NDP leader Tom Mulcair outlined his plan to support Canada’s mining industry in a speech to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
“Unlike the Conservatives who have put mining on the back burner, the NDP understands that this industry drives prosperity in Canada,” said Mr. Mulcair. “Canada’s New Democratic government will work with industry, aboriginal communities and the education sector to ensure mining and mineral processing create economic opportunities for a prosperous Canada.”
An Innovation Tax Credit, reducing the small business tax rate and extending the accelerated capital cost allowance for machinery are all part of the NDP plan. These measures will support the small businesses and contractors that are the backbones of mining communities and help mining companies hurt by the Conservatives’ cuts to support for capital intensive R&D.
Tom Mulcair also pledged that an NDP Government would create a respectful “Nation-to-Nation” relationship with Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. “Everything our Government does will respect Treat Rights, Inherent Rights and Canada’s International obligations. This will ensure that all proposed investments will enjoy greater certainty. Sustainable development principles will be a reality under an NDP Government”.
“These are concrete, practical proposals to strengthen our economy and make it work for Canadians,” added Mr. Mulcair.
The NDP has lost all faith in the Board of Internal Economy (BOIE) and has decided to turn to the Supreme Court of Canada to allow justice run its course and to finally put an end to the partisan attacks being waged by the Conservatives and Liberals.
“We have said it from the very beginning – the NDP followed all the rules and this is nothing but a partisan attack by the Conservative and Liberal parties. As a result, we have decided to request that the Minister of Justice refer the case directly to the Supreme Court. This will allow him to demonstrate that he is committed to our democratic institutions and to saving thousands of taxpayer dollars and wasted time,” said NDP Quebec Caucus Chair, Robert Aubin.
The BOIE’s February 3 ruling was completely arbitrary and contrary to the principles of natural justice. As a result, the NDP has announced that its attorneys James Duggan and Julius Grey have issued a legal challenge before the Federal Court. The NDP has also informed House Administration that NDP Members did not intend on refunding the amounts requested until a final judgment had been made.
“We are the victims of a partisan committee – an institution that our political opponents hijacked to seal our fate in advance. It is time that this frivolous attack on members of the Official Opposition come to an end,” added Aubin.
Official Opposition Veterans Affairs Critic Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore) made the following statement on the passing of Second World War veteran Ernest Côté:.
“On behalf of Canada’s New Democrats, I extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Côté.
“We join all Canadians in paying respect to Mr. Côté’s contributions.”
The NDP is once again urging Parliament to demand that TransCanada submit its documents for the Energy East project in both official languages.
“Quebec is at the heart of the Energy East project, and addressing Quebeckers in French is a simple matter of respect,” said MP Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher) who has tabled a motion aimed at requiring all National Energy Board (NEB) documents to be made available in both English and French.
“It also just makes sense to do so – when a developer wants to build a pipeline, it’s essential to hold public meetings. Of course, it also makes sense to interact with communities in their native language,” added Nantel.
The NDP also lodged a complaint with the Commissioner of Official Languages last year, in response to the English-only documents that were published on the Energy East project. TransCanada submitted 30,000 pages of documents to the NEB, the vast majority of which were in English only. Of course, the pipeline would run through Quebec and some of the most affected areas are francophone communities.
The motion reads as follows:
“That, in the opinion of the House, when a project proponent submits plans, profiles, reference books, as well as any complementary or supplementary document to the National Energy Board (NEB) for the construction and operation of a pipeline, the NEB should ensure that these documents are available in both official languages, at the expense of the proponent.”
On this Anti-bullying Day, the NDP is criticizing the unelected Senate for blocking Bill C-279 aimed at protecting the rights of transgender people, after it was legitimately adopted two years ago by elected members of all parties in the House of Commons.
“The Senate’s attempt to obstruct this bill that would finally give transgender Canadians the protection and equal status they deserve is reprehensible. The bill was examined in depth and passed by MPs in the House, and I would enjoin the Senate to do the same,” said NDP LGBT critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca).
Bill C-279 was designed to put protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual identity into law – a long-awaited initiative. Transgender individuals are among the most marginalized in society, and passing this bill would be a huge step towards equality. However, the Senate proposed to amend the bill, knowing full well that it would die on the Order Paper without any chance of making it back to the House before this year’s elections.
“This is another reason why we should abolish the Senate. Their obstruction of a bill that has received the approval of elected MPs must cease. It is time to recognize that transgender Canadians are entitled to the same rights and protections all Canadians enjoy.”