As we make our way through February, there’s plenty to report on.
I’ll discuss a motion I put forward in Parliament, Canada’s vaccine rollout, reports of the government’s attempt to hide pandemic information from the public, and meeting with local youth.
I was proud to bring forward a Conservative Opposition Day motion in the House of Commons to create a special committee focusing on our economic relationship with the United States.
We must start planning to rebuild, to reopen our economy, and to get Canadians back to work.
Trade between Canada and the United States exceeds $1.5 billion per day. The business relationships between our two countries provides countless jobs across Canada, including here in Kelowna-Lake Country.
There are a number of pressing economic challenges Canada faces. The cancellation of Keystone XL, other existing pipeline issues, tariff issues, disputes on softwood lumber and dairy, stricter Buy American policies, and U.S. investigations on several of our fruit and vegetable exports have all impacted our economy, businesses, and jobs.
Here in Kelowna-Lake Country, apple orchardists are selling below cost due to large quantities of low-priced apples coming in from the U.S., and we hear many are near bankruptcy.
I’ve heard from local businesses who are wondering if the new Biden administration’s restrictive Buy American policies will shut them out of U.S. federal government contracts.
The European Union announced mechanisms to withhold vaccines from countries. While more than 100 countries were exempted from these measures, Canada was not listed. My Conservative colleagues and I on the International Trade Committee requested an emergency meeting where I questioned the minister about this.
This received extensive national and local media coverage and you can go to my website to see some links to interviews and articles.
People are waiting on a vaccine rollout plan. It’s clear that each day the government fails to address vaccine delays and cancelled deliveries, businesses continue to shutter, and families are forced to be apart.
Canada lost a staggering 213,000 jobs in January. Compared to the rest of the G7, we have the lowest vaccination rates per capita, the biggest deficit, and among the highest jobless rates.
In addition, while the United Kingdom and the U.S. have disclosed details of their vaccine rollouts to the public, questions from the public and Premiers here have remained unanswered.
In good faith, Canadians have endured lockdowns, work at home orders, and travel restrictions. It’s time the government was honest and presented a real plan to roll out vaccines, rapid testing and other measures to get our economy back on track.
Concerning documents were released to the Parliamentary Health Committee through a motion at the committee, which was not supported by the Liberal committee members, to disclose to the public the Liberals pandemic response.
Documents, including emails, showed how various numbers were being manipulated for what ministers were disclosing to the public.
Documents were also obtained by Global News where they reported:
“Senior political staffers from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office and the office of another federal Liberal cabinet minister privately discussed how to withhold information from Canadians about the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis last June, newly released emails show.”
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to let me know your thoughts and ideas.
It was wonderful this past week to meet virtually with a local Grade 5-6 classroom and a Girl Guides group, both of whom had great questions about being an MP and how government works.