The Conservatives seem to be very smart at being stupid. They don't just not invite the opposition in the first place but invite them and then disinvite them. Duhhh.. The communiciations woman for the Conservatives doesn't know why! Might we suggest because they are stupid. At the last minute someone suggested that they should not give the opposition a chance to make points. So we invited them who cares. The press doesn't like us anyway and the Liberals are self-destructing so there is no alternative to us. The Conservatives do not seem to even care that they lied about the reason for uninviting the opposition. Vote for a third party come election time people. Neither of the main parties deserve anyone's support.
Opposition miffed at being uninvited to NATO meeting
Last Updated: Friday, March 28, 2008 | 1:51 AM ET Comments32Recommend14CBC News
Opposition MPs are irate that they were invited, and then promptly uninvited, to next week's NATO leaders summit in Romania.
Liberal MP Denis Coderre says the opposition should be invited to next week's NATO meeting in Romania.
(Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)
A day after the Conservatives sent out detailed invitation letters outlining itineraries and flight schedules to all three opposition parties, the Tories backtracked on the offer.
"Lo and behold, yesterday we were disinvited," NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar told CBC News on Thursday.
"Ludicrous is what it is. It's very strange and quite disturbing."
The Conservatives told their Liberal, NDP and Bloc Québécois counterparts that NATO had decided at the last minute to limit the size of the Canadian delegation attending the three-day meeting in Bucharest. But NATO spokesmen told CBC News and opposition MPs that NATO had not imposed such a cap.
The Conservatives offered no further explanation on Thursday as to why the invitations were revoked.
"I absolutely can't explain what happened with that," said Sandra Buckler, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"But I can tell you that this is a government delegation and that on this trip there will be no pairing [of opposition critics with government officials]."
Liberal MP Denis Coderre said the decision not to include the opposition on the trip flies in the face of the recent Manley commission report, which called for the Conservative government to be more open and accountable about the mission in Afghanistan.
Coderre, the Liberal defence critic, also accused the Conservatives of lying about the reasons for the cancelled invite.
"The official Opposition has tried at every opportunity to work in a constructive fashion regarding our mission in Afghanistan, but once again we see from this government an unacceptable level of partisanship, going so far as to hide the facts from Canadians," Coderre said.
NATO expected to discuss troop request
At the NATO meeting, which runs April 2-4, foreign leaders are expected to discuss Canada's request to have 1,000 extra NATO soldiers back up the 2,500 Canadian troops who are participating in the NATO-led mission.
There are currently about 42,000 NATO soldiers working in Afghanistan.
The call for 1,000 extra troops is key for Canada. Earlier this month, the House of Commons passed a motion to extend Canada's mission in Afghanistan past 2009, provided more troops and equipment are sent to help the Canadian military.
The motion, which was drafted by the Conservatives but included input from the Liberals, passed because both parties rallied together to vote in its favour, despite opposition from the NDP and Bloc.
Coderre said he's surprised the Conservatives would not include his party in the NATO meeting after the two parties worked together.
"It was a Canadian motion, but now it seems it's a Conservative trip," Coderre said.
This is not the first time the Conservatives have left the opposition off an invitation list.
In December, Harper's government broke a long-standing tradition by deciding not to invite opposition MPs to the United Nations' climate change meeting in Bali, Indonesia.
With files from the Canadian Press