The House of Commons breathed a collective sigh of relief as the spring parliamentary session concluded on June 21, 2017. With the summer recess now underway, I’m thankful to be spending more time in communities across southeast Manitoba meeting with constituents both formally and informally. Returning home has also allowed me the opportunity to reflect on some of the key issues from this past session.
In January, we called Prime Minister Trudeau to account for his lavish $130,000 vacation on a private island in the Bahamas, hosted by a “friend” whose foundation has received $55 million from the Trudeau government. This, and the Trudeau cash-for-access scandal where lobbyists – including Chinese businessman and advisor to the Chinese Government, Zhang Bin, (who also made a $1-million donation to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation) paid $1500 a person for direct access to the Prime Minister and cabinet members, caused Mary Dawson, the federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, to launch an investigation into the Prime Minister’s activities. This is the first time a sitting Prime Minister has ever been investigated by the Ethic’s Commissioner. Prime Minister Trudeau has refused to tell Canadians whether he has met with the Commissioner, a serious concern given the gravity of the accusations and considering his stated goal of improving his Liberal Government’s transparency. No one begrudges the Prime Minister for taking a holiday, but he chose to ignore the ethics rules in place and that’s just wrong.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Trudeau tweeted several reckless messages that led many to believe that entering Canada through the proper channels is just a suggestion. Hundreds of illegal migrants have poured into border communities like Emerson since that time. Don’t get me wrong, Canada is a generous and accepting country and should continue to welcome refugees fleeing war, violence, or persecution. However, we must always consider our national security and do our due diligence to make sure we know who is entering our country, where they are entering and why. I visited Emerson several times since the increase in illegal border crossings, and have witnessed the concern and frustration of our border officers as they deal with the repercussions of our Prime Minister’s reckless tweets. The Liberal government needs to address this ongoing issue and protect our borders.
As we look ahead to the fall session of Parliament, our new Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and our team will continue to stand up for everyday Canadians. We will strengthen efforts to hold this Liberal government to account for raising taxes, introducing policies that have stalled job growth, and the Prime Minister’s questionable ethics. I look forward to bringing the comments and concerns I hear from you over the course of the summer back to Ottawa in the fall.