Member Of Parliament for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan

Members’ Bills debated

Most of our time in Parliament is spent debating bills proposed by the government. However, we also spend an hour a day debating bills proposed by individual Members of Parliament (MPs), called Private Members’ Bills (PMBs), which can be on many different types of subjects, although they cannot require the government to spend money.

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You can speak ill of the dead

It is not the normal thing in politics to speak ill of the dead. However, there are some cases in which it is not only fair, but necessary, to criticize someone’s record in order to ensure that their actions are not repeated. I would never consider it proper to revel in someone’s death; however, nor is it proper to ignore their deeds in life.

 

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New carbon tax is a bad idea

The madness of the U.S. presidential election continues, with every passing day bringing out a new and previously unimagined low point. In the midst of the madness, though, it’s worth occasionally pausing and taking a look at the policy ideas that the candidates are proposing. These ideas are ultimately what Americans — and, in a significant sense, Canadians — will have to live with.

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Reflecting on doctor-assisted euthanasia

I recently watched the film Me Before You. It is a well-acted romantic drama about a quadriplegic and his caregiver who fall in love. (Romance movies aren’t normally my thing, but this job does involve spending right to 10 hours on a plane most weeks). The disabled man in this film had decided to pursue euthanasia, before meeting his young female caregiver. He ultimately decides to follow through on that decision, despite her pleas to reverse course. He tragically chooses to take his life right at the moment when he has most clearly shown both his capacity for joy and his ability to positively impact his surroundings. Everyone except him sees the value in his life — and his death comes across as bitingly pointless.

 

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Electoral system needs changes

A couple weeks ago, I hosted a series of roundtables on potential changes to Canada’s electoral system. The Liberal government has said that they intend to change the way Canadians vote. The discussions that we are having here in Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan are hopefully going to influence the national discussion, so thank you to all those who attended and participated.

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Canada should stay out of AIIB

During a recent visit to China, the PM announced his intention to bring Canada into the Chinese-controlled Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). This is an extremely bad idea.

China is an influential global player. Canada cannot ignore China, and we should seek collaboration in ways that advance Canadian values and Canadian interests. But we should also be cautious and strategic when dealing with a foreign government that has a very different set of values and interests.

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Electoral Reform Roundtables

Our office team and I work hard to ensure that we are consulting you, our constituents, on a regular basis. One of the ways that we do this is through constituent roundtables. When constituents write to our office to express an opinion about an issue, they will often receive a subsequent invitation to attend a roundtable discussion about that issue. This gives a group of people interested in a topic an opportunity to bounce ideas off each other; and it gives me an opportunity to learn from them.

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Electoral Reform Round Tables

Our office team and I work hard to ensure that we are consulting you, our constituents, on a regular basis. One of the ways that we do this is through constituent roundtables. When constituents write to our office to express an opinion about an issue, they will often receive a subsequent invitation to attend a roundtable discussion about that issue. This gives a group of people interested in a topic an opportunity to bounce ideas off each other; and it gives me an opportunity to learn from them.

 

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Reflecting on Israel journey

This column is about a recent Parliamentary mission to Israel. However, before I get to that, a couple unrelated housekeeping notes:

I will be hosting a number of policy roundtable discussions over the summer. If you are interested in participating, please contact my office as soon as possible. In general, given the Parliamentary recess, summer is a good time to reach out if you’d like to get together or discuss specific issues or concerns.

 

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Reflecting on identities and violence

Since my last column, we have witnessed the biggest mass shooting of civilians by a single gunman in North American history. I’d like to share a few thoughts on those events.

Here are the basic facts: On June 12, one “gunperson” killed 49 people and injured 53 others at a gay club in Orlando, during a Latin Night (most of the victims were Hispanic). The shooter was a 29 year old who pledged allegiance to Daesh/ISIS. According to many reports, he may also have been gay himself.

 

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