Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conservative MP In California Vacationing Focused On Making Parliament Work?

Conservative MP Randy Hoback in a local Prince Albert newspaper oblivious to the irony:

"Our constituents have more concerns on their minds," he said by phone Tuesday from California, where he is vacationing. "They want us to concentrate on jobs, get people back to work, and get the budget back in order. And that's what I'll focus on when I get back to Parliament and that's what I'm focusing on now." (Emphasis added)

In justifying the need for prorogation Conservatives have emphasized the fact that MPs need to return to their ridings to connect with their constituents. However there is the example of Conservative MP Randy Hoback that not only offers evidence to the contrary, but is so steeped in irony, Shakespeare would be rolling his eyes.

The story was first pointed out by Sarah MacDonald, the famous anti-prorogation protester in Oman, and it revolves around a January 21st article from the Prince Albert's Daily Herald in which a pending rally against prorogation was being described. The reporter Tessa Holloway talked with a supporter of the rally and balanced that with an interview with Prince Albert's Conservative MP Randy Hoback. The point that makes this story interesting is that this interview with the MP was over the phone.

It must be admitted that a phone interview isn't that uncommon, but the reason why is, for Conservative MP Randy Hoback isn't in Prince Albert while his government is prorogued. No, Randy Hoback is not busy connecting with his voters or attending community events while Parliament is suspended, no, he is in California on a vacation.

One could point out the inconsistency between the Conservative Party's justification for the prorogation and the fact that Randy Hoback is spending the prorogation in California vacationing, but it isn't needed, because he does such a great job doing it himself.

Reporter Tessa Holloway wrote this paragraph in the article while providing quotes by Conservative MP Randy Hoback:
"Our constituents have more concerns on their minds," [Hoback] said by phone Tuesday from California, where he is vacationing. "They want us to concentrate on jobs, get people back to work, and get the budget back in order. And that's what I'll focus on when I get back to Parliament and that's what I'm focusing on now."
So though Hoback himself reiterates the Conservative justification for the prorogation, that Members of Parliament should be working for their constituents, focusing on their jobs, Hoback makes that statement while in California... On Vacation.

Whether you are Conservative or not, whether you agree or disagree with prorogation, it must not only be admitted that Randy Hoback has some serious problems grasping a simple law of logic like transitivity, but also that this Conservative MP is not using this prorogation to work for his constituents. And thus for at least this Conservative MP there is objective evidence that prorogation is an affront to our representative democracy, most especially for the constituents of Prince Albert.

Canadians deserve Members of Parliament who will work, who will go to Parliament and represent the people. This prorogation, as in the case of the absence of the Conservative MP from Prince Albert, undermines our democracy, and Canadians cannot and must not let it continue.

Join the Protest. Join the Democracy.

Visit and Join the Facebook group Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament.


jmburton said...

Thanks for the post - I will be using the example of Randy Hoback in my next argument.

Asif Hossain said...

Stephen Harper isn't going to be happy about this. Guess who is on kitty litter duty at 24 Sussex when he gets back from California?

patti said...

All people should be calling daily to their MPs office for an interview... scale the town to see if they are around... find our connections in travel industry and seek the MP's out on travel docs!! We will find and tell!! Just like in grade school cause that's what works when parliament sits... now we can hound them!

James said...

"...that's what I'll focus on when I get back to Parliament and that's what I'm focusing on now."

He must be under the impression that California is part of Canada. A lot of Americans think Canada is part of the US, so why wouldn't the Conservatives, as wannabe Americans, think the reverse?

Patrick Ross said...


MPs weren't due to return to Ottawa until January 25th. So treating Hoback's vacation at a time when Parliament is not supposed to be in sesson anyway is pretty thin gruel for scandal mongering.

Likewise with Jack Layton and his snorkeling expedition -- Parliament not in session, legitimate time for a vacation. said...

Patrick I had contacted his office no avail. Two of his constituents and other reports indicated his vacation was prolonged.

I do agree with you that vacation when Parliament isn't regularly sitting is legitimate.

I would like to point however Hoback still said he was working for his constituents while in California on vacation and the fact I received a comment supposedly from one of his assistants on my blog but have yet to receive a response to my email.

Patrick Ross said...

Scott, relying on the word of two random constituents may not be altogether wise, I'm afraid.

I saw your other post about this, and I don't want to see you find out the hard way how serious Fromm and Hoback may be about having you correct the record.

Just be sure, is all I'm saying. said...

Patrick my email is located at the top of my blog is the most visableof places. I emailed Hoback days ago and have not received a reply. I actually doubt the sincerity of the MPs office as clearly demonstrated by their lack of communication. Especially when one considers the only communication I've received is a comment that anyone could have left.

A case could be made that no MP with his reputation on the line would ignore messages and not send one, but instead prefer to leave one comment which could have been made by anyone.

I will not be wrong in saying if this was from an employee of Hoback it lacked a degree of professionalism.

Patrick Ross said...

Scott, Randy Hoback was back in Prince Albert as of January 23. He spoke at the Prince Albert Chamber of Commerce President's Dinner on that day.

You goofed up, Scott, but these things happen to everybody from time to time. said...

But Patrick the odd thing is, a reporter from the Prince Albert Chronicle Herald tells me he wasn't in the riding till the 25th. A reporter. I have the email.

Patrick Ross said...

OK then, Scott, I think we've identified the source of the error.

That reporter gave you a bum lead (please don't read too much into that statement).

I mean, you can call up the Nipawin Journal and argue with their reporter if you like. I believe his name is Matthew Liebenberg. I think it's much more evident that you were given bad information.

The error isn't even your fault. said...

I received information. I wrote on it. If Hoback is in his riding, and it looks like he is, I made an error, I admit it.

I would still like to know with certainty through some more official channel than a comment on a blog or a news story which can evidently be misleading or in error.

Patrick Ross said...

Don't feel bad, Scott, this is a mistake that everyone has made.

The only one who should be embarrassed is the reporter who gave you the bad info.

In my view, you're totally free and clear. said...

No, I don't think anyone who says something false is "free and clear." It may be less of a wrong than consciously saying something false but it's still wrong.

If people aren't afraid of being wrong there's less motivation to be sure of something's truth. Next time I'll try to be more certain.

Patrick Ross said...

OK, I guess you're right.

Maybe I'm guilty of trying a little too hard to assuage your feelings on the matter.

Just chalk it up to live and learn, Scott. I know you'll strive to do better in future.

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