They call them ?break weeks? in Ottawa. Yet while silence mercifully descended upon the House of Commons two weeks ago, I found no shortage of things to do and people to meet within our beautiful riding of Prince George-Peace River.
In that sense, it was indeed a break for me. It?s great to come home. Even better to spend time with my fellow constituents and be reminded of the values and views we share here in northeastern BC. I try to talk with as many people as possible during these so-called ?breaks?. Conversations with local business owners, community volunteers and elected representatives, among others, tend to re-charge my motivation to represent your interests in Ottawa.
And I cannot emphasize enough the importance of that encouragement and support in the face of ongoing obstructionism by the opposition parties. As I expressed to many of the constituents I encountered while I was at home, this is one of the most frustrating times I have experienced as your MP.
Like many of my colleagues I had greatly anticipated being able to, as a member of a Conservative Government, enact the reforms you?ve been demanding for so many years. We got off to a very good start. Our first budget brought historic tax relief for Canadians, and the Universal Child Care benefit, delivering $100 monthly cheques to the parents of all children under age six.
We are delivering an additional $1.5-billion to farmers and we passed the Federal Accountability Act through the House of Commons. We also tabled many substantive justice bills, particularly legislation to scrap the useless long-gun registry and to end ?house arrest? for violent offenders.
Now, the opposition parties are better organized. Ironically, they?ve belatedly begun to adopt many of the procedural tools we honed when we were in opposition.
However, as the official record clearly demonstrates, when we Conservatives were in opposition we judged every bill on its own merit, allowing Liberal legislation to pass when it offered some benefit to Canadians. The current opposition is now opposing legislation in a haphazardly obstructionist and partisan fashion. In the final run-up to their leadership convention, the Liberals have become even more emboldened.
The opposition gutted our conditional sentencing bill hoping to continue to allow violent criminals to serve time in the comfort of home. Through their unelected colleagues in the Senate, the financially-troubled Liberals gutted the Federal Accountability Act to stop our efforts to limit political donations. The opposition is also attempting to revoke the $100 monthly child care cheques. All three opposition parties have served notice they will unite to swiftly defeat our legislation to scrap the long-gun registry.
As I said, it?s all rather frustrating. Yet our government continues to win achievements on behalf of Canadians, including our recent $1-billion tax cut to seniors and the introduction of a ?drug-impaired driving? bill.
And after my week at home in the riding, I am even more determined that our Conservative Government will not give up. Despite this difficult minority situation, we will continue to fight for every possible reform you asked me to help make a reality.