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For the second time in one year our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has suspended parliament. Our elected members will not be returning until March.

Putting muzzles on our elected members of parliament and at the same time stifling the press and our right to know makes me angry and scares the hell out of me.

The Globe & Mail reported the details of recently sent email to bureaucrats outlining the governments rigid communication strategy. “PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) will have final approval for all communication products - even Notes to or letters to the Editors".

Bureaucrats were told to reduce the amount of ministerial and public events that take away from the government’s five priorities outlined during the election campaign. The PMO must approve all ministerial events. What happened to Harper’s promise of an open, transparent, accountable government?

In fact the members of parliament/military brass will not be allowed to express their opinions. If one dares to trespass party line dictum then you could be embarrassed/ punished.

Prime Minister, Harper’s. philosophy is to run a very central based control agenda with a total of eight members at the hub in the PMO’ office. The rest of us are mere spokes in the wheels of government.

One of my favorite librarians, Liz, was very kind to email me the quotes of Garth Turner, who is an elected Conservative member of parliament representing the riding of Halton, Ontario.

You may remember that Garth suggested in his blog that MP David Emerson should resign his seat and run in a by-election in Vancouver. David, a former columnist, has realized that his career options with the Conservative caucus are seriously limited. He had very unhappy meeting with Stephen Harper and was told that his comments were deemed not helpful.

He expects to be assigned an office in a renovated washroom somewhere in a forgotten corner of a vermin- infested dank basement.

Reminds me of the story of a constituent while walking down Richmond Row who passed over an open manhole. Strange, there were voices emanating from the sewer. The civil servants in their four piece suits were up to their chins in excrement. Please don’t make waves they moaned.

I called Joe Preston’s office, the Conservative MP for Elgin Middlesex.’ Staying on the message of the five priorities is important. Team playing is tantamount while recognizing the need to be able to speak for his constituents’.

I contacted Joe Fontana who had served his London riding for eighteen years. He has grave reservations regarding the new dictatorial protocol that restricts the media/ members of parliaments right to access of information from the PMO’s office. All enquiries he advised are to be submitted in writing before pertinent information will be disclosed.

There are two tenets that I hold dear: freedom of speech and a free press’s right to better inform their readers of matters of concern. Please take a moment to email me or send a letter to the news paper of your choice to voice your concerns.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com