IN THE HOUSE
Question ~ Why won't the Prime Minister call the by-elections now?

Context : Question

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP): Mr. Speaker, what a weak and insipid response. The people in these ridings deserve better. Three hundred thousand Canadians are being denied their right to representation in Parliament. There is simply no excuse for this kind of petty manipulation. The Prime Minister recognized that last year when he called the by-elections and did not play with the dates. Canadians living in Burnaby South, Outremont and York Simcoe had the right to make their voices heard.

Why is the Prime Minister denying the rights of these Canadians to elect their representatives?

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it has been mere weeks since those seats were vacated. We will call those elections in due course, as is required under the Canada Elections Act.

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP): Mr. Speaker, these by-elections do not belong to the Prime Minister, they do not belong to me, they do not belong to anyone in the House. They belong to the people of Burnaby South, York Simcoe and Outremont and these citizens have the right to choose their representatives now.

We are living through the worst housing, environmental and family debt crisis in our nation's history and the people of these ridings have the right to judge the government in all of these cases. Is that not the real reason for this petty act? The Prime Minister is scared of the reaction of the voters.

Will he show some courage and call the by-elections now?

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, like I said, it has been mere weeks since those particular seats were vacated. Questions might be asked about the fact that electors elected people to serve four terms for them and did not get to have the whole four terms of the people they elected and sent to this House, for various reasons, which is their choice.

The sanctimony from the NDP on this is, as always, amusing. Those seats were vacated mere weeks ago. They will be filled under elections law in due course through by-elections.

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