The combined opposition parties gunned down two key pieces of the government’s anti-terror legislation by a vote of 159-124 in the House. One lone Liberal MP - Tom Wappel (Scarborough Southwest) - ignored orders from Liberal leader Stephan Dion and voted with the Conservatives. Another Liberal – MP Irwin Cotler - showed up but abstained from voting while 12 other Liberal MPs failed to show at all.
Also present for the vote were family members of Canadian victims of 9/11.
At a news conference before the vote, Maureen Basnicki, whose husband Ken was among 24 Canadian victims of the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks on New York, urged MPs to “stop playing politics” and to “vote with their conscience and not with their party.” Basnicki lamented that the Liberals have not met with victims’ families over concerns on the issue, but said she was not there to promote the Conservative government’s agenda.
At least one Liberal took exception to the families being there. Deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff referred to the presence of the families as nothing more than a sideshow …
Ignatieff said while he sympathized with terror victims, their appearance during the debate over whether to renew the powers is “just a sideshow.”
… prompting an angry response from Basnicki.
After the vote, Basnicki, on behalf of the Canadian Coalition Against Terror, said she was “very, very disappointed” in the outcome, and angered by Ignatieff’s comment.
“Sideshow? I was a victim of terrorism. My husband was murdered.
“I don’t like to be a victim of politics.”
Sideshow?! Who the hell does Ignatieff think he is? Since when are Canadian citizens not welcome to observe the proceedings in the House? Since when are Canadian citizens not welcome to make their views known to the people they elected? These are the family members of Canadian citizens who were brutally murdered by Islamofacist barbarians and their wish to be present in the House during this important vote constitutes a sideshow?
The only sideshow around here is the one the Liberal Party puts on day after day.