Marie Bountrogianni, Candidate for Hamilton Mountain in Federal Election 2011
Details page for this candidate.
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Candidate Details (top)
|Election||Federal Election 2011|
|Party||Liberal Party of Canada|
Responses to Questions (top)
|Question||Brief Response||Full Response|
|Please explain how the Prime Minister and cabinet are formed in the Canadian Parliamentary system.||Yes||Contrary to legally inaccurate statements recently made by Stephen Harper, the government is not necessarily formed in Canadian parliamentary democracy by the party that wins the most seats. Rather, the government is formed by whatever party receives the endorsement (the affirming "confidence vote") of the House of Commons, by a vote by the majority of Members, of all parties.
If the party with the most seats does not receive that endorsement, then the Governor General is empowered by the Constitution to invite the Opposition to try to form a government, with the support of the House.
The Prime Minister is simply the leader of the governing party. He or she selects cabinet ministers generally from the MPs of the government, or sometimes from the Senate caucus of the governing party.
|Do you believe global oil production is at or near an historic peak? If so, what will your party do to prepare Canada for declining oil production? If not, why not?||Maybe||The oil sands in Alberta are an important national resource. I believe that we need to extract that oil, for national economic well-being and energy needs. But we also need to conserve that resource, and use the most environmentally friendly means possible in the extraction process.|
|Will your party take steps to make sure the foreign purchase of Canadian companies does not cost Canadian jobs? If so, what will you do? If not, why not?||Yes||In principle, I am very committed to laws that ensure that foreign take-overs of Canadian companies preserve Canadian jobs. Industry and trade policy should be geared toward creating real, lasting work opportunities for Canadians.|
|Will you always vote along party lines, or are you prepared to vote your conscience on a matter in which you disagree with your party's position?||Maybe||Politics is often about negotiation and compromise between different points of view. No legislation is ever "perfect". Therefore, on some matters, I would be willing to put aside some personal concerns in order to vote for key legislation -- or for legislation that isn't perfect, but is still necessary, or good.
If a matter arose in which I objected to my party's direction, I would do everything I could to change the party policy. I would dialogue with my colleagues, with party members, and with members of the public -- in order to share my own concerns, and to hear and consider other perspectives. If, in the end, I was unable to change party's position, and yet I still had a profound, conscientious objection, I would be willing to vote with my conscience.
|The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has recommended that CBC's annual parliamentary grant be raised from $33 per Canadian to $40. Will you support this recommendation? Why or why not? If so, will you advocate for a Hamilton-based CBC radio station?||Yes||I am firmly committed to providing for the funding needs of the CBC. The national broadcaster is a foundation of Canadian culture and unity. As MPP for Hamilton Mountain, I was a supporter of TV-Ontario, the public arts and education channel for the province, and would bring that same commitment to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
A Hamilton office for the CBC is a great idea. If the CBC budget and content needs are conducive to creating a Hamilton office, I would be glad to help get the project off the ground.
|Do you believe the Federal Government needs to do more to support cities? If so, what needs to change? If not, why not?||Yes||Cities are the engines of the national economy. There is an increasing amount of evidence from university departments of economics, commerce, and business to prove that fact. Rural communities make important contributions too: economic development for rural and northern Canada is a necessity.
At the same time, the government certainly needs to do more to help cities and maximize their economic potential.
Improved, high-speed transportation between cities would be a great way to improve the business climate - but there has been a disappointing lack of action on this front from the federal government. By contrast, transportation and a renewed commitment to cities would be important concerns for a Liberal government.
|Do you support Vrancor's attempt to remove heritage protection from 150 Main Street West (the old Revenue Canada building)? Why or why not?||No||I am a firm supporter of protection for our heritage buildings. As a former President and Executive Director of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Board of Governors, I recognize that preserving Canada's great historic public architecture and art-works is a necessity.|
|Do you believe parliamentary rule has been eroding in Canada? If so, what will you do to reverse it? If not, why not?||Yes||Parliamentary rule has certainly eroded in recent years. The Stephen Harper government is the first government in the history of Canada to have been found in contempt of Parliament by the Speaker of the House of Commons and by Parliament. This ruling came as a result of flagrant lies and dishonesty in the government's statements to the House.
As an MP, I would conduct myself as I did as a provincial Member at Queen's Park: with respect for the rules of Parliament, and for the need for open, honest, and genuinely engaged debate.
|Do you believe human activity is contributing to climate change? If so, what should we do about it? If not, why not?||Yes||Yes, I am absolutely convinced by the scientific evidence to the effect that global warming is real, and caused in significant part by human activity. Natural fluctuations in the planetary temperature are one factor in the change. But we cannot deny the role of pollution from our factories, cars, and farming in the increase.
The Liberal Party has always been committed to the Kyoto Protocol. The protocol is an international law under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Developed in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and in force since February 2005, the Protocol commits its signatory-governments to significant reductions in the materials that cause global warming.
I am proud that the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in significant part by the previous federal Liberal government.
Unfortunately, the Harper Conservatives have abandoned the Kyoto Protocol and declared that we are not bound to any degree by our solemn commitments under the agreement. The results have been variously negative:
- Canada has lost prestige internationally, and within the United Nations specifically.
- We have missed out on developing the more robust green technology sector that Kyoto compliance would help bring about - green technology being
consistently identified by economists as a key sector for national job creation.
- The historic Canadian commitment to international law has been eroded it, and with it the vital project of international law itself.
- Our pollution rates continue to climb, and global warming with it.
- The severe implications for human health in our high pollution rates are only now being figured out.
With all of this in mind, it is essential that Canada re-commit to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions, and to fulfilling our legal obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.
|Will your platform promote the growth of manufacturing jobs in Hamilton? If so, how? If not, why not?||Yes||Manufacturing is an important element of employment in Hamilton, and across Canada. We need to protect as many manufacturing jobs as possible, and draw manufacturers to Canada through our international competitive advantages: a skilled, educated workforce, and a labour pool rich in technological know-how.
The platform of the Liberal Party commits the party to creating jobs in micro-technology and green technology. These areas in which Hamilton is particularly competitive, given our vibrant university sector and educated population.
|Do you believe the Federal Government is doing everything it can to complete the cleanup of Randle Reef? Why or why not?||No||The federal government's supposed commitment to cleaning up Randle Reef has yet to be realized in fact. The eight-year estimated time window for the clean-up is supposed to be completed by 2016. However, this process is threatened by the notorious reluctance of the Harper government to follow through with necessary environmental measures. The reef is still a significant problem.
Given the Harper government's violation of the international Kyoto Protocol treaty on global warming and general disregard for environmental policy, there is good reason to think that steady funding for the Randle Reef clean-up will not be forthcoming.
It is worth noting here that a 2007 study by York University researchers revealed that the net benefits (environmental, social and economic) of cleaning up Randle Reef are estimated at $126 million over 25 years. This project would further advance the economic competitiveness of the region through expanded port facilities and shoreline redevelopment. The reasons for cleaning up the reef are therefore economic as well as environmental.
|Will you call for a full public inquiry into the 2010 G20? Why or why not?||Maybe||As the facts emerge about the G20 summit and the accompanying demonstrations, there is more and more evidence that civil liberties were very seriously violated. The Liberal Party brought Canada the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the central part of our national Constitution. As such, the party is firmly committed to civil liberties, and objects to all unfair violations of our constitutional freedoms.
The Harper government also wasted a tremendous amount of money on unnecessary beautification projects leading up to the G20. Approximately $50 million was spent in the Conservative Industry Minister's Muskoka riding on projects supposedly related to the G20, but really of highly dubious value. The Auditor-General of Canada will soon be releasing her report on this matter. We need to wait for that report in order to have all of the facts. However, it seems that there was much waste, and a great lack of transparency in terms of how the G20 money was allocated and spent.
|Do you support some form of proportional representation instead of first-past-the-post voting? If so, what will you do to promote it? If not, why not?||No||Although I did consider proportional representation as a viable system when I was Minister for Democratic Renewal, the Ontario public did not vote for it in a referendum in 2007. I respect the public's view.
In addition being Canada's traditional, constitutional way of electing Members of Parliament, "first past the post" has several practical advantages:
- Proportional representation leads a too-wide variety of small, narrowly focused parties.
- "First past the post", by contrast, discourages this fractious "splintering", making it easier for governments to develop and pass legislation in a stable, effective, and focused way.
- "First past the post" encourages parties to be centrist and inclusive, so as to attract the votes a broad cross-section of Canadians on election day. In turn, this encourages the parties to listen to a greater diversity of voices and reasonable views in forming policy.
- In "first past the post", there is a close physical-geographical link between the MP and the people in her constituency. "First past the post" makes MPs directly accountable to real people and real local communities. This is lacking in proportional representation.