Canadians demand parliament’s return
The rally on Jan. 23 in Waterloo was one of many held across the country, arranged by the organization that had been initiated on Facebook with the group Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (CAPP).
“The message it sends is that yeah, we get frustrated with parliament all the time and we complain about how it works but we still want it there. It’s a necessary function in all its ugliness,” said Griffin Carpenter, president of the Laurier Campus Greens.
Members of the Laurier Campus Greens and the WLU Young Liberals attended the rally alongside partner organizations from the University of Waterloo.
Having followed the movements on Facebook, group leaders were able to recognize and make plans to take part in the rally that, until this past weekend, remained an online force only.
“There is this sentiment in government and among a lot of political pundits as well that the Facebook campaign wasn’t more than ‘lazy-ism,’ the lack of activism,” said Nick Gibson, president of the WLU Young Liberals.
Critics have cited that the move to prorogue was an attempt to avoid scrutiny regarding the Afghan detainees, as it is one of many bills that will be scrapped with the abrupt end to the session.
“We want our politicians to be accountable,” said Gibson, reiterating the protesters’ demands for government transparency that he felt has been lost in the process of prorogation.
“On a lot of issues I think we may be divided but I think on this one there is some unity,” said Larry Aberle, president for the NDP Kitchener-Centre riding, to the crowd of Waterloo residents with diverse political affiliations.
“Our goal with this rally is not just to express our unhappiness with Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue but also to encourage and reinforce the importance of participation,” said Preiss.
Protesters across the country
300 in Edmonton
750 in Halifax
2,000 in Vancouver
4,000 in Ottawa
5,000 in Montreal
9,000 in Toronto
Over 216,000 members in the Canadians Against Proroguing
Parliament Facebook group