Week of April 03 – April 07, 2021
On Monday April 03, 2006, the 39th Parliament will begin, as requested by the Governor General of Canada. It’s most definitely an exciting time, as I will be returning to Ottawa to start work under the newly elected Conservative Government. The new Government is extremely anxious to begin working towards the five priorities proposed by Prime Minister Harper during the election.
The new Government will focus on five priorities because it believes that having a clear focus and plan will allow the new Government to actually achieve its goals. The first of the five priorities is to clean up government by passing the Federal Accountability Act. The Act will end the influence of big money in Ottawa and curtail the lobbying culture witnessed in previous governments. A few of the features of the Act include: banning corporate and union donations, while limiting personal donations to $1,000, as well as give more power to the Lobbyists Registrar, Ethics Commissioner, Information Commissioner, and the Auditor General.
The second priority for the new government is to provide real tax relief to working families by cutting the GST. The new Conservative government is proposing to reduce the GST by one point as soon as it is possible, reducing it to 6 per cent and again by another point within five years. The cut in the GST will assist all Canadians with the increasing cost of living, by placing money back in our pockets.
The Government’s third priority is to make our streets and communities safer by cracking down on crime. Our Government’s plan is to insist on tougher sentences for serious and repeat offenders and by tightening parole. The drug, gang, and gun-related crimes plaguing Canadian communities must be addressed by clear mandatory minimum prison sentences, as well as an end to sentences being served at home.
The fourth priority of the new Government is to help parents with the cost of raising children. The Government intends to do this by introducing the Child Care Allowance, which will give families choice in child care. The new allowance would provide all families $1,200.00 per year for each child under six. In addition, the new Government will help employers and communities create child care spaces in the workplace or through cooperative or community associations, by allocating $250 million a year in tax credits to employers who cover the full cost of creating spaces. It’s estimated that this new program will create 125, 000 new child care spaces over five years.
The last priority of the new Conservative Government is to work with the provinces to establish a Patient Wait Times Guarantee. The plan will ensure that all Canadians receive essential medical treatment within clinically acceptable waiting times or can be treated in another jurisdiction, as required by the Supreme Court of Canada’s Chaoulli decision and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The new Government will also work with the provinces and territories to increase the numbers of and expand educational programs for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals.
I am very proud of these priorities and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure they are achieved as quickly as possible. I also encourage you to watch the Speech from the Throne by the Governor General, in the Senate, on April 04, 2006.