2021 – End of Year Review
As 2021 comes to a close, I am pleased to share an update on the past 12 months. It has been an honour to serve as your voice in Ottawa.
Many of us were hoping for the September election to result in a Conservative government. Unfortunately, Justin Trudeau was returned to power, despite once again losing the popular vote. The bright point of the election came right in the middle with the birth of our daughter Claire.
Over the past year, my priorities have focused on being a voice for northern Albertans, standing up for workers, seniors, families and victims of crime.
In the House of Commons, I rose to speak over 150 times on important matters like oil and gas, forestry, standing up for families and small business owners, protecting kids from pornography, rights of firearm owners, indigenous rights, human trafficking and freedom of conscience. I also presented over 80 petitions signed by constituents advocating for action on sex-selective abortion, ALS research, northern residents’ deduction, the treatment of Falun Gong, mental health and more.
I continued my work as a Member of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Committee. We studied food security in northern communities, broadband investment in northern Canada and Covid-19 supports for indigenous communities.
Due to my work fighting sexual exploitation, I also joined the Ethics Committee for its study of MindGeek/Pornhub over the spring. We hauled MindGeek executives before the committee to answer for videos of child abuse, rape and sex trafficking on their websites. We also heard from courageous survivors who were still fighting to get videos of abuse down and we published a report with recommendations. In May, I introduced the SISE Act (Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation Act) to implement many of the Committee’s recommendations.
Throughout 2021, I continued as co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking and one of our highlights was successfully getting Canada to recognize February 22 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
It’s been a busy year but for now, this is the season to count our blessings this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
It’s a time for joyful reunions with family and friends. It’s also a time to remember and assist those in our midst who have less.
From Aliyah, Seeley, Jillian, Daniel, Claire, Melissa and myself, Merry Christmas to all, and best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year. I look forward to continuing to serve you in 2022.
Arnold Viersen, MP
Peace River – Westlock