My Blog for December 11th
December 11th, 2015 - 10:24am
Election of the Speaker
The past two weeks have been busy ones as the 42nd Parliament sat for the first time. On Thursday December 3rd MPs elected a new speaker the Honourable Geoff Regan a Liberal MP from Atlantic Canada. He is the first speaker from Atlantic Canada in over 100 years.
Speech from the Throne
The following day we heard the speech from the throne delivered by the Governor General, David Johnston. The speech provides MPs with a general idea of the direction the Prime Minister intends to take in the current parliamentary session. I was encouraged by the commitment to a new nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples. The Liberals promised change: quick, urgent, positive change. So it was disappointing to see such a thin Speech from the Throne – a speech with few details and virtually no timelines - no details on key issues like climate change targets and reversing Conservative cuts to healthcare. As the progressive opposition, we will keep pushing the Liberals to keep their word on investments in infrastructure, boosting public pensions, and meaningful democratic reforms.
This week in the house we have been listening to speeches from all sides of the House in response to the Speech from the Throne. For many MPs this will be the first time they will get to speak in the House of Commons.
The Liberal government has also introduced a “middle class tax cut bill.” I am glad to see the Liberals taking action to reverse some of the unfair changes to TFSAs introduced by the Conservatives; but am disappointed that they haven’t accepted our proposal to revise their tax cut plan. On balance we support the motion but we will continue to advocate for the Liberals to fix their tax plan so that more hard-working Canadians benefit and not something that leaves nearly 70% of Canadians behind. The NDP’s proposed changes would extend benefits to 90% of all Canadians, helping to reduce income inequality and making our tax system a little bit fairer.
Yesterday afternoon the draw was held for Private Member’s business. Each MP, excluding the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, have an opportunity to introduce a bill or motion of their choosing. Names are drawn at random to determine the order. My draw was number 94. Although it will be some time before my turn comes up, I am looking forward to bring forward legislation in the 42nd parliament.
Back to London
I am looking forward to heading back to London after a long week. Today I will be connecting with community partners around London's welcoming of Syrian refugees. I will also be taking some time to meet with community members and celebrate the season. I am especially looking forward to the Argyle Santa Claus Parade on Saturday.