Friday, November 6, 2009

Canwest (oops!) Sun Media reporter caught in Stoffer-Duffy shrapnel; Sen. Brazeau is offended

Leftist Media
On November 5, 2009, I received a call from reporter, Althia Raj of CanWest media regarding a two-part article she was doing on the Senate.

In the article published the same day entitled, "NDP: 27 new Tory senators will cost $177M". According to NDP MP, Peter Stoffer, these are the calculations he came up with.

Here are the questions the reporter asked me directly:

1) What do you make of the NDP assertion?
2) Are the calculations accurate?
3) Is there anything else you would like to add?

Here were my direct responses to the reporter:

1) First, Mr. Stoffer was walking around the Senate offices last week looking for extra Canadian flags and pins, which I gladly provided him with. Second, it's nice to see the NDP has extra time on their hands to undertake such an initiative given the fact that what really matters to Canadians is the economy and H1N1, as we speak. Third, it's no surprise to anyone the NDP would target the Senate given the fact that NDP members would likely never serve in the Senate. Fourth, the NDP should do their homework and see that one of the mandates of the Senate is to represent the interests of minority groups across Canada, including Aboriginal peoples so would abolishing the Senate reflect the needs and aspirations of Canadians who are minorities? Fifth, the NDP should ask themselves what it is costing taxpayers in Canada to have the Bloc Quebecois in our federal parliament? The NDP should be accountable and answer this question to all Canadians because they were the ones less than a year ago who were willing to support a coalition with a separatist party for their own self-serving interests at the cost of taxpayers. Lastly, if the NDP wants to focus on the cost of the Canadian Senate, lets compare the cost of the Senate vs the House of Commons.

2) The Conservative Party of Canada is the only party in Canada that supports reforming the Senate. Prime Minister Harper has attempted to introduce legislation in the past to reform the Senate only to be rejected by the Liberals. Earlier this year, the government introduced legislation to set term limits to 8 years in the Senate and all 27 newly appointed Conservative Senators, including myself are committed to working towards Senate reform to make this instituion more accountable and reflective of the needs of Canadians.

The reporter stated in her article, "But 34-year-old Sen. Patrick Brazeau, who would earn $9.4 million according to NDP calculations, promised he wouldn’t stay in the Senate that long.“(Stoffer’s) numbers are deeply skewed and are not applicable,” Brazeau said.

It's important to bring context to my quote, which the reporter failed to do. The figures of NDP MP Peter Stoffer includes all 27 new Senators serving until the age of 75 years of age. However, if we are successful in passing our legislation to limit term limits to 8 years, these fugures are absolutely not accurate and skewed. Moreover, the reporter writes, "But 34-year-old Sen. Patrick Brazeau...promised he wouldn’t stay in the Senate that long." I never promised anything to anyone but I did commit to doing what I can to help pass our government's Senate reform legislation.

What did it cost taxpayers in Canada when a busload of Liberal Senators were appointed? Did the NDP raise this then?

It's sad in this day and age when reporters ask specific questions during an interview and one takes the time to answer openly, honestly and in good faith. However, those same reporters fail to properly report the reponses given and miserably fail to bring context to what they publish. I suppose it's all about selling papers and giving themselves credibility. Luckily, most Canadians see through todays media and call it for what it's worth.

3) I had nothing else to add.

Regardless, the Conservative Party of Canada supports Senate reform. Perhaps the more interesting article should have been: why doesn't the Liberal Party? Maybe it could have been why the NDP has so much time on their hands to have an opinion on the Senate? I'll digress, as I have just answered my own questions.

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