After Resigning Conservative Caucus, Alberta MP Says “PMO Treats MPs Like ‘Trained Seals’”

Soon after resigning from Tories caucus, Brent Rathgeber, an Independent MP from Alberta, reiterated his stance on the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), alleging that Stephen Harper’s staff is prevailing over the earned rights and role of elected officials. Rathgeber asserted that he finally grew tired of the PMO’s authority, and bowing to “masters half my age,” as it had become adamant in issuing instructions to backbench MPs about how to vote, which he finds was equal to treating them like “trained seals.”

Speaking to reporters in Edmonton after he quit the party on Thursday morning, Mr. Rathgeber announced that he has offered his resignation on the night before, citing reasons that his private member’s bill was not passed by a Conservative dominated committee. The bill was essentially attempting to public the salaries of top bureaucrats’ salaries. Mr. Rathgeber stated that it was “the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back,” asserting that he had already grown too frustrated over the previous 12 months. He was only hanging on to try get his bill passed.

Mr. Rathgeber stated that “I knew that I was pushing a rock uphill, and it didn’t happen,” adding that “and that was sort of the last reason for me to stay.” He blamed that “the government’s lack of commitment to accountability and transparency is very, very troubling.” When inquired about the possible or expected changes to the bill, PMO spokesperson, Carl Vallée, stated that “the bill was studied and amended by the committee as per the normal parliamentary process.”

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