jack layton

Wed, 2011-05-04 13:56Emma Pullman
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Facing Four More Years of Harper Inaction, Canadians Must Rally Their Own Climate Leadership

Earlier this week, Canadians flocked to the polls for the fourth time in 7 years. This time around, the election was triggered when the minority government led by Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper was found in contempt of parliament in March for failing to release information related to the costs of proposed crime legislation and the purchase of stealth fighter jets.

From the moment the election was announced, Harper derided it as ‘unnecessary’, and ‘unwanted’ even though public polling clearly indicated widespread displeasure with his handling of the economy, public programming including programs for women, the environment, and for proroguing parliament twice. After the 2008 election, when voter turnout was the lowest in Canadian history (59% overall, and a dismal youth turnout of 37%), people wondered if this so-called ‘unwanted’ election would fail to motivate voters to the polls.

While pundits and pollsters made their best guesses leading up to election day, no one correctly anticipated the outcome. With just under 40% of the vote, the Conservatives finally won the majority they have coveted since ascending in 2006. The New Democratic Party (NDP) won 102 seats and formed the official opposition for the first time in history. The Liberal Party was reduced to a mere 34 seats, and the Bloc Quebecois lost 90% of its seats to end up with 4. On the positive side, Green Party candidate Elizabeth May won her party’s first seat in North American history.

Of the 14 closest ridings that Conservatives won seats, the combined margin of victory in all those ridings was 6,201 votes. That means the real difference between a Harper minority and majority was just over 6,000 votes. While 5.8 million people voted for Stephen Harper, another 9 million – the ‘real majority’ – voted for change. But, with his new majority, Harper no longer has to worry about impediments to his extreme ideology; he can ram his anti-science, pro-polluter agenda down the throats of the Canadian public. That spells trouble for Canada’s environment, and it’s especially bad news for the global climate.

Wed, 2010-11-17 13:07Nathanael Baker
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Monarchy Trumps Democracy: Canadian Prime Minister Harper's Unelected Senate Rejects Passed Climate Bill

In a move that has generated serious uproar in the Canadian government, the Conservative dominated Senate has defeated a climate change bill that was passed in the House of Commons by holding a snap vote while several Senators were away.

The move is shocking on several fronts.  Firstly, the vote took place while 15 Liberal Senators were away from the capital.  The vote to defeat the Climate Change Accountability Act passed by a margin of 43-32.  Even more shocking is the fact that the unelected body of officials known as the Canadian Senate overturned a bill that was passed by the House of Commons – government officials elected by the Canadian people.

Jack Layton, the leader of Canada’s third party, the New Democratic Party, called the vote, “One of the most undemocratic acts that we have ever seen in the Parliament of Canada.”

Wed, 2010-11-17 11:42Emma Pullman
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Canadian Conservative Senators Use their Clout to Kill Climate Bill Passed by House of Commons

A snap vote in Canada’s unelected, and primarily Tory Senate on Tuesday night saw the demise of the NDP’s Climate Change Accountability Act by a narrow margin of 43-32.  The vote caught Liberals in the Upper House off guard, and the climate change legislation was no match for Stephen Harper’s conservative-stacked Senate. Without any debate in the Red Chamber, Conservative Senators called a vote on Bill C-311 introduced by Thunder Bay-Superior NDP Bruce Hyer. Canada’s hope for meaningful environmental legislation ahead of the UN Cancun climate talks later this month was killed by eleven votes.
 
The bill has spent the last year bouncing between the House of Commons and its environmental committee.  It would have called for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. It also set a long-term goal to bring emissions down 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.  That’s a lot more stringent than what the Harper government is calling for now—namely a 17 percent emissions cut from 2005 levels by 2020.
 
This marks the first time that unelected Conservative Senators have used their near-majority to kill a bill passed by elected politicians. The absence of over 15 Liberals from the Senate allowed the bill to fail narrowly in a vote.
 
According to NDP leader Jack Layton, “This was one of the most undemocratic acts that we have ever seen in the Parliament of Canada…To take power that doesn’t rightfully belong to them to kill a bill that has been adopted by a majority of the House of Commons representing a majority of Canadians is as wrong as it gets when it comes to democracy in this country”. 

Thu, 2008-10-09 15:11Richard Littlemore
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Jack Layton: Captain of the team to re-elect Stephen Harper

If Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper is re-elected next week as Canadian prime minister, he will owe the biggest vote of gratitude to the New Democratic Party and its leader Jack Layton.

There has been comment enough about the lack-luster performance of Harper's most dangerous opponent, Liberal leader Stephane Dion, but the Liberals aren't losing this election because Dion lacks charisma. The Liberals are losing because the NDP has pushed tax-averse voters into Stephen Harper's lap.

Thu, 2008-09-25 09:44Richard Littlemore
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Cynical New Democrats playing into Harper's hands

Canada's New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton continues to opt for cheap partisan opportunism over sound environmental policy - most recently decrying the British Columbia carbon tax as “unfair for ordinary working families” and tying it to Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper.

There was a time when the NDP had real credibility as Canada's most environmentally conscious party - a position that they have given over, apparently in equal parts, to the Green party and to Stephane Dion's Liberals.

Mon, 2008-06-09 21:08Emily Murgatroyd
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Canada Passes Major Climate Bill - Government Ignores It

You know how Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, but lost the election?

Well, in a way, that's kind of what happened in Canada recently.

Last week, a Bill called The Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-377) received a majority vote in the House of Commons and if enacted would be the toughest climate legislation passed by any national government in the world.
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