Volume 43 | May 15, 2020
Hoback Electronic Herald
Last week, the Trudeau Liberals claimed they were supporting the agriculture sector. But we have since learned that the funding isn't new. This is a slap in the face to farmers and producers across our country.

Farm groups in Canada have been vocal about their need for support during this pandemic, including the Canadian Federation of Agriculture which asked the government for $2.6 billion in support. Instead of helping the agriculture sector when it needs it the most, the Liberals decided to re-announce the $125 million already budgeted in the Agri-Recovery program.

This is not the first time during this pandemic that the Liberal government has re-announced programs and funding for the agriculture sector. The first major agriculture announcement the Liberals made, $5 billion in funding for Farm Credit Canada, was a 2019 campaign commitment and unrelated to

The unprecedented nature of this pandemic calls for unprecedented action, not recycled programs by a government that does not consider the agriculture sector to be a priority.

My Conservative colleagues and I will continue to press the Trudeau government for real help for our agriculture sector, including reforming the Business Risk Management programs.

We will always stand with our farmers and producers.

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19.

This benefit is for students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI).

From May to August 2020, the CESB provides a payment to eligible students of $1,250 for each 4-week period, or $2,000 for each 4-week period, if you have dependants or a disability

Conservatives negotiated several changes to the legislation, including requiring the government to connect all applicants to the Canada Job Bank and providing them with job availability information before applying, requiring a parliamentary review of the legislation and benefit, and instituting a legislated sunset so the benefit could not be extended through regulation.

No government program should ever disincentivize Canadians from working. However, we recognize that in much of the country Canadians, including students, need real help now.

To look for a job, students can visit Job Bank . By using the Job Bank , you can keep track of your job search activities in one place.

The Trudeau Government has announced a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This measure would give a total of $500 to individuals who are eligible to receive both the OAS and the GIS .

Conservatives have proposed practical measures to to the Liberal Government to help families and seniors affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Canadians are looking for penalty-free access to their savings, in order to reassure their personal financial security during these unprecedented times. However, current withdrawal requirements for Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) are preventing families and seniors from accessing their investments without paying significant penalties.

Seniors have also raised concerns with the requirement to cash out Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF) during the pandemic, which is devaluing their investments.

Conservatives have called on the government to address these concerns, by implementing the following proposals:

  1. Allow Canadians a special one-time withdrawal from their RRSP in 2020, which if repaid by December 31, 2023 will be tax-free.
  2. Waive mandatory RRIF withdrawals until December 31, 2020.

Allowing Canadians to borrow from their RRSPs to pay their bills during this critical time is simply the right thing to do. It will give Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet, including small business owners and seniors, access to their own funds instead of having to rely on government benefits.

Canada’s seniors have been left asking where their support is. Our seniors feel neglected and ignored during these trying times and need more money in their pockets. Waving 100% of mandatory withdrawals on RRIFs will help provide seniors with the additional support they are looking for.
As you are aware, Justin Trudeau made an announcement banning certain types of firearms through an Order in Council: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/01/prime-minister-announces-ban-assault-style-firearms .

Disappointingly, Justin Trudeau is capitalizing on our national heartbreak over the attack in Nova Scotia to push his ideological agenda forward and make major firearms policy changes. This is wrong.

The Trudeau Liberals have made it clear they do not respect the democratic role of Parliament. If Justin Trudeau had the strength of his convictions, he would have waited until the COVID-19 crisis had subsided to introduce firearms legislation in the House of Commons so that it could have been debated and Canadians’ voices could be heard.

Taking firearms away from law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters does nothing to stop dangerous criminals who obtain their guns illegally. It is a fact that the vast majority ofgun crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms and nothing the Trudeau Liberals announced last week addresses this problem.

This fact alone makes their flagrant opportunism at this time particularly shameful. Canadians are upset by the horrific attack in Nova Scotia and want answers. However, as the RCMP has made clear, the perpetrator of the Nova Scotia attack did not have a firearms licence, meaning his firearms were illegal. Real leadership would tackle the real problem, even if it is a difficult one to solve.

My Conservative colleagues and I will always support common-sense firearms policies that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. We want to see a firearms plan that addresses the real issues, one that includes support for police anti-gang and gun units, youth prevention programs, action on rural crime, tougher sentences for violent offenders, support for courts and prosecutors, a CBSA Firearms Smuggling Task Force, and increased access to mental health and addictions treatments.

Given the announced two-year amnesty period and the fact that legislation will be required for elements of Justin Trudeau’s firearms plan, I encourage you to voice your concerns to Liberal Members of Parliament, and to NDP Members of Parliament who have voiced support for this policy.

We’ve been through this before. It took hundreds-of-thousands of Canadians, through phone calls, emails and petitions, to convince Liberal Members of Parliament to back down on their imprudent small business tax changes in the last Parliament.

We all need to encourage our friends and family members across the country to do the same in opposition to this undemocratic policy.
This past week, I had the opportunity to travel to Ottawa to take part in my scheduled Wednesday COVID-19 question and answer session with Government Ministers.

I decided to focus three of my five allocated questions on issues that have been sent to me by email. The questions I asked are on behalf of two local business owners and a local farmer.

You can watch the video of my questions, as well as the Ministers' responses by clicking the image above.