Submitted by admin on Mon, 05/07/2012 - 18:30
I would like to inform you that I recently left the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages because of the partisan climate of "treading water" that prevails, and that undermines the effectiveness of parliamentary work.
I sensed an overwhelming desire to control everything on the part of Conservatives in committees. I left the committee because any initiative from the opposition is automatically nipped in the bud by the conservative majority, which imposes the "in camera" rule excessively and consequently, both members and minority official languages communities lose valuable time.
That being said, I was called upon to assume new responsibilities yesterday, those of "Liberal Advocate for Co-operatives". Even with these new responsibilities, I maintain my commitment to official language minority communities, and the issues that are dear to us.
In closing, I invite you to read the Press Release below that I sent this afternoon to the media (see below).
MP Mauril Bélanger is Called to New Responsibilities
OTTAWA, May 7th, 2012 – “Co-operatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.” – Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General.
Given the declaration by the United Nations of 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, the Honourable Mauril Bélanger, MP for Ottawa-Vanier, has been appointed Liberal Advocate for Co-operatives by the Honourable Bob Rae, Liberal Interim Leader.
“The newly created role of Advocate for Co-operatives is based on openness, collaboration, awareness and avoids partisanship. It is a progressive, positive and evidence-based role. I intend to promote Canadian co-operatives and their values, as well as assist them to the best of my abilities,” said MP Bélanger.
Over 18 million people are members of Canadian co-operatives. There are approximately 9,000 co-operatives in Canada. These include: more than 2,200 housing co-operatives which are home to about 250,000 individuals, more than 1,300 agricultural co-ops, more than 650 retail co-operatives, nearly 900 credit unions and caisses populaires with close to 11 million members, about 450 co-ops offering child care or early childhood education, more than 600 worker (employee-owned) co-ops with a total membership of over 13,000, and more than 100 health care co-operatives. Co-operatives, including credit unions, have an estimated $252 billion in assets and the co-operative sector employs more than 155,000 people.
Office of the Hon. Mauril Bélanger, M.P.