Thank you for visiting my website. I hope this offers you useful information on the work I am doing as Regina-Wascana’s Member of Parliament.
If you have any questions or comments about any federal program or service, or need help dealing with any department or agency of the Government of Canada, please don’t hesitate to contact my Constituency Office. It is an honour to serve our community.
Canada’s plan to deal with Climate Change is aimed toward the successful development, transportation and marketing of our valuable oil and gas resources in western Canada, while protecting our clean air and clean water for generations to come.
Both sides of this equation are equally important. Canadians want both a prosperous economy and a clean environment, together.
To get there, the plan involves several inter-dependent components which, taken together, produce the desired results. One essential piece is putting a price on pollution, but not necessarily a carbon tax. There are several different ways to do it. The exact design is up to each province to determine in its own best interests.
So far, eight provinces—British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (representing some 93% of Canada’s population)—have embraced the concept. But each one is pursuing a different pollution pricing technique.
There is also substantial flexibility, within each of those techniques, to protect sensitive sectors – like agriculture. British Columbia, for example, has exempted farm fuels, among other things. Its pollution pricing system has been in place for 10 years, and BC today has Canada’s strongest economy and the best performance on greenhouse gases.
All new revenues from pollution pricing will be completely controlled at the provincial level, and used as each province sees fit.
This would empower Saskatchewan to totally eliminate its personal income tax, if that is what the provincial government feels is the best thing to do. Or it could slash property taxes on farmland, small businesses and homes. Or it could cut every form of provincial taxation right across the board by nearly 40%. The choice would be entirely up to the province.
Or it might decide to pay down provincial debt. To protect the competitiveness of its oil and gas exports, Saskatchewan could also choose to reduce or even cancel its provincial royalties, and still be money ahead.
Saskatchewan is rightly proud of its Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. A price on pollution would make CCS innovation far more competitive in the marketplace, both at home and abroad. A price on pollution also generates the environmental credibility necessary to build new pipelines—to get western resources to world markets at a better net return.
As proof of this point, the Government of Canada has approved four major pipelines this fall, two for natural gas and two for oil—most recently, the “Line 3” project across Saskatchewan and into the US, and the Kinder Morgan line from Edmonton to Vancouver.
These projects will drive investment, jobs and growth for the western economy. At the same time, they are environmentally responsible because we are going to price pollution, wean ourselves off coal, transition to more renewable fuels, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, the national plan for the economy and Climate Change includes other major federal investments which could help bolster Saskatchewan:
Altogether, the combined elements of this plan can work well for Saskatchewan. It’s about far more than just the status quo or putting a price on pollution. It’s about positioning our province—including resources and agriculture—to grow, compete and prosper in the new economy of the 21st century.
We’re celebrating Multicultural Week in Saskatchewan, but a few days ago in Regina and Ottawa, ugly signs of racism and hate were evident in graffiti attacks on several private dwellings, a playground and four different places of worship.
Vulgar words and degrading white supremist symbols, scrawled by cowards at night, are intended to drive wedges of fear and division. But the communities’ reaction, across religious and cultural lines, is most often a strong expression of solidarity against such reprehensible conduct.
This instinct to condemn intolerance and to stand with those who have been victimized is crucial. It sends an important pan-Canadian message that there is no social licence for hate – not in Canada.
Ours is a young country with a small, but complicated population, beginning with Indigenous peoples, and then the Norse and French and British explorers and settlers, and then wave-after-wave of enriching immigration.
And today Canada includes every ethnicity, colour and creed, two official languages and many cultures – the diversity of the whole world – mixed together, not in a melting pot, but as an intricate mosaic, and strung out sparsely across the second-largest landmass on the face of the earth. And from all that complexity we have forged a nation.
The Aga Khan, an honourary citizen of Canada, has described this country as the finest expression of pluralism the world has ever known.
Queen Elizabeth has noted that Canadian citizens are not asked to deny their forebears or forsake their inheritance, but only that each of us should accept and value the cultural freedom of others, just as we enjoy our own.
Prime Minister Trudeau has long championed the point that Canada is strong and successful not in spite of our differences, but precisely because of them. In 1982, his father enshrined multiculturalism and the Charter of Right and Freedoms in our Constitution.
But we shouldn’t think that all of this goodwill is our automatic birthright. We cannot be careless. Our history records some painful failures.
The internment of Ukrainian Canadians in World War One and Japanese Canadians in World War Two. The Chinese Head Tax. The Komagata Maru. The Voyage of the Damned. The election of a Saskatchewan government in 1929 with the perverse involvement of the Ku Klux Klan. A hundred and fifty years of failure in reconciling with Indigenous people. Internet slurs about recent refugees. And that graffiti.
The truth is we always need to work very hard at the principled values that bind us together. Our sense of fairness and justice. A spirit of generosity. Compassion. Caring and sharing. Open hearts and open minds. Pride in our vast diversity.
Better perhaps than most countries, we have practised the creative art of accommodation – to make room for one another. To reach out. To listen to each other. To bridge differences. To try very hard to understand one another.
And once we have listened and understood, Canadians are typically prepared to act with and for each other together. Not because it’s in the narrow self-interest of some comfortable majority. Not because we HAVE to. But because we WANT to. Because the action we take together is right for the fair and decent country we aspire to be.
And thus, Canada is a triumph of the human spirit – built and held together, not so much by the force of law or the force of arms or force of any kind, but by our common will. And that kind of nation-building – the Canadian way – is a never-ending process.
Canada is now and ever will be a precious and delicate work-in-progress. It depends on us, all of us, always, together. And we dare not take it for granted.
Multicultural Week helps to remind us.
Today Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale issued a statement on the death of Nia Eastman:
“It was with great sadness that I learned that Nia Eastman was found deceased by the RCMP today following an Amber Alert.
It is heartbreaking to lose a child, and nothing can ever make that right. I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to Nia’s mother and family, her community and all those who have been touched by this tragedy. We are all grieving together this most terrible loss.”
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Published on Huffington Post
Published on Huffington Post .
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