Year End Review
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2020
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone across our riding of Peace River – Westlock. Everything has been in flux. I feel we are extremely blessed to live in Alberta where neighbours come together and help each other out. The pioneer spirit still lives. It is the Albertan can-do attitude and comradery that has made Alberta the beacon of freedom in comparison to other provinces in the country.
This past year, my Conservative colleagues and I have worked hard and fought for you. My office spent much of March, April, and May fielding calls from constituents around the confusing Liberal Government pandemic programs that were supposed to help them get through the lockdowns.
In Ottawa, under the leadership of Erin O’Toole, our team is united and focused on helping Canadians through the pandemic. We pressed for the Liberals to be more transparent regarding its COVID-19 response, got the them to increase the wage subsidy from 10% to 75%, uncovered many spending scandals like WE Charity and decisions to throw out much-needed PPE. We will continue to be bold in our approach to ensure that workers have good jobs to return to and that Canadians can come out of this pandemic stronger than before.
A big focus for us is fairer equalization for Alberta. My colleague, MP Tom Kmiec has been working on legislation to address this. Alberta has been the largest contributor to the federal equalization program, having contributed over $600 billion since the 1960s, and not having benefitted from the equalization program since 1962. Since 2015, Alberta has experienced a jobs crisis and an economic slowdown that has been made worse by Liberal Bills C-69 and C-48, which continue to have, devastating impacts on Alberta’s economy. We are calling on the Liberal government to work with Alberta to address the equalization program’s unfair treatment of our province and ensure a fair deal for Albertans.
As we have witnessed over the past year, the Prime Minister has decided to take
advantage of this pandemic to significantly alter Canada as we know it.
Only a few days ago, the day after the House of Commons had risen for Christmas,
Trudeau announced he would be tripling his Carbon Tax within 10 years, breaking
his 2019 election promises not to raise the Carbon Tax without first negotiating with the provinces.
This fall, Conservatives stood with disability advocates to try to defeat the
aggressive Liberal expansion of euthanasia laws. Together, we are opposed to Bill
C-7 that divides Canadians who request euthanasia into two classes– able bodied
Canadians who will be offered access to suicide prevention and vulnerable
Canadians who will be eligible for euthanasia purely on the basis of their disability.
Liberal MP Marcus Powlowski, an MD, voted with us in December against this bill
at final reading for this very reason. The the former Attorney General who brought
forward the original euthanasia, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, also voted
against this Liberal bill. Unfortunately, it passed just before Christmas and is now
before the Senate.
Over the past year I have continued to raise awareness about human trafficking
and sexual exploitation. This year I’ve been fighting against MindGeek, the parent
company of Pornhub which has been profiting off child sexual abuse, sex trafficking
and sexual assault videos for years. The all-party group anti-human trafficking
caucus that I co-chair and similar groups around the world have spent years trying
to get governments to take action. Ultimately it was a story in the NYT on
December 4 called ‘The Children of Pornhub’ that got the attention of the federal
government. Since the story broke, Visa and Mastercard have cut ties with
MindGeek and Pornhub has deleted 80% of its content which was unverified. There
is much more that needs to be done. Canada must no longer be a tech haven to
companies like MindGeek and the voices of survivors must no longer go unheard.
I know that you are counting on us to hold the Trudeau government to account and
to help lead our nation out of this crisis.
When Parliament returns in January, our Conservative Caucus will continue to do
Arnold Viersen, MP
Peace River – Westlock