Honourable senators, before a parliamentarian takes their seat, the member or senator must make a solemn affirmation of allegiance or loyalty to Canada. In other words, we must all make a pledge to conduct ourselves in the best interests of this country. Breaking the oath of allegiance is a serious offence.
Parliamentarians come together in both Houses of Parliament to debate, to innovate and to act in the best interests of Canada and all Canadians. That includes healthy criticism, together with suggestions for viable solutions and directions. In fact, it is our obligation and responsibility.
However, the Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition continually demonstrates a disturbing willingness to put the interests of a narrow band of activists ahead of the interests of ordinary Canadians. From calls for a moratorium on oil sands development to attempts at pitting region against region, Thomas Mulcair and the NDP have become a major threat to Canada's economy, to our job creation and to our unity.
The very public, very anti-jobs and anti-Canadian junket to Washington by NDP MPs Megan Leslie and Claude Gravelle to protest against our energy resources crossed the line. The NDP is all too willing to abandon Canada's interests and sacrifices — over 700,000 jobs across Canada, as well as some $65 billion in projected revenues. The NDP is clearly putting the good of special interests groups ahead of that of their own members and their country. Otherwise, how would one justify this treasonous, contemptuous display by Leslie and Gravelle, or the latest salvo from the leader of the NDP decrying the oil sands as the root of all evil, "Canada's Dutch disease"? Clearly, this is the continuation of a 700-word rant in the March 2012 issue of Policy Options where he referred to tar sands and dirty oil and offers up a cap-and-trade solution.
Why is the NDP's answer to everything to kill it with taxes? One can only conclude that the NDP oppose creating jobs and are attacking Canada with reckless abandon and alarming regularity. After all, the oil sands hold the potential of billions of dollars of revenues that could be used to enhance social programs at all levels of government — municipal, provincial and federal. Is this not the demographic that precipitated the birth of an ideology, the principle to shelter the blue-collar worker from unfairness and to protect the union member rather than the union boss? Yet this new team in Ottawa is doing everything it can to kill the very lifeline of their unionized comrades. They are betraying their supporters and their country, a dangerous trend.
There is a fundamental ethos here that needs exposing. This persistent, unhealthy, anti-Canadian rhetoric is very damaging. It undermines our reputation and the respect with which we are held internationally.
Honourable senators, how often do foreign legislators come here with the sole purpose of denigrating their government, harming their economy and devaluing their position internationally? My guess is about as often as we see a blue moon.
At least we can count on one thing: Our government will continue to promote Canada and the oil sands as a stable, secure and ethical source of energy in the world.