Letters to the Editor – from Arnold Viersen

What your Member of Parliament has been up to lately

To the Editor:

On Monday, I left Alberta at 1:00 a.m. to fly to Ottawa via a two-hour layover in Toronto. By 9:30 a.m., I was in Ottawa, making my way to Parliament Hill on roads thick with fresh, slushy snow. The first thing up in the House of Commons was a debate on Bill C-206. This is a Private Members’ Bill introduced by my friend, Philip Lawrence, the Conservative MP from Peterborough, Ontario. This bill would remove the carbon tax for farmers for natural gas and propane. This is a bill I fully support.

At noon, debate began on Bill C-8, a bill that would change the citizenship oath to recognize the treaties that have been signed in Canada. This bill was debated all day and I had an opportunity to speak on this bill near the end of the day.

Bill C-7, the euthanasia bill, is currently at the justice committee. It is in the clause-by-clause stage; the committee is reviewing each line to ensure that the intent of each word is precise. Earlier this month, the committee heard from some of the Canadians affected by this bill; changes were made to reflect the advice that was heard. I helped draft some of the amendments that are being discussed around this bill. On behalf of those with disabilities, I am pushing for amendments to prevent same-day death, ensure consent to be euthanized is confirmed in the moment and ensure there is a witness to confirm consent.

The bill is about halfway through the committee process. The committee meeting ran until 10 pm Monday evening and I was able to participate in the process. Interestingly, the Senate is starting their pre-study on this bill as well.

The government has introduced a few new bills that we debated for the first time this week. Bill C-10 will make changes to the broadcasting act. It is known as the Netflix bill. The bill is attempting to ensure Canadian content. Rather that make it easier for Canadian content to compete, the Liberals are doing what they do best: raise taxes and give handouts. Debate on this bill started Tuesday and I hope to speak to it when I get recognized by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Bill C-11 is another new bill the Liberals introduced. This is an interesting bill, not so much because of the content, but because of the way it affects the workings of Parliament. It is a law to regulate online privacy and social media. It is a large bill that when printed off is nearly an inch thick. This is about three times thicker than most bills.

What makes this interesting is that when this bill is passed through the House of Commons, it will go to the ethics committee for study. Currently at the ethics committee, the Liberals are filibustering the Conservative motion to study the WE Charity scandal. The Liberals are trying to prevent any examination of their dealings with WE Charity. The massive Bill C-11 will be going to that committee for study and government legislation conveniently takes precedence over other work. This will consume months of time at the ethics committee and will prevent any investigation of the WE Charity scandal.

On Wednesday, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I joined 19 MPs and Senators from four parties to send a letter to the Justice Minister asking for his assistance to end the exploitation taking place on websites owned by Montreal’s MindGeek. This letter followed a March 9, 2020 letter to the Prime Minister asking for his help to protect women and girls.

All of this makes for a lot of moving parts in Parliament these days and on top of all that, there’s COVID. Conservatives continue to call for rapid testing and the release of all the data that is being used by the government to make decisions.

All I have to say is, man, it’s crazy times we are living in. God Bless you all and please call your mom to say hi.

Arnold Viersen
MP for Peace River – Westlock

Share this post

Post Comment