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Updated: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 13:44:14 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

NDP determined to abolish Senate, Mulcair says



NDP determined to abolish Senate, Mulcair says

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair today began a cross-country tour to spread his party's message that the Senate is full of unelected party hacks who have no business writing Canada's laws and should be abolished now.

Mulcair launched his "roll up the red carpet" campaign by delivering a speech on Parliament Hill, ahead of travelling to Halifax later Monday.

"Today we're here to mark the beginning of the end of a discredited, outdated and undemocratic institution," Mulcair said during the speech.

The NDP has long called for the Senate to be scrapped, and Mulcair said Canadians are now catching on to that idea and it's time to abolish it "once and for all."

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"Unelected party hacks have no place writing or rewriting the laws of this country. It's as simple as that," he said.

Mulcair said he will consult with Canadians and work with the provinces and territories to get the upper chamber abolished.

'Drunk with entitlement and power'

"We're determined to get this done and we will get this done," he said.

Mulcair said the Liberals, when they were in power, and now the Conservatives have fostered a culture of entitlement when it comes to their Senate appointments, and the NDP is the only party that can fix Ottawa.

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"It's hard to be a place of sober second thought when you are drunk with entitlement and power," he said about the Senate.

Speaking to reporters after his speech, Mulcair said the recent spending scandals involving senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Pamela Wallin have prompted Canadians to reflect on the Senate.

"Canadians deserve better," he said.

Mulcair was also asked about the situation in Syria, and said that if Canada is considering intervention, Parliament has to be reconvened.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to ask Gov. Gen. David Johnston to prorogue Parliament, which would mean MPs would not return to Ottawa on Sept.16 as scheduled.

"To see a government in the 21st century gassing its own citizens is an abomination, and the world has to move against that. That should be done through the institutions of international law, in particular the United Nations," he said, adding that it's a "tragedy" Canada doesn't sit on the Security Council.

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