I spent the last week in Ottawa, fighting for Northern Ontario in the House of Commons.
Access to Healthcare in the North
Early in the week, I spoke up about the lack of healthcare options for residents of many rural, remote, Northern and Indigenous communities. The government needs to act to ensure all Canadians have access to all healthcare options, including palliative care.
I also stood up in support of a review of the government’s handling of COVID-19, noting that many of my constituents have questions about access to rapid testing and PPE.
Fighting for Investment in Northern Ontario
During Question Period later in the week, I called out the Liberal government’s decision to give an $800,000 FedNor loan to skritswap, Inc., a tech company that largely operates out of Southern Ontario, with positions in B.C. and California. When I asked Minister Melanie Joly if this company has created a single job in Sault Ste. Marie, she dodged the question.
I find it very concerning that the government spent money meant for Northern Ontario on an organization with very few employees in the region. I can’t help but wonder how many small businesses in the Kenora riding may have been passed over for FedNor loans in favour of less deserving companies who may not even operate here!
Rest assured, I will get to the bottom of this.
Results for Indigenous Communities:
I’ve been closely monitoring the situation in Neskantaga First Nation. I’m very concerned about the further deterioration of their water supply, which has caused a partial evacuation of the community. In Question Period on Friday, I once again called on the government to honour their pledge to eliminate all long-term boil water advisories – Indigenous communities have waited far too long.
I also spoke out on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, asked the government when they will release an action plan to keep Indigenous women and girls safe.
On Monday, I participated in an emergency debate about the Nova Scotia lobster fisheries crisis. Liberal inaction has allowed this dispute to boil over into violence; during the debate, I called on the government to send their Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard to negotiate and find a peaceful resolution.
Demanding action on rural internet and food security
On October 13th, the Standing Committee on Indigenous & Northern Affairs had its first meeting of this session. I introduced two motions at the meeting – one calling for the committee to study food security in Northern Canada, and another in support of investments in Northern internet.
Attempts to get my motion in support of broadband passed at that first meeting were unfortunately scuttled by Liberal stalling tactics, but I look forward to debating it at our next meeting.
Liberals playing politics with a possible election
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the Liberal games! They also threatened to call an election if either of our Conservative Opposition Day motions passed.
The last thing Canadians need is to be plunged into an unnecessary election – just a year after the last one – during the middle of a pandemic. But we will not be intimidated into stopping our work for Canadians, or shying away from holding the government to account.
Working for you
Over the last few weeks I’ve had many informative meetings with constituents and other stakeholders to learn about the challenges facing our region and solutions to overcome them. I’ve also written numerous letters to Ministers advocating for internet solutions in the North, aid to the tourism industry, services for veterans and seniors, and important infrastructure projects in our riding.
As always, if there is anything my office can assist you with, or if you would like to arrange a meeting, please call me at 807-468-2170 (Kenora) or 807-223-2182 (Dryden) or contact me by email at email@example.com.
Member of Parliament – Kenora riding