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Mulcair sets sights on BC senator in nation-wide tour

Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair stopped in B.C. today as part of his "roll up the red carpet" tour to keep the public spotlight on the Senate expense scandal.

In Port Moody, Mulcair focused on B.C. Senator Yonah Martin, who ran as for the federal Conservative Party in New Westminster-Coquitlam in the 2008 federal election, narrowly losing to NDP candidate Dawn Black.

In a press release issued today, Mulcair called Harper's appointment of a failed candidate a "slap in the face to Canadian voters."

Mulcair's week-long tour is part of a national campaign to publicize the NDP's position that the Senate should be abolished.

"The unelected bagmen, defeated candidates, and party hacks that fill the Senate have so little useful impact on the way this country is run, we won't even notice it's gone," Mulcair said in a kick-off speech on Ottawa's Parliament Hill Monday morning.

Although Mulcair's motion calling for abolition was opposed by the Liberal and Conservative parties, the federal government has asked the Supreme Court of Canada to consider options for Senate reform, including abolition. The province of Manitoba made a submission to the court on Tuesday in support of abolition.

Manitoba's Attorney General and Justice Minister Andrew Swan released a statement that read: "In our view, the Senate is fundamentally flawed and it's time to abolish it. I urge the federal government to engage the provinces in consultation with the ultimate goal of finding consensus to abolish the upper chamber."

Colleen Kimmett is an editor at The Tyee.

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