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Layton to Harper: Recall Parliament

"I am calling on the Prime Minister to reconsider his decision to prorogue Parliament," NDP leader Jack Layton said on Wednesday.

"I call on him to change the date of the recall of the prorogation to January 25," he said.

"In exchange the New Democratic Party will agree to reinstate all of the bills that were sent back to square one to the place they were at prior to the prorogation, so that we can get on with the business at hand," Layton told a scrum of reporters outside the Vancouver Public Library.

Layton said his offer represents "an effort to try and make Parliament work," and that NDP members will be on Parliament Hill on the 25th. Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff has also instructed this members to return to Ottawa by the 25th, the date on which Parliament was previously scheduled to resume work.

Layton, who spoke with Vancouver MP Libby Davies at his side, said that during an upcoming retreat the NDP caucus will look at proposals for parliamentary reform.

"Clearly Parliament needs some fixing," Layton said. "Including, explicitly, how we can insist upon the responsible use of the prorogation privilege."

Layton noted that among the 36 bills that have died as a result of Harper's prorogation are bills needed to address "crisis" in pensions, unemployment insurance, and climate change.

"Mr. Harper has completely misread the mood of the Canadian people and how they feel about their democracy," he said.

Monte Paulsen reports for The Tyee.

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