OTTAWA â€“ The NDP is using its opposition day to put forward a proposal to enhance the daily Question Period, make Parliament more democratic and ensure that future governments will not be able to use tricks to evade giving Canadians answers.
â€œMembers of Parliament have a responsibility to make this place work. If the Speaker doesnâ€™t feel he has the power to compel Ministers to stay relevant, Members of Parliament must respond to his call and give him the necessary power. Canadians deserve real answersâ€Ž,â€� said NDP House Leader, Peter Julian (Burnaby â€“ New Westminster).
The Government House Leader, Peter Van Loan, told media last week that Canada has the most accountable Question Period in the world, because the entire ministry must be available to respond to questions without advance notice. The facts indicate otherwise. Instead of responding to questions, Conservative Ministers routinely duck their responsibility. A total of 355 questions were asked during the nine Question Periods from September 15 to 26. Of that total:
- 56.6 % were answered by a Minister
- 43.4 % were answered by a Minister of State or Parliamentary Secretary
â€œNew Democrats believe government ministers should tell the truth and provide clear answers to questions on important issues like sending our soldiers into a military mission on foreign soil. Our motion is simple, binding and would improve our democracy,â€� said Peter Julian.
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