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2014 04 08
Statement by Official Opposition’s House Leader on Board of Internal Economy’s partisan decision

Official Opposition House Leader Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster) made the following statement following the Board of Internal Economy’s partisan decision:

 “The Board of Internal Economy has absolved the NDP of all blame regarding our regional offices and confirmed that our Parliamentary work in the regions has been completely legal and legitimate. The Conservatives and Liberals could have just admitted their mistake and moved on, but instead they decided to change the rules, behind closed doors, for partisan reasons.

 “Conservatives and Liberals believe that Parliamentary work involves speaking with lobbyists in Ottawa. New Democrats believe it’s better to go and speak with Canadians in their communities. The Board of Internal Economy's partisan decision can only be interpreted as an attempt to impede the NDP in its role as Official Opposition. The Conservatives used their majority at the Board of Internal Economy and whatever tacit Liberal support they could muster, to push through hurried changes that serve only their interests. It's the same approach they're taking to their electoral reform.

 “What happened at the Board of Internal Economy is not an isolated case. In addition to gagging in-House debates more than any previous government, the Conservatives have forced committees to meet behind closed doors, while they pile on further partisan actions, undermining the work of Parliamentary institutions.

 “We’ve long been saying that we must remove the Board of Internal Economy’s powers and create an independent body to investigate MPs’ expenses. Let’s end this masquerade once and for all. The Board of Internal Economy has to be accountable to the public and we will continue fighting for that.

 “This is a new low for the Conservatives. It's yet another proof that they are no longer worthy of leading the country. The NDP stands up for Canadians who are tired of this culture of secrecy and privilege. We will continue fighting to win the confidence of Canadians for a victory in 2015.”

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Thomas Mulcair