As Parliament begins to wind down for the summer, I wanted to highlight some of the issues my colleagues and I have been working to address in the last several months.
First, a small victory as a result of pressure from industry leaders, stakeholders, and the Conservative Party of Canada, the Liberal Government finally decided to end some federal COVID mandates. On June 20, 2022, the vaccination requirement to board a plane or train in Canada will be suspended. This comes after millions of Canadians have been barred from travel, tens of thousands of Canadians being forced out of work, and chaos at airports and borders. The re-introduction of pre-COVID normalcy gives me some hope Canada’s airports can now resolve the many problems that currently exist.
In addition, federally regulated transport employers will no longer be required to have mandatory vaccination policies in place for employees. This means more workers for departments in desperate need of help. Immigration can work to address the massive backlog of more than 2 million cases, including helping Ukrainian refugees and aiding the Afghan interpreters who laid their lives on the line for the protection of Canada. Likewise, more CBSA officers can protect Canada’s borders and address the long lines in Canada’s airports and more passport processing workers to fix the months-long delays. We will also continue to pressure the Liberals to reinstate the more than 1600 soldiers dishonourably discharged as a result of the mandates.
Canada’s finances continue to be in a state of disarray, and Canadians are suffering because of it. Conservatives have proposed practical solutions to lower taxes at the pumps, reduce costs for Canadians, and promote growth in industries like Ag and Energy. Unfortunately, the Liberals refuse to take constructive solutions out of what seems to be spite. As Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen recently pointed out, Prime Minister Trudeau “thinks he is hurting Conservatives politically by saying no to our proposals, when in fact he is punishing Canadians with his petty political vengeance.”
There was a host of other legislative and committee work that kept MPs busy over the last number of months. I have proudly stood for the people of East Central Alberta each and every day in Parliament. This has included calling for accountability at the Ethics Committee (of which I am a member) and working on important issues at other committees in which I regularly participate. It is unfortunate the Liberals’ legislative agenda works against the values of the people I represent. C-11 includes mechanisms that would allow the Government to censor aspects of the internet, Bill C-5 eliminates penalties for serious offences allowing hardened criminals to serve house arrest, C-21 targets law-abiding firearms owners, and C-19 (as well as other related bills) continue the destructive fiscal path the Government has led the country down. These bills are still being debated.
On a positive note, there’s been a number of opportunities to support legislation that helps make life better for Canadians. Private Members Bills are one of those items, and although they can be limited in scope and take time, some of which I have been proud to support and co-second. A few of these bills include Bill C-278, which would prevent the Government from imposing vaccine mandates; Bill C-230, which would legislate conscience protections; Bill C-224 which would raise awareness and expand support for those who develop cancer as a result of being a firefighter or first responder; Bill C-234, which would eliminate the carbon tax from farm used natural gas; and C-253 which would bring accountability to the Bank of Canada. Additionally, many motions put forward by Conservatives have helped bring accountability to Parliament, a couple of examples are the creation of committees to examine government failures in Afghanistan and our nation’s relationship with China.
Although Parliament has adjourned for the summer, I remain hard at work. I look forward to traveling across East Central Alberta during the summer months to connect with you.