Last week, I wrote a post about a committee meeting that I had seen a part of. I commented on just how offensive Dean Del Mastro was, but usually that seems to be as far as these things go. Few people tune in to these meetings and perhaps fewer realise that this is where much of the tension we see erupt in QP originates. That's not likely to change.
What is interesting to me though is that the participants in this meeting, who took obvious and understandable exception to the tone I described, wrote an open letter to the PM in La Presse. The title? Arrogants et Grossiers or, Arrogant and Rude.
Here's the google translation:
Arrogant and rude
Mr. Prime Minister, on behalf of my organization, the Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada, I would like to express my indignation as a result of our move last Monday to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
Representatives of the Conservative Party, including Mr. Rod Bruinooge and Dean Del Mastro, have shown arrogance and rudeness towards the witnesses who appeared before them, particularly against French groups, as our union or the National Federation of communications, and even with the Guild Canadian media.
Your members have behaved as people without education, even coarse characters: they are almost not heard a word from our presentations, standing in turn to leave the room, instead of questioning us on our respective memories or our presentations, they are engaged in lengthy and vehement verbal protest, claiming that we were there only to blame the Conservative government and accusing us of not being duly authorized by the people we represent. Such behavior is unworthy of their functions and public role they are asked to fill in their parliamentary duties, and for which they are highly paid, at that.
The Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada represents about 1,600 workers in Quebec and Moncton. It is true that these people are dissatisfied cuts $ 171 million and cut 800 jobs at the CBC. They are in shock and are now living in uncertainty resulting from this kind of situation. Upon request, our organization before the people's elected representatives to encourage them to increase government funding of the national public broadcaster. This has been done on our side, with the public institutions and individuals.
We are entitled to expect as much from the side of your representatives. Mr. Prime Minister, I expect that you repair the insults and rudeness that we have been provided by your representatives.
The author is president of the Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada. He signed an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
And to that I say, bravo!
To finally read what many of us often witness, is both distressing and a good sign. It's distressing that our committees have been allowed to function in this manner for so long, but a good sign that people are no longer content to sit back and take it.
Will this start a trend? Highly unlikely, but if this person felt the need to take this step, you have to know that there are others who were also treated this way, and they told two friends, who then told two friends, and so on.
Will Harper take action? Even more unlikely, but people are noticing and that's certainly not doing the Conservatives any favours.