01/27/2014 11:49 EST | Updated 03/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Tom Mulcair To Force Vote On Canada Post End To Home Delivery

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says his party intends to bring the issue of Canada Post's impending cancellation of urban home mail delivery to a vote in the House of Commons.

Mulcair says the NDP will use its first opposition day motion to ask MPs to agree that door-to-door mail delivery is a valuable service provided by Canada Post.

The motion, to be introduced by transport critic Olivia Chow on Tuesday, asks the House to "express its opposition to Canada becoming the only country in the G7 without such a service."

The decision by Canada Post to end urban letter-mail service over the next five years and move to a system of community mailboxes was announced just days after Parliament adjourned for its Christmas break, leaving MPs with no opportunity to debate the issue.

Mulcair pledges to unite 'progressives'

In a rousing speech to his caucus Monday, Mulcair also pledged to bring together so-called progressive voters and persuade them to vote for his party.

"In the next election, we’re going work to unite progressives of every political stripe behind the NDP banner. We’re going to unite progressives. We’re going to unite Canadians," he said.

Mulcair was speaking to NDP MPs and staffers on the morning before Parliament returns for its winter sitting.

His promise to unite progressives was in reference to the fact that most voters did not vote for the Conservatives last election, and that together the NDP, Liberals and Greens captured 60 per cent of the vote.

Mulcair did not refer to polls that for the past several months that have put the Liberals ahead of the NDP when people are queried by pollsters about their voting intentions .

Other NDP plans

Mulcair left no doubt that he will continue his prosecutorial style of asking questions in the House of Commons, as he did in the fall sitting, relentlessly blasting Prime Minister Stephen Harper with short, open-ended rat-ta-tat-tat questions.

The NDP, Mulcair said, will continue, "to ask the tough questions and to hold the Conservatives accountable. Our work holding Stephen Harper to account continues today."

Mulcair also said the NDP will keep up its emphasis on consumer issues, taking aim at what he called "criminal" interest rates charged for payday loans. He described the trap set for some families as they take out one payday loan to cover the previous ones.

Forty-two per cent of families live paycheque to paycheque and are particularly vulnerable to interest rates on payday loans that, with fees and service charges, can be as high as 1,000 per cent, Mulcair said.

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