(propotional representation) is
a top priority of the newly appointed justice critic for the New
Democratic Party of Canada, Lorne Nystrom.
Proctor get nod for critic posts
By Andrew Ehrkamp
February 5, 2003
Newly-minted federal NDP Leader
Jack Layton has given two Regina MPs, including one leadership
rival, new positions within the party's caucus.
MP Lorne Nystrom, a contender during last month's NDP leadership
race, has been given responsibilities for justice, electoral and
parliamentary reform, the solicitor-general's department, human
rights, financial institutions and pensions.
Nystrom, the party's
former finance critic who finished third behind Layton in the
leadership race, said he considers his new justice portfolio a
"change" and not a demotion. Nystrom notes he's still the NDP critic
responsible for financial institutions and pensions.
This is the
first time Nystrom has been his party's justice critic.
issue for me, in justice, is proportional representation which has
been a passion of mine," said Nystrom, who wants Canada's
first-past-the-post electoral system replaced. "If a party gets 20
per cent of the votes, they should get 20 per cent of the seats."
As justice critic, he will also be the party's point man when it
comes to holding the federal government to account for its
controversial gun registry.
Nystrom said the gun registry -- for
which costs have shot up from $2 million to $1 billion -- has been
the biggest "boondoggle" he's seen in his 29 years in parliament.
Palliser MP Dick Proctor -- who supported second-place finisher,
Manitoba MP Bill Blaikie, in the leadership race -- continues as
NDP's agriculture critic.
"Saskatchewan is an agricultural
province, and it's important that we be front and centre on the
issue as much as possible," said the Regina-area MP, adding
agriculture will be his main focus in parliament.
try to break the cycle of drought and despair in many agricultural
sectors. Input costs are rising and returns are getting ever
Proctor is also responsible for political party financing
at a time when the federal government has planned reforms.
bill, introduced by the Chretien government, proposes that only
individuals be able to make political contributions and it imposes
limits on those contributions.
Proctor said the NDP supports the
bill's ban on corporate and trade union donations, but his party's
concerns include so-called trust funds held by backbench MPs and
cabinet ministers. The NDP wants them dismantled. Proctor is also
the NDP's critic for western economic diversification, the Canadian
Wheat Board, Canada Post, post-secondary education and sports.