NDP leader Jack Layton held his end of year press conference this morning, and he laid out a list of achievements that his party has achieved:
• A billion dollars in benefits for long-tenured workers who’ve lost their jobs
• Forcing the government to adopt their motion on credit card fees
• Securing car owners’ right to repair
• Banning “candy tobacco”
• Forcing the government to call an inquiry into the collapse of the salmon fishery
• Preventing the free trade agreement with Colombia (though really, they’re just filibustering and the bill is still on the order paper)
Layton also pointed to the various bills they’ve tabled on issues like pensions for Nortel workers, and the fact that their climate change bill, C-311, is being reported back to the House of Commons (for a second time) today and that it will get its third reading vote by in the New Year. Layton also got back on the bandwagon of ATM fees at a time when bank executives are getting billions of dollars in bonuses.
When questioned about the Afghan detainee issue, Layton pointed out that the Conservatives aren’t respecting the concept of Ministerial Responsibility, which is one of the key features of our form of democracy. (Also – his was the first party to call for a full public inquiry).
When asked why he thinks his party hasn’t moved up in the polls, Layton disputed that fact and pointed to their recent gains such as their victory in the by-election in BC (never mind that it was their seat to begin with), and that hey finished second in both Hochelaga and the riding in Nova Scotia. “We’re building support for change,” Layton said.
He also reminded us that Harper is not respecting the will of the House – something he said that Prime Ministers had a moral authority to do back when he was the opposition leader. How very different things look from inside the Prime Minister’s office.