Monday, November 27, 2006

Garth Turner : Are the Quebec people a nation?

Garth Turner put out the following press release yesterday:

Last week the government of Stephen Harper introduced a motion in the House of Commons which will declare the Quebecois a nation within Canada. Since then, this action has been embraced by Quebec separatists, including Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe.

Debate on this motion is expected to be cut off Monday night, followed by a vote in the Commons. No public consultations are planned, no committee meetings are to be held and no chance for comments from the public to be tabled.

Independent MP Garth Turner disagrees with the process and is asking all Canadians interested in having their voice heard to vote in an online poll prior to the decision in Parliament. “This has the potential to alter our country in unknown ways,” Turner says, “and I see no reason why we are rushing to get this vote done in just a few days. Canadians did not ask for it, and need time to understand the implications. After all, if the Quebec separatists are so much in favour, this raises serious questions about what’s best for national unity.”

For what’s believed to be the first time, a sitting MP in the House of Commons is using online polling to gauge the mood of Canadians. Turner’s poll comes in addition to his own consultations with voters in his riding of Halton, where he held a Town Hall meeting Thursday night, at which constituents voted overwhelmingly against acceptance of the “Quebecois nation” motion.

People voting online are allowed just one ballot, with subsequent attempts to vote not being recorded. Preliminary voting results are scheduled to be released Sunday evening, November 26, with further results released Monday afternoon and prior to the Commons vote that evening.

“This could be a pivotal moment in national history, and I fear this move is being supported by the major parties for purely political self-interest,” Turner says. “So I encourage all Canadians to be heard in the scant few hours which remain before this vote is forced. I will ensure every MP is made aware of the results.”

To vote, proceed to

For more information:
Esther Shaye (905) 699-1902 or (905) 693-0166
Garth Turner (613) 222-1838 or (613) 996-7046

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