Well, they can’t say they weren’t warned. In case you haven’t been paying attention to Hansard, the NDP (like the rest of us) have grown tired of the Tory backbench using their private members’ statements to attack the party’s planning on carbon, whatever that may be. And on Monday, Irene Mathyssen put them on notice:
Since the House came back this fall, Conservatives have used 39 members’ statements to attack the NDP, 39 fabricated statements.
How many times, Mr. Speaker, have the Conservatives used the word “local” in their statements since the House came back? Just 10 times. We have a governing party that does far more members’ statements about the opposition than about its own constituents.
Will the next Conservative MP tell us what is going on in his or her riding, or just repeat another sleazy attack from the PMO?
And come Tuesday, the NDP’s oh-so-subtle campaign began, with newbie Élaine Michaud attacking Tory MP Jacques Gourde for not doing his job properly:
Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of the fall, the hon. member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière has made two members’ statements. Neither one was on his riding. Not one.
He could have taken the opportunity to tell us about the upcoming opening of the cogeneration plant in Saint-Patrice-de-Beaurivage, in his riding. This project is good for the environment and good for economic development.
He also could have told us how proud he is of the upcoming, first-ever Journée Entreprendre ici Lotbinière, which will contribute to the growth of the entrepreneurial culture and the economic development of Lotbinière. But no, instead he told made-up stories about the NDP at the expense of his constituents.
He had a choice. He could have acknowledged the accomplishments of his constituents and the organizations in his riding or simply read the latest talking points written by the Prime Minister’s puppets. He chose to turn his back on his constituents, the people who elected him.
It will be up to him to explain to the people of his riding why they do not deserve any recognition from their member of Parliament.
And on Wednesday, it was Wayne Marston going after Phil McColeman:
Mr. Speaker, since the House returned this fall, the member for Brant has yet to use his statements to talk about his riding. He has used all three of his member’s statements to deliver talking points from the Prime Minister’s Office about the NDP.
The people of Brant deserve some representation, so I would be glad to help out.
Here are two events that happened in the member’s riding.
There was the 20th annual Take Back the Night walk in Brant. He did not attend. He did not raise it in the House.
There was also the Bob Bell lecture series, where 100 local students learned about and debated health care issues. The member did not take part. He did not raise it in the house.
The member is like all the other Conservatives over there. They just mouth whatever talking points come from the PMO.
I am sure the constituents of Brant are going to ask soon when he is going to represent them and why he only reads out the partisan falsehoods that come from the Prime Minister’s spin doctors.
The member for Elmwood—Transcona has only made one statement in the House since we returned. What did he do with his precious, limited opportunity? He also parroted the PMO’s blatantly misleading lines about the NDP. If that member does not want to talk about his great riding, I am proud to tell the House some of the fantastic things going on in Elmwood—Transcona.
For instance, Transcona is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. This coincides with the annual Hi Neighbour Festival, also celebrating its own 40th anniversary. These celebrations have allowed people in Transcona to reflect on the famous Canadians who have also come from the area, including Terry Fox; Olympic speed skater, Susan Auch; sports commentator, Rod Black; and of course our own Bill Blaikie.
We on this side of the House take great pride in celebrating the centennial. Shame on the member for kowtowing to the PMO.
It’s a very clever strategy, this. It reminds the Tory caucus that, yes, they still have to contend with Opposition activities in their home ridings, which the Opposition has every right to do. It demonstrates to voters in Tory ridings that the Opposition, yes, is paying attention to them and their activities, in a positive way. And it’s an oh-so-subtle reminder to them that an MP’s ultimate responsibility is to the voters, not the party banner.
And if I may personally make a note to the Tory backbench: you’re on the Government side, and you’re in a majority. You have absolutely no reason to use your private members’ statement to pick a silly fight with the Opposition. Especially since it’s on a matter that’s not on the news agenda right now. Use your statement for its intended purpose, to show pride in your riding; voters don’t care about talking points.