Opinion

The new Parliament is off to a good start 0

DEAN ALLISON

The 41st Parliament of Canada is only a few weeks in and I am already pleasantly surprised at the air of civility and cooperation that has been experienced between the government and the Opposition. Indeed the NDP has been a far more willing partner in providing input and supporting worthwhile initiatives than it has been in previous Parliaments.

While the NDP's opposition to our government's budget remains par for the course so-to-speak, it is heartening to see them offering their support and providing helpful input to our work on law and order issues. Indeed, legislation to address mega-trials', which are court proceedings that often result in the release of multiple accused due to the estimated length of time that it would take to try the case, is receiving NDP support.

This necessity of this legislation was highlighted after a high profile case in which a Quebec Superior Court judge released 31 alleged members of the Hells Angels biker gang, arguing that the trial could take nearly a decade to complete.

A recent vote to extend Canada's involvement in the United Nations authorized mission to protect innocent civilians in Libya, also received Opposition support.

It is in this newfound climate of collaboration that I will be reintroducing my Parliamentary motion to raise awareness to the threat of Anaphylaxis, a medical condition which involves severe and life threatening allergic reactions. This motion is to be referred to as, "M-230". This initiative has received broad cross-party support in the past and I am certain that it will enjoy such support again.

As seen previously, the aim of this legislation will be to help Canadians better understand this often fatal condition that affects close to 1 in 13 Canadians according to recent medical research.

I would also like to take this opportunity to note that I have been once again honoured by being chosen as the chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development and am very much looking forward to serving again in this capacity.

In previous Parliaments I have had the honour of experiencing firsthand the challenges that are faced when one has to guide individuals of all political stripes in important discussions and moderating compromises. With our government now in a majority situation it presents a unique challenge to ensure that all

viewpoints are properly considered.

With the oft-repeated pledges by governments and political parties alike to achieve new levels of cooperation and decorum in the history of Parliamentary discourse, it is refreshing to see that this Parliament is already off to a great start for those MPs who seek substance and collaboration in their work on behalf of their constituents.

I can only hope that this new air of civility continues as the spring session of Parliament wraps up and we move into addressing fresh challenges in the fall.

Dean Allison is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Niagara West-Glanbrook riding which includes Pelham.


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