member of parliament
One image remained with me: Cox's shoe, lying on its side, even after her body was removed. A powerful woman once filled that shoe. She was no regular political aspirant, but a true believer in the nobility of humanity and its capacity for hope and change.
Since the Conservatives have come to power, that same trend has unfortunately continued and a number of small-c conservative MPs have begun to voice their disapproval. The latest to do so is Brent Rathgeber, over what he referred to as the Conservative's lack of commitment to "open government."
The conservative approach to seniors over the past few budgets has focused on tax breaks that only the wealthy can afford and raising the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS to 67. Canadian seniors deserve better.
Chris Hadfield truly is a remarkable Canadian. The motion, 'M-477' states that the government should "designate August 29th each year as Chris Hadfield Day." At a time when science is under attack by some, it is essential that we acknowledge its critical place in our past, present and future.
The terrible tragedy of the Walji family has shown us that we need to discuss and reform our immigration system to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again. Compassion was always our strength. We need to rekindle that in our public policies.
Our veterans deserve better than this. A dated criterion, initially aimed at WWII and Korean veterans is sadly, becoming less relevant to the needs of the current day. The Conservatives must step up their efforts and remodel these criteria in order to cater to the real needs of our modern-day heroes.
Just months ago, the Minister for Veterans Affairs stood in a Legion in London, Ontario and promised members that soldiers would no longer be cut loose. Clearly, that practice continues. I am calling upon the government to stop giving weak excuses and apologise to these Canadian heroes who have been dismissed because of the Conservative government's efforts to balance the budget.
The "Save VIA" Campaign began as a grassroots response to the VIA Rail cuts that the federal government announced in 2012; but with a huge amount of public support it has grown into a nationwide appeal to restore passenger rail service. Mr. Harper's government needs to listen to the Canadians who are clearly saying that we need to retain and improve Canada's rail services.
The detention of Dr. Tarek Loubani and John Greyson was at the forefront of all Canadians' concerns for the 50 days they spent behind bars at Cairo's Tora Prison. Dr. Tarek Loubani is an emergency room physician in my riding and John Greyson is an acclaimed film-maker and professor at York University. They are now home safe.
Given the cynicism about politics today, some people ask me why I would want to be a MP at all. You see, I wasn't anxiously waiting for a chance to get involved in federal politics. But along with other candidates, staff, volunteers and, as it turned out, a whole lot of Canadians, we agreed to begin a journey together.