of their opposition, we have already apprehended seven of these most wanted individuals and have already deported three of them to their countries of origin to face justice there.

Another offense to common sense came when the Liberals and Ottawa NDP indicated that they would be opposing our government's efforts to restore fairness to the number of MP's that the fastest growing regions of the country (British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario) have in the House of Commons. For years, British Columbia has been underrepresented in the House. That means that the votes of a British Columbian have carried less weight. We think it's high time we corrected that problem, and have come forward with a new formula that will ensure that we finally get our fair share of seats.


The Bloc Quebecois immediately condemned our plan, because they believe that Quebec should always have 25% of the seats in the House of Commons even if their population no longer warrants it. They simply do not believe in the principle of representation by population. While those who follow politics are used to hearing the Bloc call for special rules for Quebec, it was disappointing to see the Ottawa NDP parroting the Bloc Quebecois talking points on this issue. They echoed the Bloc Quebecois complaint that our plan to treat the citizens of fast growing provinces fairly was "divisive" and instead called for special treatment for Quebec!


One of the Ottawa NDP leadership candidates, Brian Topp, went out of his way to voice his opposition to fair representation for BC on his first trip to BC as a candidate. It just doesn't make sense.

These were hardly the only offenses against common sense. But while some cry for war criminals and pit one part of the country against another, our government will continue to work towards fairness, and common sense, in the days and weeks ahead.

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