Carrying on with our end-of-session roundup of queer MPs, I spoke to NDP MP Libby Davies after question period yesterday.
Q: How were your three weeks in the new Parliament?
A: Wow, amazing. First of all, I’m still getting to know some of my new colleagues. I’m very happy that Randall Garrison is the NDP critic for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual issues because I know he’ll do a fabulous job. It’s been super busy. We’re fighting the back-to-work legislation right now. We’re going to give it our all because we see it as a matter that’s not just facing the postal workers, but all workers in terms of labour rights, the right to a pension, the right to decent wages and all of those things. It feels pretty intense around here right now, but I feel terrific about our Official Opposition status. We went to Stornoway last night and partied. We were dancing to Lady Gaga out in the backyard in the tent, looking around the house and visiting all the rooms. We’re on a high, but I’ll tell you there’s also a serious responsibility now that we’re the Official Opposition. We’ve got to be tough but principled – you see that in the House in the way we’re bringing forward our questions and statements in debate. So, I feel very good as a member of the NDP.
Q: You’re on the health committee. Any other committees?
A: Just health.
Q: Any particular projects or studies you’re looking to do in the committee?
A: We will be looking at the 2004 health accord. They looked at it in the Senate, and it should be done at the House as well. We’re going to push that forward. The health committee needs to examine what happened and whether it’s working or not – we know there’s lots of problems. I’m sure there’ll be others that will come forward. One thing I want to have us look at might sound a bit odd, but it's the question of bedbugs. This is an issue that’s huge for people right across the country, so I’m going to try to raise that. The other thing is drug safety. I think it’s really safety that we need to shed the light of day on. Why don’t we have proper reporting and regulations? I’m not talking about illegal drugs here; I’m talking about prescription drugs. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to bring that forward as well.
Q: What are your plans for the summer?
A: I’m going to be very busy. I’m going back to the riding, attending the Canadian Medical Association conference in August and a housing and HIV conference in New Orleans in September, and I’m speaking at a union leadership school. So, I’m actually doing a fair amount of speaking. I’ll take a little bit of time off but not too much; the calendar has become full. Hey, it’s going to be a busy time.