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Edmonton MP Brent Rathgeber speaks about his decision to quit the federal Conservative caucus in St. Albert, Alberta on Thursday June 6, 2013. Rathgeber says there is a lack of commitment to transparency in the government. (JASON FRANSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Edmonton MP Brent Rathgeber speaks about his decision to quit the federal Conservative caucus in St. Albert, Alberta on Thursday June 6, 2013. Rathgeber says there is a lack of commitment to transparency in the government. (JASON FRANSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Parliament

What other Conservatives are saying about Rathgeber’s resignation Add to ...

Conservative MP Rona Ambrose, from the riding of Edmonton – Spruce Grove, on what Mr. Rathgeber should do.
“The people of Edmonton--St. Albert did elect a Conservative MP… We do think he should do the right thing by him and by his constituents, run in a byelection as an independent.”

Conservative MP James Rajotte, from the riding of Edmonton - Leduc, on the bill.
“I would have been pleased to continue supporting the bill in its previous form prior to it being amended at the [committee]. I will continue to support his legislation as amended. I wish Brent well in continuing to represent the interests of his constituents in Parliament.”

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Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, from the riding of Calgary Centre - North, on PMO control.
“Any party here has an executive branch, if you will, or a management structure. It’s just how it is. That said, I still feel like I can function as a member of parliament.”

Conservative MP Brian Storseth, from the rural Alberta riding of Westlock – St. Paul, on the departure.
“I am disappointed with his decision. That being said I have always enjoyed working with him.”

Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, from British Columbia, on debate over the Rathgeber bill.
“Well, I think there was a variety of opinions on this bill, and the general thrust of it was supported. But he, in my opinion, also showed a rigidity in his approach to it. Sometimes you get a pride of authorship where you don’t want to see any changes. I guess it led to his decision. “

Conservative MP Jason Kenney, a cabinet minister from Calgary, on the departure.
“I wish him well. I have no beef against him.”

Andrew MacDougall, a spokesman for the Prime Minister, on Mr. Rathgeber’s next step.
“The people of Edmonton - St. Albert elected a Conservative Member of Parliament. Mr. Rathgeber should resign and run in a by-election.”

Kory Teneycke, Mr. Harper’s former spokesman, on Mr. Rathgeber saying he doesn’t recognize the party any more.
“Sadly I think Brent does not stand alone on this sentiment.”

Conservative MP and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson on why Mr. Rathgeber’s move for specific salary changes was killed.
“All salary ranges for public servants are already disclosed….Nobody has done more for transparency than this government.”

Conservative MP Blaine Calkins, the Alberta regional caucus chair, in a statement from staff on why he didn’t go to the committee meeting that overhauled Mr. Rathgeber’s bill.
“At this time we would ask that you speak with the Government Whip’s office about committee assignments.”

Conservative MP Gordon O’Connor, the whip, on the assignments that led to substitutes being sent to vote through an overhaul of the Rathgeber bill.
“I have to keep moving people all the time. I sign large numbers of substitution forms to move people. We move people every day in different committees. There’s nothing special about the Ethics Committee… that [Rathgeber vote] doesn’t have anything to do with it.”

Former Alberta Reform MP Cliff Breitkreuz on the departure.
“I kind of applaud Rathgeber, because it takes a lot of guts to do what he did. I guess he had it up to the eyeballs, so he figured he may as well do what he believes in and be done with it… I guess when you really think about it, you can only hold the bag so tight for so long, and then something almost has to happen.”

Former Alberta Reform MP Ian McClelland on why he thinks Mr. Rathgeber is wrong.
“I think it has less to do with [the bill and PMO control] than it has to do with a sense that it’s difficult for MPs that don’t have a leadership role, to be comfortable and content in the role that is not something that they think they may be capable of or worth of or entitled to. And I think that is more of the frustration that is coming out in this whole thing… I think [Mr. Rathgeber is] a person of integrity. I like him. But politics is a team sport. And you don’t always get your way.”

Former Alberta Reform MP David Chatters on Reform principles, and why Ottawa doesn’t like change.
“Certainly it will take a lot more than somebody stepping out of the Conservative caucus to get the place to change. But I still live in hope that someday it will. That we can reform the Senate and we can change the way members of parliament are whipped, and are simply backbench voting machines for the Prime Minister’s cabinet. That never was what we wanted or what we envisioned for government. Sadly, it just continues on the way it has for many, many years under previous conservative and Liberal governments.”

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