April 9th, 2017

NDP Statement on the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, the First World War battle whose outcome helped shape the identity of our nation. Vimy echoes in the collective memory of all Canadians as we reflect today on all those who gave of their lives and livelihood to defend our country.

April 5th, 2017

Joint Statement by the Opposition House Leaders on the Liberals’ Parliamentary Power Grab

Today the Liberal government voted against an Opposition proposal that would require all-party support for recommendations to overhaul the rules of Parliament.

March 19th, 2017

Bahá'í Naw-Rúz

Been a part of a multicultural community gives us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate many different traditions. The western world celebrates January 1st as the new year. The Chinese New Year is celebrated later, based on the lunar calendar. Those of the Bahá'í faith celebrate their new year, Naw-Rúz on the vernal equinox. It is a festive event observed with meetings for prayer and music and dancing. It is celebrated throughout the countries of the Middle East and Central Asia, and by those of the Bahá'í faith here in London.

March 7th, 2017

In Debate: Bill C-211 on PTSD

Federal Framework on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-211, An Act respecting a federal framework on post-traumatic stress disorder, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

February 24th, 2017

C-339, Amend the Canadian Forces Members & Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-339, an act to amend the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act (death benefit).

February 8th, 2017

New Democrats Working to Increase Consumer Protection

Ottawa – Peter Julian, MP (NDP, New Westminster-Burnaby), re-introduced his Private Member’s Bill to provide consumers with the right to know what ingredients are in everyday products. NDP House Leader, Murray Rankin, MP (Victoria) is proud to be seconding Bill C-336.

January 30th, 2017


“The terrorist attack at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec last night has shaken this country.

January 30th, 2017

Podcast: NDP Caucus Priorities as Parliament returns to session

Click the file to listen, as Irene talks about the priorities NDP MPs set at their winter caucus meeting in preparation for parliament to return to session:

January 24th, 2017

Statement on the Canada 150 Medal

I am disappointed that the Liberal government has chosen not to proceed with a Canada 150 Medal. Honoring the service and dedication of Canadians is an important part of celebrating who we are as a nation and the celebration of Canadians should be an integral part of our 150th birthday commemorations.

January 14th, 2017

Mathyssen: Questions the Prime Minister Should Answer in London

LONDON – NDP Member of Parliament, Irene Mathyssen (London – Fanshawe), has a few questions for the Prime Minister as he stops in London as part of his Damage Control Tour.

December 15th, 2016

2016 Christmas Office Closure

The constituency office will be closed for regular business as of Tuesday December 20th at 4:30pm.

December 12th, 2016

In Debate: CETA & Drug Costs

Mme Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NPD): Monsieur le Président, je remercie beaucoup ma collègue de son discours. Elle est une femme très dévouée envers sa communauté. D'ailleurs, elle m'en apprend tous les jours, et je l'en remercie. Elle est aussi la porte-parole du NPD en matière d'anciens combattants.

December 12th, 2016

In Debate: C-30 CETA Implementation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by saying unequivocally that New Democrats believe that it is possible to create a Canada whose economy is sustainable, just and fair while remaining competitive on the world stage. We believe that we all thrive in an equitable society where everyone has equal access to nutritious food, a safe home, an education, decent work at fair wages, clean air, fresh water, health care, pharmacare, secure retirement, as well as child care.

December 6th, 2016


New Democrat Status of Women critic Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith) made the following statement on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women:

December 1st, 2016

In Debate: C-26 Canada Pension Plan Changes

November 28th, 2016

Irene Cast 3, Nov 25

Quite a bit to review from the past couple of weeks, so my latest podcast is in two parts:

November 24th, 2016


Ottawa – The Federal Government announced democratic reforms in Bill C-33 today that include restoring voting rights to Canadian citizens living abroad. This reform is consistent with Private Members’ Bill C295 introduced by Irene Mathyssen, NDP MP for London-Fanshawe in June.

November 11th, 2016

Remembrance Day 2016 Message


NDP Veterans Affairs Critic, Irene Mathyssen, made the following statement on Remembrance Day:

November 10th, 2016


LONDON — NDP Veterans Affairs Critic, Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe), is calling on the Liberal government to better recognize and value the contributions of Canada’s veterans.

November 7th, 2016

Irene Cast 2, November 4th

Click the MP3 files below to hear Irene's keep you up to date on her activities and the issues she's been working on as your MP for London-Fanshawe.

November 2nd, 2016


Ottawa — Today, New Democrat Veterans critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) along with MP Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni) introduced two bills that will amend discriminatory legislation that impacts veterans and their families.

November 1st, 2016


Irene Mathyssen, MP for London – Fanshawe and NDP Veterans Affairs Critic made the following statement on the Battle of Passchendaele:

October 20th, 2016


Brigitte Sansoucy, Member of Parliament for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot and NDP Critic for Families, Children and Social Development, tabled Bill C-245 on February 26, 2016.

October 18th, 2016

Make Birth Control Free (M-65)

Mr. Speaker, September 26, World Contraception Day, provides a timely opportunity to talk about the importance of and access to contraception for people around the world. In Canada there are some who struggle to gain access to necessary reproductive health care. Those most marginalized include youth, immigrants, and those of low socio-economic status.

September 26th, 2016

Irene Cast 1, Sept 23rd

Click the MP3 file below to listen to updates from Irene

September 21st, 2016

Mathyssen Introduces Motion to Support Urban Forests

OTTAWA – Today, on National Tree Day, NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) announced her Private Members’ Motion calling on the government to affirm its leadership role in urban forest knowledge, management and protection.

July 1st, 2016


NDP Critic for Culture and Heritage, Pierre Nantel (Longueuil- Saint-Hubert) made the following statement:

June 16th, 2016

Veterans like Peter Blendheim need long-term care beds

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, just like the Conservatives before them, the Liberals are shamefully denying benefits to veterans. Care is downloaded to the provinces while federal facilities close beds or shut their doors.

June 13th, 2016

NDP Calls for Immediate Decriminalization of Marijuana

New Democrats will put decriminalization to a vote to urge the government to stop handing out criminal records for personal use of marijuana.

June 9th, 2016


OTTAWA – New Democrat Veterans critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) tabled motion M-61 today calling on the federal government to support the mental health of military service men and women, veterans, first responders, and retired and volunteer first responders.

June 2nd, 2016

Question Period: Why are Liberals not making veterans raises fair?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe): Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals promised an increase in benefits for permanently injured veterans, they failed to mention that their plan would benefit higher ranking officials the most, while rank-and-file veterans would see minimal increases. New Democrats believe that veterans, all veterans regardless of rank, deserve to be treated with dignity. The government is humiliating veterans. Why are the Liberals leaving behind those with the least? Why are they treating our nation's most vulnerable veterans so disgracefully?

May 20th, 2016

My Letter to the Ministers on the Arva Flour Mill

May 20th, 2016

Dear Ministers Mihychuk and MacAuley,

The 197 year old Arva Flour Mill is a working museum and heritage treasure, not only for the London region, but for all of Canada. It is the nation’s oldest water powered flour mill, still producing flour sold at local markets throughout Ontario.

May 19th, 2016


OTTAWA – New Democrats are outraged by reports today that veterans are yet again being fought in court by their own government that will deny our heroes their benefits. This comes after the Liberal Party campaigned on bringing back a lifetime pension for veterans.

May 13th, 2016

No Half Measures in an Omnibus Bill, Veterans Issues Need to be Addressed

May 13th, 2016

In Debate: Speaking Against the TPP

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, we know, especially in my community of London, Ontario, that we have experienced devastating losses as a result of globalization, corporate greed, and simple lack of will on the part of Liberal and Conservative governments to protect our manufacturing sector.

May 9th, 2016

Parliamentary Update on Veterans Affairs-May 9, 2016

Veterans Affairs Committee:

Last week at Veterans Affairs committee we continued our study on Service Delivery at Veterans Affairs Canada. We heard from several veterans including Jody Mitic and his wife Alannah Gilmore on their experience with leaving the Military and accessing benefits at Veterans Affairs. We also heard from witnesses about the transition program at DND and how it is not functioning well The program struggles to get CF members the help they need so they can regain their health and return to their military career or are able to transition to Veterans Affairs.

May 5th, 2016

Question Period: why hide veterans measures in Omnibus bill?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

April 16th, 2016

My Blog for April 16th

This was a tough week in Ottawa. The NDP held their convention in Edmonton and voted in favour of renewing the party and holding a leadership convention in the next year or two. I want to thank Tom Mulcair for all his hard work and dedication to the party. It has been an honour to work with him as leader and we will be relying on him to continue that leadership while the party searches and votes on a new leader. I look forward to seeing who comes forward; they will have big shoes to fill!

April 15th, 2016

Question Period: On long-term sustainable jobs at General Dynamics and throughout London?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker... Trying to pit workers' jobs against human rights is a cynical distraction, but it does not hide government's failure to open up new responsible markets and support long-term sustainable manufacturing jobs in our region. Instead, Liberals have gambled workers' jobs on a deal with an oppressive state, giving our city an unfair black eye.

April 14th, 2016


Ottawa — Today, New Democrat Veterans critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) introduced two bills supporting Canadian Forces (CF) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) veterans and their families. The bills, if passed, will provide much needed financial supports.

April 1st, 2016


Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion’s comments – on twitter – criticizing the appointment of Western University Professor Michael Lynk as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories were clearly inappropriate.

March 24th, 2016

Where is the Accountability on KPMG Tax Cheats?

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are shocked by the KPMG tax cheats scandal, and they are outraged by the government's lack of action.

March 23rd, 2016

Liberal budget 2016 – London Needs Missed

Ottawa, March 22, 2016: “The Liberals have fallen short of the expectations they themselves set for Canadians in the October election campaign,” said Irene Mathyssen, NDP MP for London-Fanshawe in response to the 2016 budget announced today.

March 14th, 2016


OTTAWA— New Democrats will present a motion this week calling on the Standing Committee on Finance to undertake a study on guaranteed minimum income. Finance critic Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques) says a study is necessary because it's a complex policy that could be a possible solution to growing income inequality.

March 10th, 2016

2016 International Women's Day Question in Parliament

February 26th, 2016

Blog Post for February 26th

This week was an extremely busy week in Ottawa. In addition to my duties in the House of Commons I met with a wide range of organizations including CASA who represent the students at Western, medical students, representatives from the manufacturing sector, a poverty organization, software developers, and more. And that was just Monday.

February 26th, 2016

2016 Free Income Tax Clinic for Low Income Londoners

Again this year my office will be a host site for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program coordinated by the Canada Revenue Agency.

February 25th, 2016

In Debate: EI Reform is Needed Now!

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for North Island—Powell River.

February 19th, 2016

Blog post for February 19, 2016

After a snow filled weekend in London, this was a short week in Ottawa, made even shorter due to the major snow storm in Ottawa. The city was abuzz with the record breaking 52 cm of snow falling in one day. After Keith and I were finally able to dig out from the snow in London, the Ottawa snow storm meant my scheduled early morning flight became a Tuesday evening flight. Travel in Canada in the winter can be an adventure.

February 18th, 2016

Questioning the Prime Minister on the TPP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, officials confirmed to the trade committee that they have not completed a study of the TPP's impact upon Canadians.

February 8th, 2016

Canada 150 Infrastructure Program $1.8 Million London Investment

LONDON—I was pleased to join London’s Mayor, Matt Brown, and my fellow London MPs Kate Young and Peter Fragiskatos for the announcement today of a $1.8 Million investment in the London community through the federal Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.

February 5th, 2016

Blog Post for Feb 5 2016

Speaking in the House:

Question to the Minister: Manufacturing Jobs

This week I asked about Manufacturing jobs in London. My question and the response from the minister can be viewed here:

February 4th, 2016


OTTAWA —NDP Critic for Democratic Reform Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley) put forward a proposal today to establish a representative and democratic process for considering changes to Canada’s voting system.

February 3rd, 2016

In Debate on Pay Equity Motion


February 1st, 2016


OTTAWA — Canada’s New Democrats will introduce an opposition day motion urging the federal government to do everything it can to tackle the unacceptable wage gap between men and women.

February 1st, 2016

Statement on Black History Month

This Black History Month, New Democrats join Canadians in honouring the legacy of black Canadians, past and present. Despite their many achievements and contributions to our society, black Canadians are often missing from our history books and their sacrifices not well known or recognized.

January 29th, 2016

My Weekly Blog for January 29th

Weekly Blog:

This was the first week back in Ottawa for the winter session of Parliament. It was nice to connect with old colleagues and get better acquainted with some of our new MPs. There were many changes from the last parliament and a lot of new faces. You can find out more about the people who are representing Canadians by visiting:

January 27th, 2016

Open Letter to Mayor and Council on Springbank Dam


January 26, 2016

Dear Mayor Brown and Members of Council,

I am writing to you today to clearly express my position on the issue of the Springbank Dam coming before the Strategic Priorities and Planning Committee.

December 18th, 2015

Christmas Holiday Office Closure

In order to ensure staff have quality time with their families over the Christmas and New Year's holidays, as well as to accommodate some necessary office maintenance and repairs, the office will be closed from Monday December 21st through until Monday January 11th.

December 11th, 2015

My Blog for December 11th

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.

December 6th, 2015


NDP Status of Women critic Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith) made the following statement on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women:

November 25th, 2015

Canada's Syrian Refugee Program

The Government of Canada has announced its plan for resettling more Syrian Refugees in Canada. The government will bring in 10,000 refugees before December 31 and 15,000 more by the end of February. The program will cost $678 million over six years.

November 24th, 2015

Community & London Police Service Partnership Working Group

Now accepting applications for the Community/London Police Service Collaboration and Partnership Working Group!

City Councillor Mo Mohamed Salih and London Police Service Chief of Police John Pare will co-facilitate a Working Group that will draw from expertise and experiences of members of the community with the goal of strengthening police relationships with the London Community.

November 19th, 2015

Thank You

I am extremely grateful and humbled by this opportunity to once again serve London families and our community. I thank you all for your trust in me and I will work hard to bring your voice to Ottawa. I also want to thank all of those who volunteered their time to assist me during this campaign. I am truly honoured by your dedication.

June 19th, 2015

June 19th Blog, Parliament's Final Week

The last full week of Parliament before the 2015 federal election has been very busy and full.

June 19th, 2015


OTTAWA – NDP Caucus Chair Irene Mathyssen and Leader Tom Mulcair marked the end of the parliamentary session on a positive note, by recalling the achievements of the NDP team.

June 15th, 2015

Statement from the NDP on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

NDP Seniors critic Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) made the following statement on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day:

June 12th, 2015

Blog Post for June 12

With the House rising soon, it has been a busy week for me on Parliament Hill!

June 11th, 2015

Nominations for Persons Case Awards 2015

OTTAWA, June 11, 2015 /CNW/ - Status of Women Canada is calling for nominations for the 36th Annual Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case. Each year, these awards recognize five individuals, including two youth, who have made outstanding contributions in the pursuit of equality for women and girls in Canada.

June 8th, 2015

Changes to Citizenship Eligibility

Changes to Canadian Citizenship Eligibility

Key changes include (in force June 11, 2015):

Adult applicants must now be physically present in Canada for at least 1,460 days (four years) during the six years before the date of their application, and they must be physically present in Canada for at least 183 days in each of four calendar years within the qualifying period. This is aimed at ensuring that citizenship applicants develop a strong attachment to Canada. Applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 must meet basic knowledge and language requirements. This is aimed at ensuring that more new citizens are better prepared for life in Canada. Citizenship will be automatically extended to additional “Lost Canadians” on June 11th, who were born before 1947, and did not become citizens on January 1, 1947 when the first Canadian Citizenship Act came into effect. This will also apply to their children born in the first generation outside Canada. Adult applicants must declare their intent to reside in Canada once they become citizens and meet their personal income tax obligations in order to be eligible for citizenship. To help improve program integrity, there are now stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (to a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or up to five years in prison). This is aimed at deterring unscrupulous applicants who are prepared to misrepresent themselves, or advise others to do so. The newly-designated Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) is the new regulatory body for citizenship consultants. Only members of the ICCRC, lawyers or notaries (including paralegals and students at law) can be paid to provide citizenship applicants with representation or advice.

June 5th, 2015

My Blog for June 5th

On Monday I am proud to say that the house voted and passed another motion that will eliminate the tax on feminine hygiene products effective July 1st of this year. I am so proud that thousands upon thousands of Canadian men and women who voiced their support of my Private Member’s Bill have been heard.

June 2nd, 2015

Statement from the NDP on the abolition of the tampon tax

NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) and the NDP Status of Women critic Mylène Freeman (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel) made the following statement following the vote on the abolition of the federal tax on feminine hygiene products:

May 31st, 2015

May 31st Blog

In Ottawa: In addition to my duties in the House, I had two speaking engagements this week. On Tuesday I addressed the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on the role of Parliamentary Caucuses, and on Thursday I spoke to a delegation of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers gathered in Ottawa about the restoration of home delivery services.

May 28th, 2015


OTTAWA – After years of efforts, New Democrats are proud to have succeeded in eliminating the federal tax on feminine hygiene products.

May 22nd, 2015

Blog Post for May 22, 2015

My Week in London:

It was pleasure to spend this week in London. It was very busy week meeting with constituents and community groups. I had the pleasure of attending the Victoria Day festivities at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. It is an honour to be invited every year to participate. I also had the pleasure to attend a BBQ at the Secret of Radar Museum. It offers a very important insight into a little known part of Canada’s World War II history

May 17th, 2015

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.

May 13th, 2015


New Democrat MP Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam) made the following statement on the adoption of the NDP motion to ensure federal covenant with veterans is honoured.

May 12th, 2015


NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) and NDP Status of Women critic Mylène Freeman (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel) made the following statement on the support of their motion to remove the federal tax from feminine hygiene products:

May 7th, 2015


OTTAWA – With their latest opposition day motion, the NDP is urging the Conservatives to end their unfair tax on women and remove the GST/ federal portion of the HST from feminine hygiene products.

May 5th, 2015


OTTAWA – Today in the House of Commons, NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) demanded the Conservatives make a swift decision on the proposal to move the Duchess of Kent Legion into Wolseley Barracks.

May 1st, 2015

May 1st Blog

In Ottawa: It was a very busy week on the Hill, with groups converging from all across the country to speak to Parliamentarians about their concerns. I was able to meet with representatives of the Canadian Medical Laboratory Sciences Association, the Canadian Police Association, the Canadian Firefighters Association, and participated in St. John Ambulance Day on the Hill.

April 30th, 2015

CBC Ontario Morning: Moving the Legion to Wolseley Barracks

The proposal from the Duchess of Kent Legion to purchase and move into the Officers' Mess at Wolseley Barracks, rather than the building being demolished at a cost of $20,000 to tax payers (after the government recently spent $40,000 renovating the building), has generated considerable interest in London. The London Free Press has reported twice on this matter, and CBC Radio's "Ontario Morning" program took the story province wide today.

April 28th, 2015

Asking the Minister to review Legion Proposal for Wolseley Barracks Mess Hall

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

April 24th, 2015

My Blog for April 24th

In the House:

This week was dominated by the introduction of the 2015 federal budget. You can read more about what was in the budget here:

April 24th, 2015

Avian Flu Outbreak and CIFA Cuts a Concern

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

April 24th, 2015

Open Letter to Ministers on Wolseley Barracks Officers' Mess Legion Offer


Hon. Jason Kenney

Minister of National Defence

House of Commons Ottawa ON, K1A 0A6

Hon. Erin O’Toole

Minister of Veterans Affairs

April 23rd, 2015

In Debate: Modernize and Rebuild VIA Rail C-640

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

April 23rd, 2015

Statement on Budget 2015

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

April 21st, 2015


OTTAWA – The pre-election federal budget that was announced in Ottawa today contains many expenditures that don’t pay off until after 2017, well after the next federal election is decided, and will take several years afterwards to pay out.

April 20th, 2015


Ottawa – New Democrat Critic for Seniors Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) tabled a motion today that calls upon the federal government to update the rules governing wireless phone cards to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.

April 13th, 2015


LONDON – Unbeknownst to possibly even himself, last Friday Conservative MP Dave Van Kesteren (Chatham-Kent-Essex) came out against Stephen Harper’s seniors’ agenda for the five and a half million Canadians over age 65.

April 2nd, 2015

My Blog for April 2nd

Meetings in Ottawa: Again this week was very busy with many meetings. I had several meetings with organizations concerned about seniors and talking about the NDP plan for a National Strategy on Aging. You can read about our strategy here:

April 2nd, 2015

Enabling Accessibility Fund Accepting Applications

The Community Accessibility Stream of the Enabling Accessibility Fund launched a call for applications last week. The Fund is designed to offer financing to eligible recipients, in order to develop projects aimed at improving accessibility in communities across Canada. This includes:

March 27th, 2015

Blog Post March 27th

I began this week by celebrating Greek Independence Day and attending the parade downtown London. It was lovely to see so many Londoners out celebrating and remembering Greek Independence Day. It’s an opportunity to honour all veterans.

March 25th, 2015

Fanshawe College Canadian Centre for Product Validation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

March 24th, 2015

Presenting Petitions: Increase Canada Pension Plan

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from residents in my riding who are concerned about retirement security and the fact that fewer than 40% of all employees are covered by a workplace pension plan. They believe, as do we on this side of the House, that every Canadian deserves a safe, secure, fully portable and predictable pension.

March 23rd, 2015

In Debate: Seniors need Pharmacare, Affordable Housing and Income Security

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) :

Mr. Speaker, we desperately need a plan to deal with Canada's aging population. There needs to be practical and effective planning for the nearly 10 million people who will be seniors in the next 25 years.

March 13th, 2015

Blog Post March 13th

It has been yet another busy week on the Hill. On Monday evening I had the pleasure of attending an event in support of our national public broadcaster called CBC, I Care! Funding for the CBC/Radio-Canada has been drastically cut over consecutive governments, beginning with the biggest cuts by the Liberals in 1995 and continuing through the Conservative governments that followed. Our national broadcaster is a gem that should be cherished and nurtured. It unites Canadians and is the conduit by which our national identity is forged and shared.

March 12th, 2015

Stop Asking Veterans if Limbs are Still Missing

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)

2015-03-12 14:44 [p.12054]

March 9th, 2015

Kellogg's Last Box A Testament to Conservative Jobs Failure

OTTAWA – Since Stephen Harper’s Conservatives came to power in 2006, over 10,000 good paying manufacturing jobs have been lost in the London area; 2,200 last year alone. Today, in the wake of the Kellogg’s plant closure, Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) demanded Conservatives work to prevent further jobs losses and build a jobs plan for London’s future.

March 7th, 2015

Weekly Blog March 7th

This first week of March was frigidly cold, very busy, and rewarding. I began by having the privilege of going to a concert at Centennial Hall in honour of the Amabile choir’s 30th anniversary. The concert performances by Orchestra London and the Amabile choir were incredible, brilliantly conducted, and joyful to hear. Centennial Hall was packed; everyone enjoyed the performances!

February 27th, 2015

Blog Post Feb 28th

I had another interesting week in Ottawa with many meetings and events. I had the pleasure of hearing Bill Gates speak about the foundation he set up with his wife Melinda. His message of helping others is one that I hope all parliamentarians take to heart.

February 20th, 2015

This Week - February 20th

While Monday was a holiday in Ontario, the House of Commons was back in session, and I was at work along with my colleague New Democrats to hold the Conservatives’ feet to the fire on issues that matter most to Canadians. I trust that you were able to enjoy the Family Day holiday with the people you love.

February 17th, 2015

Presenting Petitions: Anaphylatic Travellers

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a number of Canadians who ask the House of Commons to honour and support a motion that was unanimously voted on in regard to Motion No. 230 on anaphylaxis.

February 17th, 2015

In Debate: Creating Jobs & Childcare Spaces

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to employment insurance, it looks like the arrival of a new minister does not herald a new approach. First the Conservatives imposed harsh restrictions on employment insurance, and now they are telling departmental officials to make it harder for unemployed workers to get the benefits they are entitled to. Officials who are a little too helpful are getting slapped on the wrist. That makes no sense.

February 14th, 2015

Blog Post Feb 14

This was a much anticipated constituency week for me. While parliament did not sit this week, I kept busy on both the constituency front as well as on the seniors issues file.

February 6th, 2015

Blog Post Feb 6th

This week in Ottawa was very busy as usual with many meetings. I had the pleasure of sitting on two committees this week both Citizenship and Immigration and Procedure and House Affairs.

February 6th, 2015

In Debate: Veterans Shouldn't Have to Prove Missing Limbs Year After Year

Ms. Hélène LeBlanc (LaSalle—Émard, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Master Corporal Paul Franklin lost both of his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan.

February 3rd, 2015

Groundhog Day Statement

Mr. Speaker, if Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there will be two winters in the year. Yes, today is Groundhog Day and despite the flawed prognostications of lesser rodents like Punxsutawney Phil and Shubenacadie Sam, Ontario's Wiarton Willie did not see his shadow at sunrise this morning. Yes, we are going to have an early spring. All the more reason for all of us on both sides of the House to roll up our sleeves, work together for Canadians, ensure they are able to stay warm during the cold winters and have something stored away for hibernation.

January 30th, 2015

Blog Post January 30th

I was back in Ottawa this week from our winter break. I had the good fortune to spend last week meeting with Parliamentarians in Scotland to learn about best practices and talk about issues and challenges we all face. The meetings were very interesting and I learned a great deal about Scottish devolution and the upcoming United Kingdom elections.

January 29th, 2015

Good Job Losses in Southwestern Ontario Ignored by Conservatives

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) :

Mr. Speaker, those so-called good policies have led to major plant closures at Electro-Motive Diesel, Kellogg's, and Heinz. A proposal to create 1,500 jobs at the former St. Thomas Ford plant is on the rocks. In the past eight years, under the current Prime Minister, the London region has lost a third of its manufacturing jobs. That is thousands of families placed in jeopardy because they are out of work.

January 16th, 2015

This Week's Blog Post

This week the NDP caucus met for our Annual winter retreat in Ottawa. We held meetings over two days and set our priorities for the upcoming year. As caucus chair, it was my responsibility to set the agenda and lead the meetings. Over the past two days we had very productive and energizing discussions. We are ready as a team, with Tom at our helm, to take on Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in 2015. We are going to be releasing over the upcoming weeks and months our plan for a Canada that is inclusive and cares about Canadians. We will introduce strategies such as ones we have already announced: Affordable Childcare, Federal Minimum Wage, and the National Strategy on Aging. Stay tuned to hear more of the exciting ideas New Democrats will be proposing to make Canada a more fair, affordable and equitable place to live and work.

January 10th, 2015

Blog Post January 9th

As we begin 2015, the New Year brings me renewed hope and optimism for our community and country.

December 22nd, 2014


LONDON – Tonight, just days before Christmas, the employees at the Kelloggs plant in London will be out of a job, having worked the last shift at the 107 year old plant.

December 12th, 2014

December 12th Blog Post

This week wrapped up the final sitting week in the House of Commons for 2014. I had the opportunity to meet with caucus colleagues, Equal Voice, and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. This week in the House we debated C-44 which looks to make changes to CISIS powers, C-12 regarding drug testing in prisons, C-32 a Victim’s Bill of Rights and C-43 the Budget Implementation Act. We also debated and voted on bill C-603 a bill put forward by my colleague Hoang Mai which would require side guards on large trucks. These side guards help prevent pedestrians and cyclists from being pulled under the wheels of trucks in an accident. Side guards are proven in studies to save lives. Sadly this bill was defeated by the Conservatives.

December 6th, 2014

December 6th Remembrance of Ecole Polytechnique Speech

Good morning, it is an honour to be here today to speak. The priority of every woman and man here today is to end violence against women and girls. This remains a daunting task.

December 5th, 2014

Blog Post Dec 5th

This week, although I did not make it into one of Mohamed Salih's famous 'selfies', I was honoured to attend the City of London Inaugural Council Meeting on Monday. I look forward to working with Mayor Matt Brown and our new city council to grow and build our city. I am strongly committed to fulfilling the expectations of Londoners and know that we will be able to work collaboratively to strengthen and diversify London’s economy while ensuring that the city remains one of Canada`s most beautiful and vibrant cities.

December 5th, 2014

Mathyssen: Time to Show Minister Fantino the Door

OTTAWA – Despite the Department of Veterans Affairs facing a growing demand for services from an entire generation of Afghanistan veterans approaching retirement, Conservatives are cutting department staff by 25%.

December 3rd, 2014

Mathyssen Elected NDP Caucus Chair

NDP MPs elected Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) today as National Caucus Chair. They also selected Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier-Maskinongé) to be Vice-Chair.

December 2nd, 2014

In Debate: C-43 Omnibus Budget Implementation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, here we are again standing in the House and talking about another omnibus budget bill designed to ram through hundreds of changes with little study or oversight, and without consultation and, I would say, without the consent of Canadians. Canadians do not trust the Conservative government any more, thanks to draconian bills, secret cabinet meetings, the muzzling of scientists, and the continual stifling of our democracy.

November 28th, 2014

Blog Post for November 28

This week has been a busy one in Ottawa. I met with several groups over the week including the Canadian Nurses Association, the Association of Canadian Publishers, ACTRA (the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, as well as attending meetings with our caucus. In addition to these meeting I attended meetings and receptions including the Shaw Rocket Prize Awards ceremony, which gives annual awards to the best Canadian children’s television programming. I also met with the other members of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, and attended Startup Canada’s reception, empowering Canadian entrepreneurs.

November 28th, 2014

Question Period: Our Veterans Need Mental Health Supports

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, let me ask again. In 2009, the Conservatives committed to developing performance measures to assess if the government's mental health strategy was meeting the mental health needs of veterans. The Auditor General showed that the Conservatives never followed up on that commitment. No data was ever collected.

November 26th, 2014


With the arrival of our first snow fall, and the coming holiday season, many constituents often approach my office seeking last minute help with travel identification.

November 26th, 2014

Mathyssen Introduces M-536, Federal Urban Forest Strategy

Urban forests impact 85% of Canadians, yet we lag behind other G7 countries in the value we place on them. In the United States, management of urban forests falls under a responsibility equivalent to that of a Canadian deputy minister. Here in Canada, we lead the world in destruction of our forests.

November 24th, 2014


OTTAWA – As the Prime Minister of Canada tours one of the worst-affected regions of his failed jobs plan, today’s ‘good news’ message is contradicted by the facts. According to the government’s own data for London, since Stephen Harper took office in 2006, 10,100 good paying jobs have been lost, including 2,200 last year alone.

November 21st, 2014

Blog Post: November 21, 2014

This was the first week of a four week session of the House sitting before the House recesses for Christmas break. The week was filled with meetings and events. I attended meetings with our caucus, student organizations, the Canadian Museum Association, and was invited to a presentation by the President of Canadian Medical Association about senior care.

November 14th, 2014

Blog Post Nov 14th, in the Riding

Contrary to what many people might think, when parliament is not sitting an MP can often be even busier than when we are in Ottawa. This week in the riding was as busy as any in Ottawa.

November 10th, 2014

Remembrance Day Video Message

November 7th, 2014

Blog Post Nov 7th

This week was a busy week on Parliament Hill. The week started off with a visit from His Excellency François Hollande, President of the French Republic. His speech to Members of Parliament delayed the House business on Monday, but it is always interesting to hear from politicians and heads of state from other countries.

November 7th, 2014

Veterans STILL Waiting for Minister to Take Action

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

November 7th, 2014

Minister of Veterans Affairs lets $136 Million in Veterans Funding Lapse

Mr. Sylvain Chicoine (Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, what a lack of class and transparency.

November 6th, 2014

Statement on 2014 Shine the Light on Woman Abuse Campaign

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the 2014 Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign kicked off in London, Ontario, on November 1 .

November 4th, 2014

London's Secrets of Radar Museum

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the Secrets of Radar Museum is a not-for-profit museum that preserves the stories and personal experiences of the men and women who served in the Canadian Forces radar division during World War II and the Cold War.

November 3rd, 2014

Questioning Conservative Interference in CBC

Mr. Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday on Tout le monde en parle, we learned from Alain Saulnier just how cozy CBC senior management and the Conservative government really are. Not only is the board of directors already stacked with Conservative donors, but the former heritage minister also went so far as to interfere in the crown corporation's programming by communicating directly with the president, Hubert Lacroix.

October 31st, 2014

Blog Post for October 31

This week MPs returned to the House of Commons. It was a difficult week for many who are still dealing with the October 22nd attack. The NDP caucus met in the same room that my colleagues had gathered in last week. We had an opportunity to thank the security guard who dashed into our caucus room and stood in front of the door while telling MPs to get down and stay down. It was an emotional meeting.

October 28th, 2014

In Debate: C-35 & Animal Cruelty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I also want to thank the member opposite for bringing forward a bill that takes into account a need to respond to the killing or injuring of a service animal.

October 27th, 2014

Presenting Petitions: Iraqi Christians

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from Londoners, from both the Christian and Muslim communities. Those two communities are very supportive of each other and have great mutual respect for each other's views. They ask the Canadian government to highlight the plight of Iraqi Christians and to use all diplomatic and humanitarian efforts to assist them in their plight.

October 24th, 2014

Blog Post for October 24

This weekly update was supposed to look much different, but for this week, I want to focus on the events that overshadowed everything else.

October 17th, 2014

Weekly Update

This week the House of Commons was not sitting, to give Members of Parliament an opportunity to spend time in their ridings. I had a busy week following up with people who contacted my London office while I was in Ottawa. I was able to take one day off this week to spend time with my family, otherwise this week was filled with meetings and events in the community. I had the opportunity to visit with seniors and veterans, participate at a conference on poverty, and attend a ceremony for new citizens. I enjoy constituency weeks very much. They give me much needed perspective and reconnect me with the community.

October 9th, 2014

October 9th Update

Starting this week I will be doing regular updates on what I have been working on in Ottawa and in London. This week the House of Commons was in session and there were many important things on the agenda. We had a debate and a vote on involving the Canadian Military in Iraq. The Conservatives voted in favour of engaging in a combat mission and we will be heading once again into a war. The NDP had proposed that we contribute to this National effort with humanitarian aid. Other Bills that were debated this week included a bill on Cyberbullying, creation of a National Fiddling Day and the creation of a new National Park.

October 6th, 2014

Presenting Petitions: Humantarian Aid for ISIL Victims & Casualities Gaza

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first petition is from Londoners, from both the Christian and Muslim communities, who are very upset, concerned and dismayed by the brutal arrival of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in northern Iraq, which has seen the further marginalization of Christians. In Mosul, all Christians were given an ultimatum to leave or face death or conversion. They have abandoned their homes. Those unable to leave for health reasons have been forced to convert.

October 6th, 2014

260,000 Seniors in Canada Living in Poverty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, more than 260,000 seniors across the country are living below the poverty line. As more Canadians retire, that number will rise, but the government seems to content to sit back and watch

October 4th, 2014

My Message to London's Muslims on the Occassion of Eid Al-Adha

Dear Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Eid Al-Adha. This is a very special time when families and community celebrates love, peace and prosperity. It is also a special time of giving to those less fortunate.

October 1st, 2014

NDP Statement on National Senior's Day

The Official Opposition’s Critic for Seniors, Irene Mathyssen (London – Fanshawe), made the following statement to mark National Seniors’ Day:

September 24th, 2014


OTTAWA – Today, on National Tree Day, NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) introduced a Private Members’ Motion calling on the government to establish an Urban Forestry Strategy.

September 18th, 2014

Mathyssen Motions for Seniors Advocate & National Strategy

M-529 — September 16, 2014 — Ms. Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should work with the provinces, territories, municipalities, and seniors' organizations to develop a National Strategy on Aging that will: (a) secure high-quality accessible public healthcare and reduce out-of-pocket health expenses for all seniors; (b) ensure that affordable and appropriate housing that adapts to changing needs is available to seniors; (c) increase income security for seniors; (d) develop policies that secure quality of life and equality for all seniors; and (e) create a Seniors' Advocate to ensure that these measures are undertaken and maintained.

September 18th, 2014


OTTAWA – Today, the NDP Seniors Critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) introduced a motion calling on the government to develop a National Seniors Strategy.

August 21st, 2014

Canadians Want National Strategy for Seniors

OTTAWA – The vast majority of Canadians agree with the NDP that Canada urgently needs a national strategy to address seniors’ care, according to the Canadian Medical Association Report card released today.

June 23rd, 2014

Vulnerable Canadians Hurt by Conservative Changes to the Social Security Tribunal

Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims (Newton—North Delta, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, a new system and no transition plan leaves thousands of Canadians waiting years for a hearing. That is nothing to be proud of.

June 10th, 2014

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking my colleague, the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard, who did incredible work on this file. She made sure that we on this side of the House understood just what a tangle we were getting into with this change to the Citizenship Act, and provided the background so we knew, absolutely, what we had to push back against, which is a bill that would not serve the people of Canada.

June 3rd, 2014

NDP's National Aging Strategy


Mathyssen hosts round table to release NDP’s National Strategy on Aging

OTTAWA –Between the 2006 and 2011 the Census for the City of London showed that the population of Canadians aged 65 years and older increased by 11%. Tired by the lack of action from the Conservatives, Canada’s Official Opposition New Democrats, led by MP Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) who was named the Seniors Critic by the late Jack Layton in 2011, undertook extensive consultations with seniors and stakeholders to build a National Aging Strategy. Today that strategy was released by Mathyssen to a round table of stakeholders.

May 15th, 2014

Support Veterans with Services, Not Tweets

In Question Period, May 14th, 2014

May 2nd, 2014

Will the Government Fix the CPP Tribunal Backlog?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, a social worker from my riding, who works with CPP tribunals, came to me with very disturbing news.

April 30th, 2014

Presenting Petitions: "I Can Donate" Organ donation changes

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from residents of Canada who call on the Government of Canada to review thoroughly and change the policy on blood and organ donation in Canada. They understand absolutely that people should be pre-tested for disease, and if they fail they cannot donate. However, the petitioners request that the Government of Canada return the rights of any healthy Canadian to give the gift of blood, bone marrow and organs to those in need, no matter what the race, religion or sexual preference of that person.

April 24th, 2014

Support the CBC

The Conservatives do not hide it anymore: they want to shut down our public broadcaster.

April 23rd, 2014

Mathyssen Calls on Truppe to Join Opposition to (un)Fair Elections Act

"We are asking London North Centre Conservative MP Susan Truppe to join the NDP in voting against the Unfair Elections Act, Bill C-23, in the House of Commons. It is a matter of democracy and the legitimate voting rights of many people," said London MP Irene Mathyssen, standing at the gates of the University of Western Ontario today in Truppe's riding.

April 8th, 2014

Conservatives Playing Games with Veterans Last Post Fund

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, last night I went to the veterans affairs committee and we heard from the last post fund, the people who support and try to maintain funding for veterans in difficult financial circumstances. They were very clear that the current government may indeed have put more money into the fund, but nobody can access it. The Conservatives have ensured that the lower limit for accessibility at $12,500 makes it virtually impossible for families of veterans to have access to that money.

April 7th, 2014

Omnibus 2014, Speaking Out Against Budget Implementation Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, you may have noticed that during every question period for the last eight years Conservative members have risen in the House to rail against the NDP for not supporting their budgets. Well, I would like to let the members opposite know that there will be no change in their speaking notes today. In fact, in question period today it was the same old tired lines from the government.

April 4th, 2014

Honouring a London Veteran

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to honour a fellow Londoner whom I have known since I was four years old. Hank Wong is a veteran who served during World War II. He, along with 12 other Chinese Canadian men, was trained as part of British special operations. Their mission was to go behind enemy lines.

April 4th, 2014

Veterans Deserve Better Than Lip Service

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, instead of passing the buck, let us see if we can get a real answer to this question.

April 4th, 2014

Standing Up for Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, instead of passing the buck, let us see if we can get a real answer to this question.

April 4th, 2014

Presenting Petitions: Immigration Fairness

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition that is the result of a recent tragedy in London, Ontario. The point is to draw attention to the increasing wait times for people to attain permanent residency status. The petitioners ask the Government of Canada to ensure that the Department of Citizenship and Immigration is properly staffed and resourced in order to reach decisions on applications in a fair and timely manner and that the immigration officials consider all the factors in regard to individual applications, including humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

March 31st, 2014

Celebrating 2014 Juno Award Winners

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher was in Winnipeg this weekend to celebrate the best of Canadian music at the Junos.

March 25th, 2014

IC-22 and Nuclear Liability

Ms. Françoise Boivin (Gatineau):

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech with great interest.

March 11th, 2014

NDP Congratulates Canadian Screen Awards Winners

“New Democrats would like to congratulate all Canadian artists who were honoured at Sunday night’s Canadian Screen Awards” said Official Opposition Heritage critic Pierre Nantel (Longueuil – Pierre-Boucher)

March 3rd, 2014

Presenting Petitions: Fair & Timely Immigration

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from Londoners who are very concerned about a recent tragedy in London, Ontario, that involved the deaths of three members of the same family. Their concern is with regard to the government's practices around citizenship and immigration. They would like the Government of Canada to ensure that CIC is properly staffed in order to ensure that fair and appropriate decisions are reached in a timely fashion with regard to applicants, and that in all of the decisions, humanitarian and compassionate grounds are considered in the applications that are presented.

March 3rd, 2014

My View on the so-called "Fair Elections Act"

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have a bad record when it comes to respecting our elections laws. Now they want to skew the next election in their favour with voter suppression tactics straight out of the US Republican playbook.

February 14th, 2014

2014 Community Volunteer Income Tax Program

It is important to file your taxes before the end of April. Failing to file on time can lead to suspension of any government benefits, and if you have an amount owing, interest and penalities can accumulate rapidly.

February 11th, 2014


Dear Constituents,

I am writing from Ottawa where the 2014 Federal Budget was released this afternoon. A budget with little attention to the needs of the London area.

February 6th, 2014

Presenting Petitions: Protect the Thames River

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from several people in my region. They are calling on the government to change the reckless changes it has made to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, because they believe that it is gutting environmental protection for waterways in southern Ontario and right across Canada.

February 5th, 2014

Standing Up for Veterans

Our veterans fulfilled their commitment to Canada, they should not have to fight the Government of Canada for the services and benefits that Canada committed to provide to them.

February 4th, 2014

Calling for Veterans Minister Fantino's Resignation

February 3rd, 2014


As the start of the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games draws closer, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada has prepared a new, dedicated web page where Canadians travelling to Sochi can register prior to departure and find the latest on relevant topics, such as travel health insurance, travel advice on security conditions, local laws and more. Click the Headed to Sochi button below to visit the site.

January 30th, 2014

Speaking Out Against Canada Post Service Cut

MP Irene Mathyssen, NDP Seniors Critic, questions why the Conservatives support eliminating postal services without consulting Canadians who use and depend on those services:

January 27th, 2014

Statement on Food Sector Jobs

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I and my constituents were deeply concerned to learn of the closure of the Kellogg's cereal plant in London. This is yet another devastating blow to the community and will result in another 550 jobs lost from the area.

January 27th, 2014

Presenting Petitions: Timely & Fair Immigration

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present.

The first petition is from concerned Londoners. After a terrible tragedy in London, Ontario, the petitioners are asking that the Government of Canada and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration look at what is happening in our immigration system.

January 17th, 2014

NDP Heritage Critic Visits London

LONDON--Pierre Nantel, Member of Parliament for Longueuil-Pierre-Boucher, joined Irene on Friday, January 10 to explore a day's tour of London's historic heritage institutions.

January 10th, 2014

Canada Day Challenge 2014

If you're between 8 and 18 years old and live in Canada, you're invited to express what Canada means to you by submitting an original poster design, a digital photograph, or a piece of creative writing inspired by the theme Canada: Strong and Free. You could win some really great prizes, including a VIP invitation to attend Canada Day 2014 events on Parliament Hill!

December 16th, 2013

2013 Seasons Greetings

December 10th, 2013


LONDON—More than 500 additional good-paying jobs are disappearing from the already devastated southwestern Ontario manufacturing sector, with the announcement that Kellogg’s will be closed its London cereal plant before the end of 2014.

December 9th, 2013

Questioning the Minister on Quotas Targeting EI Applicants

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, one has to only look at London, Ontario to see how Conservatives are failing Canadian workers.

December 9th, 2013

Conservative Job Record Betrays Goodyear's Message

OTTAWA – As Minister of State Gary Goodyear attends a ‘good news’ announcement this morning in London his message is contradicted by the facts.

December 5th, 2013

Your Petitions: Protect the Thames River

December 4th, 2013

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from a group of London constituents who call on the government to enact Bill C-498, which is my bill, that would protect the Thames River, the North Thames, and the Middle Thames, by placing them back under the Navigable Waters Protection Act. This is a heritage river, and we need to protect it.

December 5th, 2013

Questioning the Minister on Canadian Forces Mental Health Support

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, in the last 10 days, Canada has lost four soldiers to suicide. The reality is, soldiers worry that if they come forward with their mental health issues, it will end their careers.

December 4th, 2013

Your Petitions: Tax Deductions for Skilled Tradespersons Work Mobility

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is a petition in response to a bill introduced by my colleague, the member for Hamilton Mountain. Her bill would amend the Income Tax Act so that travel and accommodation for tradespersons would be allowed which would therefore enable many of those tradespersons to find work. As members know, unemployment is a serious problem in our region.

December 4th, 2013

Questioning the Minister on Canadian Forces Suicides

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Canadians who serve our country expect their government to be there for them in their time of need. Instead, the Conservatives are closing Veterans Affairs offices and failing our service men and women. Almost two dozen of our brave heroes took their own lives in 2011, and there were four more apparent suicides this past week.

November 28th, 2013

In Debate: Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act

Ms. Charmaine Borg (Terrebonne—Blainville, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and take part in this debate today.

November 26th, 2013

Mathyssen Proposes Chris Hadfield Day

OTTAWA - NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) moved a motion in the House of Commons today to honour the remarkable achievements and contributions made by Col. Chris Hadfield. The motion states the government should “designate August 29th each year as Chris Hadfield Day.”

November 19th, 2013

Mathyssen Launches Petition for Fair & Timely Immigration

London—In the wake of the tragic loss of the Walji family, MP Irene Mathyssen is encouraging Londoners to petition the Government of Canada for improvements to the nation’s immigration process.

November 18th, 2013

Statement on Walji Family Tragedy

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, October 31, Mohamed, Shyroz and Qyzra Walji were found dead in their London, Ontario apartment, the victims of a murder-suicide. Qyzra had cerebral palsy. Their tragic deaths have left the community heartbroken and asking difficult questions.

November 7th, 2013

Statement on Shine the Light on Woman Abuse

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the 2013 Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign kicked off in London on November 1.

November 5th, 2013

Protecting the Thames River, Opposing the Landfill

An additional video report from Rogers TV is online at:

November 5th, 2013

Why I Support the Save VIA Rail Campaign

As an occassional contributor to the Huffington Post online Canadian news site, I chose to use my most recent article to talk about the importance of the Save VIA Rail Campaign.

November 4th, 2013

Remembrance Day Message

October 30th, 2013

Presenting Petitions-National Dementia Strategy

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a number of people from the London area who want to draw the attention of the Minister of Health and this House to the fact that the federal government needs a national strategy for dementia and the health care of persons afflicted with Alzheimer's.

October 25th, 2013

Statement on Small Business Week

LONDON – Small and independent businesses help sustain local communities, produce local jobs and ensure Canadians’ hard earned dollars remain in their communities. As small business week comes to a close, New Democrats congratulate small and independent businesses for all the valuable contributions they provide to communities across Canada.

October 23rd, 2013

In Debate: Budget Implementation Act Omnibus Bill

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for a very good overview of this budget bill. All I can see here is a tax on Canadians: municipalities, veterans, civil servants, credit unions, scientists, and environmentalists. I can only assume that this is the government's new enemies list.

October 23rd, 2013

Statement: Welcome Home Tarek & John

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to welcome home Dr. Tarek Loubani and Mr. John Greyson. Their detention caused great concern for all Canadians during the 50 days they spent behind bars at Cairo's Tora prison.

October 23rd, 2013

Department of Finance Report-NDP best fiscal record

Department of Finance Report Continues to Show the NDP has the Best Fiscal Record in Government

October 23rd, 2013

Irene's response to the Speech from the Throne



Ottawa- Today’s speech from the Throne sets the government’s tone and the agenda for the upcoming session of Parliament. The speech indicates what government bills it intends to introduce and triggers a confidence vote in the House.

October 21st, 2013

In Debate: Speaking Against Cutting Off Debate

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I want to talk to the House very briefly about the role of democracy.

October 17th, 2013

Royal baby speech Oct 17th

October 10th, 2013

Canada’s Alice Munroe Receives Noble Prize for Literature

London, ON – Alice Munroe has become the first Canadian woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She is only the 13th woman in the 112 year history of the prize to be accorded such an honour.

October 1st, 2013

Statement on National Seniors Day

The Official Opposition’s Seniors critic, Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe), made the following statement on National Seniors Day:

September 20th, 2013

Commonwealth Parliamentarians Call to Respect Decisions of the Aged

Temba Gubula reports from Commonwealth Parliament Conference:

Commonwealth parliaments should empower senior citizens to decide on their care and treatment and protect professionals who respect the decisions of the elderly. That was said in a workshop at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference on the theme of caring for an ageing population.

September 17th, 2013


London – The World Wildlife Fund released a study last week outlining the status of several rivers in Canada including the Thames River that runs through London and the surrounding communities. The river received an overall poor score.

September 4th, 2013

Statement on Veterans Bed Closures at Parkwood Hospital

The bed closures announced at Parkwood yesterday is not a decision for which hospital administration should be blamed. There are fewer WWII and Korean War veterans still with us each day, so the demand for these beds has decreased. However, there in lays the problem, the mandate for these beds only provides access to Korean War or earlier veterans. The beds are not available to those who served as peacekeepers in Korea after the armistice, or to our peacekeepers who served in places like Cyprus, or the Golan Heights, or Somalia or the many other deploys in which Canadians participated in the 20th century.

July 29th, 2013


LONDON –A volunteer in many capacities, including the past president of the London Pride Festival, Eugene Dustin was honoured on Sunday during the closing ceremonies at the 2013 Pride Festival with the Governor-General's "Caring Canadian Award".

June 27th, 2013

Share your priorities for Budget 2014

Have your say: Share your priorities for Budget 2014

June 26th, 2013

Information on Direct Deposit of Government Benefits & Payments

Did you know that the Government of Canada issues close to 275 million federal payments every year? While 79 % of these payments are deposited directly into bank accounts, 21 % are still printed as cheques that must be deposit at bank counters or ATMs. That's an astounding 58 million cheques that need to be printed, mailed and processed each year.

June 26th, 2013

CPP Needs Change

June 18th, 2013


Official opposition tables motion to increase transparency and replace the BOIE with independent body

June 18th, 2013


OTTAWA – NDP Pension Critic Irene Mathyssen (London – Fanshawe) called on the Finance Minister to honour his commitment to work with the provinces to increase retirement security for Canadians. The Finance Minister has yet to honour his six-month-old promise to work with the provinces to increase the Canada Pension Plan / Quebec Pension Plan.

June 18th, 2013


LONDON — During a parliamentary session characterized by scandals, Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) and the New Democrats shook up a weak Conservative government led by Stephen Harper.

June 17th, 2013



The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) union is currently taking strike action after going months without a new contract. PAFSO union members responsible for processing visa applications have been conducting rotating walk outs in offices both in Canada and overseas.

June 10th, 2013

Passport Changes July 1st, 2013

An update on recent developments related to Canada’s passport program.

1. Responsibility for passport program shifts departments July 2: On May 8, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney and Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley announced that effective July 2, 2013, primary responsibility for Passport Canada will move to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). This move is in line with the duties CIC already performs, such as determining Canadian citizenship. Service Canada will assume responsibility for passport operations, including the 34 passport offices across the country and the call centres.

June 4th, 2013

When will the Finance Minister meet with the provinces to talk CPP/QPP increase?

June 4th, 2013

In Debate: Bill C-60 Further Undermines Seniors, Small Business and Working Families

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to this so-called budget bill. This Conservative omnibus bill goes far beyond any legitimate budget implementation. It contains an entirely new department of foreign affairs act and would amend nearly 50 pieces of legislation. This is the Conservatives third attempt to avoid public scrutiny and proper parliamentary consideration of their proposals.

June 4th, 2013

Improving Your Online Privacy

In the digital age, your online privacy is a serious issue. Canada's privacy laws have not kept pace with rapid advancements in technology.

May 31st, 2013

In Debate: On Government Data Breaches and Canadians Privacy

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be here, even at this late hour, to follow up with the government on the HRSDC data breaches. It is a very important issue and Canadians deserve to hear the answers, no matter what the hour.

May 14th, 2013

Veterans Need Long Term Care Bed Access

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, I want to take the time this evening to discuss the plight of veterans who are trying to get care for their very specific needs. Finding access to long-term care beds is difficult for all Canadians, but finding those beds in facilities that have the expertise to deal with the specific needs of veterans is even more difficult.

May 10th, 2013

Does the Government Agree the Senate Cannot be Trusted to Investigate Itself?

May 7th, 2013

Why are Conservatives Blocking CPP & QPP Expansion?

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker back in 2010, the Minister of Finance said he believed we should consider a modest, phased-in and fully funded enhancement to defined benefits under the Canada pension plan. However, then Conservatives flip-flopped, backtracked and set arbitrary criteria for provincial consensus. The required level of provincial support already exists. Why are Conservatives adding new and blatantly unnecessary roadblocks to essential CPP and QPP expansion?

May 6th, 2013

Thanking Manufacturers for Supporting Students


Irene Mathyssen, London Fanshawe: Mr. Speaker, manufacturing is a vital part of my community. It is not just about jobs; it is also about the quality of life in London. Despite the steady decline of manufacturing jobs in the area, the manufacturers in my region continue to not only provide employment but contribute back to our community.

May 6th, 2013

Londoners Honoured with Presentation of Governor-General's Caring Canadian Award

LONDON – As Canadians celebrate Asian Heritage month, two members of London’s Chinese-Canadian community received a special honour as MP Irene Mathyssen (NDP, London-Fanshawe) presented them with the Governor-General’s “Caring Canadian Award”.

May 5th, 2013

In the News: ReForest London Receives Federal Grant

Reporting on the funding grant from Environment Canada to ReForest London, announced by London MPs Ed Holder and Irene Mathyssen on Saturday May 4th:

May 5th, 2013

Environment Canada Grant Supports ReForest London Tree Planting

Two London MP’s announced a $55,000 grant from Environment Canada to ReForest London. The grant will allow the non-profit organization to plant 3,000 native tree and shrubs in 10 park projects throughout the city. The grant was announced Saturday at Coronation Park, where 60 volunteers planted over 250 trees and shrubs in this newer park in northwest London.

May 3rd, 2013


LONDON – Although the London area struggles with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, there are still some opportunities available for youth in the region. 120 summer jobs will be available to students in our community thanks to federal Canada Summer Jobs funding finalized today.

April 25th, 2013

In Debate on S-7 Terrorism Legislation

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, my point about a refusal to listen was illustrated quite effectively just now.

April 24th, 2013

Future of Canada Post Public Input Opportunity

Yesterday, the Conference Board of Canada released a report on the future of Canada Post.

April 22nd, 2013

Mathyssen Tables Bill to Protect the Thames River

OTTAWA – In a move designed to urge the Conservatives to reverse reckless changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, MP Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) tabled a bill to protect the Thames River.

April 19th, 2013

Kinette's "I am Proud to be Canadian" Essay Winner Celebrated

It was my pleasure to join students, teachers, and the Kinette's at West Nissouri Public School to congratulate this year's "I am Proud to be Canadian" essay winner, Connor Aarts. It was my privilege to present Connor with two new maps of Canada, one for his school and one for himself, as well as a new Canadian Flag for his school and desk sized flag for him to keep, along with a certificate of congratulations from parliament.

April 4th, 2013


LONDON – NDP Railway Caucus Chair Mike Sullivan (York South—Weston) and local London—Fanshawe NDP representatives, MP Irene Mathyssen and MPP Teresa Armstrong, held a roundtable to discuss the negative effects of nearly $300-million Conservative cuts to VIA Rail in the London region.

March 28th, 2013

Budget 2013 Ignores Needs of Canadian Seniors

OTTAWA – The NDP is dismayed that in Budget 2013, while Conservatives propose some modest steps, they ignore the real priorities of seniors. With seniors representing the fastest growing segment of our population, one would expect a more serious commitment from this government.

March 25th, 2013

Question Period: Employment Insurance Fairness

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are taking a mother with cancer to court, yet another example of the government targeting out-of-work Canadians and restricting the EI benefits that they have paid into for years. For Jane Kittmer, it gets worse. Not only is she battling cancer, now she has to battle the Conservatives, too.

March 21st, 2013


Ottawa – The federal budget was announced in Ottawa today. The budget is shuffling money around with no new investments in our communities.

March 20th, 2013

Question Period: Calling on the Minister to Reverse OAS Cuts

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, in an ideal world, the budget would help people, but in Conservative Ottawa budgets are used to weaken retirement security and cut old age security. In Conservative Ottawa, Canadians are forced to work two years longer before they can retire. Expert after expert after expert has contradicted the government and said OAS is sustainable.

March 7th, 2013

Statement on Equality Action Plan Motion

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at the Status of Women committee, I introduced a motion to study the 1993 equality action plan from the Canadian panel on violence against women. My motion calls on the committee to examine the document and develop an action plan to address its recommendations.

March 6th, 2013


Canada Day Challenge 2013

Be original. Be creative. Be part of the new Canada Day Challenge!

If you’re between 8 and 18 years old and live in Canada, you’re invited to express what Canada means to you by submitting an original poster design, a digital photograph, or a piece of creative writing inspired by the theme Canada: Strong and Free. You could win some really great prizes, including a VIP invitation to attend Canada Day 2013 events on Parliament Hill!

March 1st, 2013

In Debate: Telling the Truth About Veterans Issues

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, in October of last year I asked the Minister of Veterans Affairs who cared for our soldiers after they came home from deployment. The government likes to tout that it supports our troops. However, the minute those troops become veterans, they are all but forgotten.

February 11th, 2013

QUESTION PERIOD: Veteran's Deserve Veterans Care Beds

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, after promising Colonel Neil Russell, a 33-year veteran with the air force, a long-term care bed in Parkwood Veterans Hospital, Veterans Affairs is backtracking. Colonel Russell will have to pay the province for the bed.

February 7th, 2013


Again this year my office will be a host site for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program coordinated by the Canada Revenue Agency.

February 6th, 2013

QUESTION PERIOD: Standing Up for Veterans Care & Benefits


Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, there is a troubling pattern of the Conservatives ignoring due process when it comes to the care of our veterans. Today the ombudsman's report provides the latest example of unfair treatment of veterans seeking disability benefits.

February 5th, 2013

Open Letter to Mayor & Council on Infrastructure Funding

February 5th, 2013

Dear Mayor and City Councillors,

I know I do not have to tell you about London’s infrastructure deficit, because you are faced with that reality every day.

February 4th, 2013

In Debate: Bill C-52 Rail Shipping

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, rail freight customers, from farmers to mining companies, are suffering because railway companies have a virtual monopoly when it comes to the vital rail lines that Canadians need to get goods to market.

February 4th, 2013

Presenting Petitions: Restore $12,000 in OAS benefits to Canadian Seniors Age 65-67

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from constituents adding their names to those of thousands of Canadians who have petitioned the House to change the proposed changes to old age security eligibility.

January 29th, 2013

In Debate on C-48, Amending Income Tax Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time this afternoon.

January 21st, 2013

Annual Report to Canadians

Report to Canadians 2012

I am pleased to announce that the Report to Canadians 2012 is now available online. The report covers the period from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.

December 14th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: on CETA & on OAS benefits

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today.

The first petition is from a group of Canadians who are very concerned about the government's discussions with the European Union in regard to a free trade agreement. The concern stems from the fact that they believe the European Union is seeking domestic changes that will limit our sub-federal governments, our provinces, to procure freely and openly in their own areas. They are also concerned about the impact on drug procurement plans.

December 10th, 2012

Members Statement: A Senate Christmas Carol

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, last night I had a nightmare of Dickensian proportions. I dreamt that the spirits of senators past, present and future rose up from the other place and were feeding upon the hard-earned dollars of Canadian taxpayers, millions upon millions, from poor, hungry and frozen waifs.

December 7th, 2012

In Debate: Bill C-15 Strengthening Military Justice

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I truly appreciate this opportunity to speak to Bill C-15. In October 2011, the Minister of National Defence introduced the bill, which amends the National Defence Act in order to strengthen military justice. This, of course, follows the 2003 report from former chief justice the Right Hon. Antonio Lamer and the report of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. As members will know, Bill C-15 had earlier incarnations. We have spoken briefly of Bill C-7, which died on the order paper due to prorogation. Members will remember the prorogation, when the government saw fit to escape the House because there were certain allegations in regard to the appropriate behaviour of the government. Again, we saw Bill C-45, another earlier incarnation, disappear during the election of 2008. In 2010, Bill C-41 was introduced, again in response to Justice Lamer's report. It outlined provisions related to military justice, such as sentencing reform, military judges and committees, summary trials, court martial panels, the provost marshal, and limited provisions related to the grievance and military police complaints process, which of course brings us to Bill C-15. I believe it is important for me to speak to the bill, because justice is more than just a system of laws and regulations. It is also a fundamental value for me, for my NDP colleagues and certainly for the military and Canadians across this land. The bill is a step in the right direction. We have heard that a number of times, but it does not address the key issues related to reforming the summary trial system, the grievance system and for strengthening the Military Police Complaints Commission. These are key objectives that cannot be ignored. While the bill's primary objective is laudable, it does not satisfy our objectives. Much needs to be done to bring the military justice system more in line with the civilian justice system. We on this side of the House want a comprehensive bill that adequately addresses the problem. No justice system is perfect. We have seen that over the years. However, that should not stop us from trying to improve our system as much as possible. Key elements have been left out of Bill C-15: reforming the summary trial system, reforming the grievance system and strengthening the Military Police Complaints Commission. In fact, the NDP included these three elements in amendments to the previous version of Bill C-15, which of course was Bill C-41. Oddly, and I do say oddly, these amendments are now absent. It is a strange coincidence. As I said, the NDP is not opposed to the spirit of the bill. What we want is to work with the government to get it right, in order to ensure that the bill is relevant and that its scope is broad enough. I am at a loss to understand why the government did not include the three elements I referred to in Bill C-15. They are important for consistent military justice reform. Let us look specifically at the grievance system. We will start with that one. We must understand it in order to appreciate the importance of the improvements proposed by the NDP. I would like to quote the directive on military grievances, which can be found on the Department of National Defence's website. It indicates that: The DND and the [Canadian Forces] shall manage all grievances through the Canadian Forces Grievance System...and ensure that: all grievances are processed as efficiently and expeditiously as possible; a CF member is not penalized for submitting a grievance; and assistance is made available to a CF member in the preparation of a grievance. The last point is very important. The Canadian Forces has the responsibility to help its members because they do not have a union-type association to defend them. This lack of counterbalance is another reason why it is important to ensure that we have an effective and impartial system. The NDP proposed two improvements. First, we proposed that at least 60% of grievance board members be civilians who have never been officers or members of the Canadian Forces; and second, that the Chief of Defence Staff be given more authority to resolve the financial aspect of grievances. The first improvement, namely that the grievance board strike a balance between military and civilian membership, is important to ensure that this process be perceived as external and independent. When it comes to the military, it is critical that everyone in the country is able to see that the system as independent and fair. Members of the military have a great deal of experience in managing such situations, so it is rather important that they be truly involved in the process. However, the presence of civilians is also essential to dispel any idea that members of the military are subject to a different kind of justice than ordinary Canadians. It is also essential that Canadian Forces Grievance Board be effective and absolutely beyond reproach. The NDP believes that a significant civilian presence on the board would help maintain this perception. When we look at how to strengthen the Military Police Complaints Commission, the merit of this idea and our position is quite obvious. Police officers, as an example, are agents of social control and play a key role in our society based on the rule of law. They are effective not only because they have the equipment, the manpower and the authority, but also because they are perceived as legitimate by the public. The military police is no exception. For a police force to operate properly, whether it be military or civilian, it must have the approval of those under its authority. A police force gains legitimacy through its perceived integrity. This perception is built on the actions of the police force and the perception of fairness and justice in its operations. There is no better way to prove the integrity of a police force than by having a strong monitoring body. A Military Police Complaints Commission that is legitimate and reports to Parliament is the best way to ensure fairness in the actions of military police and, just as importantly, the perception of fairness and justice by Canadians. We on this side of the House also recommended that the Chief of Defence Staff have more authority to resolve financial aspects related to grievances. This is a simple requirement to ensure that the grievance system is consistent. If the Chief of Defence Staff does not have the ability to resolve financial aspects, it calls into question the relevance of the grievance process. I would point out that Canada is not the only country reviewing its military justice system. Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Ireland have recently done the same. We are in an excellent position to pass comprehensive and effective legislation while taking into account what has been done in other countries. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the bill as it stands. As I have already said, the NDP proposed amendments to the bill in its previous form, but those amendments are no longer part of the current bill. We would like to see these important and constructive changes incorporated. We think that our Canadian Forces personnel deserve that. They put themselves on the line each and every day. They have been a source of great pride to this country in their behaviour and conduct in arenas around the world. We owe them a sense of security regarding the justice that is meted out within the military. I would sincerely ask the government to reconsider the recommendations the NDP has made because we want to strengthen the bill. We want it to be fair and balanced. We want it to work. Mr. Chris Alexander (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise again to set the record straight in the House regarding our current military justice system and what it can and should be after the amendments proposed in the bill. There were several references made in the previous speech to what other countries have done with military justice. Let us be clear that Canada has been a model through many decades of its history with its military justice system. The amendment we are proposing and the ones we discussed in previous parliaments would keep us at the forefront of developments, for which other countries have looked to Canada for leadership. Is the hon. member aware that there are significant differences? For example, the United Kingdom and Ireland are bound by the European Convention on Human Rights. Australia is bound by its constitution. Would my colleague not agree that the reviews conducted by esteemed jurists, like former Chief Justices Dickson and Lamer and, more recently, Chief Justice LeSage of Ontario, all concluded that Canada's military justice system was fair and strikes the necessary balance? Would she not agree that theirs are more compelling arguments than any we have heard so far from her side by members who would rather see us pick and choose pieces from military justice systems in other parts of the world? There is a holistic approach to Canada's military justice system, which we are continuing with the bill and other countries should follow—

December 3rd, 2012


New Democrats make final attempt to safeguard environmental protections before tomorrow’s vote on C-45

OTTAWA – On the eve of the vote on the Conservatives’ budget bill, the NDP moved a new motion to protect our lakes and rivers.

November 30th, 2012

Take Your MP to School Day

On November 20th, as part of UNICEF's "Take Your MP to School" initiative, Irene visited St. Pius X Catholic Elementary School in her riding.

November 23rd, 2012

Talking OAS & Pensions with Brantford Residents

BRANTFORD—On November 16, Irene joined locals and members of the Brantford & District Labour Council to protest the latest changes to the Old Age Security (OAS) program, which places the financial security of seniors at risk.

November 21st, 2012

In debate: on Pensions and Seniors Poverty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleague across the aisle to clarify her statements last June. She claims to be taking action to create sustainable programs. I want to know what programs she is talking about. Canadian seniors are not seeing the benefits.

November 20th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: on CETA deal with EU & on OAS benefits

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today.

The first petition is from petitioners who are concerned about the Canada-EU comprehensive trade agreement. Their concern is that sub-national governments and public agencies will not be able to procure locally and that would have a negative impact on our economy.

November 9th, 2012

In Debate: Speaking in favour of C-36 on Elder Abuse

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.

Bill C-36 deals with the complex and challenging subject of elder abuse. It is difficult to paint elder abuse with one brush because it comes in many forms: physical, sexual, financial and psychological. The scale of the abuse can vary dramatically. It can be something that has been happening over a lifetime or occur when a senior becomes frail and vulnerable. The source of the abuse can be caregivers, spouses, children or even strangers looking to take advantage of a vulnerable, lonely person. Often the abuse is hidden, not spoken of, and this is a great tragedy.

November 8th, 2012

2012 November E-newsletter

In this Issue:

Seniors Townhall

Changes to Pensions

Changes to Navigable Waters Act

Remembrance Day

November 8th, 2012

NDP Grills Minister on Veterans Benefits

Mr. Sylvain Chicoine (Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, not only are they trying to hide their irresponsible budget from Canadians, but they also want to hide how they treat our veterans. The Auditor General has been clear: veterans are having to deal with unacceptable wait times, complicated, poorly defined processes and inadequate benefits. What is even more shocking, however, is that in a rich country like Canada, this government does not even provide veterans in need with a decent funeral service.

November 7th, 2012

Letter to the Editor in regard to C-217

On November 6th, a letter in the London Free Press criticized New Democrats for not supporting Private Member's Bill C-217. I promptly responded and set the record straight, as it is important to me that my constituents, and indeed all Canadians, have all the facts. Both letters, as titled and published by the London Free Press follow:

November 6th, 2012

Question Period: Every Veteran Deserves a Dignified Funeral

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, this week, before Remembrance Day, is not a time for partisan rhetoric. We should be focused on improving care for veterans and their families. We should all agree that impoverished veterans deserve a proper burial service equal to the sacrifice that they made for this country.

November 6th, 2012

Recognizing London's Leadership; Shine the Light on Woman Abuse

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the abuse of women is an unacceptable tragedy that affects women from all walks of life. It is often left unspoken, swept under the rug. But the Shine the Light on Woman Abuse Campaign started by the London Abused Women's centre in 2010, aims to change that reality and get women the help they need and deserve.

November 5th, 2012

Denial of Funeral Help for Veterans a National Disgrace

As Veterans’ Week begins, Conservatives continue to fail low-income veterans, their families

LONDON – At the beginning of Veterans’ Week, MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) is joining with fellow New Democrat MPs to denounce the cavalier manner in which the Conservative government treats those who have bravely served our country .

November 2nd, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Employment Insurance & Old Age Security

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today. The first is in regard to the employment insurance system. It is absolutely vital for families during an economic downturn, and in fact at all times, that they have access to reliable employment insurance. We have seen the demise of a reliable system in the last few parliaments.

October 31st, 2012

Question Period: Fair Compensation for Injured Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the government's lump sum payment plan for injured veterans has proved to be a failure. In some cases, injured vets get only 10% of what they have received through the courts or workers compensation. That is the reason Canadian Forces members who are injured in the line of duty may have to launch a class action lawsuit against the government. Imagine, after risking everything for one's country, having to fight the government in court to get a fair pension.

October 30th, 2012

In Debate: on Pension Provisions in C45 OMNIBUS-II

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, the question I have for my colleague has to do with the pension provisions that we saw in the budget and now we see in this omnibus bill.

October 26th, 2012

MP Mathyssen Statement on Chris Bentley Leaving Politics

I am sorry to see Chris Bentley leaving political life. He was a representative who was very dedicated to his constituents and community. Mr. Bentley was always respectful and conducted himself with integrity. I want to extend my best wishes to him and his family in whatever endeavours he pursues, and extend my sincere thanks and appreciation for his service to London over the past nine years.

October 25th, 2012

IN DEBATE: C-45 OMNIBUS, on Pensions and Navigable Waters

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Châteauguay—Saint-Constant.

October 25th, 2012



October 24th, 2012

Politically Motivated Report Twists Facts and Attacks Seniors

OTTAWA - Yesterday the Conservatives attempted to undermine the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Auditor General by releasing their own contradictory report on the changes to old age security.

October 24th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Londoners Petition In Support of Experimental Lakes Area

Irene Mathyssen ( London—Fanshawe, ON): Mr. Speaker, my second petition is in regard to the Experimental Lakes Area. As we all know, scientific knowledge is absolutely essential if we are going to preserve our fish, habitat and freshwater.

October 18th, 2012

Omnibus Budget Bill II

October 18, 2012



Another 400 plus page Omnibus bill undermines parliamentary democracy

October 18th, 2012

In Debate: Real Changes Needed to Employment Insurance

Irene Mathyssen, London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, back in May, I asked the minister about the changes in the budget implementation act that impacted employment insurance. As we now know, these changes have not worked. The minister has already been forced to retract some of those changes.

October 16th, 2012

Members Statement: Conservatives Playing Partisan Games While Ignoring the Unemployed

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, after spending weeks ignoring the evidence and claiming their changes to employment insurance would help everyone, finally the Conservatives have backtracked. They had to admit that their plans would hurt the very poorest Canadians looking for work.

October 16th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Keep OAS Eligibility at Age 65

IRENE MATHYSSEN, (London—Fanshawe, ON): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from people across the country who are very concerned about the government's changes to old age security, because it will have a very negative impact on the poorest seniors in our country. In fact, changing the age of eligibility for OAS from 65 to 67 will cost each and every senior about $12,000 every year.

October 1st, 2012

Question Period: Are the Conservatives Raising the Retirement Age?

September 20th, 2012

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON:

Mr. Speaker, it looks like the Conservatives are making a habit of attacking retirement security. Now it is the public sector pension plan that is in their sights, and just months after the Conservatives' reckless attacks on OAS. They are moving step by step to cut pensions and raise the retirement age for Canadians. People are justifiably worried and wonder whose pension the Conservatives are coming after next.

September 24th, 2012

In Debate: Opposing M-312, Defending Womens Rights

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the motion being debated in the House today is nothing less than an attempt to reopen the abortion debate in Canada. This is quite literally a slap in the face to women who have fought long and hard for the right to control their own bodies and their ability to determine for themselves when they wish to have children. Motion No. 312 states:

September 21st, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Independent Veterans Ombudsman

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a number of citizens who are very concerned about what happens to our veterans. Of course we all know that the freedoms and privileges that we have in our country and in this House are owed to veterans.

September 20th, 2012

In Debate: Risk and Uncertainty for Canadian Jobs and Economy

Opposition Day motion tabled by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair:

“That this House acknowledge that the Canadian economy is facing unprecedented risk and uncertainty; recognize that many regions and industries across Canada have already suffered significant job losses in recent years; urge all levels of government to work together to build a balanced, 21st century Canadian economy; and insist that Canada's Prime Minister meet with his counterparts in Halifax this November at the National Economic Summit being held by the Council of the Federation.”

September 17th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Londoners petition for a National Public Transit Strategy

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by a number of Canadians who are concerned that Canada is the only OECD country that does not have a national public transit strategy. It is estimated that over the next five years there will be an $18 billion gap in transit infrastructure.

September 17th, 2012

Cuts to frontline public servants impacting Londoners:

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, welcome back to the chair. Unfortunately, while this is a new session, we have the same old problems created by the government.

September 13th, 2012

Important Information About Riding Boundary Changes

Proposed boundaries for Ontario have been released. Please visit: to view maps and obtain additional information.

September 13th, 2012

London Conservatives Misleading the Public in Letter

Unfortunately, London’s Conservative MPs are simply not telling the truth in their joint letter “NDP carbon tax a job killer”. Neither the NDP nor our leader have advocated for a Carbon tax - we have, in fact, opposed it whenever one has been suggested.

September 12th, 2012

Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service Speech

MP Irene Mathyssen's speech to the London Firefighters Association at the September 11th Memorial Service for Firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty:

August 31st, 2012

Petition to Save Experimental Lakes Area Research

Call upon the Government of Canada to recognize the importance of the ELA (Experimental Lakes Area) to the Government of Canada’s mandate to study, preserve and protect aquatic ecosystems; reverse the decision to close the ELA research station; and continue to staff and provide financial resources to the ELA at the current or higher, level of commitment.

June 26th, 2012

In Debate on Trojan Horse Budget Implementation C-38

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to once again thank the staff and pages for all their hard work last week and indeed throughout the year. Without them this place would not function and we owe them a debt of gratitude. I thank them all.

June 20th, 2012

Canadians invited to share their priorities for the 2013 federal budget

Learn more below about how you can share your priorities for Budget 2013!

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance has launched its annual pre-budget consultation process, which will result in a report to be tabled in the House of Commons prior to the December 2012 parliamentary break.

June 18th, 2012

In Debate: On the F-35 fighter jet purchase

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the member's speech and was quite fascinated by her reference to balanced and constructive spending and management of our fiscal realities by the Conservative government.

June 11th, 2012

Registered Pooled Pension Plans are Retirement Roulette

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the fact is that they are making cities pay the price for Conservative mismanagement. Shame on that minister.

June 4th, 2012

New Horizons for Seniors Program Calls for Proposals

New Horizons for Seniors Program

Community-based projects

Grants of up to $25,000 per year, per organization are available for projects that encourage seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences with others and help communities increase their capacity to address local issues.

June 4th, 2012

Announcing the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipients & Awards Dinner

LONDON –With Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II are in full swing across the Commonwealth, NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) is pleased to announce the thirty individuals to whom she will be awarding this honour.

June 3rd, 2012

Queen's Jubilee Medal Recipients

MP Irene Mathyssen is pleased to announce the following members of our community have been selected as recipients of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of their contributions to our community.

May 31st, 2012

Questioning Back-to-Work Legislation Attack on CP Rail Workers Pensions:

May 28th, 2012

In Debate: Pooled Registered Pension Plans are Not the Answer

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) moved:

Motion No. 1:

That Bill C-25 be amended by deleting Clause 1.

Madam Speaker, it is important that we look very carefully at the pooled registered pension plan because it simply does not serve Canadians. In addition to not serving Canadians, it does nothing to solve Canada's pension crisis.

May 16th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Stop OAS Changes, Increase GIS Benefits

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is from Canadians of all ages who are very concerned about the proposed changes to the old age security program. They regard it as a direct attack on the poorest seniors of the present and the future. They are calling on the government to rescind any idea in terms of increasing the age for pensions for Canadians from 65 to 67.

May 15th, 2012

Public Consultation on the Harper Budget

New Democrats announced today that they will take the study of the sweeping Conservative budget implementation bill to the public, holding a series of hearings in Ottawa and across the country. MP Irene Mathyssen will be hosting a hearing for her constituents in London:

Tuesday May 22nd 6:30pm-8:00pm Community Meeting Room Constituency Office of Irene Mathyssen 1700-D Dundas St.

May 14th, 2012

Introducing Bill C-422 to Eliminate EI Waiting Period

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-422, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (elimination of waiting period)

May 14th, 2012

In Debate: Why the Trojan Horse Budget Bill Bad is for All Canadians

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Madam Speaker, I am happy to have this chance to speak in the House today about this Trojan Horse budget. I was concerned that all discussion would be shut down by the government because, unfortunately, this is a budget that includes many separate bills that have very little to do with fiscal management.

May 14th, 2012

Question Period: Why is the Minister Taking New Powers, Reducing Tribunal Access for Employment Insurance?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, hiding changes in the budget to avoid accountability is simply wrong. Another hidden change: cutting employment insurance and gutting the appeals tribunal. Instead of separate tribunals with dedicated staff, we now have one big tribunal with a fraction of the staff. Asking 70 staff to review over 30,000 appeals is not going to make the system efficient. It will grind it to a halt and the government knows it.

May 12th, 2012

Statement on Mother's Day

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe): Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to commenmorate Mother's Day and the strong, beautiful women who are our mothers, aunties, sisters, grandmothers and daughters.

May 11th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Real Democracy Needed in the Congo

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from London, Ontario. The community is supportive of democracy in the Congo.

May 11th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Action for Attawapiskat

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting two petitions. The first is from the students, parents and community of John Paul Secondary School in London.

May 8th, 2012


Each year the London Kinette Club runs an essay contest for elementary students, and MP Irene Mathyssen has supported this effort by providing certificates of recognition, desktop Canadian flags, and maps of Canada to the winning students. This year's theme was "Why I am Proud to be Canadian". Below are excerpts from the winning entries:

May 4th, 2012


LONDON – Despite a slow job market recovery, students in the London region will still have some summer employment opportunities in the London-Fanshawe riding thanks to federal Canada Summer Jobs funding finalized today.

May 3rd, 2012

Question Period: Why Won't Minister Reveal Supposed Cost Saving on OAS?

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe: Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, after scandals and ethical problems, this government refuses to be transparent about old age security. Even though thousands of Canadians are worried about their golden years, the minister continues to turn a deaf ear. She refuses to say how much this government will save on the backs of the most vulnerable seniors by pushing the age of eligibility from 65 to 67.

April 30th, 2012

In Debate: Challenging the Conservative Changes to OAS

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I asked for this late show to follow up with the minister regarding the question I asked in the House about old age security. The minister quoted from a speech I made in which I said that we need a plan in place and we need the structures in place to deal with this dramatic shift in our country's demographics. The minister said that she agreed with me. If she does indeed agree, I would encourage her to continue to convince the government to reverse its decision to change the age of retirement from 65 to 67.

April 26th, 2012

Raising age of eligibility for OAS will have serious consequences on seniors

New NDP report shows that more seniors will fall into poverty

April 19th, 2012

My Visit to Vimy Ridge for the 95th Anniversary

From April 6, 2012 to April 10, 2012, our Canadian delegation participated in events at Carriere Wellington in Arras, France, a guided tour of the Vimy monument and the trenches and tunnels of Vimy, private wreath-laying events at the Sanctuary Wood Memorial, Passchendaele and the St. Julien Memorial in Ypres. For the wreath –laying ceremonies, we were privileged to be accompanied by Canadian Forces members, Patricia Varga the Royal Canadian Legion, Neil McKinnon Army Navy and Air Force veterans, Gene Heesaker The National Council of Veterans, Retired Colonel Robert O’Brien and Reno St-Germain Veterans NATO UN Group. The opportunity to honour the young Canadians lost in WWI reminds us how much we owe to the Canadians we remember, our peacekeepers, modern day veterans and the Canadian Forces of the present.

April 5th, 2012

Question Period: Why do Conservatives not care about seniors' poverty?

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us take a look at what the Conservatives waste taxpayer money on instead of helping seniors, especially low-income seniors when they retire: inefficient private pension plans; billions for failed fighter jets; and let us not forget glow sticks and gazebos in Muskoka.

April 4th, 2012


Layoff of core staff will hurt local economy and make soldiers pick up the slack

March 27th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Strengthening Investment Canada Act

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is from the community of London and former workers of Electro-Motive Diesel.

March 25th, 2012

Mathyssen Welcomes Thomas Mulcair as New Leader

OTTAWA – At the 2012 New Democratic Party Leadership Convention in Toronto on March 24, the NDP elected Thomas Mulcair (MP Outremont) as their new leader.

March 20th, 2012


NDP MPs consulting with Canadians on reckless Conservative pension changes

WINNIPEG – New Democrat Seniors Critic Irene Mathyssen visited Winnipeg today to consult with local families and seniors on how to best protect retirees from Stephen Harper’s plan to raise the OAS eligibility age from 65 to 67.

March 15th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Supporting Former Electro-Motive Workers

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from the community of London and former workers of Electro-Motive Diesel.

March 15th, 2012


OTTAWA – NDP MP Laurin Liu (Rivière-des-Milles-Îles) has tabled a bill that would automatically register all Canadian seniors for the Guaranteed Income Supplement. She was joined by Seniors Critic Irene Mathyssen (London–Fanshawe), Deputy Seniors Critic Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds–Dollard), and Danis Prud’homme, Executive Director of the FADOQ.

March 14th, 2012

Question Period: Did Conservatives Target Seniors with Dirty Election Campaign Tricks?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know there were dirty tricks on the last campaign and they want an inquiry. What are the Conservatives hiding?

March 13th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Supporting Former Electro-Motive Workers and Fight Seniors Poverty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is from the community of London and former workers of Electro-Motive Diesel.

March 12th, 2012

Question Period: Why are the Conservatives Taking Away Seniors' Right to Vote?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Canadians know there were dirty tricks on the last campaign and they want an inquiry. What are the Conservatives hiding?

March 12th, 2012

Canada desperately needs a national plan to deal with Canada's aging population

New Democrats are dedicated to developing a concrete plan to ensure that no senior is left behind as our country's demographics shift.

March 8th, 2012

Question Period: When Will Government Commit to Ending Senior Women's Poverty?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, a shocking 46.5% of elderly Canadian women live alone in poverty. This is double the poverty rate for elderly men in Canada. Seniors' poverty particularly touches aboriginal and immigrant women.

March 8th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Reduce Seniors Poverty by Increasing GIS

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a number of Canadians who recognize that in June the House unanimously passed a motion presented by me that the government take action to raise all seniors out of poverty by increasing the guaranteed income supplement. Of course, we know that has not happened. The government's efforts in this area have been less than acceptable.

March 8th, 2012

Irene Introduces Bill C-407, An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act (gender balanced representation)

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Moved for leave to introduce Bill C-407, An Act to amend the Financial Administration Act (gender balanced representation).

March 7th, 2012

Irene Calls on Government to Automatically Enroll Seniors in GIS

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Madam Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to ask the member opposite to answer the question that I asked in the House on December 1, 2011. Unfortunately the question was not answered by the parliamentary secretary at that time. My question was:

March 7th, 2012

Question Period: Irene Questions Government's Lack of Support for Former EMD Workers

Ms. Irene Mathyssen: Last month, EDM closed up shop and drove hundreds of good Canadian jobs to Indiana. Those workers still have not received their records of employment and they cannot apply for EI. They were promised three weeks ago and still absolutely nothing. Of course, because of cuts to Service Canada, it could be months before they and their families ever see a penny from EI.

March 6th, 2012

Irene Calls on Government to Protec Manufacturing Jobs

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, what we most desperately need are good paying jobs in Canada so our families, our communities and our country can thrive. What we need to do is to protect those jobs now. We can no longer allow the Conservative government to simply watch, while good jobs disappear across the border.

March 5th, 2012

Irene Condemns Government MPs Disrespect to Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the privilege of travelling to St. John's and Halifax with the veterans affairs committee to study the delivery of front line health and well-being services to our Canadian vets. We heard from Jim Lowther and David MacLeod about the unacceptable and preventable tragedy of homeless veterans.

March 2nd, 2012

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program


WHERE: Irene Mathyssen MP Constituency Office

March 1st, 2012

Question Period: Government Admits Numbers Wrong on OAS Last Year

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the government just does not care who it hurts with its reckless cuts.

February 24th, 2012



NDP’s Irene Mathyssen stands up against Harper’s plans to roll back OAS

London – New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, Critic for Seniors Issues) hosted a public townhall meeting with seniors at her constituency office this morning to talk about the facts and dispel the misinformation Conservatives are giving the public about Stephen Harper’s plan to raise the OAS eligibility age from 65 to 67.

February 17th, 2012

London Seniors Townhall Meeting

Dear Constituents & Community Partners,

Since being named the Official Opposition Critic for Seniors Issues last year, it has been my privilege to meet with a variety of seniors organizations, community service providers, and literally hundreds of individual Canadian seniors in communities across this country. I began this outreach effort to learn about the different barriers and challenges seniors face in the different regions of Canada, and to listen to seniors as well as share my own ideas about how these challenges could be overcome. I have hosted meetings in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, and Saskatoon, and my colleague and deputy critic Lysanne Blanchette-Lamothe has been hosting similar meetings in Quebec. We have received a great response to-date, and are continuing our efforts.

February 16th, 2012

Question Period: Why Won't Conservatives be Honest About OAS?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the government still cannot give seniors and families a straight answer when it comes to old age security. First, it was not raising the retirement age; now it is. Then it was happening in 2020; now it is not.

February 10th, 2012

Motion to Condemn Jobs Losses, Amend Investment Canada Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen, (London-Fanshawe, NDP) moves: “That this House condemn the decision of Caterpillar Inc to close its Electro-Motive Diesel plant in London, Ontario with a loss of 450 jobs and that of Papiers White Birch to close its Quebec City plant with a loss of 600 jobs and call on the government to table, within 90 days, draft amendments to the Investment Canada Act to ensure that foreign buyers are held to public and enforceable commitments on the ‘net benefit’ to Canada and on the protection of Canadian jobs.”

February 9th, 2012

In Debate: Amending Investment Canada Act to Protect Jobs, Part 1

Opposition Motion—Investment Canada Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) moved:

Madam Speaker, it is truly my privilege to rise today in the House and introduce this motion on behalf of Electro-Motive Diesel workers of London, Ontario. This motion seeks to highlight the recent plant closings in my community of London and in a second community, that of my colleague, the MP for Beauport—Limoilou, with whom I am sharing this speaking spot.

February 9th, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Ending Seniors' Poverty and Protecting Canadian Jobs

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present today. The first petition is from Londoners who seek to end poverty for seniors.

February 9th, 2012


Condemns plant closures, calls on Conservatives to strengthen the Investment Canada Act

OTTAWA – New Democrats today blasted Conservative inaction on jobs, while introducing a motion calling on the government to make changes to the Investment Canada Act to protect Canadian jobs.

February 9th, 2012

Question Period: Will Conservatives Stop Scare Tactics & Listen to Budget Officer's Findings on OAS?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has crunched the numbers and says that OAS is to sustainable. The National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation went to the HRSDC minister to make a case for better treatment of poor seniors. Instead it got “lecture that there is a sustainability crises in Old Age Security”.

February 9th, 2012

Petition to Protect Seniors Old Age Security Benefits

The Conservative government has threatened to make changes to the Old Age Security program, and this is a direct attack on the poorest seniors who rely on that money for daily living expenses. On February 2nd 2012 the NDP moved an Opposition Day Motion calling on the House to reject the proposal by the Prime Minister to increase the age of eligibility for Old Age Security, while also calling on the government to take the necessary measures to eliminate poverty among seniors.

February 8th, 2012

Questioning the Minister: Old Age Security

The Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the government has no plan for senior affordable housing, no plan for home care, no plan for long-term care and no responsible pension reform. The Conservatives march in here and say that they are going to cut the OAS. That is despicable.

February 7th, 2012


Three MPs will travel across country to reach out to Canadian Seniors

OTTAWA –Today New Democrat MPs announced that they will be fanning out across the country to consult Canadians about changes to the Old Age Security (OAS) program planned by the Conservatives. The MPs will promote practical options the NDP has to address the changes that are happening as our population ages while still ensuring retirement security for all Canadians.

February 7th, 2012

Stop Subsidizing Companies that Ship Jobs Overseas and Start Protecting Communities


Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, yesterday I met with workers from Electro-Motive Diesel, families who were left to pick up the pieces of the government's failed jobs plan, fathers like Ryan whose five month old son now faces an uncertain future. The Prime Minister had no problem using these workers for an election photo op, but in their time of need he is nowhere to be found. Will the government at least ensure EMD workers are not robbed of their pensions and severance, too, or will it continue to leave them out in the cold?

February 3rd, 2012



LONDON – Today Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) has been shut down by its parent company Caterpillar Inc. The plant has been in operation in London since 1949.

February 2nd, 2012

Opposition Day Motion Standing Up for Canadian Seniors

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.

February 2nd, 2012


Opposition day motion calls on House to reject Harper’s changes to OAS

OTTAWA – New Democrats are calling on the House of Commons to take a stand against Stephen Harper’s move to balance the Conservative deficit by cutting future benefits for seniors.

February 1st, 2012

In Debate: Second Reading, Bill C-25 (Pooled Pension Plans)

The House resumed from January 30 consideration of the motion that Bill C-25, An Act relating to pooled registered pension plans and making related amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

February 1st, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Support Electro-Motive Workers

Irene Mathyssen, NDP, London—Fanshawe: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from the workers and members of the community of London in regard to the lockout at Electro-Motive Diesel in London, Ontario.

February 1st, 2012

Statement: Recognizing the ROMEOs and Scotian Isle

Irene Mathyssen, NDP, London-Fanshawe: Mr. Speaker, I want to share with you a wonderful example of community in my riding. There is a group of retired veterans who call themselves the ROMEOs, retired old men eating out. They meet every Wednesday morning at the Scotian Isle and are graciously hosted by Pat, John and Joseph McDonald.

February 1st, 2012

Calling on the Government to Support Electro-Motive Workers

Irene Mathyssen-NDP, London—Fanshawe: Mr. Speaker, Electro-Motive Diesel got $5 million in tax breaks from the government through its generous corporate tax plan giveaway. After the photo op, EMD decided to cut workers' salaries in half, slash their benefits, and threatened to ship Canadian jobs overseas.

January 31st, 2012

Presenting Petitions: Support Electro-Motive Workers

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from the workers and members of the community of London in regard to the lockout at Electro-Motive Diesel in London, Ontario.

January 31st, 2012

Consulting Seniors, Taking on Harper's OAS Cuts

NDP MPs meeting with CARP, seniors groups to discuss best ways to oppose Conservative cuts

January 19th, 2012


Masse and Mathyssen Call on Minister To Make Rail Investments a Priority

LONDON, ON – Canada remains decades behind the developed world in respect to rail capacity and is the only OECD country with no High Speed Rail whatsoever.

January 11th, 2012

Mathyssen to Electro-Motive: Get Back to the Bargaining Table

LONDON –In an open letter to management, MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) calls the claims that massive cuts to the wages of workers in order to remain competitive "hollow" and "not supported by the facts", and calls on the company to return to the bargaining table in good faith to get a new contract in place.

January 6th, 2012



OTTAWA – New Democrats called out Prime Minister Stephen Harper for turning his back on London families as US manufacturing giant Caterpillar threatens to take over 50 per cent in wage cuts and other benefits away from the more than 400 employees it locked out last Sunday.

December 14th, 2011

Action for Attawapiskat is Long Overdue

The Attawapiskat First Nation has been fighting for years for the most basic services other Canadians take for granted.

December 13th, 2011

In Debate: We Need Better Service from Service Canada

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, there are many problems with how Service Canada is operating. People are not receiving the services that they need. I have heard from the London location of Service Canada that the front end staff have been reduced and it is causing a considerable backlog.

December 13th, 2011

Presenting Petitions: Action Needed on Seniors Poverty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition, signed by a significant number of people across the country, in response to a motion that I brought to the House in June of this year, calling on the government to take action against the rising levels of poverty among Canadian seniors. As members will recall, that motion passed the House, but unfortunately we have seen no real action. The government talks a good game and provided less than half of what is needed to raise seniors in Canada out of poverty. In a country this rich, 300,000 seniors living in poverty is not acceptable. Therefore, I submit this petition.

December 6th, 2011

Remembering the Victims of Violence

Today as we mourn victims of violence at Ecole Polytechnique we also mourn the violence that permeates in our society.

December 5th, 2011

Mathyssen & NDP Host Seniors Roundtable in Ottawa

Consultation key component in developing National Strategy on Ageing

OTTAWA – Official Opposition critic for Seniors, Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) and Deputy Critic Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds-Dollard) hosted a roundtable discussion on seniors today. Both were thrilled with the attendance and participation of the people speaking on issues like seniors’ health care, housing and pension security.

December 2nd, 2011

Question Period: C-10 Omnibus "Crime" Legislation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I noted that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice said that this was a very important bill. I wonder, if it is so important, why we are allowing only three hours of debate at third reading? It would seem to me that it deserves far more.

December 2nd, 2011

In Debate: On Senate Reform

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, I am very happy to be speaking to the Senate reform bill.

December 1st, 2011

Facing the Reality of London's Employment Challenges

Mr. Speaker, London is my community. Despite suggestions from a member opposite to the contrary, I am proud of my city and I am especially proud of the people of London for their show of resiliency, determination and optimism when faced with some very difficult challenges. However, pride in one's city does not mean that we can ignore reality.

November 24th, 2011


Canada must act now to avoid catastrophe for a million Canadians & their families

November 22nd, 2011

Questioning the Minister: Why are Canadians Getting No Answer at "Service Canada"?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, seniors who built this country are being left out in the cold by the government. Half of all CPP-related calls to Service Canada are completely ignored. There is no one to help, not even an automated message. Seniors are looking to their government for the help they deserve, but all they find is a dead phone line.

November 22nd, 2011

In Debate: Action Needed to Lift Seniors Out of Poverty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, as members know, an NDP motion supported by all parties in the House passed unanimously in June of this year. While I am pleased that our initiative to end seniors' poverty did have support, I have profound concerns because the government has failed to take the NDP motion into account. It seems that the government is only willing to pay lip service to democracy and the seniors struggling to make ends meet.

November 22nd, 2011

Speaking up for Seniors in Parliament

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the guaranteed income supplement was put in place 40 years ago to address seniors' poverty in Canada, but because of the government's failure to keep up with the times, seniors are falling behind. Costs are rising on everything from food to home heating. Once again, seniors are being left out in the cold. We learned today that the number of seniors using food banks has escalated over the past decade. What is the government's plan to help impoverished Canadian seniors?

November 16th, 2011

Public Consultation on the Registered Disability Savings Plan

The federal government has launched a public consultation process on the long term savings program which allows persons with disabilities to put money aside for later and receive grants and bonds from the government.

November 12th, 2011


People gathered at cenotaphs and legions around the country yesterday to observe Remembrance Day ceremonies and honour Canada’s veterans. It is very important we continue to honour those who have served Canada, and to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

November 10th, 2011


LONDON- Visitors will be able to enjoy and experience our local and regional history year round at Fanshawe Pioneer Village thanks to a $1 million investment by Heritage Canada for the construction of the Spriet Family Visitor Centre.

October 18th, 2011

In Debate: Budget Implementation-failing on job creation and poverty reduction

Mr. Speaker, this budget implementation bill we are debating is disappointing.

We need a budget that is creative, has foresight, and addresses not only the needs of today but the needs of the future. It is crucial that we build a sound budget that will help promote and create jobs today, and a budget that addresses the needs of our aging population and the fiscal challenges that poses.

October 3rd, 2011

Question Period - October 3rd, 2011

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, on Seniors Day, the government boasted about tax measures that would help seniors. The reality is that over 0.25 million--

October 1st, 2011



OTTAWA – Today, Canada celebrates National Senior’s Day. It is a day to recognize how important seniors are to the fabric of Canada. A day to recognize the work they do in their homes, in their communities and in business.

September 22nd, 2011

Question in the House: Government Spending Wasted on Private Consultants To Cut Services

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are spending $90,000 a day for a high-priced outside consultant to plan service cuts. These cuts will have a direct and negative impact on Canadians, especially in rural regions. Seniors without Internet access and with limited access to public transit are being left behind by the government. When will the government realize that paying private contractors top dollar to do its dirty work while short-changing seniors is certainly not the change Canadians were looking for? Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the deficit reduction action plan is necessary as we move on the fiscal track to balanced budgets. The member opposite should know that there is some waste in government, that it is possible to review programs, that not every program should go on forever, that sometimes there are new programs, sometimes there are programs that have completed their usefulness. Certainly, it is the obligation of government to get the best advice we can, including the advice we will get from outside consultants. As I said, for every $1 spent on experts, we expect $200 of savings.

September 22nd, 2011

Statment in the House on World Alzheimer's Day

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today is World Alzheimer's Day, a day to acknowledge a disease that affects more than 24 million people worldwide. It is a debilitating disorder that has a significant impact, not only on those who suffer from Alzheimer's but also their families. Today is a day of hope and awareness. Hope in knowing that people are working hard to bring a better quality of life to persons with Alzheimer's and to one day find a cure. Also, awareness that those suffering and their families need our compassion and our help. What is needed is a comprehensive plan that will address the reality of our growing seniors population and we need to develop the capacity to handle the increased numbers of seniors suffering from this disease. I thank all those Canadians who support and care for people who suffer from Alzheimer's. Their sacrifices and dedication are truly heroic and they deserve to be recognized.

August 30th, 2011


New Democrats believe in a fair pension policy for all Canadians, including immigrants, a policy which lifts Canada’s seniors out of poverty. Unfortunately, the Harper Conservatives continue to believe it is acceptable for some Canadian seniors to live in poverty.

August 22nd, 2011

A final letter to Canadians from the Honourable Jack Layton

August 20, 2011 Toronto, Ontario

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

August 22nd, 2011

In Memory of Jack Layton

Jack Layton's leadership, friendship and strength will be deeply missed, but we will strive to make his legacy live on by building the better Canada that he dedicated his life to. His message of hope will be remembered, as will his years of service to our country. If you are in London on Saturday and you wish to join friends to watch the celebration of Jack's life, people will be gathering at the Aeolian Hall. The doors open at noon and all are welcome. Aeolian Hall is located at 795 Dundas St. E.

August 19th, 2011

Open Letter to Mayor Fontana on London "Jobs Summit"

Dear Mayor Fontana:

I am sorry that I am not able to attend the meeting of August 12, 2011. I want you to know that I am very concerned about the employment challenges facing Londoners and want to work with my colleagues at all levels of government to ease the job crisis in London. My assistant Shawn Lewis will be present on Friday on my behalf.

August 5th, 2011

Your Letters: NDP should be applauded for Interim Leader

Regarding the recent media & Conservative attacks on the new interim NDP leader, Nycole Turmel: of course she had been associated with the Bloc - ALL Quebec activists/politicians, regardless of party affiliation were.

July 14th, 2011

NDP warns against Conservatives’ snooping law

TIMMINS, ON – If the Conservatives get their way, police will be soon be able to track every e-mail sent, every website visited and every comment left on Facebook - all without warrants or judicial review.

June 25th, 2011

Introducing Bill C-256, Increased Protection for Firefighters

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-256, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (firefighters).

June 24th, 2011


The work I do in Ottawa on your behalf is important. But, it is equally important for an MP to work with and for the constituents of the riding, to ensure fair and timely access to federal government programs and services and to help sort out problems in these areas when they arise. My staff and I make every effort to assist constituents with matters that fall under federal jurisdiction. When possible, we also do what we can to refer constituents to non-governmental organizations that may be able to provide support and assistance with other problems constituents may encounter. My staff and I are not able to extend assistance to constituents experiencing problems with other levels of government, but we would be happy to provide you information and refer you to the appropriate office.

June 23rd, 2011

Bill C-254, Income Tax & EI changes for Severance Pay

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON moved for leave to introduce Bill C-254, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act and the Employment Insurance Act (severance pay).

June 20th, 2011

Motion to End Poverty For Canada's Seniors

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ONmoved: That, in the opinion of this House, ending seniors' poverty in Canada is fiscally feasible, and, therefore, the House calls on the government to take immediate steps to increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement sufficiently to achieve that goal.

June 15th, 2011

Statement on Elder Abuse Prevention Day: Irene Mathyssen

Today is World Elder Abuse Prevention Day, a time to recognize the abuse many seniors face in our neighborhoods. Sadly, too many seniors are being physically, sexually and mentally abused by care givers and loved ones.

June 6th, 2011


Budget fails to provide leadership on job creation, health care or seniors

OTTAWA – New Democrat Seniors Critic Irene Mathyssen says the government’s budget falls far short of meeting the needs of low income seniors in this country.

June 3rd, 2011


OTTAWA – The Harper government’s Throne Speech today was out of step with the priorities of Canadians and the needs of seniors according to Irene Mathyssen, the Opposition Critic for seniors.

June 1st, 2011

Statement from Irene Mathyssen on New Critic Role for Seniors

London—I am honoured to have been named the Official Opposition Critic for Seniors Issues in Canada’s 41st Parliament. I would like to thank NDP Leader Jack Layton for placing his trust in me with this important role.

May 10th, 2011

A Messaqe from Irene on her Re-Election

I am extremely grateful and humbled by this opportunity to once again serve London families and our community.

April 29th, 2011

In Case You Missed it: Oil Companies Post Massive Profits!

As prices at the pump go through the roof, oil and gas companies are seeing profits climb:

April 29th, 2011

A Strong Voice for London-Fanshawe, Practical Ideas to Help Canadians

The NDP Platform: Platform PDF

Our Community Supports Irene and her record of getting results:

Creating Jobs and Making Life More Affordable:

Capping Credit Cards and Banking fees, to help you make ends meet:

April 18th, 2011


LONDON – With just two weeks to go in the federal election campaign, support from the labour and small business community joined a city councilor and individual constituents to encourage voters in London-Fanshawe to re-elect incumbent New Democrat MP and candidate Irene Mathyssen.

April 12th, 2011

Your Letters: What a contrast in MPs

Holder clearly out of touch

Regarding the article D-Jet threat (April 9)

What a contrast in our MPs. Conservative MP Ed Holder claims that Diamond Jet is using the election to get a government loan. NDP MP Irene Mathyssen has been working in Ottawa to protect Diamond's 400 plus good jobs here in London.

April 10th, 2011

NDP 2011 Election Platform: GIVE FAMILIES A BREAK

You can count on practical results in my first 100 days as Prime Minister: Layton

April 6th, 2011


Many working families are caring for their parents at home while also raising their children – putting an enormous strain on already stretched family budgets. And predominantly, its Canadian women who end up with the role of caregiver to both children and older parents, says NDP Status of Women Critic Irene Mathyssen.

April 6th, 2011


April 5th, 2011

Fix Veterans Affairs, Restore Respect for Veterans

LONDON – NDP Deputy Critic for Veterans Affairs, Irene Mathyssen, says her party has a plan to restore respect and dignity to Canada's Veterans.

April 1st, 2011

REALITY CHECK: Who stands up for London?

NDP REALITY CHECK: Who stands up for London?

Today Michael Ignatieff, while at an election tour stop in London, Ontario, made the following comments:

March 31st, 2011


LONDON –Targeted tax cuts for small and medium size businesses, the real engines of the local economy, is a commitment being offered by London-Fanshawe MP and NDP Candidate Irene Mathyssen. The NDP job creation plan is focused on targeted, affordable investments in small businesses and Canadian job creators.

March 30th, 2011


LONDON - With Canadian households more in debt than ever, New Democrat incumbent Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) says it is time Canadians had a government that protects consumer interests and puts an end to predatory gouging by Canada’s banks and credit card providers.

March 28th, 2011

Statement from MP Irene Mathyssen on Diamond Aircraft Layoffs

LONDON –Diamond Aircraft announced today the temporary lay-off of 213 employees at its London Ontario facility. The job cuts affect mostly D-JET program employees, temporarily suspending D-JET program.

March 25th, 2011

Why are Conservatives Choosing an Election Over Helping Veterans?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, over 900,000 people use food banks in Canada. Among them are some of our bravest men and women who served our country proudly. In Calgary alone, 204 veterans depend on food banks and London, Ontario is closing veteran hospital beds. This is a national disgrace and all because of Conservative inaction.

March 24th, 2011


LONDON- On March 22 I hosted a virtual town hall where Londoners could ask their elected Member of Parliament questions and voice their priorities. NDP leader Jack Layton also made the call and was available to answer questions from local constituents. Those on the call had the opportunity to voice their opinions in polls asked during the town hall. Here are the results:

March 23rd, 2011


London-Fanshawe constituents tell MP that HST relief and CPP reform absolutely needed

OTTAWA – Connecting with more than 6500 constituents in a telephone townhall live from the nation’s capital, London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen heard many different concerns from constituents. Overwhelmingly though, affordability issues dominated the discussion, as constituents expressed frustration with a Conservative government that is ignoring the increasing difficulties people are having making ends meet.

March 23rd, 2011

Statement on Maternal Mortality Rate

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Canada has recently dropped in the UN ratings for gender equality. A key factor in this is the increase in maternal death rates in this country.

March 22nd, 2011

Hey, democracy! Stop ignoring students

Hey, democracy! Stop ignoring students

Matt Farrell Professor, Fanshawe College Published: Monday, March 14, 2011, reprinted with the permission of the author§ionID=2&issueID=25

March 21st, 2011

Questioning the Minister: Support for Diamond Aircraft

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Diamond Aircraft, a leading manufacturer of private planes, has completed the expensive and sophisticated research and development to launch its new D-Jet and the next generation of private jets.

March 18th, 2011


LONDON – The announcement by the Government of Canada that a new centre for injured soldiers will be built in London this spring is a step in the right direction for local veterans and their families.

March 17th, 2011

Create Your Canada Contest Winner Aims to Aid Future Students

LONDON – Prospective post-secondary students and their parents often encounter real difficulty navigating the confusing processes of applying for Federal supplements to their education savings, if they are aware of them at all.

March 16th, 2011

Speaking Out for Quality Childcare

Question Period, Monday March 7th, 2011:

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, NDP) Mr. Speaker, by refusing to even consider a national child care policy, the Conservatives are not only insulting families, they are damaging the economy too.

March 15th, 2011

Information for families of Canadians in Japan

Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in the affected areas should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Emergency Operations Centre by calling toll-free the dedicated crisis line at 1-800-606-5499 (or 1-800-387-3124). They may also send an e-mail to . I also encourage you to have your constituents in Japan, or their family and friends here in Canada, to register Canadian citizens in Japan with our Registration of Canadians Abroad,

March 8th, 2011

Statement in Parliament on the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today women and men around the world are celebrating the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. We recognize the efforts of women and girls in challenging stereotypes and breaking down barriers to their full equality.

March 8th, 2011

Questioning the Minister: Where is the help for senior women?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day today. While we have much to celebrate, there are too many women in Canada who still face an uphill battle.

March 8th, 2011

Hosting the Annual International Women's Day Breakfast on Parliament Hill

Today it was my pleasure to host the NDP's annual International Women's Day Breakfast on Parliament Hill. The women and men attending the celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day were treated to amazing and inspiring speeches from Cindy Blackstock, the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society; Jody Williams, the Nobel Laureate and co-founder of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and Erin Williams, Executive Director, Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women.

March 8th, 2011

Statement by Jack Layton & Irene Mathyssen on the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. In Canada, women and men across the country are recognizing this important milestone as a day to celebrate the significant political, social and economic progress women have made.

March 3rd, 2011

In Debate: C-55 Improving the Veterans Charter

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I am most grateful for the opportunity to take part in this debate concerning the courageous men and women who serve and have served in the military.

March 1st, 2011

In Debate: C-42, Opposing Handing Over Canadian's Personal Information to the USA

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Madam Speaker, I deeply regret that the government has brought forward such a draconian piece of legislation as Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act.

February 28th, 2011

Questioning Justice for Rape Victims

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, a judge appointed by the Conservative government just took women's rights back 20 years. He gave a convicted rapist a slap on the wrist because of what he called the victim's suggestive attire.

February 23rd, 2011

After School Programming Launched for Montcalm Students

London—Two days per week for two hours after school, Montcalm secondary school students have the opportunity to access self-defense instruction, homework assistance, and practical and educational instruction in healthy eating.

February 18th, 2011

Questioning the Government: Asking for EI reforms to help combat skyrocketing household debt

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, average family debt in Canada now tops $100,000. That is $1.50 owed for every $1 earned, and since the recession began, the number of middle class families falling behind on their mortgage payments has skyrocketed.

February 18th, 2011

In Debate on C-42, Irene calls for the protection of airline passengers personal information

Ms. Chris Charlton:...

I cannot justify the Conservatives' approach to how they deal with confidentiality and access to information. In fact, we have just spent an entire week in the House and the Speaker had been asked to adjudicate on an issue with respect to access to information that my colleague, the member for Ottawa Centre, raised in the House just yesterday.

February 18th, 2011

Presenting Your Petition on Healthcare

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, as a member of the party of Tommy Douglas, the father of Canadian medicare, I proudly rise to present a petition from Ontarians.

February 18th, 2011

Irene's Statement in Parliament on taking the HST off home heating costs.

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, every day I receive desperate messages from seniors, unemployed workers or low-income constituents who live in fear regarding how they will manage their energy bills. Electricity rates alone have increased more than 26% in Ontario under the current provincial government.

February 15th, 2011

Statement from Irene Mathyssen on the 30th Anniversary of the Women’s Constitution Conference

Today, we celebrate with women and men across Canada, the 30th Anniversary of the Women’s Constitution Conference held on February 14, 1981. During this conference, women from across the nation gathered to discuss the new Constitution, which led to a year-long lobby of the government to include equality provisions for women in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, primarily Section 28:

February 11th, 2011

Statement on Egypt from MP Mathyssen

What a day! I want to extend congratulations to the people of Egypt for their victory. They did it against all expectations and they did it without resorting to violence. They are an inspiration the world over.

February 9th, 2011

Questioning Corporate Tax Cuts Creating Jobs

Irene Mathyssen, London-Fanshawe, NDP: Mr. Speaker, Two weeks ago,the Minister of Justice was all smiles when he came to London for a media event at a local manufacturing plant.

February 8th, 2011

Why is the government ending CIDA support for international teacher development?

Irene Mathyssen, London-Fanshawe, NDP:Mr. Speaker, despite an ongoing 40-year partnership between the Canadian Teachers' Federation and CIDA, the minister rejected CTF's recent application to help train teachers and develop curriculum aboard because of “an unspecified technicality”. This, after 18 months of working with CIDA on the proposal.

January 4th, 2011

Keiper Closure Highlights Need for Severance Legislation

LONDON – The unwelcome announcement that 200 more Londoners will be out of work when the decade old Keiper plant closes its doors is yet another example of the immediate need for reforms around the handling of severance packages says London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen.

December 17th, 2010

Engineers Without Borders Roundtable

On Saturday, November 26 MPs Irene Mathyssen and Glen Pearson along with Mrs. Mary-Ann Hodge came to the University of Western Ontario to speak with the students.

December 16th, 2010

Members Statements: 2010 Disastrous for Women's Equality

Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, NDP):Mr. Speaker, 2010, like all years, has had its ups and downs, but when it comes to women's equality, 2010 has shown to be disastrous.

December 10th, 2010


New report highlights women must hold multiple jobs to make ends meet

OTTAWA – Yesterday Statistics Canada released a report on women and paid work, illustrating that even after this recession women are still concentrated in precarious work situations that pay less.

December 9th, 2010

Introducing Bill C-601, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act and the Employment Insurance Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-601, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act and the Employment Insurance Act (severance pay).

December 8th, 2010

Mathyssen Tables Severance Reform Legislation to Help Jobless

LONDON MP TABLES SEVERANCE REFORM LEGISLATION TO HELP JOBLESS Bill would remove EI allocation and allow over-the-limit contribution to RRSP

December 7th, 2010


OTTAWA – Today marks the 40th Anniversary of the tabling of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women Report, which was groundbreaking for women’s equality in Canada. Sadly, many of the recommendations still have not been implemented.

December 6th, 2010

Statement: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Mr. Speaker,

December 6 is our National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, a reminder to Canadians that we must end all forms of violence against women.

December 4th, 2010

Members Statements: Remembering Ecole Polytechnique

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):Mr. Speaker, I would like to join with my colleagues as we remember the tragic events of December 6, 1989, at École Polytechnique. Since that time, policy makers have put forward legislative initiatives, educational campaigns, statistical gathering efforts and funding programs to combat violence against women.

December 1st, 2010

In Debate: Government Should Listen to and Support Native Women's Association of Canada

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for responding to the very important matter of funding decisions regarding the $10 million promised in budget 2010 to address the issue of violence against aboriginal women.

November 30th, 2010

Thank You Flag Project Volunteers and Veterans

Dear Friends,

On Nov. 5, the Flags Over London project was completed with the raising of Canada's national, provincial and territorial flags on Veterans Memorial Parkway.

November 29th, 2010


OTTAWA – New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) will take on new responsibilities as the Deputy Veterans Affairs Critic.

November 24th, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Protecting Bus Drivers

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my second petition has to do with those who drive the buses in our country.

November 23rd, 2010

Members Statements: Stephanie Simmons, promoting awareness of childhood cancers

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today it is my privilege to tell the House about an incredible young woman of determination and great courage.

November 22nd, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Support Sisters In Spirit

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from supporters of the Native Women's Association of Canada, who understand that as part of the Sisters in Spirit campaign, NWAC has identified nearly 600 missing and murdered aboriginal women whose cases go back to 1970. The equivalent in the whole Canadian population would be 18,000 missing or murdered women.

November 22nd, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Improve Our Veterans Benefits

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today.

The first is addressed to the Government of Canada by petitioners of all ages and walks of life who genuinely support and value the contributions of our veterans. They regard a veteran as a veteran, regardless of where or in which deployment he or she may have served.

November 12th, 2010

MP Challenges Students to Help Create Their Canada

LONDON – Secondary School students and undergraduate students at UWO and Fanshawe College are being challenged to get involved in politics by participating in the “Create Your Canada” contest sponsored by London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen.

November 12th, 2010


NDP leader brings home heating campaign to London

LONDON - New Democrat leader Jack Layton says Stephen Harper has broken his promise to make life more affordable for Canadian families. Layton is in London as part of his Heat Your Home Tax Free tour.

November 6th, 2010

Your Letters: Rally to Support Veterans

During the summer, our association held a modest Rally to Stand Up for Our Veterans, where a petition was signed by Canadians who are concerned by the changes happening within Veterans Affairs Canada and wanted Parliament to review these changes before more veterans suffer. Our petition was taken to Ottawa by London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen, who has been working diligently on our veterans' behalf.

November 5th, 2010

Members Statements: Lest We Forget

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today I am truly privileged to honour the men and women who showed their love and commitment to our country through their service in the Canadian Forces.

November 4th, 2010


Despite $10M to stop violence against aboriginal women, no money given

OTTAWA – The Conservative government is shunning the primary advocate for victims and putting at risk key information on murdered and missing aboriginal women, New Democrats said today.

November 3rd, 2010

Members Statements: Shine a Light Campaign

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, November is Woman Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month in the province of Ontario.

November 3rd, 2010

In Debate: Veterans Affairs

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Chair, I thank the member for her remarks and her insight into the realities faced by veterans.

November 3rd, 2010

In Debate: C-510, Attempting to Criminalize Abortion

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Bill C-510 is no more than a thinly veiled attempt to criminalize abortion providers and promote an anti-choice agenda. This is the fourth time in four years that a Conservative backbench member of Parliament has introduced an anti-choice private member's bill that masquerades as legislation that will protect women. In this case the member belongs to the secretive parliamentary anti-choice caucus.

November 1st, 2010

In Debate: C-47 "Sustaining Economic Recovery" Part 2

Economic Recovery Plan Fails Families, Seniors, and Widens Poverty Gap

Ms. Jean Crowder (Nanaimo—Cowichan, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am rising to speak to Bill C-47, an act to implement certain provisions of the other budget tabled in Parliament, blah, blah, blah. The short title is “sustaining Canada's economic recovery” and the blah, blah, blah is about sustaining Canada's economic recovery because, although I will speak specifically to the universal child care benefit and pensions, I want to highlight for people that this so-called economic recovery has not reached from coast to coast to coast in our beautiful country. I want to touch briefly on pensions. Before I do that, this is relevant because it is about poverty...

November 1st, 2010

In Debate: C-47 "Sustaining Economic Recovery"

Mathyssen Questions Impact of Misguided Economic Policy on Seniors and Veterans

Ms. Chris Charlton:(Hamilton-Mountain) Mr. Speaker, if governments had theme songs, the Conservative government's theme song would be Takin' Care of Business, because the HST surely only benefits the biggest corporations.

October 27th, 2010

Your Letters: Thank You for Helping Create an Inclusive Community

Dear Ms Mathyssen,

Thank you so much for your assistance in ensuring that our all candidates meeting was accessible to some of the most isolated members of our community. It is almost routine for us now, to consider whether a venue is accessible for those with mobility challenges, but we so frequently ignore ensuring accessibility for those who experience life-long communication barriers. I do not know whether there were any attendees at the meeting that required the services of the translators. In my experience, it takes people time to become accustomed to having a service available, and to begin to use it. Thank you for helping us put the option of participation (something most of us take for granted) in place.

October 26th, 2010


OCTOBER 25, 2010

OTTAWA – Today, New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe), tabled legislation inspired by the winners of the “Create Your Canada” competition in her riding.

October 22nd, 2010

Create Your Canada Winners Join Mathyssen in Ottawa for Introduction of Their Bill

LONDON – Students Hannah Deboer and Miranda Van Looyen want Canadians to stop using single use non-biodegradable plastic bags, and on Monday they will be in Ottawa to see that idea take a big step forward.

October 19th, 2010

Mathyssen urges other parties to join campaign to bring decorum back to House

NEW DEMOCRATS COMMIT TO “ELEVATE THE DEBATE” Mathyssen urges other parties to join campaign to bring decorum back to House

October 19th, 2010

Speaking out for Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from citizens across many communities and from all walks of life who wish Parliament to know that they genuinely support and value the contributions of our veterans and that they regard a veteran as a veteran regardless of which deployment or where an individual may have served.

October 19th, 2010

Introducing Bill C-581: Status of Women Canada Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): moved for leave to introduce Bill C-581, An Act respecting Status of Women Canada.

October 19th, 2010

Members Statements: Recognizing Governor-General's Persons Award Recipients

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today marks the 81st anniversary of a landmark achievement in the battle for women's equality, the day that women were recognized as persons under Canadian law.

October 18th, 2010

Speaking Out in Support of Canada Post and Postal Workers

London-More than one hundred CUPW Local 566 members gathered under cloudy skies on Wednesday (October 13) in London to stand up for their jobs and fight against the reduction and privatization of Canada Post services.

October 18th, 2010

“STATUS OF WOMEN CANADA ACT”: Time to give Status of Women Canada a legislated mandate: Mathyssen

OTTAWA – Today, New Democrats will acknowledge Person’s Day by introducing a Private Member’s Bill that will give Status of Women Canada a legislated mandate.

October 18th, 2010

Question Period: Person's Day

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, despite the fact that it has been 81 years since women were recognized as persons, gender equality in Canada has not been achieved.

October 12th, 2010

Mathyssen Calls for Tax Break & Retrofit Assistance on Home Heating Costs

London – New Democrats across Canada are calling on Stephen Harper to give hardworking families a break and immediately remove the five percent HST/GST from home heating before the snow falls.

October 9th, 2010

In Debate: Defending the Charter of Rights

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to participate in the debate regarding the Liberal opposition day motion.

October 8th, 2010

Members Statements: Calling for a Public Inquiry into Veterans Affairs

Madam Speaker, when we ask Canadian soldiers to put their lives on the line in combat or peacekeeping missions, Canada needs to ensure that when these men and women return home, they are properly supported, that we fulfill our obligations to them as they fulfilled theirs to Canada.

October 1st, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Standing Up for Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Madam Speaker, I have a petition signed by many people in my community who want the House of Commons to understand absolutely the essential nature of supporting our veterans

October 1st, 2010

Question Period: Funding to Address Violence Against Aboriginal Women

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON:

Mr. Speaker, budget 2010 promised $10 million to address violence against aboriginal women. Six months later, there is still nothing from the government. Over 500 aboriginal women have been murdered or are missing. Women's organizations and aboriginal groups across the country have the solutions to stop violence against aboriginal women. What they need is the funding promised by the government.

October 1st, 2010

Member's Statement: Veteran's Affairs

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, when we ask Canadian soldiers to put their lives on the line in combat or peacekeeping missions, Canada needs to ensure that when these men and women return home, they are properly supported, that we fulfill our obligations to them as they fulfilled theirs to Canada.

October 1st, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Supporting Canadian Women

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions to present.

The first petition is from a group of individuals who wish the House of Commons to understand that it is estimated that 58% of all women over the age of 15 are part of the paid workforce and still are not getting equal pay for work of equal value; 56% of these are single parent families headed by women and half of unattached senior women, and they live below the poverty line, in addition to aboriginal women, women of colour, seniors, poor women and women with disabilities.

September 28th, 2010

40 Years After the Royal Commission on the Status of Women


September 28th, 2010

Question Period: 40th Anniversary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women Report

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON:

Mr. Speaker, today is the 40th anniversary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women report. However, instead of celebrating, women across the country, four decades later, are still waiting for action on key recommendations: pay equity, child care, support for first nations and recognition of women's unpaid work.

September 24th, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Protecting Canada Post Services

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, finally, I have a petition signed by our postal workers and people in the community who are concerned that the federal government is allowing Canada Post to close public post offices in spite of the moratorium

September 24th, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Protecting Employee Benefits and Pensions

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, the next petition calls upon the Parliament of Canada to amend the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to protect the rights of all Canadian employees

September 24th, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Sisters In Spirit

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON: Mr. Speaker, second, the Native Women's Association of Canada, as part of its Sisters in Spirit campaign, has identified 582 missing and murdered aboriginal women whose cases go back as far as 1970

September 24th, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Lift the Gaza Blockade

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I, too, have several petitions. The first petition is signed by thousands of London residents

August 30th, 2010

Londoners Demand Fairness for Veterans

LONDON– Veterans from both wartime service and peacekeeping deployments gathered with Canadians of all ages, from all walks of life, at the Cenotaph in Victoria Park in downtown London today to share their stories of frustration with the department of Veterans Affairs and to demand parliament take steps to address their issues.

August 23rd, 2010

Taking Action Against Nursing Cuts

After speaking with members of the Ontario Nurses Association I am greatly concerned about the number of nurses being cut. The numbers of nursing hours available are vital to patients in care. Not only are health-care facilities laying off nurses, they are also eliminating positions and not filling vacancies in an effort to balance budgets. My greatest concern is that all this is happening when the need for quality care has never been greater. I encourage you to take action at:

August 12th, 2010

Ontario matches Federal agreement to assist Duchess of Kent Legion

London: Following the successful negotiation of a deal to provide GST interest forgiveness for the Duchess of Kent Legion with the federal government, MP Irene Mathyssen continued to work with the Legion to seek interest forgiveness from the provincial government on the PST portion of the debt.

August 6th, 2010

Your Letters: Importance of the Census

Dear Irene,

At first glance you might think that all this talk about the long form census is much ado about nothing. After all, few amongst us sit around thinking- “boy oh boy do I ever look forward to having to fill out the census form every five years, and I really hope I get randomly picked to fill out the long form version- it is better than winning the lottery!” However, you would be wrong about the census not being worth the bother- especially if you live in rural or small town Canada- or heaven forbid trying to eke out a living farming.

July 7th, 2010

Mathyssen Obtains Tax Relief for Veterans at Duchess of Kent Legion

LONDON – The Duchess of Kent Legion (Branch 263, Royal Canadian Legion) has finally received a GST tax break as of July 2nd, 2010, following nearly four years of work by NDP MP Irene Mathyssen. After a former employee embezzled tens of thousands of dollars in GST and PST remittances, the Legion was stuck with a massive tax debt. With interest and penalties accruing, the Legion owed the federal and provincial governments a total of $279 602 at the beginning of 2010. Although the employee was eventually caught, tried, and convicted in July 2004 of defrauding the Legion, the restitution ordered by the court could not be enforced.

July 6th, 2010

Summer Fun with New Splash Pad at Fanshawe Conservation Area

LONDON – Visitors to London’s Fanshawe Conservation Area will be able to stay cool and have even more fun this summer following the official opening today of a new Splash Pad in the campground area.

June 29th, 2010

Dearness Home Seniors Program Funding Announced

London-Members of the community gathered today to celebrate as the Dearness Home announced it receipt of a $25,000 federal funding grant for its Arts for all Ages project from Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

June 18th, 2010

Members Statements: Turning back the clock on Women

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. After 40 years we still have not implemented many of the recommendations. In fact, we have a government that is turning back the clock.

June 16th, 2010

Question Period: Violence Against First Nations Women

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the government claims to care about violence against first nations women, but its actions tell a different story. Iqaluit has the highest rate of domestic violence in Canada, but when it comes to funding, the only woman's shelter in the territory, the cupboard is bare. Yet again, Conservatives are ignoring the most vulnerable.

June 10th, 2010

Working to Improve EI Sick Benefits

On June 7, 2010, my colleague Fin Donnelly, Member for New Westminster–Coquitlam, British Columbia, introduced a bill in the House of Commons to improve the employment insurance system. Bill C-526, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (special benefits), would amend the Employment Insurance Act by extending the maximum period for which special benefits for illness, injury or quarantine may be paid from 15 weeks to 52 weeks.

June 8th, 2010

Statement on My Sisters Place and support for housing and homelessness programs

Mr. Speaker, on June 4, the service providers, clients, board of trustees and the community celebrated the grand opening of the new location of My Sisters' Place in London, Ontario.

June 1st, 2010

Statement on the situation in the Middle-East

It is deplorable, and absolutely unacceptable for any state or nation to attack a humanitarian aid effort. I call on the Prime Minister to add the Government of Canada's voice to the growing international call for an independant inquiry into the recent events involving the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

May 26th, 2010

Members Statements: Canada falling further behind on gender equity

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, Canada no longer compares favourably in international measurements of gender equality.

Under the government's watch, Canada has fallen from 7th to 25th in the World Economic Forum gender gap ranking for gender equality. Women in Canada are not equal to men and are becoming less so.

May 21st, 2010

YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange Program

The YMCA Summer Work Exchange Program is a national program offering opportunities for students age 16 & 17 to improve their second language skiills while gaining important employment experience.

May 14th, 2010

In Debate: Speaking Out for Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, over the last century, hundreds of thousands of Canadians have served our country with distinction and valour as members of Canada's armed forces. Many of these brave Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their lives in the service of our nation. Many more returned home with physical or emotional scars that last a lifetime.

May 14th, 2010

In Debate: Tax Conventions Implementations Act, 2010

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-3, An Act to implement conventions and protocols concluded between Canada and Colombia, Greece and Turkey for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

May 13th, 2010

In Debate: on the future of Healthcare

(Motion) Mrs. Cathy McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, CPC) moved: That, in the opinion of the House, the government should encourage and assist provincial and territorial governments, the medical community and other groups to lessen the burden on Canada's health care system through: (a) an increased adoption of technological developments; (b) a better recognition of the changing roles of health care professionals and the needs of Canadians; and (c) a greater focus on strategies for healthy living and injury prevention.

May 6th, 2010


Ottawa—When faced with a chance to demonstrate real support for our pensioned veterans and members of the RCMP last night in parliament, the Conservatives showed their true colours by voting down Bill C-201— legislation introduced by NDP MP Peter Stoffer that would have corrected an administrative error that denied thousands of Canadians their full pension rights.

May 5th, 2010


LONDON – Despite a slow job market recovery, students in the London region will still have some summer employment opportunities thanks to federal Canada Summer Jobs funding finalized Tuesday.

May 5th, 2010

Question Period: Exposing Cuts to Women's Organizations

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we have learned that in the last two weeks alone, 12 women's organizations have had their funding cut by the Conservative government for the first time in their histories. The newest organization on the chopping block is MATCH International.

May 4th, 2010

Question Period: Supporting Maternal Health

Member's Statement: Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, this Sunday is Mother's Day. As we celebrate, mothers in other places across the globe are at risk. Over 300,000 women die each year due to pregnancy or childbirth-related complications, yet maternal, newborn and child health accounts for only 3% of global aid.

May 3rd, 2010

In Debate: Bill C-201 treating RCMP and Veteran's Pensions Fairly

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly my privilege to participate in this debate (Bill C-201). Like so many members here I have veterans, active service personnel and members of the RCMP in my riding, in my community.

April 30th, 2010

Question Period: Why are the Conservatives Not Listening to World Health Organization?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the responses by the government to my questions on abortion funding omitted the pleas from groups like the WHO and Human Rights Watch that say that maternal and child health initiatives must make “available a wide range of contraceptives based on full information and women's choice”, and provide “safe abortion and post-abortion services”.

April 29th, 2010

Question Period: Why is Conservative Ideology Trumping the Needs of Women?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the government has settled on a completely irresponsible policy on women's and maternal health. This policy not only fails women abroad on the key issue of access to safe abortions, it is reopening a very divisive debate domestically and putting us at odds with our international partners. Both Britain and the Obama administration in the U.S. have been very clear that access to safe abortions must be part of the maternal health initiative.

April 28th, 2010

Question Period: Who is Denying Funding to Womens Organizations?

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, this year a record number of organizations that have previously qualified for funding from Status of Women Canada have been denied this essential funding for the first time in their histories. This includes groups such as the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, Womenspace, the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity and CIAFT, among many more, whose projects meet the qualifying criteria.

April 26th, 2010

Question Period: Asking the Minister of Veterans Affairs to modernize Parkwood Veteran Hospital Mandate

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario plans to close 72 veteran care beds. The problem is that veterans hospitals are only mandated to care for World War II and Korean war vets.

April 26th, 2010

Members Statements: Irene on the closure of Parkwood Veterans Hospital Beds

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the government's plan to close 72 beds reserved for veterans at Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario, is both shortsighted and disgraceful.

April 21st, 2010

NDP MPs: Closing Veterans Beds Shortsighted

Peter Stoffer and Irene Mathyssen demand that Veterans Minister keep beds for modern day veterans

April 21st, 2010

Question Period: addressing the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Native Women's Association of Canada released a report on the lack of effective programming to address the 582 cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls in Canada. It has been over a month since the government promised funding to address this serious issue, and we still have no details on how and when it will be delivered.

April 13th, 2010

In Debate: Speaking out against Liberal hypocrisy

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, on March 4, the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore instructed his party to vote to end pay equity in our country. He and his party handed a death sentence to pay equity in Canada. The day before the vote, he stood outside these chambers and he said to the press, in reference to pay equity, “We have made it clear that we are not pursing an amendment strategy...Sometimes we have to hold our nose”. The member abandoned women, abandoned equality and he voted to dismantle pay equity in Canada.

April 9th, 2010

Making Veterans Memorial Parkway a Fitting Tribute to Our Veterans

The 93rd Anniversary of the day that Canadian troops took Vimy Ridge, a pivotal point in history for Canada and the world, marked the unveiling of the first in a series of tributes to our veterans which will be erected along Veterans Memorial Parkway, the eastern gateway to the City of London.

April 9th, 2010

Status of Women Further Demoted by Harper Following Guergis Resignation

OTTAWA – The Harper Conservative government has once again shown it has no regard for the women of Canada”, says London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen, the New Democrat’s Critic for the Status of Women.

April 8th, 2010

Celebrating Electro-Motive Diesel's 5th Anniversary

MP Irene Mathyssen arrives at Electro-Motive as a new locomotive rolls off the line

In 2005, after a half century of locomotive production in London, the future of then GM Diesel was an uncertain one as General Motors divested itself of assets outside of the automotive market. However, returning to its roots as an independant company, Electro-Motive Diesel is a success story today. Managers, employees, and community leaders gathered to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Electro-Motive Diesel this week as the business continues to open up new markets and positions itself as the manufacturer of the most fuel efficient locomotives on the planet, providing an environmentally responsible transportation option for moving goods and people around the globe.

March 30th, 2010


Dear Constituents and supporters across Canada,

My colleague Wayne Marston (Hamilton-Stoney Creek, NDP) has legislation (C-476) which would put worker’s at the front of the line—ahead of the big banks and corporate creditors—when a company closes its doors, ensuring their vacation pay and pensions are the first priority, not the last.

March 26th, 2010

Welcoming Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace to London

Mayor Anne-Marie DeCicco-Best, the London Economic Development Corporation, and Prime Minister Harper along with London MPs Ed Holder (London-West, Conservative) and Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, NDP) were among the local leaders on hand to welcome Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace to London this week.

March 25th, 2010

In Debate: Government Supply, Liberal Opposition Motion

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

Madam Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to participate in the debate regarding the Liberal opposition motion. I will be sharing my time with the member for Ottawa Centre.

March 23rd, 2010

Presenting Petitions: Aboriginal Healing Centres

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I too have a petition signed by many Canadians on behalf of the healing projects, like the program in my city of London, Ontario, At^lohsa Family Healing Services.

March 18th, 2010

Member's Statement: Irene on support for maternal and child health

Mr. Speaker, Two weeks ago, this government presented a budget in which it claimed that maternal and child health worldwide would be a priority of Canada’s G8 and G20 Summit year.

March 17th, 2010

Member's Statement: Irene on Infrastructure Funding for Museums

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, according to representatives from the non-profit sector, only one in twelve non-profit infrastructure stimulus applications were approved by Infrastructure Canada.

March 16th, 2010

Question Period: Track Record of Status of Women Minister Guergis

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of State for Status of Women claims to be an advocate who has worked to increase prosperity for women.

March 16th, 2010

Question Period: Funding Aboriginal Women's Summit

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, less than four months before the third national aboriginal women's summit, we have learned that the government has revoked its funding.

March 16th, 2010

Community Feedback on the 2010 Budget

On Saturday March 6th, London North Centre MP Glen Pearson (Liberal) & London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen (NDP), were the co-hosts of a London community townhall discussion of the 2010 Federal Budget (tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday March 4th) Although Mr. Pearson was called away to meetings in Toronto on Canada’s continuing relief efforts in Haiti, his London staff attended to bring the community’s feedback to his attention.

March 11th, 2010

In Debate: on the Throne Speech part 2; seniors, tax cuts, and KAIROS

The Deputy Speaker: We need to move on to questions and comments as the time has expired for the member's speech.

March 11th, 2010

In Debate: on the Throne Speech part 1

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for Burnaby—Douglas.

March 10th, 2010

Statement: Prime Minister Fails to Make Women and Children a Priority

Mr. Speaker, following the last meeting with G8 leaders, the Prime Minister announced that women and children’s health must be a priority. Determents of health include adequate housing, access to nutritious food, and quality childcare. Budget 2010 will be the final year of this government’s meagre commitment to affordable housing, emergency shelters, and the homeless.

March 8th, 2010

Constituent Letters: Harper Government Sells Out Canadian Workers

In response to Fred Rinne's editorial Buy American deal gets us back on track (Feb. 8).

March 8th, 2010

Statement from Irene Mathyssen on International Women's Day

Women and men around the world recognize International Women's Day as a time to reflect upon and celebrate women’s social, political and economic achievements, both globally and locally. In this country, much progress has been made since Canadians first marked International Women’s Day in 1977.

March 8th, 2010

In Debate: on the 2010 Federal Budget

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, I was quite taken by the discussion my colleague presented to the House in regard to the need for infrastructure and investment and the irony of corporate tax cuts.

March 8th, 2010

Question Period: Support for Canadian Women

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, on International Women's Day the Prime Minister has some tough questions to answer on women's issues here at home. Canada is one of the world's wealthiest countries, yet the number of women and children living in poverty is staggering. There are enough children living in poverty in Canada to populate a city the size of Winnipeg.

March 4th, 2010


LONDON –Despite thousands of job losses in the past year, and tens of thousands of families struggling to make ends meet, the federal budget fails to provide any substantial help to everyday Canadians says MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, NDP)

March 3rd, 2010

Irene's Speech to the Kiwanis Clubs of London: "Who is Canada's NDP?"

On February 22nd, I had the privilege of addressing the Forest City London Kiwanis Club during their monthly luncheon. I truly appreciate the warm welcome the Kiwanis members extended to me. I hope to have the opportunity to join them for future discussions, and to work with them on local priorities. For those who were not able to attend, the text of my speech follows:

February 18th, 2010

Mathyssen Sponsors Hospitality Meal at Trinity United Church

The first Sunday of every month folks gather in the basement hall at Trinity United Church for a “hospitality meal”. It is a chance for people in the neighbourhood to gather and share a meal in the spirit of fellowship. The meals were intended to help those in need, and they do. In any given month between 50-80 come out for the dinner, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.

February 10th, 2010

Constituent Letters: King Family Says Thanks

Our story is a difficult one to understand, even to us.

What happened to us only happens to other people, well on August 8th 2008 we became one of those "others".

January 21st, 2010

Constituent Letters: My MP is Hard at Work


Just a note to let everyone know that with the suspension of Parliament, my MP, Irene Mathyssen, is still hard at work.

December 8th, 2009

Mathyssen Speaks Out Against Unfair HST! (part 2)

Ms. Irene Mathyssen: Madam Speaker, it is interesting that I did receive an overwhelming response from my constituents. They were very clear. They do not like this tax. They see it as a tax grab. They see themselves as the victims of this tax. They are willing to fight back, and I can assure the House that I am willing to fight back.

December 8th, 2009

Mathyssen Speaks Out Against Unfair HST!

Hansard Record, House of Commons December 8th Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Madam Speaker, I believe it is essential for me to speak today, on behalf of my constituents, against this insidious new tax. I say this because when it became clear that the party in power was determined to inflict a new tax on the people of Ontario and British Columbia, I sent out a mailing to the residents of London—Fanshawe. I asked them what they thought of the HST, the new tax that Conservatives and Liberals plan to enact on July 1, their gift to Ontario and British Columbia on Canada Day.

November 17th, 2009

In Debate: Bill C-51

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Madam Speaker, I am pleased to participate in this debate because I certainly support the measures in Bill C-51 that we have discussed, particularly the home renovation tax credit. Many people in my riding have availed themselves of this tax credit. I will support it because these people have pursued it in good faith.

November 5th, 2009

In Debate: C-392 Irene's Made in Canada Legislation

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, NDP):Mr. Speaker, I thank all the members who have made a contribution to this debate.

October 26th, 2009

Veterans Give Thanks as Mathyssen Fights to Keep Legion Open

LONDON – Members of the Duchess of Kent Legion were joined today by nearly one hundred veterans living in residence at Parkwood Hospital for a special Thanksgiving lunch with turkey and all the traditional thanksgiving trimmings. At the invitation of the Legion, NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) attended the lunch, bringing greetings from parliament and sharing her thanks for all the veterans have sacrificed for our country.

July 6th, 2009

Mathyssen's Efforts Yield $1.98 Million for Recreational Infrastructure

LONDON –After four months of phone calls, letters, and discussions on how to deliver recreational infrastructure funding for London, NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) welcomed the $1.98 million federal investment today for three of the projects she championed.

June 5th, 2009

London-Fanshawe Gets $17 Million for Infrastructure

LONDON – Working across party lines, representatives from all three levels of government came together in London today to announce the approval of a total of $96.9 million investment in infrastructure repairs, improvements, and upgrades throughout London.

May 21st, 2009

NDP's Mathyssen & Layton Meet with London Chamber of Commerce

In December of 2008, NDP Leader Jack Layton and MP Irene Mathyssen hosted a townhall forum to talk with citizens about the economic crisis. The success of that meeting led to the launch of a coast-to-coast-to-coast series of similar townhalls and the NDP striking two Task Forces. The Middle Class Recession Task Force to look at the impact of the economic crisis on Canadian families, and the Economic Recovery Task Force to gather and bring forward the best ideas on how to get our economy back on track.

May 8th, 2009

Mathyssen Announces $350, 383 for Student Jobs

Federal funds will create 95 summer jobs for area students

LONDON – Although the London region continues to be battered by job losses and rising unemployment numbers as Canada struggles with the worst recession in a generation, students in the London region will still have some summer employment opportunities thanks to federal Canada Summer Jobs funding finalized today.

April 24th, 2009

In Debate: Protect Consumers & Small Business from Credit Card Gouging

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Madam Speaker, In these tough economic times, it is crucial that consumers are protected from companies whose priorities lie with shareholders and in making as much profit as possible as opposed to the public interest.

March 13th, 2009

Harper's London Visit: No Help To Stop Job Losses, No Help for Unemployed

London – Employment Insurance claims in the London region jumped 75% in February 2009 in comparison to 2008 but Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcements at Fanshawe College in London today will do nothing to help those hardest hit by the current recession says NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe).

February 5th, 2009

M-290: Mathyssen Tables Motion to Reform Employment Insurance

M-290 — February 5, 2009 — Ms. Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) eliminate the two week waiting period for employment insurance; (b) reduce the qualifying period for employment insurance to 360 hours in all regions; (c) increase the rate of employment insurance to 66% of previous earning; (d) exclude severance, vacation and pension entitlements from earnings under the Employment Insurance Act; and (e) allow a reach back period of five years in order to qualify for employment insurance.