‘Parliament is working better than ever right now’

Peter Van Loan heralds the health of our Westminster system


In marking the end of the fall sitting of Parliament, Government House leader Peter Van Loan seemed keen to celebrate the private members’ bills that had achieved royal assent over the last two years. Here is how he put it to reporters.

… We’re also demonstrating an empowered Members of Parliament who have delivered the most private members bills to royal assent ever in Canadian history of a substantive nature.

They aren’t bills like they used to be in the olden days that simply changed the name of a constituency but rather they’re bills that change the Criminal Code, that tear down interprovincial trade barriers, that make real substantive changes to the laws of the land to advance Members of Parliaments local interests. That’s something I think we can all be proud of and shows how Parliament is working better than ever right now.

And here is how he and the government put it in the official release.

In fact, this Parliament, has seen a record number of substantive private Members’ bills become law. Already, 19 have achieved Royal Assent on subjects ranging from tackling crime to removing interprovincial trade barriers.

“On top of everything we have accomplished, this year in Parliament has also been marked by an unprecedented level of individual Members of Parliament bringing forward and passing ideas which are very important to them and their constituents,” concluded Minister Van Loan.

This might come as some surprise to the Justice Minister.

Here is the official parliamentary record of private members’ bills that have passed both chambers. Sixteen of the bills passed in this Parliament (going back to 2011) were tabled by Conservative MPs.

C-475, C-464, C-442, C-419, C-383, C-321, C-313, C-311, C-310 and C-278 passed the House unanimously. C-370 drew one nay. C-300 drew three nays (presumably, I’m guessing, because the Bloc rejects all national things). Third reading votes on C-316, C-299, C-293 and C-288 broke entirely along party lines. C-268, C-304 and C-309 drew some dissent from the party lines.

So some number of private members’ bills are getting through Parliament. And yet still it would seem to require a brave man to proclaim, after these 12 months, that Parliament is working better than ever. Or perhaps “better than ever” is faint praise.

Meanwhile, Mr. Van Loan was reluctant to comment on the Reform Act.


‘Parliament is working better than ever right now’

  1. PVL greatest democrat ever, and ever and ever…!!!!

  2. “Small Man of the Canadian Parliament”, status yet?

  3. Parliament is working exactly as it’s always been intended to. Parliament doesn’t exist to promote back-benchers bills over government policy. The number of private members bills passed is a meaningless measure to judge the government by.

    I think the greater point is that the government is still working, and making things better for Canadians. Despite the NDP’s fixation on accusing the PM of things he wasn’t involved with, and Justin Trudeau’s recent musings that Parliament isn’t worth attending for someone of his high stature of Leader of the 3rd Place in Parliament.

    • Crack IS a terrible drug, isn’t it?

    • PVL bragged about how many PMB`s have passed to illustrate just how dam democratic this government is.

    • Rick, you’re right in that Parliament was always called in order to provide the monarch with funds to run the country. In that sense, Parliament exists to approve (or not) government policy. However, Parliament DOES have the right to reject government policy AND has won hard-fought battles over the centuries to put its business — not government’s — first.

      From that perspective, there are very few Westminster Parliaments that could be said to be running effectively.

    • Justin Trudeau doesn’t attend Parliament for a very simple reason. Instead of being exposed as the lightweight he is (Compared to Mulcair), Justin just has to travel around the country and show people how pretty he is, and how he wants to do politics differently, or how he wants to (place platitude here)…….
      Trudeau’s handlers have seen what happens when justin goes off script and reveals how vacous he is….better to let him travel the country and raise money for the next election.
      Besides….Parliament doesn’t need him…..the NDP is doing their job…and the Libs are getting the credit.
      Mulcair must be PISSSED !!
      (honourable mention to Even Soloman however, as the discussion about Canada post showed clearly that Trudeau remains clueless about most issues)

    • how is it better for majority of Canadians. The majority of Canadians (middle class) are no better off than when the Liberals were in power. And if you consider the cut back to services, scientific community support, the downloading of services to the provincial level we are worse off.

      Personal income taxes are projected to provide more than 50% of federal revenue. That means through the use of loopholes and corporate tax breaks the wealthy can continue to get richer, while the middle class continues to remain stagnant and use a larger percentage of their income to fund the government.

      “Despite record profits, corporations provide just 13.6% of the federal government’s revenues in corporate income taxes. That’s a third less than the over 20% share they provided during the “Golden Age of Capitalism” from 1946 to 1970.”


      • Really……pick a far left “economic” site to bolster your argument?
        Why didn’t you just post a copy of the “Communist Manifesto” instead?
        In case you didn’t notice….it is corporations and businesses that actually CREATE the economy. Every time some left – wing socialist attacks the business community…they show their economic illiteracy.
        Here’s a tidbit you may not be aware of. Most of us who do pay taxes don’t mind seeing it go to those who need it. What we are against, is paying taxes for social programs with little or no benefit other than getting those who promise them elected. It is not up to me…to pay your way.
        Unless of course, you are incapable of looking after yourself. If that’s the case…by all means, keep taking more than $50k per year from my earnings.

        • He provided statistics. If you’re claiming they’re incorrect, go ahead and provide the correct numbers.

          • thanks lenny!

          • I could also provide statistics showing the eating meat will kill you……but that means the PETA folks are a legitimate source for accurate info.
            I was questioning his source. If the source is suspect…then you should suspect the statistics as well. Just because you read it on a website…doesn’t mean it’s legit.
            give your head a shake.

          • you still didn’t respond to his request to correct the statistics listed. You only attacked my comment further through partisan goggles.
            Just because you don’t believe it and think the source is moot does not make you right.
            It just demonstrates arrogance not intelligence.

        • Why is progressive labeled socialist. I guess FDR was correct “A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward”

          Corporations and business are not the economy creators. They work within a macro economy created by the people.

          People create demand (economy); current forms of capitalism take the power away from the people who created the demand and give it to corporations to freely pervert.

          Most of who? Who is us? The right complain every chance they get about paying taxes.
          The one thing the right is correct on, is that governments suck at running the majority of things. OLP is a perfect example. The problem is business has proven itself to have little to no interest in making a better society. (Climate change streams directly into this; the deniers are corporate puppets). Governments are forced to pick up the slack of greedy right wing elitists.
          The right’s expectation of the CPC cutting back on government has certainly failed. they now run one of the largest governments in the past 20 years and yet provide one of the lowest levels of social support in the same given period. The CPC doesn’t have a spending issue or a deficit issue, they have a revenue issue. Andy they’re trying to solve it off the back of the middle class while ignoring those with the money.

          • Matt quoted:

            Why is progressive labeled socialist. I guess FDR was correct “A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward””
            I can quote too:
            “Any man who isn’t a Liberal in his 20’s…has no heart. Any man who isn’t a Conservative in his 40’s…has no brain”
            Who said that?
            As for your views on Capitalism…..my original comments stand. Clearly, you are an economic illiterate, and this site will simply not allow the space for me to show you how it works.
            The terminolgy you use, show clearly that you are just another un-educated “occupy” type who prefers to complain about the economy which seems to have left you behind.

          • I don’t know who said that, was it a highly regarded former US president? doubtful.
            Your original comments don’t stand, you provided no debatable argument. All you did was spew off partisan attacks (very typical of the conservatives in the face of alternative views).
            Clearly you are incapable of progressing your view past the currently exposed failing system you laud as superior.

            But thank you for the direct attack at who you think I am, my education level and my place in the economy. Your inability to look past your prejudices clearly show your opinion as irrelevant. You are yet to make a clear argument as to why my original comments are wrong. You have now been provided multiple opportunities to refute both my comments and those that came after; and have been quite unsuccessful.

        • Have you heard of the Scandinavian countries?
          Corporations and business won’t exist when people don’t have the means to buy. Business can make profits only when there is demand …and demand comes from people consuming. Business doesn’t consume …it won’t produce anything if people are not buying. Understand this basic economic fact and then you can see Conservative ideology does not make sense.

        • We are stuck in this economic doldrums because there is little demand …with wealth concentrated in the hands of few, consumption is curtailed. After all, how many TVs does a rich man need.
          Business is not spending, preferring to hang on to cash, because why invest when there is NO demand.
          The shrinking pay check of the working and middle class is the source of the economic doldrums.

        • Suggest “A Christmas Carol” this year.

    • There are always people who like dictatorship. Most Canadians, at least 66 percent prefer democracy.

      • Justin Trudeau prefers dictorships…….ask him about China.

  4. PVL is trolling Canadians with comments like that.

  5. This is coming from a government that scripts every word Con ministers and MPs say to the press via “Message Event Proposal.” Odds are these private member’s bills were put in play by Harper’s Ministry of Truth. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

    • Ron…..
      You do realize that “1984” was a novel about the evil of socialism / communism right?
      Interesting that you quote it to try and make the ONLY party in Canada that opposed those ideologies look bad.
      Trust me……if the folks in the NDP ever got into power, your rights as an individual would disappear faster than Michael Ignatieff after losing an election.

      • And yet they oddly are the party that adheres closest to the principles espoused by the Ministry of Truth.
        Please explain how they “opposed” them. Forget about citing the (un)Accountability Act; that’s not fit to wipe my butt with. PBO? Good idea that they have tried hard to ignore, manipulate and crush because it wasn’t parroting the PMO lines. And so on and so on… basically, what they say and what they do are diametrically opposed.
        So, please – explain exactly how they are NOT using 1984 as their playbook?

        • If I have to explain it to you….it is clear you have never read the book. Or…if you have read it, you did not grasp the concepts therin.
          If the latter case applies, might I recommend you expand your reading selection somewhat. perhaps you can move on to books that don’t “pop up” when you open them That would be a good start.

      • 1984 was pointed at a communist government, but it was meant as a critique on a totalitarian and fascist government which controlled everything, including the media, and history which they revised quite frequently.

        • You note: “government which controlled everything”
          And being a Conservatie, that is exactly what I am afraid of. You may note, that all of the opposition parties currently in Canada, are in favour of expanded Government control.
          the only party in Canada opposed to Government control of everthing…is the party currently in power.

      • Same tricks worked well in Germany.

  6. Van Loan must be on a different planet than the rest of his fellow citizens outside the HoC.

    • When PVL is saying its working as it should, he really means its working as he and his leader prefer it to work.

  7. Has anybody considered the possibility that PVL just says stuff like this to make righteous Liberal and Dipper heads explode? Based on most of the comments here, I’d say it’s an effective strategy.

    • its the CPC strategy. half truths and manipulations all controlled very tightly through one man.
      And sheeple will be sheeple to continue to follow this party. No different than the sheeple following the OLP. Sheeple following these ridiculous politicians to an empty trough all the while paying the wealthy to get there.