Number of petitions tabled in the House

It was a cool and damp week in Ottawa last week, but the mood in Parliament was pretty good.
Without the threat of an imminent election, some important work got done—and that made many of us very happy to be there.
When speaking with many of you over the summer, a number of key issues entered into our discussions. In many cases, you presented me with petitions to prove your point, so this week I tabled a number of those petitions in the House of Commons.
Your opposition to the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, as well as support for a national forestry summit, EI reform, and for sustainable funding for the CBC, all were tabled, which means the government must respond to your concerns within 45 sitting days.
Petitions are a great way to ensure your voice is heard by the government, but there are some guidelines that must be followed when preparing them.
For more information on how to properly prepare a petition for the House of Commons, just visit the government’s website and click on the “Petitions” link.
I assure that if you take the time to draw up a suitable petition and gather at least 25 signatures, I will present it to the House of Commons. No questions asked.
There also were several key votes last week that enabled some important pieces of legislation to move forward.
It’s a well-documented fact now that the entire New Democratic Party caucus and I are doing our part to make Parliament work by ensuring that an important piece of Employment Insurance legislation (Bill C-50) moves quickly through the House and Senate, and becomes law as soon as possible.
However, the defeat of the Conservative government on a confidence vote, such as the one presented by the Liberals last week, would ensure the death of Bill C-50 and other pieces of legislation.
It seems Mr. Ignatieff wants to look like he’s helping unemployed workers by publicly stating that his caucus will help C-50 speed through Parliament, but then contradicts himself by doing everything in his power to bring the government down knowing that a successful non-confidence motion would result in the death of that bill.
New Democrats know unemployed workers need help and that C-50 is too important to fail, so my caucus colleagues and I agreed to continue to allow Mr. Harper to govern until C-50 becomes law.
We said it before and we’ll say it again—$1 billion for laid-off workers beats a $380 million election any day.
So I hope you agree with the New Democrat position on this one and will continue to support us as we do our best to make this Parliament work—and get some help for laid-off workers and their families this fall.
Another good news item to report from the past week in Ottawa was the presentation of the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case to Thunder Bay resident Pauline Fogarty.
The award takes its name from the Supreme Court’s decision of 1929 that granted women all rights equal to men, including the right to vote, and is awarded to outstanding individual Canadians who have helped advance the goal of equality for women.
Ms. Fogarty was the lone youth award recipient this year, and was recognized by the Governor General for her involvement in social activism, including the designing of a girls’ collective, her work at the regional multicultural youth centre, and her advocacy on a wide range of issues, including mental health, gender, anti-smoking, and First Nations’ matters.
Even at her young age, Ms. Fogarty is proving that she is a leader in our community who has an extremely bright future ahead of her.
I hope you will join me in congratulating her on this award and in thanking her for all her hard work to date.
The sky is the limit, Pauline.
So all in all, it was a very positive and productive week in Ottawa. Let’s hope this was a sign of things to come, and that we can continue to get things done to help you and your family.

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