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When the Prime Minister shut down parliament, people questioned two things: the timing and the motive. Stephen Harper did it on December 30th, just before New Year's Eve - and the same day Canada's men's Olympic hockey team was unveiled.
Harper said his government needed time to deal with Canada's economic recovery, and consult with Canadians about the "next phase" of its action plan. But the opposition didn't buy it. They said Harper was trying to avoid questions on the Afghan detainee controversy, and gain a majority on Senate committees, by appointing five new senators, which he did. So now, it's easier for the Conservatives to pass their own legislation.
As well, Harper called his decision "routine" - saying it's been done more than one hundred times before, which is true. But usually, parliament is prorogued at the end of a legislative session. This time, thirty-six bills were still in the works... All of which died.
Along the way, Harper said that the Afghan detainee controversy wasn't "on the radar of most Canadians", and suggested proroguing can be good because a minority parliament creates instability. There were rallies across the country to protest against the Prime Minister's decision. More than two hundred thousand people joined an anti-prorogue Facebook group, and if you believe the polls, a Harper and the Conservatives lost a significant lead over the Liberals, and are now in a dead heat, as parliament returns.
And to discuss the situation, who better to bring on the show than CBC's host of 'Power and Politics' Evan Solomon?