A deal with Quebec separatists will hurt not only Canada but also the Liberal Party said Wellington Halton Hills Conservative MP Mike Chong in an interview on Tuesday night.
“In my view, its a very dangerous thing for Canada and one reason why I believe that the government should remain in position,” Chong said.
The Liberal, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois parties were offering themselves as an alternative to the Conservative government elected only weeks ago. Chong has always opposed deals with the BQ, and even resigned his cabinet seat over such a deal.
“Yes, they have,” Chong said when asked if the three parties have jumped the gun by writing to Governor-General Michaëlle Jean and asking her for permission to form a government. Normally, that request would come only after the government is defeated in the House of Commons.
“This is in anticipation of the defeat of our government,” Chong said.
He said facing a worldwide recession is no time to play political games, and, “It’s incumbent on all the parties in the house, especially the federal parties, to work together.”
Chong admitted not all the games came from the opposition, and that the Conservatives have realized it was a mistake to make proposals like cutting political party funding in their economic statement the previous week. He noted the government has apologized and withdrawn that proposal.
But, he said, his biggest fear is that in the Liberal and NDP rush to power, they will “give access to the levers of government” to the Bloc Quebecois, whose purpose is to break up Canada. “It think that’s a very dangerous thing.”
He added he was surprised Liberal Leader Stephane Dion would enter into a coalition with the separatist party, even though Dion, whose party received its lowest percentage vote total ever in the last election, was on his way out, having resigned as leader after his poor election results.
Such a coalition, Chong said, “is not only dangerous to Canada’s interests, but I believe it is damaging to the Liberal Party’s interests. It’s unconscionable that one of the two main federal parties has entered into a coalition with the separatists. I maintain it will be damaging if they take power.”
Chong said what is happening in the nation’s capital is not a good thing.
“I’m not happy with what’s going on in Ottawa. It’s not the way a First World government should be operating. We need to set aside political games and focus on the business of the nation … Address the concerns Canadians have about their jobs, their pensions, and their savings.”
Chong was not the only local politician who commented on the coalition’s actions. Wellington Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott also weighed in on the issue.
“In a time of extreme economic challenge, all political parties must set aside their partisan self-interest and work together in the public interest,” Arnott said.
“Parliamentary democracy and its fundamental principles must always be upheld,” he added. “The Governor General must be prepared to defend those principles. Today we need leadership and stability in Ottawa – not a shaky coalition that likely won’t last long.
“Having the NDP and separatist Bloc Quebecois dictating the policy agenda to a ‘lame-duck’ Liberal leader is not what we voted for last Oct. 14.”
Dion is stepping down, with a new Liberal leader set to be chosen next summer.