OTTAWA- Canada's official Opposition has unveiled a 42-member strong front bench that features a large Quebec contingent, an impressive number of women and a mixture of old and new faces. Vancouver's Libby Davies stays on as an NDP deputy leader but will also be the new health critic... Moving a party stalwart such as Davies to health -it was relative newcomer Megan Leslie's beat previously -is indicative of the importance the position holds for the NDP. Layton said Davies will lead the call for more doctors and nurses and monitor negotiations surrounding the new health accord the government will need to strike with the provinces by 2014.
OTTAWA - Opposition leader Jack Layton rolled out his starting lineup Thursday -- a squad he says can compete against Prime Minister Stephen Harper's front bench...The NDP says its shadow cabinet mixes "new energy with experience," but the party is relying heavily on members of its old guard to manage high-profile positions. As House leader, Mulcair oversees the party's day-to-day operations in Parliament. With 59 MPs under his watch, the Quebec lieutenant is also co-deputy leader alongside veteran Libby Davies. Layton says Davies' health file is very important because negotiations for a new health accord are set to get underway in 2014.
With a large caucus alongside her, NDP MP Libby Davies says she is excited to be returning to the Hill. “I’m looking forward to our first caucus meeting, to meet many of the new MPs, but particularly the young folks,” she says. “I’m so excited about the role they’re going to play, and energize the place, and maybe turn Parliament on its head, which would be a good thing. I think it’s going to be pretty fantastic.”
After all the drama and tension of a landmark election, Canadians probably needed a little comic interlude. The NDP provided one, although quite unintentionally. They served up the whimsical story of Pierre-Luc Dusseault, 19, whose upset victory in Sherbrooke, Que., made him the youngest MP ever, and meant he’d have to forgo his summer job on a golf course. Then there were the three McGill University students who will have to suspend their studies after surprising even themselves by capturing Quebec seats...Layton spent much of his first post-election news conference fending off questions about the scant experience of these and other rookies in his much enlarged Quebec contingent. With the collapse of the Bloc Québécois, an astonishing 58 NDP MPs from the province were elected on May 2, up from just one, Montreal’s Thomas Mulcair, before the election. But if all the attention on Layton’s youth brigade suggested an NDP caucus characterized by dewy-eyed campus idealism, that’s a misleading impression. In fact, the front benches of the second party in the House—traditionally seen as a government-in-waiting—will feature many tough-minded former union leaders. “We have some pretty major labour folks,” says veteran Vancouver NDP MP Libby Davies. “That’s a connection to a very solid base of activism, an understanding of politics and how it works."
OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada is hearing arguments in Ottawa Thursday for and against the operation of Vancouver's Insite heroin-injection centre...The Conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to extend the exemption in 2008 and the group operating the facility has been successfully fighting the decision in lower courts. But NDP Drug Critic, and MP for Vancouver-East Libby Davies, says the facility - the first of its kind in Canada - saves lives. "I find it appalling that the federal government has fought Insite every step of the way." Davies said. "The Conservatives are so rigid on their own ideological position, that they refuse to look at the overwhelming scientific evidence, more than 20 studies, that show Insite is part of the solution."
"This is going to change so many things," veteran New Democrat Libby Davies said in the aftermath of her party's breakthrough on election night. "I think it's a whole new ball game. It's going to be a whole new kind of politics." That could be true (please let it be true), but a number of things have to change radically, starting with the way the media leap on every unscripted comment, from every politician, declare it a gaffe, then set about finding other politicians to denounce it.
Vancouver housing advocates say they’re planning a campaign over the next month to press for year-round funding of temporary homeless shelters in the city. Vancouver East MP Libby Davies and Vancouver city councillor Ellen Woodsworth joined a crowd of advocates in front of the closed Fraser Street temporary shelter today (May 6).
Davies said she was honoured to be Vancouver East's MP and proud of NDP leader Jack Layton's successful campaign. "Who can believe it? We are the official opposition," she said during her victory speech. "And who can believe what's happened in Quebec? It's incredible. Change is taking place. I think it is about new politics. Canadians are so sick and tired of the scandals and the games and the insider stuff. They wanted a leader they could trust. They wanted a leader that they know will follow through on commitments and hold the Conservatives to account. I can commit to you today that we will be the best official opposition that you've every seen in this country." Davies added that the election results highlight "more than ever" that the electoral system needs to change to better reflect the will of voters.