How Low Can Tony Clement Go?
From March 27, 2011
Given the opportunity to vote in favour of Bill C-393–a bill that would allow Canadian firms to ship cheaper generic AIDS and malaria drugs to Africa and developing countries–Tony Clement (and the entire Conservative cabinet present) voted no.
Despite this, the private member's bill still passed the House on March 9th by a vote of 172-111. With the support of members from all parties, including some Conservative back-benchers, the measure was sent to the Senate for approval.
But then Conservative senators received a memo, written by one Tony Clement, urging them to oppose the bill. So these unelected senators employed stall tactics to prevent the bill from coming up for proper debate or vote, and did everything they could to drag out the process and run out the clock.
When confronted about this by MP Paul Dewar during question period on March 24, Tony Clement had a solution:
"If he really wants this bill to pass in the Senate, he should be voting for the budget. He should be voting for the government to continue. Then the bill will be debated in the Senate. However, he is too chicken to do that."
That's great. So in other words, first Tony votes against the bill, then he tells the Senate to block the bill, then he tells the opposition parties, "keep our corrupt Conservative government in power and we will stop stalling a bill that saves thousands of children in Africa from dying of AIDS and malaria." So now we must return to our original question: how low can Tony Clement go?