VICTORIA – MPs were supposed to be back to work in Ottawa this week. Instead of showing up for work, Stephen Harper has locked Parliament’s doors, once again abusing his power to prorogue, giving his Conservatives a month off Question Period and avoiding accountability.    

“Prorogation means fewer questions about the issues affecting the people of BC, fewer questions about Conservative mismanagement and fewer questions about the Senate expense scandal,” said NDP MP Murray Rankin (Victoria). “Stephen Harper is running away from these questions and dismissing the democratic process. This is unacceptable to Canadians.”

Adding insult to injury, after Harper prorogued Parliament, he and a contingent of Conservative cabinet members headed straight to BC to promote the Northern Gateway pipeline that British Columbians have categorically rejected.

"Stephen Harper has shut down democracy, gutted the environmental assessment process and ignored the voices of First Nations,” said Rankin.  “New Democrats have been clear: the Conservative approach is unacceptable, and we will continue to hold Harper to account.”

Prorogation will also delay legislation needed to correct the Conservatives’ error in their latest omnibus budget bill, which left credit unions with a higher tax rate than other businesses. Committee studies, such as one on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, have also been shut down.