The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
I spent Labour Day in Thompson; joining in the community activities hosted by the United Steelworkers of America, Local 6166. The NDP Caucus held our pre-session Caucus Retreat in Victoria where we discussed upcoming House business and events for the coming months. I then spent some time in rural Saskatchewan and heard first hand from farmers about the devastating effects that the US border closure has had on the Canadian beef industry. They also made it clear that the Liberal government's aid program is not accessible to many in the industry. I then went to Thompson for a couple of days before returning to Ottawa for the fall session. Recently on my way back from Ottawa I attended the Manitoba Federation of Labour Conference in Winnipeg. I was pleased to join the participants of the Northern Mental Health Conference held in Thompson September 24 - 27. The conference, with the theme of "Building Hope and Resilience", will provide an important opportunity for professional development within the North. I also attended the Northern Aboriginal Community Awards on September 27, held in Thompson in conjunction with the Northern Aboriginal Festival. Several organizations came together to host this two-day event focusing on increasing career awareness among Aboriginal youth. In Parliament This Month The session got off to a rousing start. The first day of debate took place on Bill C-45, the Corporate Liability Act. This bill was the government's response to my Private Members Bill on corporate manslaughter. See 'Workers' P.# Con't from P.# Bill C-45 is intended to address Justice P. Richards' recommendations following the Westray Inquiry. Justice Richards' recommendations called for legislation to hold corporations and directors criminally liable if they knowingly jeopardized the health and lives of workers. It is crucial that we get this legislation passed before the next election. The second day in the House saw an extremely controversial opposition day motion debated and voted upon. Many of you know that I chose to abstain from this vote. If you have concerns of comments I encourage you to contact me to discuss this issue. The following days have seen discussion on numerous issues. The government has done little to respond to the support needed in the forestry sector as a result of the US import tariffs, and little to address the crises in the Beef Industry. At the Cattleman's Rally on Parliament Hill, NDP leader Jack Layton gave a rousing and well-received speech in support of the Beef Industry and he criticized the government's failure to meet the needs of cattle producers. I met with representatives from the Building-Construction Trade. They raised concerns about tradesperson mobility costs, training, the need for National Standards, and the problems related to the underground economy and its impact on certified journeymen and trades people. The Transport Committee will reconvene the first week of October. Both Bill C-26 the Transportation Amendment Act, and Bill C-27 Canada Airports Act still need to be dealt with by the committee. In the upcoming weeks Parliament will debate Bill C-13 the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. The Act sets out guidelines on assisted reproduction procedures and makes certain unethical procedures criminal offences. There is presently no legislation dealing with this issue, and without legislation the risk of abuse by private-for-profit interests is all too real. Working For You Staff in the three constituency offices are available to assist with federal government matters such as Immigration, Income Tax, Employment Insurance, and Canada Pension Plan. If you have questions, please call toll-free 1-888-260-2231 or call directly: Thompson 204-677-1333; St. Georges 204-367-6150; or The Pas 204-627-1440.