OTTAWA — Conservative MPs are smiling as they depart Ottawa for the summer. Gone is the constant hammering by constituents concerned about the Senate scandal. Instead, the Tories have been having fun prodding the NDP about its mailing scandal and satellite offices.

MPs describe the tone in Parliament as having been particularly toxic this year. There are stories of outbursts at all-party leadership meetings held behind closed doors.

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan readily acknowledged during a recent interview with HuffPost that he expected the House of Commons to break early this year, with midnight sittings. Instead, the NDP kept everyone in Ottawa until last week.

Yet, Van Loan, a broad smile on his face, said he believes the tone in the Commons has improved every year since he has been in Ottawa.

“Yeah, there is a lot of horsing around and joking and people taking shots at each other in the House and having fun with that, but I don’t think there is a deeply personal [animosity],” he said.

While the opposition parties complain about the Fair Elections Act and changes to Canadian citizenship, Van Loan said none of those concerns have arisen in his riding.

“A lot of the stuff that we have done on the economic front has slid by, hasn’t gotten a lot of attention. The Fair Elections Act has been, in contrast, something that my constituents, nobody talked about. But it seemed to be very very exciting to the pack up there,” he said.

Van Loan said he most significant achievement of the spring was passing the government’s budget, which kept the lid on taxes and paved the way for a balanced budget and tax cuts next year.

He also praised five of his colleagues’ private members’ bills that became law, and dealt with small criminal issues and imposing tough penalties on those convicted of desecrating a war memorial or a cenotaph.

A look back at key legislation passed. Story continues below

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  • JUSTICE

    <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6319560" target="_blank">The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act</a>

  • FINANCE

    <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6483626" target="_blank">Economic Action Plan 2014 Act</a>

  • FIRST NATIONS

    - <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6266869" target="_blank">The First Nations Elections Act</a> - <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6365366" target="_blank">The Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Governance Act</a> - <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6433980" target="_blank">The Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Act</a> - <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6527484" target="_blank">The Tla'amin Final Agreement Act</a>

  • THE NORTH

    <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6349930" target="_blank">The Northwest Territories Devolution Act</a>

  • IMMIGRATION

    <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6401990" target="_blank">The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act</a>

  • ELECTIONS

    - <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6398775" target="_blank">The Fair Elections Act</a> - <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6644834" target="_blank">The Riding Name Change Act</a>

  • TRADE

    <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=6376567" target="_blank">The Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act</a>

  • NEXT: How Much Do Canadian MPs and Senators Make?

  • On April 1, 2014, members of Parliament received a 2.2 per cent pay increase, bringing the basic pay of each MP up to $163,700 from $160,200 the year prior. But while that base salary is the same for every member, certain MPs are afforded the chance to make much more. The full list of indemnities, salaries and allowances can be found <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/lists/Salaries.aspx?Menu=HOC-Politic&Section=03d93c58-f843-49b3-9653-84275c23f3fb" target="_blank">here.</a>

  • Member of the House of Commons

    Tory MP Brad Butt (Mississauga-Streetsville) is an example of an MP who earns just the base salary afforded to all MPs. <strong>2014 Salary: $163,700</strong> There are currently 308 MPs.

  • Prime Minister of Canada

    The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, however, makes double the salary of your average MP. <strong>2014 Salary: $327,400 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong>

  • Speaker of the House of Commons

    Tory MP Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu'Appelle) earns the base salary, plus $78,300 for serving as Speaker. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car allowance: $1,000</strong>

  • Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons

    NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair earns the base MP salary, plus $78,300 for leading the Official Opposition. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong>

  • Cabinet Minster

    Treasury Board President Tony Clement (Parry Sound–Muskoka), like other cabinet ministers, earns $78,300 on top of the base MP salary. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong> There are 39 cabinet ministers in Harper's government (including ministers of state who make slightly less).

  • Minister of State

    Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton), like all other ministers of state, earns $58,700 on top of his base MP salary. But junior ministers do not received a car allowance. <strong>2014 Salary: $222,400</strong>

  • Leader of Other Parties

    Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and the leaders of the Green Party and Bloc Quebecois earn the base MP salary, plus $55,600 for serving as their party's top dog. <strong>2014 Salary: $219,300</strong>

  • Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

    Tory MP Peter Van Loan (York-Simcoe) earns $78,300 on top of the base MP salary. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong>

  • Oppostion House Leader

    NDP MP Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster) earns the base MP salary plus a $40,600 pay bump for serving as Opposition House leader. <strong>2014 Salary: $204,300</strong> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/21/nathan-cullen-ndp-finance-critic-salary_n_5007937.html" target="_blank">Former NDP House leader Nathan Cullen recently took a $40,000 pay cut to move from that role to NDP finance critic.</a>

  • House Leader (Other Parties)

    Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour), earns the base MP salary plus $16,300 for serving as House leader for his party. <strong>2014 Salary: $180,000</strong>

  • Chief Government Whip

    Tory MP John Duncan (Vancouver Island North) earns the base MP salary, plus $29,400 for serving as the Harper government's whip. <strong>2014 Salary: $193,100</strong>

  • Chief Opposition Whip

    NDP MP Nycole Turmel (Hull—Aylmer) also earns an additional $29,400 for serving as the Opposition's whip. <strong>2014 Salary: $193,100</strong>

  • Parliamentary Secretary

    Tory MP Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham) is one of 31 parliamentary secretaries who gets a $16,300 pay bump on top of their salaries. <strong>2014 Salary: $180,000</strong>

  • UP NEXT: Pierre Poilievre Through The Years

  • Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises in the House of Commons to apologize for making an obscene gesture yesterday, in Ottawa Wednesday June 14, 2006. (CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)

  • Ottawa-area Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre smiles as he talks with reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Tuesday Feb. 27, 2007. Poilievre referred to "extremist elements" in the Liberal party that want to ease anti-terror laws and shut down the Air India inquiry last week.(CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson) Canada

  • Democratic Reform Minister Peter Van Loan (right), with Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre looking on, makes an announcement on the introduction of the Accountability with Respect to Loans legislation at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec across the river from Ottawa, Tuesday May 8, 2007.(CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand) CANADA ,

  • Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises in the House of Commons to apologize for saying in a radio interview Wednesday that native people need to learn the value of hard work more than they need residential schools compensation, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday June 12, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tom Hanson

  • With copies of the Conservative accountabilty booklets, Conservative M.P. Pierre Poilievre waits for the start of the Commons House affairs committee looking into allegations of Tory election spending misconduct during the last election, on Monday Sept. 10, 2007 in Ottawa. (CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand)

  • Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks in the House of Commons during question period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday June 16, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

  • Pierre Poilievre, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, leaves a news conference after speaking with the media about the gun registry in the Foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday September 14, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

  • Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday October 15, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Adrian Wyld

  • Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre poses with a bust of Sir John A. Macdonald after announcing the former Bank of Montreal building would be renamed in honour of Canada's first prime minister during a ceremony in Ottawa, Ont., Wednesday January 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

  • Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday February 28, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

  • Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre holds up copies of legislation as he responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Friday October 19, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

  • Pierre Poilievre is sworn in as the minister of state for democratic reform during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, July 15, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

  • The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), poses for a group photo after the swearing in of the federal cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, July 15, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

  • Minister of State Pierre Poilievre stands in the House of Commons during Question Period, in Ottawa Friday, February 7, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

  • Minister of State (Democratic Reform) Pierre Poilievre responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, February 27, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

  • UP NEXT: The Fair Election Act

  • "The Fair Elections Act will ensure everyday citizens are in charge of democracy, by putting special interests on the sidelines and rule-breakers out of business," says Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre. Read more about the Fair Elections Act <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/harper-government-introduces-fair-elections-act" target="_blank">here.</a>

  • Crackdown On Illegal Robocalls

    The legislation proposes a <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-protecting-voters-rogue-callers" target="_blank">mandatory public registry</a> for mass automated election calls, jail time for those convicted of impersonating an elections official, and "increased penalties for deceiving people out of their votes."

  • No More 'Vouching' For Your Buddy

    In the interest of cracking down on voter fraud, the bill would prohibit the practice whereby one Canadian vouches for another's identity at a polling station. In fact, voter information cards will no longer be accepted as proof of identity. <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-fair-elections-act-cracking-down-voter-fraud" target="_blank">But the government says voters will still have 39 forms of authorized ID to choose from in order to prove their identity and residence.</a>

  • Independence For The Elections Commissioner

    The Commissioner of Canada Elections office, responsible for enforcing the elections law, will be moved under the mantle of the public prosecutor's office, not Elections Canada. Conservatives believe this will give the commissioner <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-independent-commissioner-sharper-teeth-longer-reach-and-freer-hand" target="_blank">more independence</a> as the Chief Electoral Officer will no longer be able to direct him to carry out investigations. In future, the commissioner would be appointed by the director of public prosecutions to a non-renewable, seven-year term. The legislation <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/02/04/fair-elections-act-poilievre-robocalls_n_4723565.html" target="_blank">also bars</a> former political candidates, political party employees, ministerial or MP staffers or employees of Elections Canada from being named commissioner. <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-independent-commissioner-sharper-teeth-longer-reach-and-freer-hand" target="_blank">Tories believe the legislation will give the commissioner "sharper teeth" and a "longer reach" to seek out stronger penalties for offences.</a>

  • More Donations Welcome

    The ceiling for individual political donations would be raised to $1,500 from $1,200 and party spending limits would be increased by five per cent. Union and corporate donations are still banned, though.

  • The West Won't Have To Wait

    A long-standing ban on the <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-fair-elections-act-respecting-democratic-elections-defending-freedom-speech" target="_blank">premature transmission of election results</a> will be lifted, meaning voters in Western Canada will get to know how things are shaping up out East before heading to the polls. Broadcasters can share results from Eastern Canada on election night, even if the polls aren't closed in the West. The government believes this change will uphold free speech.

  • New Rules On Political Loans

    The legislation would raise the amount candidates can <a href="http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/04/conservatives-unveil-fair-elections-act-which-they-say-will-crack-down-on-illegal-robocalls/" target="_blank">contribute to their own campaigns to $5,000.</a> Leadership contestants will be allowed to give their own campaign up to $25,000.

  • UP NEXT: Funniest Robocall Movie Titles

  • John Patrick Stanley

  • Chan

  • Pat Papadeas

Opposition MPs, of course, want Canadians to remember some of the bills the Conservatives introduced that they believe make the country less fair and less generous.

Liberal MP John McCallum said he thinks several of the Tories' bills will be declared unconstitutional, including the new changes to the Citizenship Act.

“[They] are creating two classes of citizens. If you are convicted of a crime and you are one type of citizen, you go to jail in Canada. And if you are convicted and you are another kind of citizen [a dual citizen] you get deported. That, I think, might be unconstitutional,” he said.

NDP MP Jack Harris said the Conservatives trumpet their “great economic success, but we’ve got an unemployment rate which is unconscionably high.”

There are 300,000 more young people unemployed than there were before the recession, he said. “You know once you start poking away at the claims that they make, I think you find that it’s a bit of a house of cards there.”

There are other controversies on the horizon. The government’s prostitution bill is being fast-tracked, with summer committee sittings and likely a pre-study by a Senate committee as well. Employment Minister Jason Kenney also introduced major changes to the temporary worker program – an issue that caused the government a great deal of embarrassment when Canadians were shown to have been fired in favour of cheaper temporary workers from abroad.

“This has been a monumental mess up,” McCallum told HuffPost. “We are moving from a system of immigrant citizens to immigrant guest workers, which is not the Canadian way. There are obvious negative implication for jobs, wage repression and exploitation of some of the temporary foreign workers.”

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