Member Of Parliament for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan

Speak up on assisted suicide

The subject of death and dying are sensitive issues with which individual families grapple. But over the next four months, life and death are going to have to be part of our national conversation.

 As a result of a recent Supreme Court decision, the government needs to draft new legislation on euthanasia and suicide. Last year, the court ruled in a decision called Carter that the complete prohibition on euthanasia was “over-broad,” because (in their view) a less restrictive regime could still achieve the designated objective of protecting the vulnerable. Some lawyers have argued that a complete prohibition on euthanasia would still be constitutional, if a new law identified a different objective. Even within a more permissive legal regime, there is still a lot of room for debate.

 

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Speaking out against TFSA change

The government has decided to reduce the annual amount that you can put into your Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) by nearly 50 per cent. In 2015, you could deposit up to $10,000, but that will drop to $5,500 this year. This change will mean higher taxes on your savings — higher taxes at a time when many Canadians are struggling with the effects of low commodity prices. Raising taxes is rarely ever a good idea, and this could not come at a worse time.

 

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Weigh in on the electoral system

What electoral system should our country use? 

We currently use a system often called First Past the Post, where voters cast one vote in their constituency, elect one Member of Parliament per constituency, and send that person to Ottawa to represent them. Like any system, it has advantages and disadvantages. While simple, and providing clear representation, it is not proportional. Both our current and previous governments won a majority with just under 40 per cent of the popular vote. 

 

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Supporting pipeline development

In Alberta, New Year’s celebrations have usually brought with them a sense of future joy and prosperity. However, this year, there is a lot of apprehension about the state of our economy, especially for those whose livelihood is directly connected to our energy sector.

At this time last year, the price of oil was midway down its steep decline from more than $100 a barrel, to the dismal levels we experience today. Estimates vary about how long this downturn will last but this already means thousands of layoffs every month.

 

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Providing Constituent Support

One of the most important functions of a member of Parliament is to provide effective constituency support services. This means helping you navigate government processes. If you have a problem dealing with the federal government, we can sometimes help you address it.

 

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NATO must respond to ISIS

This isn’t the column that I wanted to write this week. But, when the House of Commons resumes activity in early December, we will have to confront the reality of an increasing global threat. We need to talk about it.

The attacks on Paris last week, attacks that killed over 100 people, do not mark the end of a conflict. They are part of an ongoing escalation of violence by an organization commonly called ISIS. ISIS combines evil intent with organizational and technological sophistication. We should not give in to fear, but we also should not give in to idle optimism. This group will not be stopped by wishing them away.

 

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My Grandmother Ursula

My grandmother Ursula was a deeply devoted person. Whenever we stayed with her, she would pray with us before we went to bed. She prayed so long we’d fall asleep. It was as if she was communicating with somebody she knew well. Only years later did I learn why Oma felt God was always right by her side and present to all humans.

 

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Meet The New Member of Parliament

As the newly-elected member of Parliament for Sherwood Park–Fort Saskatchewan, I want to express my sincerest thanks to you for trusting me to represent your interests in the House of Commons. As I do this work, I intend to keep you informed about what I am doing on your behalf in Ottawa. I would like to thank the Sherwood Park News and Fort Saskatchewan Record for giving me this regular column so I can do just that. I had a chance to write a column in the Sherwood Park News during my high school and university years, and it’s great to be writing again. This time, I won’t need to apply for a press pass.

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Maclean's: What comes next for Canadian Conservatives?

Where do we as Conservatives go from here? Since the modern, united Conservative party was created, we’ve won three out of five elections. We’ve won one majority and two minorities, while giving up one minority and one majority. That’s a relatively good record. Frankly, our latest loss wasn’t so big. It just stings a little more, because the collapse of the NDP made the magnitude of the Liberal gains much bigger than the magnitude of our losses.

 

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