Dear Constituents, an update from my office:
Before reading, thank you for all the wonderful comments sent about my new baby daughter, Launa Grace! Baby and mom are doing well!
My apologies in advance, this email newsletter is a bit longer than usual. It’s been a busy few weeks in Parliament!
Register for the Public Safety Town Hall!
If you haven’t already, register today for the Public Safety Town Hall in Abbotsford hosted by myself and MP Ed Fast. The evening will include a presentation from the Abbotsford Police Department on safety in our community. This is a great opportunity to voice your questions and concerns on public safety with your federal representatives directly!
Final Report from the Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia
Yesterday, the Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia submitted their final report to the House of Commons. You can read the full report and view the proposed new boundary maps here.
This report brings significant changes to the boundaries proposed last spring that are relevant for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, including, but not limited to:
Elimination of the proposed new “Coquihalla” riding that would have included the portion of Highway One north of Hope to Boston Bar. Instead, this area will now be included in an expanded Chilliwack—Hope riding. Agassiz would also be moved into this riding.
- Areas north of Boston Bar (Lillooet, the Bridge River Valley, Lytton, Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Wallachin, etc.) will be joining the new riding of Kamloops—Thompson—Nicola.
- Maintaining the existing boundary along Maclure Road and expanding the Mission—Matsqui riding to include all of Abbotsford east of Sumas Way.
- Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge will return to its existing boundaries, except that it’s eastern border will move to Wren Street in Mission.
Proposed electoral boundaries for southwestern British Columbia.
Proposed electoral boundaries for the City of Abbotsford
Over the next 30 days, Members of Parliament will have the opportunity to file objections with the Clerk of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. Objections may be to riding names or boundaries and must be signed by at least 10 MPs. At the end of this period, the Commission will have an opportunity to review all objections and accept or reject each one ahead of tabling their final Representation Order to the House in September.
What are your thoughts on the proposed new federal electoral boundaries for BC? Let me know by completing this survey. Your feedback will be invaluable to my work over the coming weeks.
Trudeau Proposes New Healthcare Funding Deal
This week, the premiers of Canada’s provinces and territories were in Ottawa to meet with the Prime Minister and discuss a new healthcare funding agreement. After two years of the premiers calling for this meeting and requesting additional funds, we had hoped to see good faith negotiations and a new deal that would clear the backlogs and improve access to healthcare across the country. His offer to the premiers includes an annual increase to the Canada Health Transfer that is just 16.7 per cent of what they were asking for.
As for the Official Opposition, we recognize the vital importance of these discussions and have committed to honouring any agreement reached.
Like many of you, I think regularly about our healthcare system. In recent weeks, the NDP have been very critical of the government and Conservatives claiming we will privatize healthcare. Let me state firmly that I strongly believe in our universal and publicly funded healthcare system. That said, I don’t know why the NDP continues to attack aspects of our healthcare system that are already privatized and work well when available. Namely, primary care. The large majority of family physicians in B.C. and Canada operate as private corporations within our publicly funded system.
We all know our healthcare system is not working in a sustainable way. In the years ahead, the strains will only increase as our population continues to age. I believe we can address many of our access and wait time challenges, maintain universality and even allow for private corporations, like my local doctor’s office, to continue offering excellent primary care. Excluding private corporations from playing a role in our healthcare system will only be a disservice to alleviating the demands that must be fixed!
In the House
The House of Commons returned from the winter break last week with some key items on the agenda. Firstly, after severe pushback from Conservatives, New Democrats, and hunters, farmers and sport shooters across Canada, the Liberals backed down on their proposed amendments to Bill C-21 that would have banned thousands of ordinary hunting rifles.
Last week, I had an opportunity to speak on Bill C-35: Canada Early Learning and Child Care Act. As a dad, I understand how challenging it can be to find affordable, reliable childcare. . You can watch my full speech here and you can watch my other interventions during the debate here.
In the Chamber Conservatives recently tabled two opposition motions. The first called for the repealing of elements of Bill C-75 that force judges to release violent young repeat offenders and otherwise reform Canada’s bail laws to keep repeat offenders off our streets. The second motion called for an immediate cancellation of the federal carbon tax that is driving up the cost of living for all Canadians. Unfortunately, but predictably, the NDP-Liberal Coalition voted against both motions.
Finally, at the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (INDU) we have been seeking answers on the awarding of an RCMP contract to Sinclair Technologies, a Chinese state-owned company charged with espionage in the United States. You can watch my intervention here. This week we also studied a new bill that seeks to amend the Copyright Act in relation to the diagnosis, maintenance and repair of devices. You can watch my intervention on this issue here.
As a former student of parliamentary democracy, I was especially pleased to pass a motion ordering the production of papers through the Standing Committee on the contracts in discussion. This is a seldom used, yet essential power of Standing Committees and Parliament to oversee the actions of Government.
Expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)
On Thursday, February 2, 2023, the Liberal government tabled Bill C-39: An Act to amend An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying). This Bill seeks to delay the expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) to those suffering solely from a mental illness under the 43rd Parliament’s Bill C-7.
While I am relieved that medically assisted death will not be expanded to those solely suffering from a mental illness this spring, Bill C-39 is yet another example of this government kicking the can down the road on a very serious issue. There is no more to study, experts have been clear. Irremediability cannot be determined for mental illness and the expansion must be scrapped all together.
It is unconscionable to me that rather than supporting those suffering from mental illness by providing them the resources they need to live a happy, normal life, we would instead offer them medically assisted death.
Hearing From You
In my last e-newsletter, I asked for your thoughts on the Liberal amendments to Bill C-21: An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms). Thankfully, in the couple of weeks since that update, the Liberals have withdrawn these amendments. That said, this isn’t the first time the Liberals have gone after law-abiding firearms owners and it will not be the last.
In all, 187 people responded to the survey, and the results can be viewed below.
You’re My Boss
Your feedback is valued. Please do not hesitate to contact my office to voice your concerns or seek assistance with any federal government programs at 604-814-5710 or [email protected]. I also encourage you to follow me on Facebook where I post more frequent updates on my work as your MP.
Brad Vis, MP