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Monday, March 20, 2006 

Harper Muzzles Ministers

"The PMO will have final approval for all communications products - even Notes to Editors or Letters to the Editors.’’ (Stephen Harper email to Ministers and Deputies).

With these words, our Prime Minister has effectively muzzled all of his Cabinet Ministers, their Deputy Ministers and Departments. So much for Harper's 'open, honest and accountable government'! That is what we were promised by the Conservatives in the recent federal campaign. So this is either a shameful display of communications 'arrogance' on the part of Mr. Harper OR it is an indication of the lack of faith he has in the political expertise of his cabinet. Whichever of these reasons is the inspiration for his email, he will be hard pressed to explain the disconnect between his campaign promises and reality.

You just gotta love Harper's latest fashion edict for Ottawa (those cute little colour-coordinated "HarperMuzzles" so many Tories will be wearing for next few months). There is absolutely no truth to the rumour that the only permissible colour for the HarperMuzzles is blue. I have it on good authority that any primary colour will do, in fact, some expect Tory ministers to have a different colour for each day of the week! Now, that's being cutting edge!

But fear not, political discourse inside and outside the House will still find a way to bypass the HarperMuzzles and wander over the rest of the Harper New Tories agenda.

Then the true discussions will start on exactly what sort of Canada Harper wants to have.

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