Garrison sums up Parliament in June

MP Randall Garrison gives an update of events on Parliament Hill

  • Jul. 23, 2014 8:00 p.m.
MP Randall Garrison

MP Randall Garrison

June brought the end of what seemed a very long session of Parliament, especially since the Conservatives forced sittings to midnight every night for the last month. They also set a new record for cutting off debate by using time allocation 75 times in the last session.

As soon as Parliament adjourned the Conservatives started making announcements in the hope of escaping scrutiny during Question Period in the House of Commons. Several of these announcements will have big impacts locally. Hot on the heels of adjournment came Jason Kenny’s “reforms” to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. Previously the Conservatives had argued there was nothing wrong with a program that had brought nearly 450,000 temporary workers into the country and left them vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers, not to mention the program’s impact on keeping service sector wages low and making it hard for young Canadians to get entry level jobs.  Kenney’s changes promise to cut the number of future temporary workers in half, but will not displace those who already came here under the program in good faith.

Just after adjournment we also learned that the Harper government has cut the funding to the Pathway Youth Employment Project on the Westshore. This is an extremely successful program for getting at risk youth into jobs or back into school, something that happened over 90 per cent of the time over the 13 years it has been operating. When you think of the loss of potential for these youth and the future social costs associated with the failure to meet their needs, this program is a bargain. I issued a press release expressing my concerns about the canceling of this project and I also wrote to the Minister asking that this bad decision be overturned.

June marks the beginning of what some call “Pride season” in Canada with events stretching across the country throughout the summer.  This year Toronto hosted World Pride and the World Pride Human Rights Conference.  I was honoured to be asked to chair a session at the conference and to be part of what was probably the largest and most diverse LGBTQ human rights gathering ever.  I am disappointed to report that the Conservatives in the Senate are continuing to block my Private Member`s Bill C -279, the bill that would close the gap in Canada’s human rights record by guaranteeing equal rights for transgender Canadians.

Just days before MPs left Ottawa the Conservatives announced their unpopular decision to approve the Northern Gateway Pipeline. That day I was proud to stand with NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and all 12 of our BC NDP MPs at a live news conference to express our unanimous opposition to the Northern Gateway project. As most of you know I have long been an opponent of expanding pipelines for oil export and the resulting increase in tanker traffic on our wild west coast.  These pipeline projects not only threaten our local environment and existing sustainable jobs in tourism and fishing, but they also represent a stubborn failure to recognize the urgent need to begin the transition to a low carbon economy now. Let me wish all of you a happy and active summer.  Have a great summer!

MP Randall

Garrison

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)
Nine dead, hazardous trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

Victoria Shamrocks announced on March 2 that Mike Simpson will be taking over as head coach. (Photo courtesy of the Victoria Shamrocks)
Victoria Shamrocks name new head coach ahead of 2021 season

Mike Simpson has been promoted from offensive coach to the team’s bench boss

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

This photo of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin and her daughter, Lexi, is part of Townsin’s documentary, RARE HUMANS - Turning Hope into Action, her capstone project for her graduate degree from Royal Roads University. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin)
Greater Victoria mother’s grief fuels documentary of ‘Turning Hope into Action’

Lexi, 6, died in 2019 from Blau Syndrome and is among the children documented

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read