On Monday September 19, a new session of Parliament began. It began on a sombre note with the newly appointed interim leader of the NDP, Nycole Turmel speaking about the passing of Jack Layton. Her speech was followed by a tribute for "Jack" as he was affectionately known in the House by Prime Minister Harper and representatives from all parties.
Ottawa - Sep. 26, 2011 - On Monday September 19, a new session of Parliament began. It began on a sombre note with the newly appointed interim leader of the NDP, Nycole Turmel speaking about the passing of Jack Layton. Her speech was followed by a tribute for "Jack" as he was affectionately known in the House by Prime Minister Harper and representatives from all parties. Olivia Chow, Mr. Layton's widow also addressed Parliament. All speeches were upbeat, sincere and very respectful. Jack would have been pleased.
It is good to be back to the business of governing the country on behalf of the citizens of Canada and my constituents of SD&G. It is always awe inspiring to return in the House of Commons after an absence. When I realize I have the honour of sitting in this hallowed chamber where so many of Canada's great political leaders sat, it is most humbling. I am sincerely grateful to the constituents of Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry for giving me the privilege of sharing the same experience as giants like John A. McDonald, Diefenbaker, Mulroney etc.
This session of Parliament looks like it will be very busy. I expect the dynamics in the House of Commons will be totally different from previous sessions. Her Majesty's Official Opposition, the New Democratic Party, will be led by an interim leader. The Liberal Party, now the third party in the House of Commons, will also have an interim leader. Both opposition parties will be undergoing leadership races.
The Bloc Quebecois who had 49 seats in the last parliament have been reduced to only four members. The Green Party now has a member with the election of Elizabeth May.
Having a majority government does not mean passing legislation will be simple or easy. The opposition parties will be using every procedural trick in the book to prevent our government from carrying out our agenda. And there are many. We saw a perfect example of this in June when we tried to pass back to work legislation to get Canada Post employees back to work after postal workers went on strike. The opposition party’s filibustered for 57 hours to prevent this bill from passing.
Our government has been very clear on our agenda for the Fall session of Parliament. We want to continue with our low tax Economic Action Plan that helps employers create jobs. We want to keep the economy growing and pay down our deficit. We will also be introducing an omnibus crime bill as we promised in our election platform. This legislation will kill the Long Gun Registry, introduce minimum sentences, discontinue house arrest for serious sexual and violent crime and protect children from predators.
I am looking ahead to a full and busy Fall session of Parliament.
Member of Parliament
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