Two members of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, Megan Leslie and Claude Gravelle, flew to Washington to speak with members of Congress and their staff about the Keystone XL pipeline. In a democracy, there shouldn't be anything wrong with that; as Leslie says:
"I think it's perfectly legitimate for an elected official to come down and say, 'You know what? Stephen Harper is our prime minister, but he is not the only person who gets to speak for Canada and there are different points of view in Canada.'"
Not according to Peter Kent, the Minister of the Environment and protector of the pipeline. He is quoted in Reuters:
"One of the opposition parties has taken the treacherous course of leaving the domestic debate and heading abroad to attack a legitimate Canadian resource which is being responsibly developed and regulated."
Interestingly, according to Oxford and British tradition, treachery and treason are synonyms. Treason is defined in the Criminal Code of Canada:
Every one commits treason who, in Canada,
(a) uses force or violence for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Canada or a province;
(b) without lawful authority, communicates or makes available to an agent of a state other than Canada, military or scientific information or any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document of a military or scientific character that he knows or ought to know may be used by that state for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or defence of Canada;
(c) conspires with any person to commit high treason or to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a);
(d) forms an intention to do anything that is high treason or that is mentioned in paragraph (a) and manifests that intention by an overt act; or
(e) conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in paragraph (b) or forms an intention to do anything mentioned in paragraph (b) and manifests that intention by an overt act."
I wonder when the Minister is going to press charges.Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was a bit more circumspect. He is quoted in Canadaeast.com:
"People can say what they want. I think a parliamentarian should focus criticism in Canada, not go to foreign countries and denigrate our economy and undermine our economic prospects."
I wonder when they are going to start taking away our passports. And I thought freedom of speech was under threat south of the border.