2012 02 27
Aerospace industry needs action, not talk: NDP
New Democrats urge Conservatives to protect aerospace jobs from reckless cuts

OTTAWA – New Democrats today called on the Conservatives to pledge more than empty promises to Canada’s vital aerospace industry, and called on the government not to cut programs, such as research and development, that support thousands of aerospace jobs.

2012 02 27
NDP leads way to historic vote on “Shannen’s Dream”
Conservatives need to follow through on First Nations Education in upcoming budget

OTTAWA – After years of hard work, a New Democrat motion calling for the end of funding discrimination against First Nation schools is set to pass Monday night with unanimous consent. 

2012 02 26
Statement by Nycole Turmel on Academy Award nomination of Quebec film Monsieur Lazhar

I warmly congratulate Quebec film director Philippe Falardeau and his team on the nomination of his film Monsieur Lazhar for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language film category.

2012 02 26
NDP write to elections commish with new info on vote suppression
List of ridings where voters faced alleged suppression tactics grows

OTTAWA – NDP Ethics Critic Charlie Angus and Treasury Board critic Alexandre Boulerice sent a follow up letter to the Elections Commissioner today with additional information about harassment of New Democrat supporters during the last general election. 

2012 02 24
NDP files ethics complaint against Christian Paradis
Report suggests Minister of Industry may have used his influence to favour father’s associate

RIMOUSKI — NDP Quebec caucus chair Guy Caron (Rimouski–Neigette–Témiscouata–Les Basques) filed a complaint today with the Ethics Commissioner regarding a possible conflict of interest involving Conservative Industry Minister Christian Paradis.

2012 02 23
Foreign credential delays unacceptable
Years of Conservative foot dragging has led to systemic underemployment of newcomers

OTTAWA – New Democrats today accused Stephen Harper’s Conservatives of taking half measures and failing to act quickly enough to recognize the foreign credentials of internationally trained professionals. This hurts newcomers, leads to systemic underemployment and costs Canada up to $5.9 billion a year.

2012 02 23
Invest one cent of gas tax in public transit: NDP
New Stats Can study shows ridership increasing twice as fast as revenue

OTTAWA – With ridership increasing faster than revenues, public transit must be a top priority in the next budget, according to New Democrat Transportation Critic, Olivia Chow.

2012 02 23
EU vote on oil sands a wakeup call: New Democrats

OTTAWA - Megan Leslie (Halifax), New Democrat Environment Critic, today reacted to a deadlocked vote by the European Union’s fuel quality committee on listing fuel derived from the oil sands as more polluting than more conventional forms of oil. The deadlock means the decision will be bounced back to European Ministers for a final decision.  

2012 02 21
Conservatives make wild claims to defend cuts to seniors’ benefits
Economists and PBO say OAS is sustainable, Finley’s scaremongering is irresponsible: NDP

OTTAWA – The Old Age Security program is viable in the long term and Conservatives must stop fear mongering and making wild claims about higher taxes as an excuse to cut benefits to seniors, according to leader of the Official Opposition Nycole Turmel.

2012 02 21
Record number of members set to choose NDP leader
Leadership contest engaging Canadians as 128,351 members set to vote

OTTAWA – Updated membership numbers released today show remarkable growth since the party’s historic breakthrough in 2011. In all, 128,351 New Democrats are now eligible to vote for the next Leader of the Official Opposition. That’s a massive 50% increase since just last October.

2012 02 17
NDP applauds investigation on violence against Aboriginal women
MPs send letter inviting UN Committee investigating violence to visit affected communities

OTTAWA — Alarmed by the growing number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, fifty-three New Democrat MPs sent a letter of support to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, which has opened an inquiry on the issue.

2012 02 17
NDP motion would open up Parliament to Canadians
50,000 signatures would trigger a debate in the House of Commons: Stewart

OTTAWA – New Democrats Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby–Douglas) and Deputy Critic for Democratic Reform Alexandrine Latendresse (Louis-Saint-Laurent) are applauding today’s debate on their motion to allow Canadians to directly influence the topics of discussion in Parliament.

2012 02 16
NDP rekindles campaign to bring life-saving medicine to those most in need
Bill would facilitate the delivery of affordable medicine to developing countries

OTTAWA – Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière today reintroduced an NDP Private Members Bill (formerly Bill C-393) that would ensure life-saving medicines get to people in developing countries who need them the most.

2012 02 16
Harper government must stop funding a deadly industry: NDP
NDP MP joins with asbestos widow to urge the government to stop supporting asbestos industry

OTTAWA – NDP MPs Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) and François Lapointe (Montmagny – L’Islet – Kamouraska – Rivière-du-Loup) were joined today by asbestos widow Margaret Buist to urge Federal and Provincial leaders to stop the funding and promotion of this deadly material.

2012 02 16
New Democrats introduce national housing bill over Conservative inaction

OTTAWA –New Democrat Official Opposition Housing Critic Marie-Claude Morin (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot) condemned Conservative inaction on affordable housing today while introducing legislation to create a National Housing Strategy.

2012 02 15
NDP urges Ottawa to keep investing in aerospace
Conservatives must maintain R&D funding to industry employing tens of thousands of Canadians

OTTAWA –  With the next Conservative budget looming, NDP leader Nycole Turmel called on the federal government to protect the research and development support programs that Canada’s aerospace industry relies on.

2012 02 15
NDP takes on Conservative cuts to EI
Will hear from Canadians about delays at Service Canada and long EI wait times

OTTAWA – New Democrats are launching a tour of constituencies most affected by Conservative service cuts at Employment Insurance processing centres.

2012 02 15
Harper must make Shannen’s Dream a reality
First Nations schools receive less than provincial systems; NDP motion calls for equal funding

OTTAWA – New Democrats today tackled the inequality the plagues First Nations education by introducing a motion calling on the government to close the funding gap between what First Nation schools receive from and what provincial school systems receive. 

2012 02 14
NDP calls for judicial inquiry of Veterans Board

OTTAWA –Peter Stoffer, Official Opposition Critic for Veterans Affairs has called for an independent judicial inquiry into the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) in response to the privacy breaches against Board member Harold Leduc. 

2012 02 13
Harper must protect Northern Ontario’s voice: NDP
NDP MPs launch tour to preserve Northern Ontario’s share of federal electoral ridings

OTTAWA – New Democrat MPs from Northern Ontario are launching a three-stop tour to pressure Stephen Harper to preserve fair representation for Northern Ontario families by protecting the region's 10 seats in the House of Commons.

2012 02 09
NDP puts forward motion to protect Canadian jobs
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.

2012 02 09
New Democrats call on Canada to support international arms treaty
MPs call on government join with international community and sign treaty

OTTAWA – Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière today called on Members of Parliament to sign the Global Parliamentary Declaration on the Arms Trade Treaty.

2012 02 09
Conservatives sell out refining jobs in Canada
Parliamentary hearings highlight need for energy strategy

OTTAWA – Parliamentary hearings on the decline of the refining sector concluded today with further testimony outlining the Conservatives’ failure to protect Canadian jobs, as well as the need for a ‘made for Canada’ energy strategy that puts Canadians, and the public interest, first.

2012 02 08
Coast Guard cuts harmful to Canadians

OTTAWA – Today, New Democrats joined with the Canadian Coast Guard’s Marine Communicators Union to slam budget cuts that could jeopardize the lives of fishers and other mariners.

2012 02 08
NDP calls for equitable funding for First Nations’ education
Conservatives must commit to action on recommendations of joint panel education report

OTTAWA – New Democrat Aboriginal Affairs Critic Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona) is calling on the Conservative government to take immediate, concrete action on the recommendations of the report from the National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education that was released today.

2012 02 07
NDP launches Canadian tour to oppose changes to old age security
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.

2012 02 07
Harris calls for full inquiry into SAR response in Makkovik

OTTAWA – New Democrat M.P. Jack Harris (St. John’s East) is calling for an full investigation into the two day delayed deployment of a Canadian Forces search and rescue team after being alerted about a missing 14 year old boy in Makkovik, Labrador.

2012 02 06
NDP calls for concrete action on pay equity

OTTAWA — NDP Status of Women Critic Françoise Boivin (Gatineau) and MP Mylène Freeman (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel) today introduced a bill seeking to implement the recommendations of the pay equity task force.

2012 02 06
NDP’s Craig Scott welcomes by-election call in Toronto Danforth
Scott promises to continue Layton legacy and stand up to Harper in Ottawa

TORONTO—New Democrat candidate Craig Scott is welcoming the announcement of a by-election in Toronto-Danforth, with Election Day called for March 19. “I am excited that the by-election has been called. The people of Toronto-Danforth need a strong voice in Ottawa to stand up to Harper,” said Scott. “Jack Layton left some big shoes to fill. I’m not planning to stand in his shoes, just follow in his footsteps.” Scott, who won the nomination for the New Democrats on January 9th, has been active knocking on doors and meeting voters. “People have been telling me at the doorstep that they are worried about where Harper’s Conservatives are taking Canada,” said Scott. “What we have seen is that only the Official Opposition NDP can really stand up to Stephen Harper day after day. If elected, I look forward to serving as a strong voice for the people of Toronto-Danforth and joining that strong team of New Democrats holding Stephen Harper to account.” Scott, a professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, has a strong track record of community involvement and fighting for human rights and equality.

2012 02 03
EMD shut-down highlights Harper’s failure on jobs
Harper must take action on job creation: Turmel

LONDON – In another stunning indictment of the Conservatives failed jobs plan, Caterpillar Inc. has announced that the Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) plant in London has permanently shut its doors after 63 years, putting more than 450 workers out of job. “This is a trend we are seeing across Canada. Companies are taking Harper’s corporate tax cuts and then shipping Canadian jobs overseas” said NDP leader Nycole Turmel. “What this country needs is real job creation. Corporate tax cuts cannot guarantee a single job.” The company locked out workers in December when employees refused to agree to a 50% pay cut. “This decision is about corporate greed” said Irene Mathyssen, MP (London-Fanshawe). “You cannot expect a family to welcome a 50% hit on their income. With corporate profits through the roof, how can the choice be between making drastic cuts to salaries and shutting down the plant? This makes no sense.” When Harper took office in February of 2006, there were 2,127,200 manufacturing jobs in Canada. Today there are 1,743,700 – a total loss of nearly 400,000 manufacturing jobs on Harper’s watch. We have lost over 40,000 manufacturing jobs in the last year alone. “The closing of another plant in London is devastating,” said Mathyssen. “These good paying jobs are vital if we are to keep London a thriving community.” Caterpillar posted record high revenue in its last quarter with a 35% increase. Prime Minister Steven Harper visited EMD’s plant floor in March of 2008, to promote his corporate tax-cut plan. “The federal government has failed to protect the manufacturing sector in London. The tax breaks to companies have not protected any of these jobs” said Mathyssen. “It’s time Stephen Harper admits his inaction on jobs has failed Canadians and it’s time to get to work creating jobs for the people of London.”

2012 02 02
NDP calls on Conservative government to take action on marine biodiversity

OTTAWA – NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic, Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam) and Deputy critic Phil Toone (Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine) are demanding that the government take action after the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel released their report today, “Sustaining Canadian Marine Biodiversity.” “As countries around the world take action to deal with threats to the marine environment, the Conservatives are planning deep cuts to science, research and conservation in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,” said Donnelly. “We are falling far short of progress made by most developed countries, yet this government is intent on gutting the department.” Canada continues to lag behind when it comes to meeting national and international commitments to protect marine biodiversity and in the creation of Marine Protected Areas. The report also cites the government’s failure of the use of the precautionary principle with regards to the fisheries, inaction on climate change, the lack of recovery plans for overfished stocks as well as the negative impacts of aquaculture on the marine environment. “The Conservative government is failing in fisheries management and marine protection,” said Toone. “As this government prepares to make major cuts to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, this damning report should serve as a wakeup call.”

2012 02 02
Back down from OAS blunder: NDP to Conservatives
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. The NDP opposition motion put forward by MP Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds-Dollard) asks the House to not only reject changes to the age of eligibility for Old Age Security, but to commit to a reduction strategy for seniors’ poverty. “We could take practical, affordable steps right now to lift every Canadian senior out of poverty, but instead, Stephen Harper is making the wrong choices and leaving Canadian seniors vulnerable,” said Blanchette-Lamothe. “By threatening changes to the OAS, this government is pitting one generation against the next. We’ve all worked hard and played by the rules. There’s no reason to bankrupt the next generation of Canadians with Conservative reckless cuts.” Pensions critic Wayne Marston (Hamilton East – Stoney Creek) added that budget cuts are all about choices - and Stephen Harper could easily choose wiser. “The Conservatives gave $16 billion in tax cuts to profitable corporations without receiving a single job guarantee. And now, facing a revenue shortfall, they expect Canadian seniors to pay the price,” said Marston. “They have no problem spending $30 billion on their F-35 boondoggle and another $19 billion for their unpopular prisons agenda, but they can’t spare $540 a month for Canada’s poorest seniors. It’s about time they get their priorities straight,” said Marston. Seniors Critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) added that the evidence just isn’t there to support the Conservative claim that OAS funds are unsustainable. “Advice commissioned by the Harper government contradicts these very claims. We need a comprehensive strategy. It’s time for the government to back down from this wrong-headed move. It undermines the old age security that this government is supposed to protect,” said Mathyssen.

2012 02 02
The Conservatives must end discrimination of transgendered and transsexual canadians
New Provisions Force Airlines to Block Passengers Who Don’t Match the Gender on their Identification Cards

OTTAWA – The Conservative government was grilled today by New Democrat MPs Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) and Dany Morin (Chicoutimi Le-Fjord) during Question Period regarding the recent rule change that requires airlines to deny boarding to transgendered and transsexual Canadians on the basis of their appearance not matching their sex indicated on their ID. Garrison and Morin, New Democrat Critic and Associate Critic on LGBT issues, called on the government to replace these regulations with something that doesn’t discriminate against transgendered and transsexual Canadians. “Transport Canada allows transsexual and transgendered people to travel if they arrive with a medical certificate,” said Garrison, New Democrat Critic for LGBT questions. “This Conservative government is so disconnected from reality that they don’t understand that for many trans people, surgery is either unwanted or too expensive. In these cases, a medical certificate is not an option.” This is a part of a series of recent Conservative statements that call into question basic human right. “Why are the Conservative government’s priorities so skewed? Why are they seemingly finding new ways, every day, to discriminate against LGBT people?” added Morin, NDP Associate Critic for LGBT questions. “I call on the Minister of Transport to correct this discriminatory regulation and allow trans people the right to travel by plane like any other Canadian.”

2012 02 01
NDP MPs join National Day of Student Action

OTTAWA – Today, New Democrat Post-Secondary Education Critic, Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough-Rouge River) and Deputy Post-Secondary Education Critic, Matthew Dubé (Chambly-Borduas) joined the thousands of students gathered on Parliament Hill, and across the country, demanding immediate action on post-secondary education funding and student debt. “The success of our country relies on an educated population,” said Sitsabaiesan. “We need to give our students real access to affordable, good quality post-secondary education, not simply access to more loans.” Today’s national day of action is in support of the “Education is a Right” campaign, which calls upon the government to increase funding to education, reduce tuition fees, and address the record high student debt crisis. “We need to help the provinces, territories and post-secondary education partners plan by creating targeted funding separate from the federal social transfer,” said Sitsabaiesan. “Enough is enough,” added Dubé. “Professors, administrators, students, and their families are demanding action on rising tuition fees and the increasing cost of post-secondary education, and this government needs to listen.” In Question Period today, both MPs will demand the Conservatives start giving students the support they require to access education.

2012 02 01
Turmel blasts looming Conservative budget cuts
Dropping the axe on services for families will hurt Canadians’ quality of life

GATINEAU – In a speech delivered today, the Leader of the Official Opposition, Nycole Turmel, slammed the impact of looming Conservative budget cuts on the quality of life of Canadians. Turmel, speaking at the annual general meeting of the Gatineau chapter of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, highlighted the potential harm of the Harper government’s looming slashes to the budget. “These cuts will mean a further slowdown of economic growth, while unemployment continues to rise. But above all, they will hurt the ability of Canadian families to obtain the services they need,” Turmel said. As a concrete example, she pointed to long delays in the delivery of front-line services at Service Canada, which is responsible for processing pension and employment insurance claims. The NDP leader also criticized the Conservatives’ enthusiasm for Old Age Security reform. “Retiring at an acceptable age has become impossible […] and too many seniors already live in poverty,” she said. Turmel concluded her speech by reiterating her desire to make the Conservative budget the “fight of her life.”

2012 02 01
NDP proposes using gas tax fund to improve infrastructure funding

OTTAWA — An NDP motion on investment in infrastructure will be put to vote today in the House of Commons. The motion seeks to encourage the government to index the Gas Tax Fund and increase the transfer of gas tax money by one cent. “This is a concrete solution that would effectively support the work of municipalities to maintain and revitalize our highways, viaducts and bridges. We need infrastructures in good condition to attract investors, stimulate jobs and facilitate the transportation of goods,” explained NDP Transport Critic, Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina). Administered by Infrastructure Canada, the Gas Tax Fund was established in 2005. Under this program, the federal government puts five of every 10 cents of the tax on gas into the fund. The NDP proposes increasing this amount to six cents, which would result in $500 million per year in additional revenue for infrastructure. “Our infrastructures are falling apart across the country and it’s urgent we act. Our solution is pragmatic and will allow provinces and municipalities to have regular and recurrent funding to carry out essential work,” added NDP Deputy Transport Critic, Jamie Nicholls (Vaudreuil-Soulanges). The NDP motion also recognizes the need to immediately replace the Champlain Bridge. “The Transport Minister committed to building a new bridge on the St. Lawrence, but he remains vague on the timeline and we don’t know anything concrete about the project. Citizens told us during a public forum we organized in January that they want a bridge quickly, and they want public transit,” explained MP Hélène LeBlanc (LaSalle-Ville-Émard), who tabled this motion.