It is so good to be home. I’ve spent the majority of the week reconnecting with constituents and taking meetings in my office.
Please find an update of some of my recent work on your behalf. May and June are commonly known as silly season in Ottawa. There are late night debates, negotiations between parties on key votes, and an exorbitant number of committee hearings.
Please find an update from my office and our latest survey results below:
Last week, the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois voted to pass Bill C-21, the Liberals’ key firearms legislation that will strip law-abiding hunters, farmers and Indigenous Canadians of their lawfully obtained hunting rifles while ignoring the criminals and gangs who smuggle illegal guns across our border. The bill is now before the Senate and will likely be passed ahead of the summer recess.
Conservatives have been clear from the start – we are opposed to Bill C-21 and will repeal it. This bill is an attack on law-abiding Canadians that will do nothing to address rising gun violence across Canada. While the Liberals repealed mandatory minimum sentences for violent firearms offenses, Conservatives will ensure violent offenders get jail, not bail, and restore safe streets.
Thanks to the Liberals and NDP cutting off debate, I did not have an opportunity to speak at Third Reading, however my colleague, MP Blaine Calkins, outlined our Conservative position well. Watch his speech here.
This week, former Governor General David Johnston issued his preliminary report on foreign interference in Canada’s democratic institutions. For months, we have heard report after report of influence activities being carried out by the communist government in Beijing that targeted Canadians and Canadian politicians. We have also heard time and again how the Liberal government had the information but did not, or refused, to act on it.
In his report, Mr. Johnston recommended that a public inquiry is not necessary. I strongly disagree. So does Parliament, which recently passed a Motion calling for an immediate national public inquiry on foreign interference.
I am thoroughly disappointed by this process in which the same bureaucrats who told Justin Trudeau there was “nothing to see here” on foreign interference were largely relied upon again in producing this report. I strongly encourage you to read this piece from my colleague Erin O’Toole, who led the Conservative Party during the 2021 election, on his meeting with Mr. Johnston last week. Conservatives continue to call for an immediate national public inquiry on foreign interference in Canada’s democratic system by Beijing and others.
Canadians Need Hope, Not Hard Drugs
Last Thursday, Conservatives brought forward an Opposition Motion calling on the federal government to immediately reverse its policy of supplying taxpayer-funded opioids and redirect those funds to addiction treatment and recovery programs. The Liberal opioids plan has done nothing to reduce the record number of overdose deaths in British Columbia. Conservatives have a different approach. We believe that funds should be focused on creating new treatment beds, recovery programs and detox centres to bring home our loved ones drug-free.
I also had an opportunity to rise in Question Period on Thursday, which you can watch here. I took this chance to highlight how the government has failed to uphold its agreement with the Province related to our BC’s decriminalization program. The fact that drugs and paraphernalia at schools and parks is still illegal isn’t good enough; the law must be enforced so children are protected from exposure to hard drugs and paraphernalia at parks, playgrounds and schools.
Also In the House
Last week, the House debated Ed Fast’s Bill C-314, which would prevent the expansion of medical assistance in dying (MAID) to the mentally ill. This expansion is dangerous and puts thousands of vulnerable Canadians at risk. Watch MP Fast’s speech on the bill here.
At Industry Committee, we’re currently studying Bill C-34, which seeks to modernize the national security review process for foreign entities looking to invest in Canadian corporations. With hostile foreign governments attempting to influence Canadians and our institutions, we must ensure these changes adequately protect companies from hostile takeovers. Watch my intervention from last week here.
I had a few opportunities to present petitions last week, which included calling for an update to the GST New Housing Rebate, more action to combat illegal cannabis grow-ops in residential neighbourhoods and a call to end the Ukraine Goods Remission Order, which is having a big impact on Canada’s chicken farmers. You can watch me present the New Housing Rebate petition here, the cannabis grow-ops petition here and the chicken farmers’ petition here.
A bill that I had an opportunity to speak on last week in the House of Commons was Bill S-5, which seeks to modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) for the first time since 1999. In 2016, I spent significant time studying CEPA when I was a staff member for MP Fast. During my speech I outlined how some parts of the bill could have been updated to include new measures for marine pollution and administrative arrangements that were recommended by officials over a decade ago. I also pointed out that as British Columbians, we are structurally unrepresented in the Senate. Right now, there is approximately 1 Senator for every million British Columbians; meanwhile, in Quebec there is approximately 1 Senator for every 370,000 Quebeckers, and Canada’s smallest province, PEI, has approximately 1 Senator for every 50,000 residents. Every time the Government introduces legislation through the Senate, I will be sure to raise the underrepresentation of our province in Ottawa.
In the Riding
My team and I continue to push hard for additional federal funds to support the construction of the Lets’emot Regional Aquatic Centre in Agassiz. Recently, I had an opportunity to present the first of many petitions calling for this funding, which you can watch here. My staff continue to collect signatures for our petition and recently, I received letters from students at Agassiz Christian School in support of the project.
I will continue to rise in the House on this matter until the Lets’emot Regional Aquatic Centre is a reality!
On Victoria Day Monday, I had a great time at the 103rd annual Bradner May Day Parade and Fair with my son, Nicholas. Despite the liquid sunshine, there was an amazing turnout. It was so great to see and connect with so many of you!
Yesterday, I stopped by for a coffee with Anne De Jong to celebrate her 90th birthday. Anne is very excited about her upcoming trip to Seattle where she will get to watch her grandson D.J. LeMahieu play for the New York Yankees
Hearing From You – This is really important to me!!!
In my last update, I asked for your thoughts on Bill C-11, foreign interference and the monarchy. In total, 32 people filled out the survey; thank you for the feedback! Please see the full results below:
This week, I want to hear your thoughts on the opioids crisis that continues to take thousands of lives in BC each year. Let me know by filling out my survey here.
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