There's barely a day that has gone by this summer when the expenses of Senators in Ottawa haven't made news.
With the topic hot in the minds of Canadians, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has been travelling the country calling for the federal government to abolish the Senate.
On Thursday, he was in Port Moody to bring his message to B.C. "We've [NDP] had the same principled position for over 50 years - this is a democracy," he told a group of supporters and media at a stop in Rocky Point Park.
"We don't think that in a democracy people who are appointed get to make laws."
To push his point, he noted the appointment by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008 of Yonah Martin to the Senate.
Mulcair pointed out Martin had lost in the federal election in the New Westminster-Coquitlam riding, but was appointed to the Senate a few months later and will be drawing millions in salary if she finishes her term in the red chamber.
The New Democrat leader suggested his party has been consistent in calling for an end to the Senate.
"It allows you to concentrate on the only important place, the place where the laws should be made, the House of Commons with elected people," Mulcair said, adding getting rid of the Senate would save taxpayers nearly $100 million.
He also noted the NDP said no when it appeared former Prime Minster Paul Martin was going to appoint an NDP member to the senate in the last decade. The NDP's "roll up the red carpet campaign" has garnered more than 20,000 signatures since being launched in late May.
For months, Ottawa and the Senate have been embroiled in controversy after the expenses of several Senators, including three Conservative and one Liberal member, came under question by the auditor general.
But New Westminster-Coquitlam MP Fin Donnelly acknowledged getting rid of the Senate would be a challenge, specifically opening up constitutional issues.
However, he argued Canadians want to see politicians tackle the big challenges of the day.
Donnelly said there are also interim steps that could be taken to make it easier, one of which is to involve Canadians in the conversation.
The MP, who related the expense scandal to the sponsorship scandal that hammered the Liberal government, believes this will likely be a campaign issue in the next election.
"This is something that Canadians continually want to talk about because of these scan -dalousexpens-es," he told the Tri-Cities NOW.
Mulcair also took the time to discuss the NDP's position on the ongoing conflict in Syria, suggesting Canadian forces are going to involved in the conflict, Parliament has to be consulted.
He called the situation in the Middle Eastern country "grotesque," adding the world - through institutions like the United Nations - has to be active in finding a solution and Canada needs to take part in that solution.
© Copyright 2013