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Canadian volunteers launch on-line video supporting Question Period reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto, December 1st, 2010 Canadian volunteers launch on-line video supporting Question Period reform

Canadians embarrassed and insulted by the antics in the House of Commons just launched an on-line video campaign backing Question Period reform. Citizens, actors, and a new media production company worked for free to create three short campaign videos calling on the Government to make Question Period less hostile and more functional.

See online video: http://www.nbtvtoday.com/everything-nbtv/fix-parliament/kitchen-table

“Canadians from across the country are emailing and calling their Members of Parliament. We’re fed up with what passes as acceptable behavior in Question Period”, said Katie Skinner, Canadians Advocating Political Participation (CAPP) Coordinator. “The goal of the campaign is to show our MPs that Canadians want Question Period to be less hostile and more functional. We wouldn’t tolerate this kind of petty behavior around the dinning room table, so why do we accept it in Parliament?” Said Ms. Skinner.

The House of Commons recently adopted Conservative Member of Parliament Michael Chong’s motion (M-517) instructing the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to study recommendations for improving Question Period, such as strengthening the Speaker’s authority to enforce decorum. It would also empower all MPs, especially backbenchers, the right to ask questions without having to be on the tightly controlled Party speakers list.

"All of these people were elected by the public. They are the public's voice. They should have the right to speak. As it stands only MPs on the Party controlled speakers list get to ask questions during Question Period." concluded Ms Skinner.

The committee has begun studying the proposals, and must report back to Parliament by April 7th, 2011. If a federal election is called before it comes back to Parliament for a vote the motion would have to be re-introduced.

Canadians Advocating Political Participation (CAPP) is a non-partisan national network of volunteers. The three goals of the organization are to: defend Canadian democracy, educate Canadians about current political issues, and encourage greater democratic participation by all Canadians.

i communications inc, an advertising/marketing company with a focus on new media out of Moncton New Brunswick filmed, edited, and produced the campaign videos free of charge. The actors also kindly volunteered their time and energy.

Available for comment:

Katie Skinner CAPP Toronto
Cell:
Email: katie.s (at)  torontoparticipates.ca

Shilo Davis
CAPP Calgary
Cell:
Email: shiloadavis (at) gmail.com

For more information on the campaign please visit: www.canadaparticipates.ca

To read MP Michael Chong's motion which made six recommendations on how to reform Question Period: http://www.michaelchong.ca/news2.asp?ID=133

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