MPP Sarah Campbell (NDP, Kenora-Rainy River)
THUNDER BAY -- Sarah Campbell says Queen’s Park is not Premier Dalton McGuinty’s toy.
On a brisk Thursday afternoon in Thunder Bay, the Kenora-Rainy River MPP urged voters across the region to demand the premier end his prorogation of the Ontario legislature and allow the government to return to business.
Campbell launched Northwestern Ontario’s MPPs Back-to-Work campaign, with a small group of NDP supporters backing her, in front of the provincial government building in the downtown north core.
“There’s a lot of important work that needs to be done at Queen’s Park right now, and a lot of that work can only be done while Queen’s Park is sitting,” Campbell said. “There are a number of pieces of legislation that need to be proposed, they need to be amended. And there are a number of important projects that won’t go forward unless we do have that oversight.”
Liberal MPP Bill Mauro is on record stating the Oct. 15 shutdown of the legislature will only actually affect about four weeks of sitting time, taking into account the fact MPPs went back to work two weeks earlier to deal with an ongoing labour dispute with public school teachers.
Both he and fellow Thunder Bay MPP Michael Gravelle support the prorogation process, which could last until a new Liberal leader is chosen.
Campbell said Mauro is oversimplifying things a little.
“Along with prorogation, all of the bills that we had before the house, including many bills that the government deemed as necessary, urgent bills, they’ve all died,” she said.
“The clock has been reset. All of the months we’ve spent debating those bills, it’s all been wasted, and all the work that we’ve been doing on committees. So it’s a lot more than just four weeks.”
The legislature was working when McGuinty prorogued it, Campbell added, stating the premier, who announced he was leaving politics, only took that route to avoid dealing with a series of scandals that have since arisen.
“This is not a case of the legislature not working, as the Liberals claim. This is a case of a scandal-plagued government realizing that the opposition has been too effective in doing its job and instead of being held accountable they took the easy way out.”
Campbell is calling on residents of Thunder Bay to get involved and said there are a couple of ways to do it.
She’s inviting constituents to join the conversation on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter using the hashtag #MPPsBackToWork, or via the website www.MPPsBackToWork.ca.
Opponents of prorogation can sign a petition or send a postcard to their local MPP.
Click here to submit a letter to the editor.