Hold every member responsible

We can be thankful that the election campaign in Canada is much shorter than that of the United States. But even by our short campaign, the election seems to go on for far too long.
After all the campaigning, accusations, and slights, when Parliament reconvenes, it will be much the same as the Parliament that ended. Perhaps after three elections with no clear-cut winner, it is time for all politicians to put the knives away and begin working for Canadians.
After all, that is what we sent them to Ottawa to do.
We face some big issues. The world has stopped buying newsprint and, as a result, paper mills have closed across Canada. A housing glut exists across the United States and until that glut is eliminated, sawmills shall continue to be shuttered.
Climate change is a worldwide concern that Canadians must develop a role and be a model for other nations. Alternative energy development must take place.
With the cost of oil, and poor mileage for large SUVs, North Americans have chosen to stop buying the “Big Three” automakers products. Many of their plants have closed and many workers have been laid off.
The manufacturers and their employees who support the automotive industry have been hurt by this sudden change in the car market. The forestry workers who harvest and deliver the wood to sawmills and paper mills have been hurt.
Even though Canada has been able to create more jobs across most of the country than have been lost to changes in the marketplace, unemployment offers little solace to those laid-off workers.
With the huge reversal in the stock market, many corporate-funded pension plans are now under-funded because of the drop in the value of the portfolio. Registered Retirement Saving Plans also have seen substantial reductions in value.
Many hoping to retire in the next few years now are looking at postponing their retirement, hoping that in the next several years the value of their retirement savings will begin to rebound so they can afford to retire.
The fast decline of the forestry and automotive industries, coupled with the worldwide collapse of financial markets, could not have been anticipated by any of the politicians. Yet these issues, and many others of equal importance and concern, will face every MP crossing the threshold to take their seat in the next Parliament.
It is not a time to be pointing fingers and hollering across the aisle at each other. It will be the responsibility of every member to roll up his or her sleeves and work to put Canadians back to work and to restore confidence in our stock markets.
The 308 members collectively can make Parliament work. If they fail, we as Canadians should hold every member responsible and vote accordingly in the next election.

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