Wednesday, 24 June 2015 11:30

Grasslands MP would like to see Senate reform too

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In reply to Chris Mulhall’s and Trevor Peterson’s recent letters to the editor, I would first like to say that it continues to be a great honour to represent the people of Cypress Hills-Grasslands as their Member of Parliament. I am humbled to have been repeatedly granted this opportunity.
With regard to Senate reform, I have been a long-time advocate of change. I was an early proponent of the Triple-E concept, where Western Canada would have equal, elected and effective representation. I continue to believe the Senate in its current unelectedand unaccountable state must change in order to reach its full potential as a democratic institution serving Canadians.
The authors of your letters may not realize, however, that meaningful Senate change can only take place in one way. The Supreme Court was clear — any major change to the Senate can only come through the provinces, with all 10 premiers agreeing to the change. Currently, the provinces cannot even agree to reform the Senate, let alone the details of what that would look like.
If these gentlemen are  really concerned about practical, real issues of accountability, they should turn their attention to their own party. The NDP treats the rules of the House of Commons as little more than ‘suggestions’.  More than 60 NDP MPs improperly spent over 2.5 million of taxpayers’ dollars setting up NDP political offices in contravention of the rules of the House of Commons (including Mr. Mulcair at $400,000). They are now in the process of having to pay back that $2.5 million in illegal expenditures. Because they refuse to repay the money voluntarily, beginning next month the House of Commons is being forced to recover the money from these Members.
This is part of a pattern of pushing the limits. Earlier, the NDP had accepted more than $300,000 in illegal union donations related to financing three separate conventions.
Most recently, they were accused of using their free House of Commons mailings privileges to influence recent byelections. Their shenanigans add up to more than three times the amount that the Auditor General found in his entire Senate audit.
When Mr. Peterson and Mr. Mulhall are willing to demand the same standards from the NDP they demand for others, they may begin to regain some credibility on these issues.
To support the interests of the citizens of Cypress Hills-Grasslands, these gentlemen should be the first, not the last, to demand their NDP comrades re-pay the money they owe the Canadian taxpayer.
David Anderson, MP Cypress Hills-Grasslands

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