Liberal crisis cannot continue to define agenda

  • Apr. 25, 2005 7:00 p.m.

Submitted by Nathan Cullen, Skeena MP–Paul Martin’s damage control around the Liberal sponsorship scandal last week was nothing short of extraordinary. It shows how out of touch the prime minister has become with Canadians and the whole parliamentary process.
Past televised addresses by prime ministers have been rightly reserved for national crises. But last Thursday was all about an increasingly embattled Martin pleading for his political life.
It did nothing to change the fact that the damning testimony spilling out of the Gomery inquiry is a Liberal Party scandal, not a national crisis.
Since I became Member of Parliament for Skeena-Bulkley Valley 10 months ago, people have been telling me jobs, accessible health care and affordable post-secondary education are some of the issues that matter most in the north.
After 12 long years of broken Liberal promises, our community economies are crippled, our social programs gutted, our air and water dirty, and the lives of ordinary Canadians don’t even register on Martin’s radar screen.
Responsible Government Needed
My constituents, like most Canadians, want Parliament to work. They want to work with their elected representatives to find realistic solutions to the pressing problems we face.
But my constituents, like most Canadians, are tiring of the political brinksmanship that has wrongly defined this Parliament.
No one wants an early election. But I am sensing a definite mood shift across the riding. If an election is what it takes to make government work for Canadians, then people are increasingly willing to go to the polls.
Meanwhile, I am working hard with my NDP colleagues to make this minority Parliament work because it is a real opportunity to bring about the change and solutions our constituents tell us they want on the federal stage.
Progress
In the 10 short months of this Parliament, we have made real progress in Skeena-Bulkley Valley. With your help, I have been able to increase Liberal commitment to green energy projects, secure container port funding, and assist many constituents and community organizations access federally funded initiatives.
Like you, I have grown weary of the tactics being used by the Liberals to stay in power.
Four times now the government has chosen to ignore the will of the House of Commons: the call for an inquiry into the Air India bombing; the rejection of Glen Murray’s patronage appointment as chair of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy; the splitting of our foreign affairs department; and a call to put tainted money gained through the sponsorship scandal aside until Justice John Gomery issues his findings.
Such disregard for the elected body of Canada speaks of a contempt that is worrisome.
My commitment
I am committed to continuing work on behalf of the riding until the very last minute this Parliament exists, and to push for the attention we deserve.
I will continue to listen to the people of my riding and their views on when an election should be called, and bring these views forward to my NDP Caucus and the House of Commons.
Phone: 1 888 622-0212; Ottawa: (613) 993-6654. Email: Cullen@parl.gc.ca. Web site: www.nathancullen.ca.