First, regarding prorogation, Parliament is the one place where the federal government has to respond to questions - and now Mr. Harper has even shut that down. Since the Duffy-Wallin senate expense scandal exploded in May, the prime minister showed up to Question Period only 5 times. It is quite clear that Stephen Harper and his Conservatives are again doing whatever they can to run away from accountability.
Canadians deserve better.
I am proud of all that the NDP team has accomplished this Parliamentary session - we worked really hard right up to the end to ensure that we got some meaningful results for Canadians. I'd like to take this opportunity to share some of this work with you.
One of our most significant victories was the House of Commons' adoption of our landmark motion on transparency - a very detailed plan that would open up MP expenses and create an independent body to replace the secretive Board of Internal Economy. New Democrats know that MP spending should be open and transparent and MPs should be accountable to the taxpayers who pay their salaries! You can read the full text of the NDP motion here:
We held the Conservatives to account with our solid work in Question Period - day after day we grilled them on the Senate scandals and the missing 90 thousand dollar cheque. We launched a campaign to abolish the Senate - I invite you to join the over 20,000 Canadians who signed our petition:
http://rolluptheredcarpet.ca. This summer we will take our campaign to communities across the country to gather more support for putting an end to the unelected, unaccountable, scandal-ridden Senate.
We relentlessly pushed the Harper government on jobs and growth - asking over 100 questions in Question Period about their job-killing economic agenda! We fought their harmful changes to EI and seniors' pensions, their reckless cuts to our food inspection, border and search and rescue services. We stood up for the safety and well-being of Canadians while the Conservatives chose different priorities - putting your safety at risk while allowing tax-payer dollars to fund their Senate cronies. When they moved to sell-off Canada's interests through secret trade deals we countered them at every turn. When they tried to push down wages for Canadians by allowing foreign workers to work for less, we forced them to reverse their plans.
And, I was so impressed with our NDP MPs on the Standing Committee of Citizenship and Immigration who held together a filibuster to stop the Conservatives and their destructive legislation that would deprive Canadians of their rights as citizens.
I fought hard to strengthen the Parliamentary Budget Officer and to help hold the government to account for their economic and budgetary decisions. This is especially important since the Conservatives can't account for $3.1 billion from their last budget! Unfortunately, Conservative MPs used their majority to kill my proposed legislation, Bill C-476.
New Democrats are pushing back on all of the Conservatives' damaging policies, gross mismanagement and irresponsible cuts to social services. You can count on us to continue to be the fiercest opposition the Harper Conservatives have ever seen! We're showing Canadians that we are a government in waiting with the experience and ability it takes to defeat the Conservatives in 2015. What's more, the vision of the NDP relies on the idea that economic growth must always be accompanied by an improvement in our quality of life for all. Collectively, we have the right to aspire to a better future for our children and grandchildren.
All the best for an enjoyable summer. I hope to see many of you as I visit communities across the country.
Thomas Mulcair, M.P. (Outremont)
Leader of the Official Opposition
New Democratic Party of Canada
(posted with permission from Tom Mulcair)