Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
OPINION Muzzling a maverick
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 20 Oct 2006, p. 6

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The only surprise about this week's ouster of Garth Turner from the Conservative Party of Canada (CCPC) caucus is that it didn't come sooner. The Halton MP has repeatedly challenged Prime Minister Stephen Harper on everything from revisiting same-sex marriage legislation, to the threat of climate change and the banning of media from military funeral services for Canada's Afghanistan casualties. Most recently, Turner raised the ire of fellow MP Omar Alghabra by questioning whether Canada should bear the cost of evacuating Lebanese residents who hold dual citizenship but haven't live here in years. On Wednesday, less than nine months after Turner helped the CPC earn one of its 124 seats on the way to a minority government, the party unceremoniously gave him the boot. The official word from Ottawa is that he is suspended "indefinitely" for breaching caucus confidentiality by posting information on his Internet blog and in interviews with reporters-- an accusation Turner denies. Still, Halton's MP is being punished for doing what too few of today's politicians have the courage to do-- keeping his word and speaking his mind. Turner is a study in contrasts. On one hand he follows a simple political philosophy where he places voters ahead of his party and the establishment. On the other, he sees the value of today's technology in getting his message to the people and their's to him. His website (www.garth.ca) is light years ahead of most MPs, utilizing blogging and podcasting to share ideas, opinions and updates with the people who elected him. We wrote earlier this year: "Those who voted for the MP with the expectation that he would blindly follow the PM's every lead have only themselves to blame for supporting a candidate without reviewing his campaign platform." The sentiment still applies-- and extends to those who chose to turf Turner for being accountable for his pre-election promises. While becoming an independent MP may not be Garth Turner's first choice, it' accurately describes the politics he preaches and practises.

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Date of Publication:
20 Oct 2006
Personal Name(s):
Turner, Garth ; Harper, Stephen ; Alghabra, Omar
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Conservative Party of Canada
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OPINION Muzzling a maverick