Letter to the Editor – Holding the Government Accountable
March 23, 2023 – Barrhead. AB
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As a member of the Official Opposition, it’s my responsibility to be your voice and hold the federal government to account. Each week in Ottawa, I am working to bring results for the people of Peace River – Westlock by meeting with stakeholders, tabling motions, voting on legislation and submitting inquiries to ensure transparency.
Over the past week, I had productive meetings with a number of stakeholders including Peace River MLA Dan Williams, Alberta dairy farmers, egg farmers, and agriculture companies investing in our riding. On Thursday, MP Chris Warkentin and I also testified at Committee to support the concerns of municipalities in our ridings over the proposed electoral boundary changes.
Since the imposition of the Emergencies Act, Conservatives called for accountability and transparency and we raised concerns about the privacy and civil liberties of Canadians, including the disclosure and sharing of Canadians’ banking information. True to form, on Monday, a written response to a question I submitted revealed that Canadians’ banking information was indeed disclosed to foreign banking institutions in the U.S., China, Pakistan and other countries.
The Conservative Party was also allotted two days to bring forward motions in Parliament for debate and a vote. On Monday, we tabled a motion to force Justin Trudeau’s Chief of Staff Katie Telford to testify before the Ethics Committee on what the Trudeau Liberals knew about Beijing’s foreign interference in Canada’s elections. This successfully forced the Liberals to finally agree to her appearance.
On Wednesday, we tabled a motion calling on the Liberal government to halt their April 1 tax hike on beer, wine and spirits. At 6.3% it was the largest tax increase on alcohol in the last 40 years. With the support of the other opposition parties, our motion was adopted – with only the Liberals voting against.
This week, I voted for a number of Conservative private members bills that also took important steps forward. Bill C-241, which allows for the deduction of travel expenses for tradespersons, was adopted by the House of Commons and heads to the Senate. Bill S-224, which will lead to more convictions of human traffickers, was adopted at Second Reading and heads to Committee.
Unfortunately, the Liberal NDP coalition worked together to defeat two other important Conservative private members bills: Bill C-289 which would have made it easier for authorities to prosecute and convict money launderers and Bill C-283 which would have helped end revolving door bail system.
As your MP, I will work hard to help elect a strong Conservative government that is committed to fighting crime, increasing government accountability and reducing taxes.
Arnold Viersen, MP
Peace River – Westlock