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Parliament must vote to prorogue: NDP

The New Democratic Party has vowed to introduce new rules for prorogation when Parliament returns.

"The government should only prorogue Parliament on a vote in the House of Commons. This will inform the Governor General of the will of the majority, so that prorogation happens when it is needed – not simply when the Prime Minister feels like it," NDP leader Jack Layton said in a release.

The proposals came out of an three-day NDP caucus retreat in Wakefield, Quebec.

"Stephen Harper won the election with the promise of a new day in Ottawa... But that new day never dawned. Instead we have more secrets, more arrogance and more disdain for the elected House of the people of Canada," Layton said.

"There's a new politics; a grassroots politics driven by Canadians. Ordinary Canadians coming together to organize town halls and rallies; joining social networking groups, making their voices heard in new media," the NDP leader added. "But the new politics needs new rules to make Parliament stronger."

Layton has said the NDP will support the more than 50 local anti-prorogation rallies scheduled to take place this weekend, and will return his caucus to Ottawa on January 25 as previously scheduled.

Anti-prorogation events are planned for Duncan, Kamloops, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Penticton, Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Vernon, Victoria and Whitehorse, among other cities.

Monte Paulsen reports for The Tyee.

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