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Written by LaVar Payne, Medicine Hat MP
Monday, 21 November 2011 18:11
MP LaVar Payne
I was honoured to participate in the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Medicine Hat on Nov. 11, and pleased to meet Veterans at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 17. Our Veterans, as well as the men and women of our Canadian Forces, participated in the dayâ€™s events. It is so important that we celebrate these exceptional people; we owe them our debt of gratitude for their dedicated service to our great Nation and our appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy.
The harvest is over and I understand that we have had some excellent crops. Bill C â€“ 18 - Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act has been sent to Committee and was reported to the House on Nov. 4. It is unfortunate that the current Directors and the President of the Wheat Board have not yet moved forward with the changes for the benefit of our western farmers. Currently, they are spending huge amounts of â€œFarmersâ€™ moneyâ€ to fight the changes in the courts and in wasted advertising.
The Government of Canada takes its obligations seriously pertaining to commitments for International Aid. The funding we have provided was $4.5 Billion in 2006 â€“ 2007 and currently stands at $5.3 Billion for 2009 â€“ 2010. This is in stark contrast to the errors noted in the â€œLetter to the Editorâ€ recently published in The News which indicated that our government has slashed funding for International Aid.
Our Legislative agenda is very heavy this fall and we have put forward a number of Bills in the House of Commons.Â Here is a short list of Bills before the House:
C â€“ 3 â€“ Budget Act
C â€“ 4 â€“ Immigration & Refugee Act Amendments
C â€“ 7 â€“ Selection of Senators Act
C â€“ 10 â€“ Victims of Terrorism, Controlled Drugs & Youth Criminal Act
C â€“ 11 â€“ Copyright Act
C â€“ 12 â€“ Personal Information & Electronic Act
C â€“ 19 â€“ Ending the Long Gun Registry
C â€“ 20 â€“ Electoral Boundary Act
I continue to be a member of, and work hard on, the two Standing Committees: Aboriginal and Northern Affairs and Agriculture. We also have the opportunity to provide input to the Ministers on the budgets for these departments in preparation for Budget 2012, as the Minister of Finance expects to find $4 Billion in Government expenditure reductions over the next few years. Â
Our Conservative Governments focus remains on the economy and job creation. As you are aware the impacts from the European debt crisis continues to affect the stock markets and has potential to spill over the world economy. The potential slow down in the world economic activity could affect our export markets and the Canadian economy.
I am sure many of you have questions regarding the City of Medicine Hatâ€™s request for funding for the Regional Event Center. I indicated at the beginning that their application â€œtechnicallyâ€ met the requirements of the Build Canada Fund, however the main purpose of the proposal was to build a hockey facility for our Medicine Hat Tigers. You may have read that their application was turned down as it did not meet the requirements of the fund. I have been in constant contact with the Ministerâ€™s office on this funding request.
Medicine Hat is still eligible for $10 Million for projects which meet the fund requirements and the Province will also provide a matching grant with the City to provide matching funds. The City will need to decide where these funds are to be spent, within the guidelines of the Build Canada Fund, so that this funding can be delivered.
I continue to meet with many of you in the three offices we have in the Riding: Medicine Hat, Brooks and Taber. It is very important to me to be able to help you with your issues and concerns. I will be holding Town Hall meetings in January and hope to see many of you then. Thank you for your continued support.