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Parliament's prorogation won't slow down work: MPs

By Sara Carson, Orillia Packet & Times

Parliament won't reconvene until March 3, but local MPs say they won't be taking it easy.

"I would note that just because Parliament isn't siting in February, it doesn't mean we won't be very busy," said Barrie MPP Patrick Brown. "I already have a heavy schedule of events in Barrie that month supporting local causes."

Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton said his agenda will also remain full.

"We have a busy few weeks in front of us; we are going to keep staying active every day."

However, Liberals disagree and insist tax dollars are being wasted.

"I had a lot of people question what the MPs will be paid to be for the next three months when Parliament is not in session," said Steve Clarke, Simcoe North's 2008 Liberal candidate

"I know some people will be

doing stuff in the riding, of course, but their question is, 'Why would they be getting full salary?'"

Stanton said those beliefs are a "fallacy."

"People seem to think that the work of MPs begins and ends with the sessions in Parliament, but nothing could be further from the truth," he said. "The work that we do in the riding is critical in the role of representing the riding."

Clarke said the prorogation makes a " mockery of the Parliamentary process."

"Despite whatever my particular affiliation is, or isn't, I'm having a hard time believing that they should prorogue parliament two years in a row with no real solid basis for doing so," he said. "I think Canadians should be upset."

Former Barrie MP Aileen Carroll couldn't agree more. Now a provincial representative for the city, Carroll said she was quite discouraged by the federal government's decision.

"I was outraged initially, but I shouldn't be any more outraged than any other Canadian," she said. "It's an utter disregard to Parliament."

-- with files from Nicki Cruickshank

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