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UPDATE: Opposition private members bills to watch

The Official Opposition has introduced 106 private members bills in this 41st Parliament, some of which directly relate to Council of Canadians campaign work. As such, we are following:

C-224, An Act to ensure Canada assumes its responsibilities in preventing dangerous climate change
Megan Leslie

C-211, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (prohibition against oil tankers in Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound)
Finn Donnelly

C-340, An Act Respecting A National Strategy to Encourage the Development of Renewable Energy Sources
Don Davies

C-237, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (deposit in lakes)
Peter Stoffer

C-323, An Act to Amend the Federal Courts Act (international promotion and protection of human rights)
Peter Julian

C-267, An Act respecting the preservation of Canada’s water resources
Francis Scarpaleggia (Liberal)

*While not a private members bill, we are following the Liberal motion – backed by the NDP and the Conservatives – that says, “That the House call on the Government of Canada to address on an urgent basis the needs of those First Nations communities whose members have no access to clean, running water in their homes; that action to address this disparity begin no later than spring 2012; and that the House further recognize that the absence of this basic requirement represents a continuing affront to our sense of justice and fairness as Canadians.”

C-257, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (mandatory labelling for genetically modified foods)
Alex Atamanenko

C-233, An Act to eliminate poverty in Canada
Jean Crowder

It is important to push for progressive legislation even if Harper’s false majority means it has little to no chance of being passed by the House of Commons.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has said, “And now Stephen Harper and his Conservatives – the most right wing government we have ever had in this country have a so-called majority. I say so-called because if we add the number of people who did not vote for him and combine it with the number who did not vote at all, he has the support of less that one quarter of Canadians.” In the May 2011 federal election, the Conservatives received 39.62 percent of the popular vote. But with voter turnout at 61.4 percent, that means that just under 25 percent of eligible voters actually voted for the Harper Conservatives in the last election. Despite receiving just 39.62 percent of vote, our skewed electoral system gave the Harper Conservatives a majority with 54.22 percent of the seats in the House of Commons. But if the seats were won in proportion to the votes cast, they would have 122 seats, that’s 45 fewer seats and not a parliamentary majority.

Given Canada has fixed election date legislation, the next federal election is supposed to take place in October 2015.

The full list of legislation before the House of Commons can be read at http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/Home.aspx?language=E&Parl=41&Ses=1.

A June 28 blog on legislation that was introduced in the new session just after the May 2 election can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9508, a September 8 follow-up blog on this is at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10325. For a fuller list of legislation that we were monitoring last session – some of which we expect to be reintroduced in the House in the fall – please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4625.