As we look forward to 2023 and back on 2022, I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss some of the important developments that impacted Parliament, all Canadians, and people around the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic continued to be a defining issue of this last year. That said, I am hopeful the pandemic and restrictions are truly in our rear-view mirror. We saw unparalleled division related to COVID and unfortunately started with the Prime Minister’s calling of the election in 2021 that didn’t yield the results he hoped for. This strategic division showed how the Liberals would stop at nothing to push their political agenda on Canadians.
As the year progressed, we saw many COVID-19 restrictions dropped because of Conservative pressure; allowing Canadians to get back to normal.
This marked the beginning of post-pandemic life and the end of the Liberals’ manipulation of the worst health crisis in over a hundred years.
We also saw war once again touch the western world. After months of Russian militarization at the Ukraine-Russia border, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and embarked on an illegal war. Which has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties, devastation, and a global concurrent energy and food crisis. Canada’s Conservatives have advocated for as much support as is possible to the people of Ukraine who are fighting for freedom, and further, the need to ensure Canada plays a role in powering and feeding the world.
One of the unique roles of the Official Opposition is to highlight the failures of the Government, and over the last year, we have done so. A few things to highlight are: we saw a number of scandals exposed, the planned policy on mandatory labelling for ground beef reversed, a pause on the mandated reduction of fertilizer for farmers, opposing the Liberal soft-on-crime agenda, showing the hypocrisy of the Liberal hunting rifle ban, exposing that the Government offered assisted suicide to our veterans instead of mental health supports, and our continued work to expose the failure of the Liberal carbon tax.
Because of the minority Parliament, we have also seen some small successes… some bills have been passed in the House of Commons which are small steps in the right direction. Bills like a law to protect seniors’ pensions (Bill C-228), increasing penalties for those who abuse children (Bill C-291), and a bill to exempt farmers from the Liberal carbon tax (Bill C-234), among others that continue to be worked on. Additionally, our team has been able to accomplish a lot on committee, holding the Liberal Government to account and allowing me to keep fighting for you.
Last year, also saw a change in the leadership of the Conservative party of Canada. After Erin O’Toole left as Leader of the Official Opposition early in the year, the Hon. Candice Bergen was tasked with sailing the ship as interim leader until the Conservative party elected a new leader.
The leadership race saw record engagement and more members joining the party than any party in Canadian history.
After the ballots were counted, Pierre Poilievre won more than 68 per cent of the votes. And with Pierre’s win, I have heard from many of you, and folks across Canada, that are thankful for the work he is doing to unite the country and show that there is an alternative to the tired, corrupt, and out-of-touch Liberal/NDP coalition.
I will leave you with this; 2023 will no doubt have its challenges, but I remain hopeful about the future of our region, our province, and our country. There is still a lot of work to do but know Canada’s Conservatives are working for you.
Damien C. Kurek, MP
Battle River – Crowfoot