With the sesion winding up, I caught up with Liberal MP Mario Silva after Question Period today.
Q: What were your high points this session?
A: I think the fact that the government prorogued Parliament was certainly one that set the agenda back for a lot of Canadians, and certainly during a time of economic crisis, so that would be a low point, but I guess the high point for us was the fact that we were able to clearly demonstrate the fact that the government was not on the ball, was not looking after the priorities of Canadians, and with what’s happening with the fiasco of the G8 and G20, I think we’re again having the government on the run, so I think that’s the high point for us as a party.
Q: Any other low points that you wanted to mention?
A: I think that both the prorogation and this one billion dollar boondoggle fiasco that the government has gotten themselves into has been the low points of this parliament, but I think we have to illustrate to Canadians the fact that this is a very incompetent government that doesn’t know what it’s doing, and it’s not serving the interests of Canadians.
Q: What do you have planned for the summer?
A: Predominantly staying in the constituency – there’s a lot of work to be done, a lot of events always in the summer, so participating in some of those things. That’ll be my goal. I might be going across the country as well – the leader is also touring different parts of the country, and asking members to participate, so that’s something I’m looking at.
Q: Have you weighed in on the Pride Toronto debate?
A: I think the Pride committee is doing the right thing by saying no to the hate mongering of the Queers for Israeli Apartheid. It’s a total distortion of reality – Israel is the only country in the Middle East that gives protection to gays and lesbians, so I find that it’s just absurd, it’s wrong, it’s falsehoods, and it has nothing to do with advocating and a celebration of Pride, which all of us want to be doing. This is going to be a great event in Toronto, and I look forward to participating again this year, and we should all be proud of our community and the efforts that have gone, but we shouldn’t allow for a small minority group within the community or people who want to associate themselves with the community to hijack what has been now, traditionally a fantastic Pride Day event.
Q: And you’re not concerned about the censorship complaints?
A: I’m not concerned about that at all. I think what they’re doing is spreading falsehoods in the first place, so there’s no merit to their statements, and I certainly can’t support that. I think the Pride Committee is absolutely right and in compliance with the city’s guidelines, and I’m very much support of the actions taken by the Pride Committee, and the City of Toronto has taken some real initiative, both from the Mayor and even the people who are running for mayor, have all shown solidarity around this issue. So I think this is a minority group within the community, who may not be members of the community but want to affiliate themselves with the community, and hijack an event that is overall one of the most successful events in the city of Toronto.
Q: This term you were on the CPCCA. The report – you’ve been working on that for a while. Have you got a date for that yet?
A: We’ve changed the date, because we have the conference in November, so the idea is to release the report before the conference, so it’ll give us a little more time. We don’t have a specific date – our hope is that it will be released in the summer, and have members get a chance to take a look at it over the summer, so that when we come back we’ll have a chance to debate it before making the final recommendations. The problem is that the report has several different authors who are looking at it. I took a part of it, different members took a part in writing it, and so we need a uniform position, so it needs quite a bit of editing. It’s also been a very busy session, so we haven’t had the opportunity to go through that, so we’re hoping over the summer to have the opportunity to resolve that.