Statement on the Alberta NDP Leadership results

Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair made the following statement regarding the Alberta NDP leadership results:

“On behalf of Canada’s New Democrats I extend sincere congratulations to Rachel Notley on her election as leader of the Alberta NDP. 

New Democrats have deep roots in Alberta and I’m looking forward to working with Rachel Notley as we unite progressives to build a greener, more prosperous Canada where no one is left behind.”

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Statement by Official Opposition leader Tom Mulcair on Persons Day

The leader of the New Democratic Party made the following statement on Persons Day:

“Every year, the New Democratic Party commemorates the landmark “Persons” Case and remembers the work of pioneers of women’s equality in Canada.

On this day in 1929, the Privy Council in London—the highest court of appeal at the time—overturned a Supreme Court of Canada ruling, declaring that women should be included in the legal definition of a “person”. As a result of this decision, Canadian women were given the right to sit in the Senate.  

A great deal has happened since, and we can be proud of the progress we have made in the fight for women’s equality. But there is still work to be done. Inequality is still a fact of life for Canadian women. Aboriginal women, immigrants and exploited workers still face discrimination, as well as many women still unable to enjoy equal status due to their social condition, religion or sexual orientation.  

On October 18, let’s remember the lessons of the past and continue our efforts to break down all the remaining barriers that women face.”

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Bird watchers are not criminals

The NDP is concerned that instead of going after tax cheats, the Conservatives are using Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) resources to intimidate a law-abiding nature group. 

A group of bird watchers from Southern Ontario received a letter from the CRA ordering them to refrain from undertaking partisan activities with the implicit threat that future audits were a possibility.

“The timing simply doesn’t pass the smell test – the CRA letter arrived just days after this bird watching club wrote directly to two ministers, expressing their concern about the impact of government-approved chemicals on vulnerable bee colonies,” said NDP National Revenue critic, Murray Rankin (Victoria).

“The Conservatives’ attack on anyone who questions their short-sighted policies is ridiculous. It is also deeply disturbing,” said Rankin.

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NDP statement on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

New Democrat critic for Employment and Social Development Jinny Sims (Newton–North Delta) made the following statement on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty:

“Worldwide, more than 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty.  Here at home, even though we are a rich country, 1 in 10 Canadians still live in poverty. 

Twenty-five years after the House of Commons gave unanimous consent to former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent’s motion calling on the government to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000, poverty rates remain high in Canada.

There is no excuse for this kind of inaction that leaves some of our society’s most vulnerable members struggling to deal with the negative consequences of poverty – including poor health and educational outcomes.

That’s why New Democrats have proposed a National Poverty Elimination Act, which would create a federal plan to reduce and eventually eliminate poverty.  Through coordinated policies such as investment in affordable housing, providing parents with universal, affordable and available childcare, and reforming the Employment Insurance system, we can ensure that – in the words of this year’s theme – we ‘leave no one behind.’”

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NDP statement on World Food Day

Official Opposition Agriculture critic Malcolm Allen (Welland) made the following statement on World Food Day:

“Ensuring that Canadians have healthy, affordable food is a national priority. Close to 850,000 Canadians visit a food bank every month and over 1 million children in Canada experience food insecurity.

Without a comprehensive food policy, Canada lags behind our peers on the world stage. New Democrats are providing the federal leadership that connects Canadians from farm to fork.

We understand that food matters. This is why we released our vision for a pan-Canadian food strategy that connects food security, health, agriculture and the environment. Working with the provinces and territories, we laid out a ten-point plan to strengthen our food system. This includes improving incomes so that every family can afford a healthy meal; implementing a whole of government approach to reduce reliance on food banks; strengthening our food safety system; protecting children from food advertising; and ensuring that local agriculture is sustainable for generations to come.

The theme of this year’s World Food Day is Feeding the world, caring for the earth, emphasizing that we can feed the world while ensuring that we respect the environment. By working together to raise awareness around the issues at the root of poverty and hunger, we can ensure that everyone eats well and our food system is stronger for the generations that follow us. ”

For more information on our Pan-Canadian Food Strategy please visit: http://malcolmallen.ndp.ca/farm-to-fork 

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Minister Ambrose needs to inform Canadians on Ebola

The Minister of Health needs to answer urgent questions on how well Canada is prepared to cope with the virus given the rapid growth of Ebola cases worldwide.

“I would like to ensure that the Canadian public remains well informed during these critical times, so that confidence in our Public Health Agency’s ability to handle the crisis remains high and Canadians feel certain that we are well-equipped to deal with the scope of the crisis in West Africa and the potential of an outbreak here in Canada,” writes Official opposition Health critic, Libby Davies (Vancouver East) in a letter sent to Rona Ambrose.

*The letter is attached

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Véronique Breton, Press Secretary, 613-408-1483 or veronique.breton@parl.gc.ca

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Statement by the Official Opposition on Citizenship Week

The Official Opposition’s Citizenship and Immigration critic, Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds-Dollard), made the following statement on Citizenship Week:

“From October 13 to 19, several activities will be taking place as part of Citizenship Week celebrations. I encourage all Canadians to take part and celebrate their identity.

Canada is a country rich in tradition, diversity, openness and tolerance. New Democrats are truly devoted to keeping these traditions alive, while working hard to make our country a more just and prosperous nation. 

We are all lucky to live in this country and the NDP is proud to join all Canadians in celebrating the values of equality and diversity.”

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Tired old Liberal Party brings out same old excuses on childcare

“This is the least attractive part of the Liberal party; they just assume that they are the only choice and that Canadians just have to go along with them in government.”
Jack Layton, April 21, 2011

The Liberals are reacting to Tom Mulcair’s plan for affordable childcare the way they know best – complaining about others and talking about themselves.

Here are some actual facts for the Liberal Party to consider:

  • A childcare program was promised by the Liberal Party in their 1993 Red Book, then again in 1997, again in 2000 and once again in 2004.
  • In April 2005, during the height of the sponsorship scandal, Paul Martin went on television and told Canadians that he planned to call an election by January 14, 2006.
  • On 28 November 2005, the Liberals lost a vote in the House of Commons and Paul Martin dissolved Parliament – just 46 days earlier than he had promised he would during his April speech.
  • The House of Commons was scheduled to sit on only 19 of those days. Meaning in 19 sitting days he was going to accomplish something two Liberal prime ministers had failed to do during twelve years in power.
  • In the election that followed, 70 percent of Canadians voted for parties other than the Liberals.

The NDP didn’t defeat the scandal-plagued Liberals – 70% of Canadians did. It’s absurd for Liberals to now argue – after all the empty promises – that all they needed was 19 more days to deliver on all the things they never did for 13 years.

Even respected Liberal Tom Axworthy called their so-called child-care plan “a death bed repentance.”

And one last fact to keep in mind: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is refusing to make any commitments of his own on childcare. Canadians deserve better.

Liberals should stop making things up and get on board with Tom Mulcair’s plan for affordable childcare.

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Mulcair draws on his experience to launch affordable childcare plan

Today NDP Leader Tom Mulcair toured a childcare centre and announced his plan to create or maintain one million affordable childcare spaces across Canada. The goal is to ensure parents don’t pay more than $15 a day for a childcare space.

The plan could allow Quebec to maintain and improve its own childcare program.

“Moms and dads across Canada work hard and sacrifice every day to ensure their kids get the start they need,” said Mulcair. “But in the last nine years under Stephen Harper, parents have seen their childcare costs go through the roof. It’s time parents got a break.”

With his experience as a Quebec cabinet minister, Mulcair explained that the NDP’s plan would build on the successful childcare model from Quebec. Research from Economist Pierre Fortin shows that affordable childcare in Quebec helped 70,000 mothers join the workforce and boosted the economy by $1.75 for every dollar invested by the government.

“As a father and grandfather, I understand the importance of childcare services,” added Mulcair. As a former Quebec cabinet minister, I’ve seen firsthand how affordable childcare helps families and boosts the economy. It’s time parents across Canada were able to benefit from this type of program.”

There are currently 900,000 children in need of care with no access to quality affordable childcare spaces. In many parts of the country, parents face monthly childcare bills in the thousands of dollars. Mulcair’s plan for affordable childcare envisages working with the provinces to create more spaces and reduce parents’ costs to no more than $15 a day.

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Statement by Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair on Thanksgiving

Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair made the following statement to mark Thanksgiving Day:

“Today is an occasion for families and friends to come together in Thanksgiving.

As Canadians we are privileged to live in a country of tremendous opportunity, peace and prosperity. However, there are still far too many families who struggle daily to make ends meet, who can’t give their children a good start in life, for whom the basic necessities are out of reach.

New Democrats are committed to building a Canada where no one is left behind. It is this vision that guides our work in Ottawa and across this country. In that spirit, I encourage those who can, to reach out to help those who are less fortunate.

My wife Catherine and I wish you and yours a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving.”

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