MP Report: Frustration mounts over broken promises

Constituents call for Canadian government to do more to help bring peace to Iraq and Syria

After a year of working hard to deliver results for Canadians, New Democrats are becoming increasingly frustrated with the Liberal government’s growing list of broken promises. In Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, we have been especially disappointed with the Liberal’s broken promises on electoral reform, health care, and a new nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations.

I have also recently heard from record numbers of constituents who want the Canadian government to do more to help bring peace to Iraq and Syria and to provide adequate support for refugees. Add to this the ongoing cash-for-access scandal where the Liberals are breaking their own guidelines, and many Canadians are beginning to lose trust for the Trudeau government. The Liberals seemed to promise everything to everyone in the election campaign, and a year later, it is clear that they have failed to deliver.

In another about-turn from an election promise, the Liberals recently approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline under the same industry-dominated process that the Conservatives used. This pipeline would have its terminus in Burnaby and trigger a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic through our local waters.

These tankers would put the integrity of our coastal environment and the tourism, fishing and other marine harvest industries at risk of being decimated by an oil spill. This is especially troubling given that current standards for oil spill cleanups see only 10 per cent of the oil removed, and there is no reliable data on bitumen cleanups.

It should be noted that bitumen more closely resembles asphalt than oil and sinks in water. Another concern that the people of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke have is the imminent risk to our iconic and endangered southern resident killer whales. The increase in tanker traffic would interfere with these orcas’ ability to use their sonar system to hunt for fish, without even considering the impacts of a spill.

This past year, I was also busy in the House of Commons. Among other things, I reintroduced my transgender rights bill, and I subsequently was able to get the Liberal government to put it forward as a government bill and have it pass quickly through the House of Commons. This exact same bill had been passed by the House twice before, and once again, we are waiting for the unelected Senate to act.

I also continued to press the Liberals to take immediate action to protect our endangered southern resident killer whales, instead of making deferred promises for future action. I continued my work raising concerns about human rights in Tibet as co-chair of the Canada-Tibet parliamentary Friendship Association, and I again called on the Liberals to act on their promises to raise human rights issues with China.

As defence critic for the NDP, I recently attended a NATO conference in Washington D.C. and I continue to work hard, advocating for our armed forces. This year, upgrades to the Esquimalt Naval Base have provided many local jobs and will provide both much-needed infrastructure improvements for our navy and a cleanup of Esquimalt Harbour. I have also been closely watching the national shipbuilding strategy to make sure that it doesn’t get cut back or further degraded, and I continue to advocate for funding that provides needed upgrades and local jobs.

In 2017, I will continue the work of advocating for those who signed up to serve Canada, by supporting proper recruitment, training and equipment updates for the Canadian Armed Forces, and proper funding for services for veterans.

I look forward to another year working for the people of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.

Randall Garrison is the MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.

 

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

Just Posted

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Andrew McBride is among those who deck out for Sea of Lights floating ship parade annually. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic sinks Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Sea of Lights

Oak Bay club encourages donations to the charities event supports

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read