Monday, 5 July 2010

Send a letter to your MP if you mean it

Dear Ms. Bennett,

I voted for you in the last election and it is with the faith that I placed in you to represent me then that I am writing to you now.

You must be aware of the damage and, I wish there were a less extreme way of putting this, police brutality during the G20 summit. Toronto’s mayor and other political representatives have been brushing it off as necessary in exceptional circumstances, but the plethora of videos online, not of a single incident but several assaults all over the city, make it difficult to understand this dismissive attitude towards the treatment of Toronto citizens.

If by any chance you haven’t seen the footage or heard the reports, I encourage you to take some time to watch any of these videos or slideshows:

Of course any media reporting could be subject to selective editing, but the sheer variety of clips available, and the shocking footage (even if it were selectively edited) makes it difficult to deny that in many cases police were severely breaching citizens and media’s rights. From the bullying snatch away of a microphone, to beating Guardian blogger Jesse Rosenfeld, Torontonians feel ashamed of this public show of an attack on Freedom of Speech, and urgently need for the opposition party to recognize this and bring the Conservatives to task.

Perhaps most disturbing are the reports of up to 930 million of the tax payers dollars that are still unaccounted for in the G20 spending. The Liberal sponsorship scandal that prompted a no confidence vote in Parliament was to the tune of $100 million. Now under the veil of transparency the Conservatives need to answer for nine times as much, and the Liberal government has yet to make a statement questioning the most undemocratic spending move in Canadian history. (Not to mention the fact that this spending overshadows the Vancouver Olympics, and where that event brought economic growth and profile to its city, the G20 brought Torontonians property damage, loss of earnings for the weekend, mass unwarranted arrests of its citizens, and shame.)

There are nearly 50,000 members of a Facebook group calling for a public inquiry into the G20 and the numbers are growing. If Canadians have ever needed the opposition party to act swiftly and deliberately in their interests that time is now. As an MP for the city of Toronto please assure us that our outcries are being heard. Do not let our country become known internationally as a “police state”, as so many have called it. Actively challenge claims like those of the recent MacLean’s blogger Paul Wells who wrote that the Liberal party was in coalition with the Conservatives.

As a Liberal voter, I want to believe that yours is a party that is not afraid to hold the Conservatives to task over this, the worst kind of scandal, one done completely out in the open, but in a way that citizens feel they have no power to change or argue with it. You have that power. You represent my constituency. I urge you to use that power and do the right thing.

Yours faithfully,

Deborah Pearson
(My Address here)

PS: I will be posting this letter on my blog and facebook to encourage others to write to their representatives and show their concern.

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