Rousseau Sums Up Parliamentary Session

MP Jean Rousseau -aSHERBROOKE: With the close of the 2012 Parliamentary session in December, safety and budget cuts occupied the thoughts of NDP MP Jean Rousseau (Compton-Stanstead Riding) during these last months. While concerned about the excesses of the current Conservative government, despite the existing economical situation, he is, however, satisfied with the work he has accomplished in the House of Commons and in his riding.

He views the current government as tired and worn, mired in scandals and unable to manage complex files, concerning Nexen and F-35 issues. He goes on to say that "it took much too long for the government to admit that there was indeed an organized system of illegals crossing the border in large numbers. After drowning the issue for too long a time, the government has recently announced measures which will not even correct this problem."

With his NDP colleagues at his side, Jean Rousseau fought against the tabling of a second monstrous bill of more than 400 pages in only a few months. This one contained, pure and simple, the abolition of environmental measurements of the Law on the protection of navigable water, a move that would leave 99% of the lakes and rivers of the country unprotected. Rousseau felt that this change in law measures is a "major ecological retreat from that which we have fought for", but the conservatives moved forward and adopted this aberration.

The NPD also formally opposed the punitive reform of unemployment insurance put forth by the Conservatives. According to the plan proposed by the latter, certain unemployed will have to accept any employment available within a range of more than one hour from their residence, under penalty of losing their right to services. Such a reform would inevitably involve an exodus of workers from several regions of the country, in addition to wrongfully punishing the seasonal workers as well as the companies in need of employees.

Jean Rousseau has also denounced the arrogant attitude of the government, which once again tried to "use the gag order" on several occasions. "The lack of transparency and the refusal to make available necessary information to make enlightened choices demonstrates the contempt of the Conservatives towards Canadians and their democratic institutions. The NDP represent a team of qualified administrators who listen to Canadians and whose priority is the interests of the public. The contrast between Stephen Harper's Canada and that of the NDP has never before presented itself so clearly as it does today".

NDP Rousseau also made headlines when he came out against the Conservative motion to reopen the abortion debate (motion M-312), in the House of Commons. "All NDP MPs rejected this backward motion", with Rousseau clearly stating that he was "proud to stand alongside women in the fight for equality for all".
The controversial motion M-312 called for the creation of a special House of Commons committee to study the definition of human being in the Criminal Code, which is "an underhanded way of reopening the abortion debate". 91 MPs, including the Minister for the Status of Women Rona Ambrose, supported the motion.