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Irene Mathyssen, MP

Member of Parliament, London-Fanshawe

I have served as the Member of Parliament for the riding of London-Fanshawe since 2006. My main focus is putting the needs of our community first. I was honoured to be named the Official Opposition Critic for seniors in the spring of 2011 after serving as the Status of Women critic for four years. I have also served as the chair of the NDP’s women’s caucus and as the vice-chair of the Status of Women committee. Over the years I have introduced many bills and motions that, if adopted, would go a long way to reducing poverty, promoting equality and protecting those who choose to serve in our cities and our country.

Previously, I served as the MPP for the area from 1990 to 1995 and taught high school English for over twenty-five years including 10 years at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School. I have also served as a member of the Ontario Health Coalition. I have a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Western Ontario.

I feel it is very important to be involved in the community. I am particularly proud of my work with ReForest London, Clean & Green London, Friends of Meadowlily Woods, and Upper Thames River Conservation Authority initiatives that protect and rehabilitate the local environment.
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It's Time For Free Birth Control

Despite those who may object to free birth control, there are many reasons why prescription birth control should be free. Making birth control free saves Canada billions in health care costs. It benefits those who take it, is effective in reducing unintended pregnancies and abortions, and increases equal access to sexual health products.
04/05/2017 12:37 EDT
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Seniors Can't Age With Dignity Under the Conservative Plan

Canadians are worried about their retirement years. For families struggling just to make ends meet, saving enough for retirement seems more like a dream than a real possibility. But instead of taking action to address financial security for seniors, the Conservative government has acted recklessly.
06/05/2014 05:57 EDT
AP

August 29 Should Be Chris Hadfield Day

Chris Hadfield truly is a remarkable Canadian. The motion, 'M-477' states that the government should "designate August 29th each year as Chris Hadfield Day." At a time when science is under attack by some, it is essential that we acknowledge its critical place in our past, present and future.
12/12/2013 08:30 EST
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The Sad Loss of the Walji Family

The terrible tragedy of the Walji family has shown us that we need to discuss and reform our immigration system to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again. Compassion was always our strength. We need to rekindle that in our public policies.
11/23/2013 04:37 EST
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Stop Denying Our Veterans A Dignified Funeral

Our veterans deserve better than this. A dated criterion, initially aimed at WWII and Korean veterans is sadly, becoming less relevant to the needs of the current day. The Conservatives must step up their efforts and remodel these criteria in order to cater to the real needs of our modern-day heroes.
11/14/2013 08:28 EST
CP

Why Our Veterans Are Not Disposable

Just months ago, the Minister for Veterans Affairs stood in a Legion in London, Ontario and promised members that soldiers would no longer be cut loose. Clearly, that practice continues. I am calling upon the government to stop giving weak excuses and apologise to these Canadian heroes who have been dismissed because of the Conservative government's efforts to balance the budget.
11/08/2013 12:39 EST
AP

Why I Support the Save VIA Rail Campaign

The "Save VIA" Campaign began as a grassroots response to the VIA Rail cuts that the federal government announced in 2012; but with a huge amount of public support it has grown into a nationwide appeal to restore passenger rail service. Mr. Harper's government needs to listen to the Canadians who are clearly saying that we need to retain and improve Canada's rail services.
11/04/2013 05:44 EST

Welcoming Home John and Tarek From Egypt

The detention of Dr. Tarek Loubani and John Greyson was at the forefront of all Canadians' concerns for the 50 days they spent behind bars at Cairo's Tora Prison. Dr. Tarek Loubani is an emergency room physician in my riding and John Greyson is an acclaimed film-maker and professor at York University. They are now home safe.
10/16/2013 11:09 EDT

Protecting the Thames River

Last month the World Wildlife Foundation released a study which gave the Thames River a "Poor" grade. It is crucial that we protect our lakes and rivers. The Thames is central to the community in London and all of the other communities through which it flows. We need to work together to protect our river, not only for us but for future generations.
09/30/2013 05:40 EDT
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An Open Letter to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on CPP

I am writing an open letter to urge you to show leadership and honour your commitment to meet and work with the provinces to provide Canadians with the opportunity to increase their retirement investments in the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). You have the opportunity to do the right thing and improve the pension savings of all working Canadians in this country.
06/06/2013 05:14 EDT

What's Buried in the Tories' Omnibus Bill

The Conservative government recently introduced C-45, an omnibus bill containing provisions to create a two-tier public sector workforce in this country. Buried in the bill is a provision to raise the age of retirement for all public employees hired after January 1, 2013
11/05/2012 12:29 EST
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Why PRPPs Will Not Ensure Pension Security for Canadians

Bill C-25, an Act Relating to Pooled Registered Pension Plans received Royal Assent on June 28 this year, making it officially part of Canadian Law. Unless the cost of administration is low, and unless the pooled amount of investment is high -- the banks will profit and workers will continue to struggle to make ends meet before and after retirement.
07/31/2012 03:34 EDT

A Day at Vimy I'll Never Forget

In response to the sacrifice of these young Canadians, the French government gave 260 acres to Canada in perpetuity to create a memorial to those who fought and died and to build the spectacular monument on hill 145 of Vimy Ridge to pay tribute to those who risked or gave their lives at Vimy and the many Battles of the Somme.
05/01/2012 07:20 EDT
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That Homeless Person Could Have Fought in the War

So far the issue of veterans' homelessness however has flown below the radar. A professor at Western University has now conducted 48 interviews with homeless veterans in various Canadian cities. Her findings suggest the cause of this social issue is not PTSD, but alcoholism and addiction.
04/12/2012 12:07 EDT
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Harper's OAS Skimping Will Have Big Effects

The government has decided to make cuts to Old Age Security (OAS). The truth is that OAS is economically beneficial to all of society -- seniors on OAS spend all of their money in their neighborhoods. That is money reinvested in our economy, in small businesses that in turn create jobs.
03/01/2012 04:55 EST
AP

Caterpillar Shut-Down: How Many More Manufacturing Jobs Must We Lose?

Caterpillar's decision to close Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) in London, Ontario, will result in 450 jobs lost and an immeasurable ripple effect to the local economy. When Harper took office in the winter of 2006, there were 2,127,200 manufacturing jobs in Canada. Today there are 1,743,700 -- a total loss of nearly 400,000 manufacturing jobs under his watch. Over 40,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last 12 months alone.
02/03/2012 02:41 EST
AP

Harper Needs to Put Women and Children First

Like never before, families are feeling the squeeze of inadequate support for seniors, shaky retirement savings, skyrocketing tuition, and lack of affordable childcare. Women and their families are increasingly shouldering these burdens without assistance from the federal government. Harper's policies are actually significant setbacks to the strides women have taken towards equality in the last generation.
02/01/2012 11:23 EST
CP

Calling for Harper's "Ass": Wrong Word, Right Message

London Mayor Joe Fontana called for the Prime Minister to get his "ass" down to London. While his choice in words was inappropriate, the sentiment speaks to how Londoners are feeling. London is hurting and the Conservative government appears to merely scoff at the cries for help.
01/23/2012 06:40 EST