It’s back to business in Ottawa, including partisan politics.
Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap MP says opposition parties used Monday’s start of the fall session as a way to resume attacks on the Conservative government.
“There were a few balls of mud thrown across the floor on old issues that aren’t relevant and on new issues like the use of government aircraft,” he said.
Mayes says all parties must remain focused on issues of importance to Canadians and constant fighting takes away from legitimate debate.
“If the opposition wants to talk about decorum, they need to research issues. They need to do their homework.”
Mayes anticipates much of the fall session will revolve around the government’s election promises on scrapping the long-gun registry and getting tough on crime.
While statistics indicate the crime rate has dropped across the country in recent years, Mayes insists there is a need to take action to alleviate the fears of law-abiding citizens.
“We want to protect victims and hold criminals accountable,” he said.
“With some areas of crime, the numbers are down but violent crime among young people is not going down. We have a mandate to protect the most vulnerable — our children.”
The fall session also sees the NDP moving into official opposition without leader Jack Layton, who died this summer.
Mayes says he won’t speculate on how the NDP will adapt, but he admits that it’s an issue of concern for many constituents.
“It will be interesting to see how the NDP moulds themselves with their new seats in Quebec and where they will go with leadership,” he said.
A local issue that Mayes will focus on during the fall session is the forest sector and expanding opportunities for sales and jobs.
“If we can open up new trade markets, that is vital to the industry. We are starting to open up markets in India,” he said.