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Take our 2-minute Summer Caucus issues poll

Posted on August 28, 2014 | No Comments

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Scenes from the road: August 12-18

Posted on August 20, 2014

Justin walks in Montreal's Pride Parade. August 17, 2014.Justin walks in Montreal’s Pride Parade. August 17, 2014.

To see more, see, “like” and share Justin’s Facebook album here…

Justin Trudeau on fairness and transparency in Canada’s First Nations

Posted on August 14, 2014

justintrudeau official 1Increasing the level of transparency and accountability across Canada’s public institutions is both good and necessary. Canadians expect that those given the privilege of serving their country adhere to the highest of ethical standards, and I strongly believe that it is the duty of those in public office to constantly seek new ways to increase the openness of these institutions.

Since I began my campaign to become Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, I have been talking about the need to raise the bar on openness and transparency in government. I believe that it is how we can restore a sense of trust in our democracy.

In the time since I became Leader, Liberals have taken concrete steps to act on this commitment to openness. Our caucus has put forward our Open Parliament Plan – a tangible plan that aims to shine more light on what happens on Parliament Hill. As a result, all Parliamentarians must now publicly disclose their expenses publicly. I have also introduced the Transparency Act into the House of Commons, a bill which, among other things would make it easier for Canadians to get information from their government.

By comparison, the Conservative government’s efforts to increase transparency have been entirely and narrowly focused on one particular group – First Nations people. And while everyone, including First Nations band members, believes that more transparency is needed, the Conservative government has abjectly refused to consult and work with these communities to create legislation that fosters genuine accountability.

Further, recent Conservative cuts to federal support for First Nations governance means that many bands are being forced to implement the government’s new financial disclosure rules without the appropriate and necessary resources. This presents bands with serious challenges, and has left many First Nations in a position where they are struggling to meet the standards the government has put in place.

Let me say that Liberal Party of Canada categorically supports greater transparency and accountability with First Nations – so do First Nations people. In fact, it was a Liberal government that engaged in a meaningful consultative process with First Nations communities during the 2004 Kelowna Accord negotiations to establish strong new accountability measures which sought to ensure the effective management of First Nations resources. This new plan was promptly discarded by the Conservatives when they came into office.

By failing to consult with First Nations people, the Conservatives have made obvious the political nature of their legislation. They are trying, yet again, to divide Canadians and to point fingers at particular communities in an attempt to score political points. Canadians expect and deserve better from their government. We believe their approach is the wrong approach, and we have said that we would replace their rules with better legislation created in consultation with First Nations people. We would also commit to ensuring that First Nations are provided with the necessary resources to allow them to successfully implement this legislation.

It is my belief that all Canadians will benefit from a broader, more effective approach to transparency and accountability that does not unduly single out a particular group, includes a greater number of institutions, and is based upon a meaningful consultation process. This is the path toward transparency and accountability that the Liberal Party of Canada is committed to pursuing and we call on the Conservative government to join us in taking real steps toward greater transparency and accountability.

Justin Trudeau

Opinion editorial on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Posted on July 29, 2014

Mayor Naheed Nenshi should be applauded for his recent comments about Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. He not only pointed out that the federal Conservative government’s recent changes to the program will not work for our city, but that it is profoundly un-Canadian “[t]o treat people like commodities that come here for two years and serve us our coffee in the mornings.”

The government created major problems for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program when it began to loosen the rules in 2006; it created an approval process with little oversight that largely amounted to rubber stamping applications, which has directly led to Canadians losing their jobs to temporary foreign workers.

But the government’s most recent attempt to fix the very problems it created is a sledgehammer approach that will not work everywhere; the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has now become one of the federal government’s most anti-Alberta policies in decades. The new rules appear to be based on the assumption that every region and industry in Canada faces identical labour challenges.

Even in our respective ridings of Calgary Confederation and Calgary Skyview, which we hope to represent, have vastly different needs and characteristics. The lack of nuance in this government’s hap-hazard decision-making does not recognise the varying economic challenges in our communities.

More important than fixing the short term labour problem, however, is planning for the long term; not only because it is the right thing to do, but because as Mayor Nenshi correctly stated: “We need immigration in order for our system to work.”

Consider that in 1991 the Calgary Herald ran an editorial entitled, “Baby Boomers: Old age will force changes on society,” which pointed out that by 2030, one-fifth of our population will be over the age of 65. It concluded by stating: “There is no reversing the aging process, but with proper care Canada can grow old gracefully.” Twenty three years later, Statistics Canada now estimates that by 2030 almost one-quarter of our population will be over the age of 65.

Canada must seize the moment and meet the coming economic challenges head-on. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program brings people to Canada, most of who have proven that they can successfully integrate into Canadian society and our labour market. Unfortunately, it is also a system that brings people here for a limited time, only to send them back where they came from. If their employer cannot find a Canadian to fill their vacated position, they then hire a new Temporary Foreign Worker who has likely never been to Canada before.

Of course, not every temporary foreign worker aspires to become a Canadian citizen. But by creating new pathways to citizenship, we can give those who do, and who have a proven track record of economic success in this country, a fair chance to stay and continue to contribute to Canadian society. If Canada is prepared to welcome these individuals as temporary foreign workers, they deserve a fair and reasonable opportunity to become citizens.

Matt Grant
Liberal Candidate for Calgary Confederation

Darshan Kang
MLA for Calgary-McCall
Liberal Candidate for Calgary Skyview

Are these the kind of officials we want in government?

Posted on July 17, 2014

Canadians’ faith in public office holders and politics has been seriously shaken. We deserve answers to the questions that the Prime Minister has refused to answer.

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