Threat of suing: Bullying or an avoidance ploy

Victoria, B.C., Thursday, June 14, 2007, by : Eugene Parks

The Prime Minister has challenged the Atlantic provinces to sue to back up their allegations that he lied and broke the Atlantic Accord contract in the budget or he would sue them.

Turning about on promises is nothing new for Stephen Harper except his target has changed to provincial premiers. Breaking promises is old hat for the PM, as in not honouring the Kelowna Accord with aboriginals and not maintaining the integrity of NAFTA in the softwood lumber dispute.

Unable to understand the math of the Atlantic Accord? Few can! But, all know a written contract can't be altered without agreement by both sides or it's been broken.

All know well Harper and Flaherty are capable of breaking promises. They flatly broke their promise by saying one thing about income trusts and doing the opposite. Forced under public scrutiny, they admitted it.

Now, in breaking faith with the premier of Nova Scotia by blatantly denying wrongdoing in a Halifax newspaper, they stepped across the line into being bullies, and Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald reacted.

Is Harper's challenge to either sue or be sued rational? Yes, if the aim is to be able to say, "The issue is before the courts and I can't comment on it." He would get to shut up, with a legal excuse, on a topic rightly causing him great embarrassment.


Eugene Parks


CJOB, Harper to province on Atlantic accord: sue me (pdf) June 11, 2007, CJOB news


Cook, Tom, Legal storm brews (pdf) June 14, 2007, Calgary Sun, Canadian Press


Flaherty, Jim, Ottawa respects Atlantic accord (pdf) June 12, 2007, Halifax Chronicle-Herald

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