Welcome to the first sitting week of 2021! This week started with two emergency debates. On Monday, parliamentarians sat until midnight to debate President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. Elizabeth was clear that the real emergency remains the climate emergency, and that Canada should respect the United States’ decision to cancel the pipeline. She also stated that subsidies to the fossil fuel industry must end to facilitate a just transition to a clean-energy economy for workers.
On Tuesday, MPs sat until midnight in another emergency debate on Canada’s vaccine rollout. Elizabeth asked the Minister whether Pfizer’s attempt to negotiate tax cuts would affect access to the vaccine for Canadians. Paul reminded the government that reintroducing publicly funded labs would help Canada face the next public health emergency.
In her question this week, Elizabeth drew attention to the plight of the ground transportation industry, which has been suffering during the pandemic. Coach bus companies such as Wilson’s on Vancouver Island, and Maritime Bus are essential services that are at risk of going under because of predatory banks. She called on the government to prevent banks from requiring immediate payments from these businesses so that they can continue to provide essential services to remote communities. CTV News covered the issue and Elizabeth’s question.
Paul called for more regulation in the housing market to crack down on money laundering and other market distortions. He noted that without strong regulation, rents are increasing, affordable housing is disappearing, and more Canadians than ever are becoming homeless.
Once again, Jenica asked the government to provide direct funding to community mental health organizations and to commit to national mental health standards. Canadians need more from their government than resource websites.
Earlier in January, in a vote between all MPs, Elizabeth and Jenica won Most Knowledgeable and Rising Star, respectively, in the Maclean’s magazine Parliamentarians of the Year Award.
Question Period and Member’s Statements
Press Conferences and Media Releases
In Their Own Words