Statement by the NDP on the anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident

NDP member of Parliament Jasbir Sandhu (Surrey North) made the following statement on the anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident:

“Today marks the 101st anniversary of the day on which the Komagata Maru, carrying 376 passengers, arrived in Vancouver’s harbour seeking refuge and a better life for their family.

“Sadly, as a result of discriminatory laws, the passengers were refused entry into Canada. The ship remained in port for two months, during which passengers were denied basic necessities such as food and water, before it was sent back.

“To close this dark chapter of Canadian history and pursue a more just society for future generations, the NDP is continuing to call on the Harper government to issue an official apology in the House of Commons on behalf of Canada, so that the healing process can finally begin.”

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Overheard this week: “Mulcair emerging as the real agent of change”

This week, Tom Mulcair took his plan to strengthen the middle class and build a stronger Canada to communities across the country.

Momentum continues to build for Tom’s hopeful and optimistic message — here’s what the pundits and political watchers were saying:

“NDP comes across as the clearest alternative to the Conservatives.”

— Lawrence Martin, Globe and Mail (May 19, 2015)

“Mulcair emerging as the real agent of change … Now, as Canadians begin focusing on the next vote, it is the NDP that offers the clean break from a tired government in its 10th year. Trudeau and his Liberals are offering tentative change, a lurch to the middle with little daylight between them and the Conservatives.”

— Tim Harper, Toronto Star (May 19, 2015)

 “In the early running, if you were betting on which party the anti-government vote may coalesce around, you’d probably put your chips on orange … John Fenik, the life-long Liberal mayor of Perth, Ont., who is now seeking a federal nomination for the NDP, is not alone in resolving that Mulcair represents the more potent progressive threat to Harper in 2015.”

— John Ivison, National Post (May 19, 2015)

“NDP making gains in fight for progressive voters … [Mulcair] is effective in Parliament. His principled critique of the anti-terrorism bill – admired by many Liberals – is one reason that public support for the bill has fallen sharply.”

— Andrew Cohen, Ottawa Citizen (May 19, 2015)

“[Mulcair] is the best Opposition leader in my judgment since Diefenbaker, and I think I’ve known them all pretty well. He’s building credibility both in the House of Commons and across the country …”

Former PM Brian Mulroney, Maclean’s (May 19, 2015)

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Conservatives failing Canadians on drug safety

The Conservative government should be doing more to detect problems before unsafe drugs hit the market and need to be recalled, the NDP said today.

Access to Information documents obtained by La Presse revealed that the frequency of drug recalls has increased dramatically under the Conservatives.
“Canadians deserve to know that the drugs they are taking are safe and effective,” said Murray Rankin (Victoria), NDP critic for health.  “The Conservatives are failing to deliver on that most basic, fundamental responsibility because of its inadequate inspection regime.”
In response to an Order Paper question posed by the NDP, the government admitted earlier this year that Health Canada inspects very few Canadian-owned factories abroad each year. Instead, Health Canada depends on voluntary reports from other regulators, in addition to scouring websites for publicly available data. The government’s response also revealed that few domestic inspections result in actions being taken to address compliance.

“This is becoming an unfortunate pattern with this government,” added Christine Moore (Abitibi-Témiscamingue), NDP deputy critic for health.  “From pharmaceutical advertising to clinical trials, the Conservatives are refusing to use their existing powers to protect Canadians.”

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The NDP will reinstate door-to-door mail delivery

An NDP Government will cancel Canada Post’s plan to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery and will reinstate delivery in all communities affected by cuts announced in December 2013.

“This is about fairness. The cuts to home delivery impact seniors and persons living with disabilities the most. For them, this service is essential,” commented NDP spokesperson for matters concerning Canada Post, Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie).

For the past year and a half, Canada Post has been implementing a sweeping, five-year plan designed to end door-to-door mail delivery for 5.1 million Canadian households.

Hundreds of mayors have complained about this decision, and expect it will generate legal and logistical problems in the near future. Hamilton and Montreal have already launched their own legal challenges.

“The government told us from the start that the decision to end home mail delivery is a financial one, but this is not true. Last year, Canada Post made $200 million in net profits. Let’s put ideology aside and provide the services that Canadians rely on,” added Mr. Boulerice.

New Democrats are listening. Reinstating home delivery mail service will help those in greatest need.

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NDP REALITY CHECK: Ten more senators referred to the police as senate scandal widens

The Auditor General, according to CTV News, has now referred ten new cases of improper spending to the RCMP, as the scandal involving Conservative and Liberal Senators continues to expand.

“Sources say the auditors flagged 10 sitting and former senators for serious spending abuses…Just like Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, and Mac Harb, sources say these latest cases will be sent to the RCMP.”
– Robert Fife, CTV, May 19, 2015 

The ten new Senators – potentially already under police investigation – are in addition to 30 other unelected and unaccountable Senators under scrutiny for questionable expenses.

“The audit also identified 30 additional senators who had problems with expense claims, including trips that didn’t appear to involve parliamentary business. Sources say these expenditures are not enough to trigger a Mountie investigation, but the senate will require them to repay the money.”
– Robert Fife, CTV, May 19, 2015 

While middle class families fall further behind, Canadians are sick and tired of seeing Conservative and Liberal Senators put themselves ahead of everyone else.

With potentially 40 more cases of apparent Senate abuse of public funds, Canadians are looking for principled leadership like Tom Mulcair, someone who is ready to start fixing the damage the old-school parties have done.

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Statement by NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough – Rouge River) on the 6th anniversary of the end of the civil conflict in Sri Lanka

“On this, the sixth anniversary of the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, I am proud to stand with New Democrats, Canadians across the country, and people around the world in renewing our commitment to the pursuit of truth, peace, justice, and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

“It is with solemn commemoration that we mark the end of the brutal conflict that raged in Sri Lanka for twenty-six years, displaced hundreds of thousands, and killed between 80,000 and 100,000 women, men, and children. Even as the war came to an end, there were countless reports of war crimes, rape being used as a weapon of war, and other serious violations of human rights.

“We await the report of the United Nations High Commissioner expected in September. It is my hope that this report will begin a process for genuine accountability and substantive reforms.”

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Statement by the NDP on International Day Against Homophobia

NDP LGBT critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca) made the following statement today on International Day Against Homophobia:

 “Today, Canadians are standing together to say no to homophobia and transphobia in our local communities, both here in Canada and around the world.

“Members of the LGBTQ community remain vulnerable to hate and violence in their daily lives. Rates of hate crimes perpetuated against LGBTQ people are not dropping and these crimes are still much more likely to be violent than hate crimes against other groups. Outside Canada we are seeing increasing numbers of countries criminalizing the love and relationships of their LGBTQ citizens, which wrongly legitimizes discrimination and violence against them.

 “The largest gap in human rights protection for LGBTQ Canadians remains the federal failure to provide equal protection to transgender and gender variant Canadians.  There has been some progress at the provincial level since Bill C-279 was introduced in the House of Commons in 2011. Only seven out of ten provinces now provide protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in their provincial human rights codes. Yet at the national level Bill C-279 remains stalled in the Senate – more than two years after its passage in the House of Commons. 

 “The Senate needs to respect the will of our elected representatives and pass Bill C-279 without delay and without the transphobic amendments the Conservatives are attempting to add. Stalling this important legislation leaves people’s lives in danger each and every day. Now is the time to ensure that transgender and gender variant Canadians have the same rights and protections all other Canadians already enjoy. 

 “While there is a long way to go in the fight against homophobia and transphobia, today the NDP is joining with the LGBTQ community and all Canadians to celebrate the strength, resiliency and contributions of our community in the face of violence and discrimination.”

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Overheard this week: “Libs turning NDP”

Momentum keeps building for New Democrats across the country — and Sun columnist David Akin noticed an emerging trend:

“New Democrats in Ottawa are walking with an extra spring in their steps this week and it’s not just because of the big win last week by Rachel Notley’s Alberta NDP. In the last week, two Ontario municipal politicians, including a mayor, have said goodbye to their Liberal Party of Canada membership cards and signed up to be candidates in this fall’s general election for Thomas Mulcair’s NDP.” 

— David Akin, Toronto Sun (May 13, 2015)

Here’s what those municipal leaders had to say about their move from the Liberal Party to Tom Mulcair’s NDP:

“C-51 was the big one for me. I was real red. I’m really proud of the work I did as a Liberal. But when I turned on the TV I just kept seeing Tom Mulcair talking about the issues that were important to me. Trudeau seems to be stuck in neutral.”

— John Fenik, Mayor of Perth, ON, Toronto Sun (May 13, 2015)

“Some time ago I realized that I no longer see my values reflected in that party. We cannot manage the complex challenges of our country’s future through policies created in the past.”

— Diane Freeman, Waterloo ON City Councillor, Waterloo Region Record (May 7, 2015)

With only five months until the next election, New Democrats will continue to work hard – to earn the trust of Canadians and unite progressives behind Tom Mulcair’s experienced leadership. 

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NDP reacts to the loss of 1,750 more jobs at Bombardier

The Conservative Government has lost more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs in Canada since its election in 2006

The 1,750 layoffs at Bombardier Aerospace is just the latest in an ever-growing number of manufacturing job losses overseen by this Conservative government.

“Anyone looking for work right now knows jobs are very hard to come by. For the Conservatives to boast about their economic achievements now is just adding insult to injury. The reality is that Canada has lost more than 400,000 good jobs in the manufacturing sector since the Conservatives came to power,” stated NDP Industry critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale—High Park).

The Bombardier announcement today dealt a quick and heavy blow to the manufacturing sector. “Bombardier is one of the flagships of our economy. Aerospace is a high tech sector, and our unique expertise in this field is a tremendous source of pride. The government needs to champion our manufacturing successes like Bombardier to strengthen and grow the sector,” added Ms. Nash.

The Conservative government must do more to protect and create good jobs. Canadians deserve better.

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NDP calls for national strategy for eating disorders

Anorexia and bulimia wreak havoc among youth and too little is done in Ottawa to raise public and media awareness. That is why New Democrat MP Laurin Liu will table a motion in the House of Commons calling for a national strategy for eating disorders.

More than a million people suffer from eating disorders in Canada. Many organizations working in the field have highlighted the effect of unrealistic media images on body dissatisfaction.

“It’s time to put an end to this emphasis on extreme thinness,” said Liu. “Every day we are bombarded with excessively modified images promoting unrealistic beauty ideals that are impossible to obtain without adopting unhealthy eating habits. This must stop.”

There are many challenges to accessing treatment for individuals with eating disorders. These barriers include health care providers with inadequate training in the field of eating disorders; lack of treatment programs; inappropriate treatment programs; lengthy wait times; and insufficient research into potential treatments.

An online campaign calling for more diversity of beauty standards in the media has been launched in partnership with ÉquiLibre and Anorexie et Boulimie Québec (ANEB), organizations that work on the prevention of problems related to body image and the treatment of anorexia and bulimia, respectively.

Campaign website: /

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