My Blog, May 16th

In Parliament:

It has been a very busy, productive and energizing week on the Hill.

On Monday, my motion to remove the GST from feminine hygiene products received the unanimous support of the House. This is a victory for gender equity in Canada and will especially help women with low incomes. The government has not been clear on when they will withdraw the tax. I, along with my NDP caucus, am calling for the Conservatives to amend the current budget bill to end the tax immediately.

Monday was also a New Democrat Opposition Day in the House, for which we chose to confirm Canada’s commitment to our Veterans’ Covenant. This motion also received unanimous support in a vote the following day. It is encouraging to know that all parties in the House agree that we can do more for our Veterans. Now it is our job to ensure that the government keeps that promise.

Also on Monday, I spoke in the House on employment. As much as the Conservatives would like to please their corporate friends, the truth of the matter is that corporate tax cuts do not create jobs. Not only have we lost over 400,000 good manufacturing jobs in Canada, the gap between rich and poor in this country has steadily increased. We can do better, and the NDP has a plan to do just that.

You can view the videos of these speeches in the House, as well as statements and questions here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjfK40JADAOBs1IjG2XZEhA

 

In Committee:

This week at Citizenship and Immigration committee we reviewed Bill S-7 clause by clause.  The NDP proposed several amendments based on testimony from witnesses including the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.  The Conservatives voted against each of our amendments.  The Liberals and Conservatives voted in favour of the legislation without amendment and only the NDP members of the committee voted against it.  The bill will now be returned to the House where it will have another vote.  The bill remains deeply flawed and New Democrats will call for deleting the clauses of the bill that could put women and families at risk.

 

In London:

On Friday, I had the chance to visit Hutton House Association for Adults with Disabilities and sit in on one of their Seniors Program Project iPad classes. 

I also attended the launch of GlucoGuide, a mobile health start-up company that will raise awareness of diabetes and its management in London and around the world. This cutting edge development unites the technology sector with the healthcare sector, two distinct industries in which London is known for its excellence.

 

The Week Ahead:

I am looking forward to participating in the Victoria Day festivities at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. I’m honoured to be playing Her Majesty Queen Victoria during noon hour celebrations. I hope you’ll join me for some cake, lemonade, and fun!

I wish everyone  a safe and happy Victoria Day weekend.

I will also be attending a number of meetings and community functions in London in the coming week. Among those meetings, I will be participating in a community townhall meeting on May 20th at the Victory Legion (317 Oakland Ave) at 7pm, to discuss the planned elimination of door to door mail delivery in London.  The details are available at: http://irenemathyssen.ndp.ca/save-door-to-door-mail-townhall-meeting