Thunder Bay - Friday, October 12, 2001 - by: Richard P. Neumann


On Monday, the House of Commons will hopefully become the centre for debate over how we meet the challenges of September 11th. Politicians, citizens, journalists, and editors should not presume that debate represents partisan politics or is unwarranted at a time when Canadian troops have been committed to this just cause. The Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance have both indicated that they unequivocally support the Government's decision to provide a military component to the struggle against terrorism, and no matter the tone of the coming debate that support will not waver. Indeed, an argument can be made that the very recent conversion of our Prime Minister from laissez-faire bystander to participant is in large part due to the urging of the opposition parties.




Defence and security form the cornerstone of any nation's central government. Our military has been shaken by slashed budgets and unfair criticism for far too long. Now that they have once again been called to place themselves in harms way they deserve our unwavering support. That support however, must have substance to it. We must be prepared to redirect our priorities so that every effort is made to give them the best opportunity to perform not only this mission, but future missions in an increasingly unpredictable world.



to involve

When the House sits, Jean Chretien will find a great deal of support among politicians of most stripes, and an unprecedented willingness to co-operate with the Government. It is an opportunity he must cultivate for the sake of all Canadians. He can no longer continue to marginalize Parliament and individual MP's as has been the custom throughout his tenure, rather he must seek to involve our elected representatives in the decision-making process.




Canadians desire unity, but they demand leadership.



serving their country

Jean Chretien is our Prime Minister at a critical point in our history. The decisions made in the coming months will impact us greatly for years to come and it is imperative that they be made engaging the full force of our democratic process, utilizing every value, every skill, every bit of experience possessed by each and every politician honoured to be serving their country at this historical time.


  Richard P. Neumann
184 McKibbin St