Bringing the problems of Kelowna-Lake Country to Ottawa – In Your Service

My role as a Member of Parliament is to bring the voice of Kelowna—Lake Country to Ottawa, rather than being the voice of Ottawa in Kelowna—Lake Country.

That’s why in this week’s column I’m going to highlight some of the work I’ve been doing to bring your priorities to Ottawa.

The rapid increase in home prices in our community over the last several years is one of the most pressing issues facing our residents. From first-time homebuyers to new parents to seniors on fixed incomes, the housing crisis is affecting everyone.

A 15-year-old local recently told me, “The dream of owning your own home is just a dream.” That comment is at the heart of what has become one of the most frequent debates in the House of Commons and I quoted the Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister for Housing when I asked him why the government’s housing initiatives have not managed to cool house prices in the Okanagan. .

I wish I could say that the Parliamentary Secretary answered my questions in a substantive way, but sadly what I got back was a repetition and duplication of the government’s dysfunctional housing policies over the last seven years, which failed to have any impact on the reduction of prices. down during his time in government.

An older person recently told me that she held her electric bill in one hand as she looked in her pantry and decided whether to pay the bill or buy food. That was right after she told me that she and her husband had to go back to work part time.

I brought the resident’s comments to the question period. Thirty-year high inflation is hurting everyone, and yet the Ottawa government fails to understand the struggle people go through every day.

I also often seek to meet with locals when they are in Ottawa and did so with a local RV dealership owner who was raising issues affecting the RV and camping industries.

Our visit coincided with the release of the Canadian Environment Commissioner’s carbon tax study, which showed that the government had failed to address the impact the carbon tax has had on small business owners across the country.

While questioning the environment minister that same day, I used our local RV business as a real-world example of how the minister’s policies fell short of the government’s commitment to help small businesses get back on their feet.

While there was sadly no real response from the minister, I was happy to welcome our local resident to observe in the House of Commons during question period that day.

If you plan to visit Ottawa, now that Parliament has reopened to the public, be sure to contact me so I can let you know what is required to get a tour or attend question period.

Also, that week, I had the opportunity to invite Michael J. Balingall, President of the Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association and Senior Vice President of Big White Ski Resort, to present to the Industry Committee how tourism businesses have been affected. in recent years, and what needs to be done to regain competitiveness.

He discussed the need to streamline processes to ensure travelers have confidence when they come to Canada, the need to address delays and labor shortages at our airports, as well as burdensome bureaucracy such as the ArriveCAN app. We also heard about the labor shortage many of our local small businesses are experiencing and proposals on how to improve this situation.

You can see videos of some of the examples I cite in this column on my social networks and on my website.

While Parliament sits, I look forward to continuing to defend Kelowna-Lake Country in Ottawa.

If you need help with the programs or have any ideas to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. At 250-470-5075 or [email protected]

This article is written by or on behalf of a contract columnist and does not necessarily reflect Castanet’s views.

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