Dear Constituents, an update from my office. Again, it has been a busy few weeks so please excuse the long update.
In the House
This week marked the third of five straight sitting weeks for the House of Commons. This time of year is often referred to as “silly season” in Ottawa, as the government aims to drive through as much legislation as possible ahead of the summer recess. Though there are still seven more weeks of sitting before the House rises in June, the government has already cut off debate on important legislation this spring like Bill C-11 and, this week, the Budget Implementation Act.
Bill C-11: Online Streaming Act officially received royal assent and became law last Thursday, April 27th. With this legislation in place, social media content posted by ordinary citizens will now be subject to CRTC oversight and potential censorship. My Conservative colleagues and I opposed this bill at every turn, and we will repeal it.
Debate on the government’s Budget Implementation Act began last week and was brought to an abrupt end by a government motion for time allocation this week. Canadians deserve to have the budget thoroughly debated in the House; we are literally debating how to spend your money. Conservatives will vote against the Budget Implementation Act as it does nothing to address the cost-of-living, labour shortages and housing supply crisis that are making life so unaffordable for Canadians and small businesses.
Last Friday, I was in the House for debate on Bill C-42, which seeks to implement a national public registry of individuals with significant ownership of Canadian corporations. As I outlined in my speech a few weeks ago, Conservatives support this move to combat money laundering and terrorist funding in Canada, however the bill needs some work. This debate was one of the least partisan and most productive debates I’ve been a part of since being elected, which was a nice change of pace! You can watch my highlights here.
On Wednesday, I spoke on Bill S-6: An Act respecting regulatory modernization. This bill is part of an ongoing project to eliminate outdated or unnecessary regulations and streamline work between government departments. Frankly, this bill falls far short of what is needed to truly tackle the red tape crisis in this country, however it is a small step in the right direction. You can watch my speech here. I took the opportunity during this debate, on a bill that originated in the Senate, to highlight how provinces like BC remain woefully underrepresented in that Chamber.
This week, The Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) had known of intimidation and threats against the family of my colleague, MP Michael Chong, by the Chinese Communist government. It is completely unacceptable for Canada’s spy agency to not inform members of Parliament of threats against them or their family. Conservatives continue to call for an open, independent public inquiry on Beijing’s foreign interference in our democracy. It is utterly shameful that this government has known about the targeting of a sitting MP's family for 2 years and done nothing.
Yesterday, we tabled an Opposition Motion, calling on the government to:
- create a foreign agent registry similar to Australia and the United States of America;
- establish a national public inquiry on the matter of foreign election interference;
- shut down the People's Republic of China run police stations operating in Canada; and
- expel all of the People's Republic of China diplomats responsible for and involved in these affronts to Canadian democracy.
You can watch my speech here. I get pretty emotional near the end, however with a foreign government threatening Canadian sovereignty by operating illegal police stations on our soil, I believe it is warranted. I also encourage you to watch Michael Chong’s speech here.
At the Industry Committee, we are currently studying Bill C-34: National Security Review of Investments Modernization Act. This bill would streamline the process for the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry to undertake a national security review whenever foreign corporations seek to acquire a Canadian corporation and generally strengthen the Canada Investment Act to protect our national security in the context of foreign corporate takeovers. You can watch my intervention at committee here.
Also, this week, I seconded my colleague John Barlow’s Bill C-275: An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act (biosecurity on farms), which will help protect livestock from devastating virus outbreaks caused by trespassers on farms. I have heard about this issue extensively from farmers in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, and farmers across Canada have sounded the alarm as well. You can watch MP Barlow’s speech here and my speech here.
Finally, check out my other recent interventions in the House below.
Celebrating Vaisakhi and Eid
I had an amazing time at the Surrey Nagar Kirtan on April 25th. It was great to connect with so many Punjabi-Canadians from right across Canada – some estimates suggest that 700,000 people were in attendance! I always enjoy taking in the many events across the Fraser Valley celebrating Vaisakhi each year.
After the Nagar Kirtan, I joined some of my Conservative colleagues at an event celebrating Eid with the Muslim community in Surrey. Eid Mubarak!
May 5th is celebrated in Canada as Dutch Heritage Day and in the Netherlands as Bevridingsdag (Liberation Day). On this day, Canadians celebrate the contributions of those of Dutch descent to our society and culture, and the Dutch celebrate their liberation during WW2 and recognize the role Canadian soldiers played in it.
On Tuesday, the Speaker hosted the Canada-Netherlands Parliamentary Friendship Group, co-chaired by me and MP Adam Van Koeverden, to mark the occasion. A big thanks to Ambassador Coppoolse for her ongoing support of our group and our efforts to further strengthen the ties between our two countries.
Coronation of King Charles III
This Saturday, May 6th, His Majesty King Charles III will be coronated at Westminster Abbey in London. This is the first coronation to take place in the Commonwealth since the late Queen Elizabeth II was coronated on June 2, 1953, 70 years ago. Unlike past coronations, this one will include representatives of various faith communities from around the United Kingdom.
My office recently received a very limited number of pins adorned with the Canadian version of the coronation emblem. If you would like one of these pins, please respond to this email answering the following question in 150 words or less:
What does Canada's monarchy mean to you?
The most thoughtful responses will receive a pin and the top 3 will be featured in my next e-newsletter!
Each MP received only 25 of these exclusive pins:
MAID & Mental Illness Special Forum
On Thursday, May 25th, my colleagues Tako Van Popta, Ed Fast and Michael Cooper will be hosting a special forum on MAiD and mental illness. This forum will give residents of the Fraser Valley a chance to voice their concerns on the impending expansion of medical assistance in dying to those whose sole medical condition is a mental illness.
I hear continually from constituents who are concerned about this expansion and I voiced those concerns during my speech on Bill C-39, which delayed it until 2024. I strongly encourage you to attend the special forum at the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre and share your thoughts. Full details and registration info can be found below.
Hearing From You
In my last update, I asked for your thoughts on crime and public safety. In total, 162 people filled out the survey; thank you for the feedback! Please see the full results below.
Recently, a resident of Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon launched an e-petition, calling on the government to re-instate the prohibition on conditional sentencing for those convicted of sexual assault, human trafficking and kidnapping. Please consider signing here.
If you would like to sponsor a petition of your own, please don’t hesitate to contact my office, my staff are happy to assist you!
This week, I want to hear your thoughts on current events. 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