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PM 'shutting democracy down,' says Easter

Last Updated: Thursday, December 31, 2009 | 8:11 AM AT

P.E.I. Liberal MP Wayne Easter is furious over Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament.

Proroguing Parliament makes it more difficult to hold the government accountable, says Liberal MP Wayne Easter.Proroguing Parliament makes it more difficult to hold the government accountable, says Liberal MP Wayne Easter. (CBC)

Harper wants Parliament to begin a new session after the Winter Olympics. The government said prorogation was necessary for the government to consult with Canadians on the "next phase" of its economic plan. Parliament would resume on March 3 with a speech from the throne.

Proroguing Parliament also means shutting down government committees, such as the one examining the Afghan detainee controversy.

Easter said it's an affront to the citizens of Canada and their purpose in electing members to Parliament in the last election.

"We have men and women fighting abroad for democracy and we have our own prime minister shutting democracy down," he said.

"People have to understand when you prorogue Parliament you lose everything that was there. Committees can no longer function now — they're gone. How do we raise questions with the prime minister on the biggest deficit in Canadian history? How do we question and propose things to them in terms of what are they going to cut? What programs are they going to take away?"

Easter said the opposition will continue to hold government accountable, despite the roadblock that appears to have been put in its way.

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