POLITICS

MPs differ on Harper's first majority year

05/14/2012 02:41 EDT | Updated 07/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Three New Brunswick MPs have very different takes on the federal Conservative government's first year with a majority.

Conservative MP Mike Allen of Tobique-Mactaquac said it's been a very productive year for the government of Stephen Harper. He cites the long-term shipbuilding contract to Irving, speeding up the review process for natural resource projects and safe communities legislation.

"Which are all things that are challenging, but certainly would have been much more challenging in a minority environment," Allen said.

NDP MP Yvon Godin of Acadie-Bathurst said there were also record job losses in the Atlantic region, a loss of regional government services such as immigration and cuts to employment insurance.

"If he finds that a good one year for them? It's not a good year for the democracy of our country," Godin said.

Liberal Dominic LeBlanc of Beausejour gives the government its due for the shipbuilding deal, but said he's surprised and worried by the way the Harper government has been using its majority.

"To close off debate regularly, to shut down committees from being able to hear different voices, or voices that disagree," he said.

LeBlanc also challenges the Conservative's job creation claims, noting that in the first quarter of this year, while the Canadian economy created 82,000 jobs, New Brunswick lost 5,700 jobs.

But Allen said that's why it's important for New Brunswick to put the "right principles" in place to allow job creation.

"We have tremendous resource opportunities in New Brunswick. We've got mining potential in New Brunswick and we want to ensure that we at least put on a footing that some of these projects get the right level of approval that they can go ahead in a sustainable and responsible fashion," Allen said.