Penticton protesters target MP's office
Jun 3, 2012 / 5:00 am
Around 50 angry people took a stand against the federal budget bill on the steps of Conservative MP Dan Albas’ office in Penticton Saturday afternoon.
The "Stand Against the Blackmark Budget Bill" rally was one of about 54 across the country, organized by leadnow.ca, an intergenerational community that works for progress through democracy.
“We feel like Prime Minister Stephen Harper is behaving like George W. Bush ramming through legislation before the clock runs out on his mandate,” says Deborah Webb, co-host of the event.
“So we are here because we believe as Margaret Mead said a small group can make a change.”
The federal budget bill, Bill C-38, currently before parliament, makes changes to over 70 laws, and has drawn criticism across the political spectrum, including from former Conservative cabinet members and members of Prime Minister Harper’s own caucus.
Participants believe that if the bill passes unchanged, it will put a black mark on Canadian democracy.
To further get the point across, those at Penticton’s rally wore black to signify they are in mourning over the death of democracy in parliament in Canada.
“This impacts departments like the environment, where they are relaxing standards and laying off people, and the CBC, where there are funding cuts,” says Penticton resident Bob Nicholson, who attended the rally.
“So we are looking for 13 hero MPs to vote against this bill.”
The ultimate goal is to break it up and work together to make laws that work for everybody, he added.
In addition to wearing black, many carried protest signs. Peachland resident Nancy Merrill banged on a frying pan with a sign attached saying, “Dan Albas Defend Democracy. Stand against the federal budget bill. Be a hero!"
“I am taking positive action to draw attention to the fact this government is going in the wrong direction,” she says.
Lora Bruncke of Penticton was there to take a stand on behalf of future generations.
“I am here for my children and all the other children who cannot live in the polluted environment the current government is creating.”
The rally caught the attention of people attending the nearby community market and many signed came over and signed a petition asking Albas to vote against the bill.
He could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
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