Conservatives Force Vote on Cutting Government Waste
Plus healthcare funding, foreign interference in our elections and more.
Conservatives Force Vote on Cutting Government Waste
This week, conservatives brought forward a motion calling on the Liberal government to cap spending, cut waste, fire high-priced consultants and eliminate inflationary deficits and taxes that have caused the cost-of-living crisis for Canadians. The coalition of Liberals, NDP and Bloc voted against our motion reducing government spending.
After 8 years, the Liberal government has doubled our national debt and accumulated record high deficits. Inflation is at a 40 year high. Half of Canadians are reporting to pollsters that they are cutting back on groceries. 1 in 5 Canadians have reported skipping meals due to out-of-control cost-of-living expenses. We also know from the Bank of Canada governor that inflation in Canada increasingly reflects what is happening in Canada, meaning that our domestic inflation in prices is directly related to decisions made by the federal Liberal government. Inflation is always a monetary phenomenon. When you print too much money, that will chase too few goods and services, it increases prices.
The Liberal government admits to spending $205 billion out of the $600 billion in pandemic spending as simply government largesse. Those decisions have come home to roost.
As a conservative, I will keep advocating and voting for a reduction of government spending, cutting off fat overly generous contracts to outside consultants and ensuring the Canada Revenue Agency actually goes and collects the $15 billion dollars in CERB overpayments identified by the Auditor General.
Healthcare Funding Agreement Misses the Mark
The Prime Minister announced a $46 billion increase in new funding to the provinces over the next 10 years to stem the bleeding in the faltering provincial healthcare systems. The problem is not merely a funding issue. It’s working conditions, an aging population requiring more care, a workforce shortage of doctors, nurses and healthcare aides, as well as provincial healthcare systems that are too centralized and have no flexibility.
At $4.6 billion per year, the funding is well short of what provincial premiers had been requesting: an annual $28 billion increase to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT). While the provinces accepted the deal, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson noted that “this is not a long-term solution to the health-care funding that is needed”. If that new money is divided equally among the provinces, that would equal $460 million to Alberta. That money is better than nothing, but it doesn’t address the structure of the healthcare systems, the manner in which it operates, and how it delivers results for patients.
Despite record-breaking spending and more debt incurred than every previous Prime Minister combined, the situation at hospitals and clinics is worse than ever after eight years of this Prime Minister. More than five million Canadians do not have access to primary care, wait times for specialist treatment are longer than they have been in 30 years, and Canadians are spending more time in emergency wait rooms than ever before. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre announced he would maintain the announced healthcare funding increase and honour the commitments that the federal government has made, but will take more action to cut back on government waste so more dollars will be available for emergency rooms.
Representing You in Parliament by Tabling Petitions
This week, I tabled a petition from constituents calling on the immigration minister to fix the broken system that has a 2.1 million backlog of immigration applications. These are families waiting to be re-united, an international student finishing their studies in Canada seeking a work permit to stay and work and an employer looking to fill vacancies in his company because he can’t find Canadians here at home. I often have residents ask me how they can get an issue on the national agenda or obtain an answer from the federal government on a particular public policy. Sometimes they have written to ministers without a response and other times the issue may not be grabbing national headlines. Parliamentary petitions are a great way to get involved in the civic process. They come in both paper and digital formats with different parliamentary rules governing the number of signatures and the style in which they must appear so they are acceptable.
If you would like me to sponsor a petition or have an idea please reach out and my staff will happily assist you in making it happen. There is also a lot of useful information on the parliamentary website about the petition process.
Asking The Government Hard Questions on Election Interference
The Globe and Mail revealed today that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) employed a sophisticated strategy to influence the 2021 election. Communist agents targeted specific MPs critical of the PRC and because of specific legislation they championed that would close a national security loophole. Through bullying and manipulation, our democracy was compromised by a foreign government. I rose in Parliament today to question if the Prime Minister stayed silent on the interference because he had much to gain politically.
Instead of taking the issue seriously, the Liberal government took the opportunity to highlight how all of the committees they’ve put together were ineffective instead of addressing the specific examples the Globe and Mail reported of specific instances of interference in Vancouver ridings.
Rouleau Inquiry Report
On Friday, February 17th, the emergency preparedness minister released Justice Rouleau’s final report on the Federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act to clear the border crossings and to end the protest in Ottawa. I’ve started reading the report and next week’s newsletter will be dedicated to the Rouleau report and my take on his conclusions.