Dear Constituents, an update from my office. There’s a lot to talk about from the first few weeks of the fall session of Parliament, so strap in!
Tragic Loss of Wildfire Fighters
First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the four wildfire fighters who were tragically lost in a car accident near Walhachin last month. These heroes were on their way home from fighting the ongoing fires.
Todd Doherty, MP for our neighbouring riding of Cariboo—Prince George, gave a Member’s Statement in honour of the fallen heroes and the House of Commons observed a moment of silence shortly after the news broke of this heartbreaking tragedy.
I want to thank all of the brave firefighters who continue to battle wildfires each and every day across our province to keep British Columbians safe and protect homes and businesses.
Recognition of a Nazi Veteran in the House of Commons
As you have likely heard, while Ukrainian President Volodimyr Zelenskyy visited our Parliament on Friday, September 22, former Speaker Anthony Rota introduced a Ukrainian-born constituent from his riding, who was later revealed to have served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS. This man was a Nazi who swore a personal oath to Adolf Hitler.
I want to make clear that I was not in the Chamber that afternoon and did not take part in the recognition of this man.
As the grandson of Dutch immigrants who suffered under the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, I am angry and upset that a man with this background would be introduced in our House of Commons as a war hero. There must be proper vetting in place for guests when foreign heads of state visit our Parliament. This has embarrassed Canada internationally and deeply hurt those affected by the Nazi regime.
Speaker Rota did the honourable thing and resigned, however, Justin Trudeau still has yet to apologize on behalf of himself and his government for their failure. My Conservative colleagues continue to call on the prime minister to do so, particularly to our veterans, and to ensure this never happens again.
Election of a New Speaker
On Tuesday, October 3, the House of Commons elected Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull—Aylmer, Quebec, as our new Speaker. I wish him all the best in this important role that is integral to the healthy functioning of our democracy.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Saturday, September 30th marked the 3rd annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day for Canadians to remember the horrendous acts committed against Indigenous children at residential schools and renew our commitment to reconciliation.
As the MP for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, home to 31 First Nations, I am committed to working with my Indigenous constituents to advance reconciliation and build a more prosperous Canada where First Nation communities can thrive.
I was honoured to join the Sto:lo Nation for their commemoration at the site of the former Saint Mary’s Residential School. I listened to elders about their experiences and the significance of Truth and Reconciliation Day for them. Sto:lo members made the canoe below to send off the children who never came home from residential school. These photos are shared with permission.
In the House
Last month, I was excited to get back to the House of Commons to be the voice of Canada’s Number One Riding, Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon. It is great to be back in the chamber, debating the issues that are top of mind for Canadians.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a couple of opportunities to give Member’s Statements. In the first, I highlighted how participation in the entrepreneurial economy has declined under this government. Small businesses need a competitive tax regime and a government that will get red tape out of their way. In my other statement, I called on the government to stop their attack on farmers through fertilizer reduction targets. Canadian farmers are already leading the world in fertilizer usage efficiency and this policy will only drive further increases to food prices.
At INDU Committee, my Conservative colleagues and I are still pushing for transparency on the massive subsidy given to Volkswagen (VW) to build an EV battery plant in St. Thomas, Ontario. In the Spring, committee members had the opportunity to view a version of the contract that had been redacted by VW to conceal commercially sensitive information. However, the Liberals refuse to release this version to the public. Watch them delay my motion to release the contract here.
Also before INDU Committee is Bill C-27, Digital Charter Implementation Act. This is one of, if not the most, important bills before this Parliament and will have permanent effects on the privacy of you and your children online. All parties agree that the bill is flawed and needs amendments, and the Minister told us last Tuesday that he had amendments prepared. However, by Thursday, the Liberal tone had changed, and they refused to present the amendments. Watch here as I pass a motion requiring them to table the documents.
Recently, I had the chance to rise during Question Period and used the opportunity to call on the government to axe their inflationary tax on gas, groceries and home heating. The carbon tax continues to drive up the price of everything and Canadians cannot afford repeated hikes. Watch my question here.
Last week, I had an opportunity to have a quick hallway chat with Premier David Eby while he visited Parliament Hill. I told the Premier that it is a disgrace how long it has taken to get Lytton rebuilt and called on him to speed up the process. I also encouraged him to press the federal government for the next round of Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement payments so that key projects like the Abbotsford pump station can be completed, helping to prevent future floods.
During last Wednesday’s Adjournment Debate, I had a chance to question the Liberals on their housing plan, which has seen the cost of a home double and rents soar to record highs. My Conservative colleagues have long called for more action to speed up housing development and get municipal gatekeepers out of the way. You can watch the debate here.
Last night, I had another opportunity to participate in the Adjournment Debate, this time on opioids. I highlighted how the government has failed to uphold its end of the bargain in the agreement with British Columbia to decriminalize illicit drug possession. With drugs and paraphernalia being frequently found in areas where children are often present, the government must act to protect kids. You can watch that debate here.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve also had the opportunity to table petitions on:
Frozen British pensions
CRA Recognition of Partner Separations
Adding Lillooet to the Northern Immigration Pilot Project
Forgiving CEBA Loans for Lytton-Area Businesses
Banning the Export of Plastic Waste for Final Disposal
If you want me to raise an issue important to you on the floor of the House of Commons and would like to sponsor a petition to make it happen, contact my office! My staff are happy to assist you.
Building Homes, Not Bureaucracy
On September 20th, 2023, Pierre Poilievre tabled Bill C-356, the Building Homes, Not Bureaucracy Act. This bill outlines our Common Sense Conservative plan to address Canada’s severe housing supply shortage and affordability crisis.
Our plan will penalize unaffordable cities who refuse to increase the number of new homes completed each year, while rewarding those who exceed building targets. We’ll free up thousands of unused federal government buildings and thousands more acres of unneeded federal lands to build affordable homes. And we’ll tie federal transit and infrastructure funding to affordable homes being built and occupied.
Canadians have gone from paying off a mortgage in 25 years to needing 25 years just to save for their down payment. We need real solutions from all levels of government and our plan will provide the federal leadership necessary to get more homes built, fast. Let me know your thoughts on the Building Homes, Not Bureaucracy Act by filling out my survey here.
Hearing From You
Before the summer break, I asked for your thoughts on Parliament’s work in the spring and what issues were top of mind. In total, 49 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 our Common Sense Conservative plan to build homes, not bureaucracy. Let me know by filling out my survey here.
Small Business Month
October is Small Business Month! Small businesses truly are the backbone of Canada’s economy, employing about 68% of Canadians. This month, we celebrate and thank the hardworking entrepreneurs and job creators who keep Canada’s economy going. As Shadow Minister for Small Business Recovery and Growth, I am committed to fostering an environment where small businesses can grow and thrive.
This year, however, small businesses are struggling to keep up with inflation, high interest rates and labour shortages. It’s gotten so bad for some, that they’ve been forced to put up the dreaded brown paper.
Some of you have reached out seeking information on my political activities here in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon. To keep up to date on my political activities, you can sign up at the bottom of the Mission—Matsqui—Conservative Association webpage.
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