End of Session Report: Part I

Happy Canada Day to all of my constituents.

It was a busy week in the House of Commons, with sittings going into the early morning hours, as the Liberal Government tried to force through legislation before the House rose for the summer.

As, at the time of writing, several pieces of government legislation remain in the Senate, I will focus this week on some positive things we were able to achieve this session, and deal with government bills next week.

I am very pleased that several common-sense bills, put forward by Conservatives, passed the House of Commons. I had the privilege to second each of these bills, and all are good news for Provencher residents.

Bill C-206 will exempt farm fuels from the Liberal Carbon Tax. Conservatives, NDP and Bloc members all voted in favour. Only the Liberals voted against. It was very disappointing—though not surprising—to see the Liberals vote against saving our agriculture sector $250 million over the next four years–money that would stay in our communities and support local jobs and small businesses, but it was great to see other opposition parties step up to get this bill passed.

Bill C-208 changes how the sale of a farm, small business or fishing operation from parent to child is taxed—this is one of the few bills that has actually been passed into law. A significant percentage of Canadian farms and small business are family owned and operated, many of then intergenerationally. Under the previous law, if you sold a family farm or small business to your children, the difference between the sale price and the original purchase price was considered a dividend. However, if the farm or small business was sold to a non-family member the sale was taxed as a capital gain, at a significantly lower rate. Bill C-208 will provide tax fairness for farm families and small business owners.

Bill C-307 dramatically expands bereavement leave for parents suffering the loss of their child. The current law allows only three days—a period that is not only unsympathetic but completely disconnected from the realities of such loss. It offers parents no time to make arrangements or properly grieve following the death of a child. This new piece of legislation would give parents eight weeks of paid leave to grieve and do what they need to do.

We were also able to work collaboratively with other opposition parties in our ongoing push for the Liberal Government to stop their coverup of Chinese military scientists working in the Public Health Agency’s Winnipeg National Microbiology Lab. The Liberal Government is, currently, in contempt of Parliament, refusing to provide documents related this shocking national security breach. We will continue to call for transparency and work together with other parties, and independent members, to hold Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Government to account.

I am proud of the good work we did this session, on these bills, issues and many others. I look forward to continuing to work for you as your common-sense voice in Ottawa.

One other quick thing to note. As of this week, our office has moved to 9A-90 Brandt St. in Steinbach. We look forward to serving Provencher in our new location.