Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Parliament is a unique and important institution, it is where the people’s representatives from every region of the country come together to debate, dialogue, and make decisions. For more than a century and a half, during wars, depressions, natural disaster and even pandemics, Canada’s Parliament has fulfilled the essential role of providing oversight, giving guidance and ensuring the greatest amount of accountability possible.
Over the last week, I have been in Ottawa representing your interests, and advocating for a return of Parliament. We have seen the Government use the COVID-19 crisis to try to further their partisan political agenda. This is not acceptable.
My Conservative colleagues and I have advocated since the beginning of this crisis for the need for Parliamentary oversight. And over the last number of months, we have seen that the temporary measures put into place are not effective, are unpredictable, and have diminished the ability for MP’s to do their work. The work you and Canadians in all 338 constituencies elected us to do.
I have heard from many of you who have expressed the fear that the Prime Minister and the Liberal Government are using this Pandemic to exert a level of authoritarian rule over this country that is both unprecedented and dangerous. I expressed that growing concern during a speech this week.
These are strong words however the evidence keeps piling up. At the beginning of the crisis, the Liberal’s proposed a bill that would have given them unlimited taxation and spending powers for a year and a half. Then they displayed an unprecedented level of executive overreach related to the gun grab. There is also a haze of misinformation and lack of accountability on virtually all fronts. Their continued refusal to provide clarity on a budget and economic update and there are new revelations that Parliament’s accountability officers are being underfunded (I found out firsthand that access to information requirements are being dismissed). And there is a level of spending that our nation has never seen before.
The aforementioned are a few examples of the need for a return of Parliament, but it was made undeniably clear this week when a colleague attempted to ask a question about Government spending and was shut down. Censoring a Member of Parliament is a travesty. When parliamentarians are unable to stand up for their constituents, Canadians lose faith in our democratic institutions. We must fight against this at all costs.
The Prime Minister has talked about the need for a “Team Canada” approach to the COVID-19 crisis, and I agree. However, being on team Canada requires that his Government respect our nation’s democratic institutions. And we have already proven that when Opposition has a role, outcomes are improved.
Many of the programs that have come to fruition, and needed changes to many of other programs, are a direct result of Conservatives pressuring the Government to take action. We are able to respect public health guidelines and adjust the way we do things in order to resume to Parliament. Democracy is an essential service.
You can be assured that I am working diligently to ensure Battle River-Crowfoot and its interests are represented and I am using every tool possible to make sure that happens.