Rural Canada is an essential part of Canada’s future. It’s an honour to be appointed Deputy Shadow Minister of Rural Economic Development and Rural Broadband Strategy, where I will have the opportunity to work with Leader of the Official Opposition, Erin O’Toole, and Shadow Minister Lianne Rood to fight for rural interests. I appreciate the opportunity to expand the scope of issues I have been fighting for since first being elected. This column will focus on some of the issues that will be of priority as Parliament returns.
Economic development is ensuring that potential is realized and that folks are empowered to succeed. I see examples of this every day and see how so much more needs to be done. Rural Alberta, and all of rural and remote Canada, are the best places to succeed, start or grow a business, and have an amazing quality of life.
Key industries, such as agriculture, energy, forestry, manufacturing, commodity processing, and others, are deeply rooted in rural Canada and are facing challenges. From recent crises to regulatory burdens and red tape, it’s difficult to grow a business in rural Canada right now. Further, many businesses and producers have struggled to get their products to market with the current supply chain challenges we have faced over the last couple of years.
Liberal economic and fiscal mismanagement is pushing inflation to a multi-decade high. Canadians pay for it with higher costs on food, gas, and many other essential commodities, products, and services. This is further compounded, as many parts of rural and remote Canada face higher costs for commodities and transportation already.
Rural Crime and the rampant rise of criminal activities in communities across Canada must be addressed. Rural Canadians have some of the greatest qualities of life in the world, but the revolving door of the justice system, challenges with policing, lack of access to mental health services, and weak-on-crime federal legislation are putting our way of life at risk. Additionally, the targeting of law-abiding Canadian firearms owners needs to stop.
Many of you have reached out regarding the need for broadband in rural areas. For our economy to reach its fullest potential, broadband service must be easily accessible to all Canadians. Whether it is using e-commerce to expand small businesses, or connecting with loved ones amidst a pandemic, the internet now plays a greater role in our lives. Over the last number of years, members of Canada’s Conservatives and I have championed changes to the Liberals’ strategy with some success. But there is far more work needed to ensure that every Canadian can get connected.
In Canada, the hunting and angling industry provides over 37 thousand jobs, $2.7 billion in GDP nationwide, and is a part of rural Canada’s identity. The Liberals’ lack of understanding of these two sectors shows how disconnected they are with rural areas. My commitment to you on both these fronts is simple: let’s look past the politics and use evidence-based approaches.
Canada’s Conservatives need to be the voice of rural Canada and we will work to bring economic opportunity and prosperity back to rural Canadians. We will work tirelessly to fight for what’s right, and replace the tired, corrupt, and incompetent Trudeau Liberals who have left rural Canada behind. It is an honour to represent Battle River—Crowfoot as your Member of Parliament and I’m excited to be able to serve in this new role, to make sure we address the issues rural Canadians are facing and fight to ensure rural and remote Canada sees its full potential.