OTTAWA - Which federal political party speaks up most for Canadian women? The NDP will make its case this afternoon, when women MPs will ask all the party's questions in the House of Commons. NDP Leader Jack Layton usually asks his party's first question of the government in Question Period. With Layton on the shelf after hip surgery, deputy leader Thomas Mulcair has been doing the honours. But on Tuesday, Libby Davies will lead off the party's questions, followed by Carol Hughes, Irene Mathyssen, Linda Duncan, Niki Ashton, Jean Crowder, Chris Charlton and Megan Leslie.
Links to news articles written by or about Libby Davies.
OTTAWA - K’naan, the Juno Award-winning musician whose song Wavin’ Flag was Coca Cola’s anthem for the 2010 World Cup, will be on Parliament Hill on Wednesday to urge MPs to pass Bill C-393. He will be joined by Stephen Lewis, the former United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, and James Orbinski, the founder of Dignitas International, a medical humanitarian organization...Bill C-393 was introduced by now-retired MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis but was essentially orphaned when she left federal politics to take a run at the Winnipeg mayor’s job. All bills need sponsors as they move through the various stages of debate and, if the Conservatives – who oppose the legislation – had refused to let it change hands, it eventually would have died. NDP House Leader Libby Davies persuaded the other parties earlier this year to allow her NDP colleague Paul Dewar to be recognized as the bill’s new sponsor, a move that kept it alive.
NANAIMO, BC - Residents along Hammond Bay are lobbying city council members to create new regulations to restrict cellular phone towers from being erected within 500 metres of any schools...Several parents vowed to pull their students from the school if the RDN reached an agreement with Telus because of their fear of the possible negative effects of long-term exposure to high-frequency radiation waves. Studies have shown health implications for long-term close-range exposure, but a large part of the scientific community disagrees with the research. Council questioned its ability to regulate where towers can be erected, considering the federal government's jurisdiction over this issue. Vancouver East MP Libby Davies has a private members bill that urges Ottawa to take more of an active role in determining where the towers are installed. She also calls for more consultation with municipal governments.
The saga of Bev Oda and the wayward "not" has gripped the House of Commons. But it turns out a recent situation from Saskatchewan provincial politics has worked its way into the debate over whether the Conservative international co-operation minister breached the parliamentary privileges of MPs. Just before the House of Commons broke for a week, NDP MP Libby Davies raised in debate a ruling by Speaker Don Toth. In the spring 2010 sitting of the legislature, Toth found there was enough evidence to suggest Health Minister Don McMorris had misled the assembly to warrant a debate over whether he was in contempt of the legislature..."I believe that in this ruling, the Speaker in Saskatchewan clearly established that the test is not the member's statement in reply to an allegation, but it is actually the evidence before the Speaker that establishes the prima facie case," she said.
The Harper government issued its first, grudging acknowledgment Friday that a controversial funding decision and subsequent cover-up by International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda may have been less than pristine...Lukiwski also made the case that just because Oda testified in December that she didn't know who added the hand-written word "NOT" to the Kairos funding approval, that didn't contradict her later assertion that she ordered the revision. "Precise answers to questions do not constitute contempt," said Lukiwski. He blamed Liberal MP John McKay, who "should have asked different, or more, questions, or been more diligent in his inquiry." Transcripts of Oda's Dec. 9 testimony at the foreign affairs committee show McKay being cut off by Conservative chairman Dean Allison as he pressed the minister on the specifics of her knowledge about the doctored document. NDP MP Libby Davies called the government response "very tawdry." "They're hiding behind ludicrous technicalities," she said in an interview.
OTTAWA - Canada's overall immigration levels aren't changing, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says...Overall, our target is consistent," Kenney told a House of Commons committee...Numbers released to CBC News, however, show a 20 per cent cut in the skilled worker category and 25 per cent cut for parents and grandparents who want to be reunited with children in Canada. NDP MP Libby Davies says the new target for parents and grandparents means some families will have to wait as long as 13 years for the government to decide whether their loved ones can come to Canada. "Now, that's clearly unacceptable in terms of wait times," Davies told Kenney in the committee meeting. "Your government has said repeatedly that the backlog is going to be cleaned up, that we won't have these incredible wait times. And yet … we're faced with dramatically different information."
KINGSTON - Last September, Justice Susan Himel of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down three provisions in Canada's Criminal Code: living off the avails of prostitution; keeping a common bawdy house; and communicating in a public place for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. "These laws," wrote Justice Himel, "individually and together, force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and their right to security of the person as protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms." MP Libby Davies, the NDP representative in Parliament for Vancouver East, agrees it's time for "an intelligent discussion" about the decriminalization of sex work, rather than continuing to sweep it under the rug.
NANAIMO, BC - The debate over cellular phone antennas and the possibility of associated health impacts continues to heat up around North America...Local governments should be more involved in site selection for these towers, according to Vancouver East MP Libby Davies. She is working on a private members bill that outlines why the federal government should take more of an active role in determining where the towers are installed. It explicitly demands that municipalities be far more involved in the process.
The prime minister's office is undermining the CRTC by appointing an "unqualified" vice-chair of broadcasting and easing regulations on broadcast standards, NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus says. Tom Pentefountas, who was appointed on Friday, "failed on every count" of the vetting process, Angus said during question period in the House of Commons on Monday. "This appointment stinks." Angus and NDP House leader Libby Davies charged that Pentefountas, a former president of Quebec's conservative ADQ party, does not meet several of the job's requirements, including an in-depth knowledge of the broadcasting industry and media convergence.
NANAIMO, BC - The proposal for a 43-metre cellular phone tower on Hammond Bay Road has sparked concern for some area residents, who fear their property values will drop because of the structure. The issue also opened debate about the health risks that some people say come with this type of technology. Vancouver East MP Libby Davies wants the federal government to take more of an active role in determining where the towers are installed. Her private members bill that should be introduced into the House of Commons this year, outlines why municipalities should be far more involved in the process. "I'm not saying they should be banned, but there should be full disclosure about their locations," said MP Libby Davies "It should also be mandatory that municipal governments be involved in where these towers are located".
OTTAWA - A bill that would enable generic drug companies to manufacture cheap AIDS drugs for developing countries cleared a major procedural hurdle in the House of Commons Feb 2 when unanimous consent was gained for the sponsorship to be transferred to NDP MP Paul Dewar. “There was a lot of work that went behind the scenes,” Masse says. “Libby Davies worked extremely well to try to gain compromise and to open the doors, and she felt that was brought forth and there was agreement on that".
OTTAWA - NDP House Leader Libby Davies persuaded the other parties to allow her NDP colleague Paul Dewar to be recognized as the bill’s new sponsor. Mr. Dewar has a slot near the top of Parliament’s order of precedence for private members’ bills, which means Bill C-393 could go to a final vote as early as March. “We saw proof today that Parliamentarians really can get things done together,” NDP industry critics Brian Masse, who has been fighting for the bill since Ms. Wasylycia-Leis’s departure, said in a press release.
OTTAWA - NDP MP Libby Davies spearheaded, and MPs from all parties co-hosted, what was billed as an Expert Panel on Drug Policy Reform. All panellists agreed the war on drugs has been a huge disaster and a waste of money. Portuguese Ambassador Pedro Moitinho de Almeida spoke of his country’s success with decriminalizing drugs.
The premier and his government had been dogged by continued anger over his decision to introduce the HST shortly after winning re-election in 2009. In fact, anger at Campbell was expressed even in the Commons on Wednesday, with Vancouver East NDP MP Libby Davies rubbing the HST in the premier's face. "This is one of those core fundamental issues about voter trust and democracy, and it's hitting the people of B.C. very hard, and that's why Gordon Campbell's paying a price, and it's why the Conservatives will pay a price, too," she said.
VANCOUVER - B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell fell on his political sword Wednesday, expressing hope that his resignation will refocus attention on his government's economic performance and away from the hated harmonized sales tax that was his undoing...In Ottawa, opposition MPs quickly blamed the Conservative government for Campbell's demise and suggested the Tories will pay the same price at the polls. "Everybody knows the premier of British Columbia just resigned because of the failure of the HST that was a fiasco caused by the Prime Minister and by the Minister of Finance," NDP MP Libby Davies said in Question Period.
KEHRSATZ, Switzerland — Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed a treaty here Friday that he says gives Canada an important new tool to track tax cheats who hide their money in Swiss accounts. But a new “double taxation” treaty Harper signed with Swiss president Doris Leuthard will only affect future taxation years, Canadian officials said, and won’t give Revenue Canada any new ways to track down a reported 1,800 Canadians who are hiding millions from Canada’s taxman... In the House of Commons, though, the NDP said Harper needs to do more to track rich tax cheats. “This government is letting wealthy tax evaders off the hook,” NDP MP Libby Davies told the Commons. “It is bragging about a tax treaty with Switzerland that will do little to recover billions of tax dollars hidden overseas by tax chiefs and corporations. What little information we do have on Canadian tax evaders is the result of the efforts of other countries, France and the United States.”
CANADA needs a plan to deal with a housing shortage that's reached crisis proportions, according to a coalition dedicated to drawing attention to the cause. On Tuesday, at demonstrations in cities across the country, including Winnipeg, housing advocates demanded that federal politicians support a private member's bill (Bill C-304) that would require Ottawa to develop a strategy to deal with the estimated 150,000 to 300,000 homeless people in Canada.
Ottawa: In an increasing shift away from the raucousness and rowdiness of a typical Question Period in the House of Commons, all parties made a special effort today to eliminate some of the antics common to QP and encouraged Members of Parliaments to be tough, not rough. “Libby Davies, House Leader for the New Democratic Party, took advantage of the day to underscore their efforts to make Parliament work, under often unpredictable and precarious circumstances. “The NDP has always been devoted to making the best use of MPs time and advancing the priorities of Canadians. Being respectful of our colleagues in the House, while continuing to ask the tough questions, is crucial to our success. “
It's 2010 — where are all the out lesbians in federal politics? Currently, there are only two out lesbians in Parliament — NDP MP Libby Davies, and Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth — while there are four out gay MPs, and a number of others for whom their sexuality is an open secret on the Hill. Why so few lesbians?
Meanwhile, NDP MP Libby Davies will preside over the launch of the Canada Day of Action for a Federal Housing Strategy, which is -- exactly what it sounds like, as far as I can tell. Oh, although it might be fun to see how the Liberal Party reacts to one of the more camera-friendly visuals set to be unveiled: One hundred red tents, which will be opened, amid much symbolic fanfare, just across from Parliament Hill before being marched to the Human Rights Monument on Elgin Street for a second rally.