In his speech from the throne this fall, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he wanted to put the needs of consumers first by ensuring they receive better and more competitive costs and by creating more jobs for Canadians.
Barely a few weeks later, and just before the holidays, his government quietly announced — one day after Parliament was adjourned — that consumers will pay more to get fewer services from Canada Post, and that thousands of people will lose their jobs.
Canadians are worried and rightly so. Rate and service changes are being forced on them without any meaningful consultation — and at a time when their elected representatives are unable to demand an explanation on their behalf.
Canada Post provides an essential service that must, undoubtedly, adapt and keep up with the times to meet constantly changing demands.
But the changes made to this Crown corporation should never be glossed over hastily, without any discussion or real consultation, in the hope that no one will notice.
Canada Post affects the daily lives of everyone and the government has a duty to properly inform the public about the current situation of our postal services.
The Conservative government has an already alarming record when it comes to managing anything related to Canada Post, even though the corporation provides a vital service to small businesses and middle-class families across the country.
We all remember the 2011 strike by Canada Post employees forced back to work at the government’s orders.
Once again this week, Mr. Harper and his government failed to negotiate openly and communicate relevant information to Canadians who deserve to know the facts and condition of their postal service.
After this week’s announcement, Canadians have reason to doubt this government’s genuine interest in meeting the needs of consumers.
Despite the ethical scandals hounding him and his office, Mr. Harper is unwilling to live by the principles of transparency and consultation. The democratic process exists to ensure that Canadians receive genuine representation and that their elected officials are able to defend their interests in Ottawa.
During this fall session, once again, the Conservatives did nothing to support middle-class families. All that mattered to them was clinging to power at the expense of consumers.
Since the speech from the throne, Mr. Harper has beaten all records for inaction.
Justin Trudeau, leader
Liberal Party of Canada
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 13, 2013