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January 15, 2024

After eight years of Justin Trudeau, housing is simply unaffordable in most Canadian cities – and particularly here in British Columbia. Last week, Rentals.ca released a report confirming the reality of renting in Canada. British Columbians are facing average asking rents of $2,500, and rising mortgage rates have made home ownership impossible for many.

This cost-of-living crisis is forcing many Canadians to choose between paying their rent, putting food on the table, and heating their homes. The only solution to this affordable housing crisis is for the government to create a plan to incentivize and enable builders, yet Trudeau has told Canadians that housing is not a “federal responsibility,” and Trudeau’s own Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has confirmed that his government has no plan to build the homes that Canadians need.

Between January 1 and November 30 of 2023, Canada built 17,561 fewer houses than in this time period in the previous year, according to Statistics Canada, and in British Columbia, the total value of residential permits declined by 19.4 percent.

Canada is now completing fewer homes than it did 50 years ago, when its population was around 22 million, and it’s close to 41 million today. Slow processing times for permits, government gate-keepers, red tape and regulations are stifling construction mean that while demand continues to skyrocket, supply is falling further behind.

Commenting on this growing chasm between the slow growth of home building and the rising population of Canadians needing to be housed, Pierre Poilievre stated that “we need to make a link between the number of homes built and the number of people we invite as new Canadians.”

Under his leadership, he plans to return our country to “an approach of immigration that invites a number of people that we can house, employ and care for in our health-care system.”

Ensuring services keep pace with our immigration targets is just common sense, as many economists have argued.

In order to increase supply, Conservatives have a plan to Build Homes, Not Bureaucracy, get mortgage rates under control, and restore the dream of home ownership for all Canadians.

In your service,

Tako van Popta

Member of Parliament

Langley – Aldergrove

December 15, 2023

Today, the House of Commons officially rises for Christmas! I am really looking forward to spending the holidays back at home with family.

The last few weeks have been interesting in Ottawa – you may have heard about the voting marathon, the fight to remove the carbon tax, and Liberal scandals being uncovered at committees. The bottom line, however, is that everyday Canadians are still struggling. Addressing the cost-of-living crisis is my top focus in Ottawa.

On December 7, the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer published their analysis of the Liberal fall minibudget, which can be summed up simply: prices up, debt up, taxes up. We’re saying: time’s up. The PBO reported that the deficit will be $8.5 billion dollars worse this year than the Liberals promised, meaning more of your tax dollars will be spent on interest payments. They will add another $20.7 billion dollars in inflationary debt, despite the Governor of the Bank of Canada warning that this kind of reckless spending will drive up inflation.

It's clear that Trudeau has no respect for your hard-earned wages, and no concern for the consequences of his out-of-control spending. After all, it’s not him footing the bill.

Canada’s Food Price Report, released earlier this month, predicts that the amount of money spent by the average family on food will increase by $700 in 2024. Canadians are already trying to limit food expenditure by visiting food banks or skipping meals, and this will only make life more difficult.

The government could have lowered food prices by passing our common-sense bill, C-234, to take the carbon tax off farmers, or they could have agreed to extend the carbon tax exemption for all home heating fuel, for all Canadians. But together, the Liberals and NDP voted down both solutions.

Conservatives would not take no for an answer. We put forward an opposition day motion to remove the tax on farmers, First Nations, and families, but the NDP-Liberal government voted that down too. Then, we continued to push for the Liberals to axe the carbon tax by forcing 30 hours of voting. In those 30 consecutive hours, 135 votes of confidence occurred in the House of Commons. Conservatives voted NO confidence on every single one.

So, why no election? Because the NDP continue to prop up this government by enabling their confidence votes to pass – against the will of Canadians, who want an election now.

Conservatives have a plan to axe the tax, balance the budget, and bring down inflation and interest rates, and we are ready to take the helm and get our country back on track.

In your service,

Tako van Popta

Member of Parliament

Langley – Aldergrove

November 15, 2023

A Langley church group, consisting of 26 members primarily from the Southridge Fellowship Church, were in Israel when Hamas made their initial surprise attack. I spoke with Pastor Paul during this difficult time and was relieved to hear that they were able to find arrangements to make it home safely. You can read more about their story here. My thoughts are with the families, and especially those Canadians, who have lost loved ones or who are waiting to hear whether they are safe. For those who are still in danger or being held hostage by Hamas terrorists, we must do everything we can to bring them home safely.

Canadians continue to grapple with the soaring costs of essentials such as food, housing, and heating. The latest figures are alarming: food bank usage has spiked by 32% over the past year, with a 78.5% increase since 2019, culminating in almost 2 million Canadians relying on food banks in one month alone. Here in Langley, we are blessed to have several organizations working hard to care for those in need. If you need support, or you can donate to their cause, visit these links:

Conservatives recognize the need to urgently address this affordability crisis. My colleague MP Scott Davidson recently received unanimous support for his bill (C-280), which will offer financial protection for fruit and vegetable farmers, lower produce costs, and promote domestic food security. Conservatives will continue to support our farmers and look for ways to ease the financial burden on Canadians.

A couple weeks ago, Justin Trudeau finally agreed with Conservatives that the federal carbon tax is ineffective and harmful to Canadians. Standing in front of his Atlantic Caucus, he announced a three-year exemption on furnace oil – this targeted exemption will disproportionately benefit Atlantic Canada, where Liberal support has coincidentally been waning in recent polls.

On November 6, the Conservatives moved to extend this exemption for all forms of home heating but the Liberals and Bloc voted down this motion, despite widespread affordability concerns. Conservatives vehemently oppose Trudeau’s divisive tactics and will continue to defend the right of all Canadians to keep themselves warm over the winter. Canadians should not be penalized for heating their homes.

Liberal-NDP Coalition Blocks RCMP from Testifying

New revelations in the SNC-Lavalin scandal have raised critical concerns about governmental transparency and accountability. In 2019, this scandal led to the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first Indigenous Attorney General, who refused to bend to the Prime Minister’s pressure to protect a corrupt and politically connected company.

Recently, it was discovered that Trudeau withheld crucial information and documents from the RCMP, obstructing their investigation. Now, the Liberal-NDP coalition, with Bloc support, is shutting down the Commissioner’s testimony in committee—a move that could be shielding the Prime Minister from criminal allegations.

Conservatives stand firm in our commitment to governmental transparency and upholding the RCMP’s right to conduct its investigations freely. We believe that no one, including the Prime Minister, is above the law.

In your service,

Tako van Popta

Member of Parliament

Langley – Aldergrove

October 15, 2023

Since my last e-newsletter, a lot has happened in Canada and across the world. Last week, Hamas initiated a series of attacks on Israel, resulting in numerous civilian casualties and hostages. In this volatile and traumatic time for Jewish Canadians, the government must act quickly to ensure appropriate protections and security measures are in place. Our thoughts are with the families affected by these horrific acts of violence, and we are calling on the government to take immediate action.

A few months ago, Canadians were appalled to learn that the notorious serial killer Paul Bernardo was transferred from a maximum- to a medium-security prison. This move was enabled by the Liberals’ Bill C-83, which mandates that criminals receive the “least restrictive environment” for confinement. This past month, in response to that transfer, my Conservative colleagues on the Public Safety Committee put forward a motion that this transfer be investigated. However, with support from the Bloc, the Liberal-NDP coalition denied this request, opting to cover up their failure rather than demonstrate accountability to victims and to Canadians. Conservatives will continue to stand with victims and demand the answers Canadians deserve. 

                Amidst the constant flow of human rights, public safety, and international relations issues facing Canada, we are committed to maintaining a constant focus on the cost-of-living crisis. I am hearing often from people in our community who are working hard to provide for themselves and their families and are still struggling to make ends meet. On October 4, the Conservatives put forward a motion in the House of Commons to eliminate all carbon taxes with the aim of reducing the cost of gas, groceries, and home heating. The motion was ultimately rejected with 119 votes for and 209 against. Notably, one Liberal MP stood alone amongst his colleagues and voted in favour of our motion – Ken McDonald of Avalon, Newfoundland. He explained his reasoning for doing so later that week on the Power And Politics podcast, saying that the carbon tax is “putting a bigger burden on people who are now struggling with an affordability crisis.”

He shared that he has heard too many stories of seniors, young people, and families in his community that are worried they can’t put food on the table or heat their home this winter. I, too, have heard these concerns and will remain committed to ending this government’s inflationary spending, and reducing taxes to bring home lower prices for Canadians.

Click here to fill out this month’s survey, and let me know which issues are top priority for you at this time. 

In your service,

Tako van Popta

Member of Parliament

Langley – Aldergrove

September 15, 2023

Public Inquiry

A public inquiry into the Communist Party of Beijing’s interference in Canada’s democratic institutions was finally called on September 7 – 190 days after Conservatives first demanded it.

Beijing has conducted interference operations in Canada for years, and as more reporting on this issue came to light over the last several months, the Liberals attempted to cover up and avoid the truth. According to his own officials, the Prime Minister has been formally briefed on foreign interference six times since 2018 but has refused to take any meaningful action. He has still failed to keep his promise to implement a foreign agent registry which Conservatives have also repeatedly called for.

In the time lost since we first called for a public inquiry, Canadians’ trust in our institutions has been greatly damaged. We called out the Liberals’ last plan to sweep this issue under the rug, and we will continue to watch over our democracy throughout this process to ensure Canadians get the answers they deserve.

CPC Convention 2023

The Conservative Party Convention of 2023, which took place in Quebec City on September 7-9, was a big success on the national level, and also for our local Langley delegation.

The convention is an opportunity for party members to put forward, discuss, and then vote on proposed changes or additions to our party’s constitution of policies.

A few talented, passionate Conservatives in our own community put in months of work leading up to the convention, with the goal of bringing two proposals through the initial drafting and approval stages before getting to the main stage.

Our local delegation saw their hard work pay off as both proposals passed with over 95% of the vote!

One of their proposals involved a commitment to upholding and defending Canada’s democracy and sovereignty through robust defense against foreign interference.

The other outlined a standard of service for veterans seeking assistance through government programs to ensure that our heroes are well taken care of.

Though unrelated to one another, these two proposals well-represent what we as Canadians value: the freedom and wellbeing of our nation in the future, and those who have fought to defend it in the past.

Congratulations to everyone involved on a job well done!

A highlight for many who attended the convention was the speech delivered by the Hon. Pierre Poilievre. The Leader of the Conservative Party reflected on his vision for Canada, where people who work hard can realize their dreams.

There is a lot of hurt in Canada today across generations; seniors and young people alike are feeling defeated and downtrodden. The Leader shared stories he has been told across the country of these struggles Canadians are facing, but also shared his plan for transforming that hurt into hope.

He reiterated his promises to cap government spending and adopt a dollar-for-dollar approach, to end bonuses for government executives, and to end the reckless deficits that have driven up inflation and made affording basic necessities out of reach. He addressed the housing crisis, the environment, energy costs, and much more. If you would like to see the full speech, click here.

In your service,

MP Tako van Popta

August 15, 2023

Crime Wave

For the past several years, but in the last few especially, public safety has been a top concern for Canadians. There has been a significant erosion of public trust in Canada’s justice and safety systems with notable events being C-21 targeting law-abiding citizens while ignoring gun smuggling, many prolific offenders being placed on bail only to re-offend, and a growing number of violent attacks happening right across the country.

Trudeau’s Ministers of Public Safety and of Justice have clearly bungled their jobs, but his recent cabinet shuffle does not give much optimism. Canada’s new Justice minister shared that he finds it to be “empirically unlikely” that Canada is becoming less safe in a July 31 interview.

It is clear that the real minister we need to replace is Trudeau himself.

The crime increase Canadians are experiencing is not imaginary, and the causes aren’t either. Liberal laws C-5 and C-75 have unleashed a wave of violent criminals onto Canada’s streets, and incidents of violent crime have surged as a result. Violent crime is up 39%, murders are up 43%, and gang-related homicides are up 108%. Despite these numbers, Minister Virani says it’s just in Canadians heads.

Canada wasn’t like this before Trudeau, and it won’t be like this after he is gone. Common sense Conservatives will end Trudeau’s catch-and-release policies and keep repeat violent offenders behind bars. We will act decisively to bring home safe streets.

Economy

Aside from public safety, the economy remains a top priority for me and many of you.

Earlier this summer, a Scotiabank Economics publication noted that “fiscal policy authorities in Canada are doing nothing of any significance to slow inflation.”

Matthew Lau of the Financial Post put it perfectly when he said that “when inflation is high, it is always due to things outside [the government’s] control. . . [but] the negative outcomes are despite, never because of, government action.”

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance assure Canadians that they are supplying rebates to help Canadians afford necessities, but this spending is itself inflationary and only makes the whole problem worse.

Just like Virani’s assurances that we have no reason to feel unsafe, Trudeau’s confidence in the economy’s ability to balance itself does not give much consolation to those who cannot afford basic needs like food, housing, and gas.

Life is increasingly unaffordable, with inflation continuing to hit hard. Housing is more out of reach than ever, with not enough construction and rising interest rates.

It’s time for this Liberal government to answer for their record of failure, and it is time for other parties to end their vacations and come back to Ottawa to do the job that Canadians elected them to do. Common sense Conservatives will never stop fighting for Canadians.

In your service,

MP Tako van Popta

July 15, 2023

Under Justin Trudeau, life continues to be less and less affordable.

Trudeau has added more debt than all other Prime Ministers combined, and now Canadians are paying the price through taxes, inflation, and higher interest rates.

The Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate hike, bringing rates to the highest level in 22 years, is a direct response to the $60 billion of fuel that the Trudeau government poured on the inflationary fire with their budget this spring.

The numbers add up quickly. Prior to the recent rate hikes, people were signing variable rate mortgages at about one per cent. At that rate, a $400,000 home with a 25-year mortgage would cost a family about $1,500 a month.

Renewing that same mortgage at today’s rate of 5.75 per cent would add $1,000 to the family’s mortgage cots. This week's hike would have tacked on another $59.

Add it all up, and that's more than $12,600 extra each year.

Canadians are suffering, but this government still has no realistic plan to balance the budget or make life more affordable for Canadians.

Several recent studies have shown that more than half of Canadians are within $200 of not being able to pay their bills, and that’s because most people do not receive salary raises to keep up with inflation. However, that’s not the case for Trudeau’s bankers.

The Bank of Canada Governor admitted that ‘we got some things wrong…we haven’t managed to keep inflation at our target.’

But despite admitting their failure, the central bank still gave 80 percent of their staff an average of $11,200 taxpayer-funded bonuses for a total of $20 million.

Bankers should not be rewarding themselves for missing their targets while working Canadians are struggling to pay their mortgages and put food on the table.

Trudeau must provide a real plan to balance the budget and axe his inflationary taxes on gas, groceries, and heating.

Conservatives will introduce common sense policies to manage the economy, bring down inflation and interest rates, and reduce taxes for the benefit of all Canadians. We’ll deliver a country that works for the people who’ve done the work—where everyone who works hard brings home a good living and a great life.

In your service,

MP Tako van Popta

June 15, 2023

Cost-Of-Living Crisis

Budget 2023 passed in the House of Commons on June 8. It adds more than $60 billion in new spending – or $4,200 per family, meaning more inflation, more taxes, and higher costs.

The budget was passed thanks to the support of the NDP, after lengthy and determined opposition from the Conservatives. Though NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has been vocal about his intent to hold this government to account, it seems he is not willing to put those words into action.

The final vote on the budget came just one day after the Bank of Canada raised interest rates again for Canadians by another 25 basis points. This is a disaster for the many Canadians who are barely hanging on despite working incredibly hard to keep their families afloat.

On the evening of that announcement from the Bank of Canada, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre spoke for hours in the House of Commons in a final attempt to delay the disastrous Budget 2023.

“Justin Trudeau, you and your spending, out of control debt, and taxation are leading us head-on into a full-scale financial crisis and I will not let you do it.” – Pierre Poilievre, June 7, 2023.

I also had the opportunity to speak on Budget 2023 on a number of occasions, which you can watch here and here.

Conservatives know that Canadians can’t afford more of Justin Trudeau’s inflationary deficits – food, housing, and fuel prices are all hitting record highs.

The International Monetary Fund stated just two weeks ago that of 38 mostly advanced economies, Canada was at the highest risk of mortgage defaults due to high levels of household debt. A member of our community, Jeff, reached out to me and shared that though he has tried to do everything right to provide for his family, and makes a good income, he is “petrified” that when his mortgage comes up for renewal in a few years he will not be able to afford it.

In addition to Budget 2023, the Liberal have also introduced a second carbon tax increase up to 61 cents per litre to take effect July 1, 2023. Here in British Columbia, our carbon tax is determined provincially rather than federally, so some may think this doesn’t affect us. However, all provinces and territories are required to meet a minimum federal standard, so these increases will influence our rates as well.

Many British Columbians are willing to pay for measures that will mitigate climate change, but this continuing increase is difficult to justify when as of 2020, the latest year for which figures are available, B.C. had only reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by one per cent from its baseline year of 2007. That’s well short of its goal of reducing emissions 40 per cent by 2030, 60 per cent by 2040 and 80 per cent by 2050. Clearly, it is time for innovation in our approach to addressing climate change.

Conservatives have put forward several motions to cancel the planned carbon tax increases and have offered to work all summer to re-write Budget 2023 to address the cost-of-living crisis.

When will Justin Trudeau do his part to ease the biggest challenge facing Canadians today?

Only a Conservative government will bring back a government that works for people who do the work. It’s time to bring back the common sense of common people!

In your service,

MP Tako van Popta

May 15, 2023

CSIS Report

On May 1, the Globe and Mail published a report claiming that CSIS documents from 2021 show the People’s Republic of China (PRC) considers Canada a “high-priority target” for interference.

It also states that the PRC employs “incentives and punishment” as part of a strategy to influence legislators, business executives, and immigrant communities in Canada.

The report goes on to claim that the extended family of my colleague, Michael Chong, Conservative MP for Wellington – Halton Hills, was targeted by Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei for the purpose of attacking our Canadian democratic institutions.

Mr. Chong was not made aware of this reality until now – two years later.

All Canadians – regardless of party – should be gravely concerned by the government’s total lack of action to protect our country and its citizens.

Why do foreign actors feel such confidence in targeting Canada’s democracy? Well, because this scenario with diplomat Zhao Wei has become the norm. CSIS stated that Beijing agents are unconcerned with possible repercussions from Canada because the Trudeau Liberals have set a strong precedent for laxity and inaction.

Though the Liberals knew of this for the past two years, it took an anonymous whistle-blower to spur them to action. The government has finally expelled the diplomat, but this is the bare minimum.

Mr. Chong said it best: “The government’s ongoing failure to act leaves all Canadians vulnerable to the foreign interference threat activities of the PRC and other authoritarian states bent on undermining our democracy.”

Beijing Police Stations in Canada

In related news, the Canadian Press published a story on April 30 that despite Minister Mendicino’s claims, Beijing police stations in Quebec are still operational. The RCMP say their investigation into these stations is still underway.

A Conservative motion in the House of Commons on May 8 called on the government to create a foreign agent registry like the kind established in the United States and Australia, to create a public inquiry into foreign election interference, shut down the Beijing police stations operating in Canada, and more. Every party voted in favour of this except the Liberals.

It is time to stand up and place the safety of Canadians and the preservation of our democracy first. If Trudeau is unwilling to do what is necessary, he must step aside and let Conservatives take the helm.

In your service,

MP Tako van Popta

 

April 15, 2023

Budget 2023

Two weeks ago, the Liberals tabled their budget for 2023.

Instead of listening to Canadians and economic experts, they are continuing full speed ahead with their reckless spend & tax policies, driving our national debt up by another $43 billion.

More debt - means more taxes - means more inflation.

And as the bank of Canada seeks to bring inflation down, they have to raise interest rates and that means the government’s cost of servicing the national debt.

At today’s interest rates, the government is paying more and more money to wealthy bond holders that can’t go to important programs that benefit Canadians.

The priorities of the Conservative plan to ‘make Canada work for the people who work’ are:

Bring home powerful paycheques with lower taxes, so hard work pays off again.

Bring home lower prices, by ending inflationary carbon tax hikes & deficit spending that drive up inflation & interest rates.

Bring homes people can afford, by removing government gatekeepers to free up land and speed up building permits

This government failed to deliver on those priorities in their budget, which is why I will be voting against it

It is time to remove gatekeepers to free up, and speed up, permits for homes people can afford and job-creating projects that will create paycheques here at home.

It’s time for this liberal government to step aside and make way for a conservative government to get our national finances back on track.

Rising Crime Rates

The Liberal catch-and-release bail system is putting a small number of dangerous, repeat violent offenders on our streets, with heartbreaking consequences in communities across Canada.

Bills C-5 and C-75, both Liberal pieces of legislation enacted in the last five years, have had disastrous consequences on Canada’s justice system and have resulted in more violent offenders on the streets.

In B.C. alone, just 200 people were involved in 11,600 interactions with the police in span of one year.

Conservatives have put forward common sense solutions to undo these policies and to bring significant reform to our bail system, such as Bill C-313.

I am expecting all parties to work together on this important issue to make our streets safe once again – Canadians need to be kept safe.

In your service,

MP Tako van Popta

 

March 15, 2023

Bail Reform

As a member of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, I am taking part in an important study on Canada’s bail system.

At a recent meeting, I put a question to Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Thomas Carrique about the impact he has seen on our bail system stemming from Bill C-75, which was enacted in 2019. He told the committee that in Ontario between 2018 and 2022 there has been a 72 percent increase in ‘violent crimes committed by serious prolific or repeat violent offenders’ who were on bail.

He added: ‘just three days ago we had an offender that had been released on bail for possession of a firearm, [and] within days of being released on bail was arrested in the possession of numerous firearms yet again.’

Canadian law enforcement officers are calling out for bail reform as their lives are increasingly put at risk. Canada saw five officers killed within five months in 2022, one of whom was B.C.’s own Const. Shaelyn Yang.

Comm. Carrique urged the committee to bring about meaningful change immediately – ‘change that will ensure repeat violent offenders who have shown a propensity for using weapons against victims are held accountable and held in custody so they can’t further victimize innocent community members and risk the lives of police officers.’

Foreign Election Interference

The allegations published in various media outlets of foreign interference are shocking and suggest serious and sophisticated efforts by Beijing’s Communist Party to interfere in Canadian democracy.

For months, the Prime Minister has repeatedly denied and downplayed these threats. Most recently, he even argued the media’s raising of serious questions was somehow ‘racist.’ The Liberal members of the PROC committee continue to block senior advisor Katie Telford from being called to testify on what the government knew about Communist Party interference in our elections.

Canadians need to hear the truth about these allegations.

The Liberals plan to appoint a ‘special rapporteur’ and ask the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) to investigate foreign interference.

A ‘special rapporteur’ hand-picked by the Prime Minister is not the same as a true independent inquiry, with the full legal powers granted by the Inquiries Act - including compelling witnesses to testify and the production of documents. The Liberals also announced that they will explore the creation of a foreign influence registry but are still not providing any details or timelines on this. 

This would be nothing but a secret committee, with secret hearings, secret evidence, and secret conclusions – all controlled by the Prime Minister. It will have neither the openness nor the independence to give Canadians the truth about Beijing’s interference in our democratic process.

Stay tuned for updates on this ongoing situation.

In your service,

MP Tako van Popta

 

February 15, 2023

McKinsey & Co.

You may remember from my e-newsletter last month that the government has been paying enormous amounts of money to the high-priced firm McKinsey. The initial estimates totaled approximately $66 million, but now we know the total is above $100 million.

As more details have come out about this firm, we’ve learned that its head Dominic Barton has been close friends with Justin Trudeau for years.

Conservatives have been questioning the Liberals relentlessly on the amount of money given to this company, and in answer to a question from our leader Pierre Poilievre, Justin Trudeau stated that he has asked Min. of Finance Chrystia Freeland and others to investigate the matter.

We were not confident that their investigation will do anything to advance our pursuit of answers – so Conservatives have called on the impartial Auditor General to investigate all the money that has gone to McKinsey & Co. since 2011. Stay tuned for more details.

Healthcare

It is astounding that despite Justin Trudeau’s record-breaking spending and more debt incurred than every other Prime Minister combined, somehow our healthcare system is crumbling.

Just a few weeks ago, a two-year-old spent nine hours waiting at Langley Memorial Hospital before receiving care. And these problems are nation-wide – more than 5 million Canadians do not have access to primary care, wait times for specialist treatment are longer than they’ve been in 30 years, and according to Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Sareen: “we’re in the middle of a mental health pandemic. Post-COVID, wait times for access to treatment are the highest ever.”

This does not fall on the shoulders of the doctors, nurses, and administration staff who are doing everything they can with their limited resources.

So, why has there been no action? Experts agree Canada needs to have

  • better data collection and tracking
  • improved health workforce planning
  • retention strategies for nurses
  • safer working conditions
  • and speedier recognition of internationally educated professionals.

We also need to hire back all our nurses who were let go due to federal mandates.

Now that our national debt has doubled, the government is spending as much on paying the interest on that debt as it is spending on health transfers to the provinces. This government is spending millions on high-priced consultants, millions in CERB overpayments, and millions on quarantine stays for air passengers. The result? The Liberals have nothing left for healthcare or for their promised Canada Mental Health Transfer.

In answer to the provinces’ request for an annual increase of $28 billion in funding, the Liberal government has recently put forward a proposal to give the provinces an average increase of $4.62 billion per year for the next ten years.

A future Conservative government will maintain the announced healthcare funding increase and honour the commitments that the federal government has made.

On top of that, we will cut government waste and make sure that tax dollars are going to support emergency rooms, doctors and nurses, and mental health supports rather than high-priced Liberal consultants.

In your service,

MP Tako van Popta

January 15, 2023

With the cost-of-living crisis still in full swing, Canadians are more conscious than ever about the tax deductions from their pay cheques. The struggle to afford basic necessities is made more unbearable by the lack of results Canadians receive from their tax dollars. The Liberal government continues to fail to provide basic services to Canadians, two examples being the disastrous passport processing delays and a two-million-person immigration backlog.

So where are your tax dollars going?

Well, one significant piece of the puzzle is the recent revelation that the Liberal government has increased the amount of spending on contracted consultants by nearly 60% with the cost of these consultants ballooning up to $17.7 billion dollars in 2022.

Back in 2015, the Liberal Party platform included a promise to significantly reduce the use of external consultants, but as is often the case, the Liberals yet get an A+ on promises and an F on delivery.

I submitted an Order Paper Question several weeks ago, which is one tool MPs can use to request information from the government. I asked the government to provide details concerning the contracts and payments given to the McKinsey consulting firm – their answer raises some serious concerns. 

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) released new numbers this week that show that it has awarded a total of 23 contracts to McKinsey that come up to $101.4 million, with over $18 million of that coming from the National Defence Ministry.

Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre has been warning for some time now that due to lack of equipment, people, and strategic readiness, Canada’s military is ill-prepared for any major operations.  Certainly, funding towards strengthening our military seems wise.  However, National Defence paid McKinsey $7.5 million for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training and the rest of the contracts involved various administrative matters. Where is the improvement to national security? How is this a justifiable expense?

A Conservative government will bring expenditures under control.  To quote our leader Pierre Poilievre: “We think that when you have qualified public servants to do the job, we should not be contracting out the same work to high-priced consultants who charge more .... By contracting everything out, you end up paying more. We intend to bring that work in-house.”

Conservative, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois members have requested an emergency meeting of the parliamentary committee on government operations to request a full study into the contracts given to the consulting firm, which is set to take place tomorrow.

As your voice in Ottawa, I want to hear your perspective.  Do you think that your taxes are being well used?

In your service,

MP Tako van Popta

 

 

December 15, 2022

The House of Commons has now adjourned for the Christmas holidays, and it has been eventful session right up until the end. There are so many topics and bills to keep track of that it can get very overwhelming – here are three issues that are on the top of my mind going into the new year.

Last week, Auditor General Karen Hogan confirmed what Conservatives have been saying all along: this Liberal government failed to develop a working framework for eligibility when they rolled out CERB and other Covid-19 benefits, and Hogan confirmed that over $4 billion dollars of CERB benefits were handed out to ineligible recipients, and another $27 billion dollars in Covid-related benefits are suspicious and require further investigation.

That is over $30 billion tax dollars! Disregard for taxpayers is a pattern with this government, and Canadians are now paying the price. Inflation is at a 40-year high, and rising interest rates are making it difficult for many people to afford their mortgages and car payments. The cost of living is skyrocketing, small businesses are struggling to survive, and is there any end in sight?

This government continues to refuse to stop their inflationary spending or cut taxes, and many Canadian families are nearing a breaking point.

C-21 & the Hunting Rifle Ban

For those of you who haven’t heard, C-21 is a Liberal firearms bill that started as a misguided attempt to reduce crime but has now ballooned into an attack on Canada’s hunting, farming, and sport-shooting communities.

This is completely unfair treatment to law-abiding citizens who use guns legitimately for a variety of reasons. I have heard stories from a wide spectrum of people in our community – hunters, sport shooters, airsoft enthusiasts, or farmers who use hunting rifles for predator management. Others aren’t firearms users themselves, but are outraged at the injustice being proposed to members of these communities as well as First Nations.

Since Justin Trudeau took office seven years ago, violent crime has increased 32% and gang-related homicides have increased 92%. Conservatives will continue to push for the Liberal government to quit attacking law-abiding citizens and go after gun smugglers and gangs instead.

Sign our petition to stop this ban.

MAiD Expansion & Mental Illness

From the onset of MAiD legislation, Conservatives have raised serious concerns with the Liberal government’s rushed approach and the lack of protection for vulnerable Canadians.

Last week, the Association of Chairs of Psychiatry in Canada, which includes heads of psychiatry departments at all 17 Canadian medical schools, issued a statement echoing this position. These experts said they are “incredibly concerned” about access to real care being pushed aside for the easier and cheaper option, which is providing MAiD.

On December 15, the government announced they will be delaying this expansion, which is a step in the right direction. However, there have been no details provided as to their new plan.

As this situation unfolds, Conservatives will continue to defend those who are left behind by this legislation, and work to ensure that the lives of the most vulnerable will be protected.

In your service,

Tako van Popta

MP for Langley - Aldergrove

 

November 15, 2022

There are many amazing benefits to living in British Columbia. One element that is certainly a drawback, however, is the significant crisis in our provincial healthcare system. This crisis has spread all across the country, but the statistics show that British Columbians are particularly suffering.

We have snowballing wait times for medical attention, staff shortages, and deteriorating working conditions. The problems are evident to everyone, so why can’t we work more quickly towards a solution?

The easy fix seems to be increased funding from the federal government, which is what our premiers have been discussing recently with the federal health minister. However, the government is hesitant to provide the requested increase of funding from $45 billion to $73 billion without the provinces providing a plan as to where they intend to allocate these funds.

Our healthcare system is still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, but there are also underlying issues that need reforming if we want results from our tax dollars. Otherwise, our healthcare system will continue under-performing in relation to how much money we invest in it.

Experts agree Canada needs to have better data collection and tracking, improved health workforce planning, retention strategies for nurses, safer working conditions, and that we must expedite the recognition of internationally educated professionals.

We need our premiers to come to the table with plans for innovation in these areas and financial transparency so that we can put tax dollars where they really need to go – caring for Canadians.

Saving lives is a big job, and it goes beyond ensuring we have an effective healthcare system.  It also means protecting innocent people through our justice system. Unfortunately, under Trudeau’s government, Canada is going soft on crime. This month, we saw an ISIS bride return to Canada and be granted immediate bail, and a man convicted of terrorist plotting granted parole. Here in BC, we saw a man guilty of horrific crimes against women and children be released back into the community under supervision.

Why are innocent Canadians’ safety and health not being prioritized? While politicians and governments argue amongst themselves, it is innocent Canadians who are paying the price for this wasted time. I will continue to push for creating a plan to improve our healthcare system so that our valuable tax dollars can go towards real solutions, and for a justice system that stands up for safer communities.

In your service,

Tako van Popta

MP for Langley - Aldergrove

 

15/10/2022

The main issue in most Canadians lives right now is the cost of living. With weather turning colder and rates continuing to rise, people are anxious about how they will keep a roof over their heads, stay warm, and keep gas in the car and food on the table over the winter ahead.

I hear these concerns daily from constituents. First, lets take stock of the situation. Housing prices have gone up 50% since Trudeau took office, inflation is at the highest it has been for 40 years, causing food prices to go up by 10.8%, and everyone knows how much fuel has gone up as well.

So, what has the government done to help this issue, and where do I think improvements can be made?

Proposals from the NDP on dental and housing have been put forward in the House, but their reach is perhaps not as consequential as we need. Dental care programs for low-income children already exist across Canada except for Manitoba and the Northwest Territories and almost 70% of Canadians have dental coverage.

The GST rebate, a one-time payment of $467, is something Conservatives support, but when we put that amount of money in contrast with what an average individuals monthly costs are, it’s a drop in the bucket.

What do economists say?

“We’re not going to deny that there are households seriously in need of help right now in this inflationary environment. But, from a policy perspective, we all know that sending out money as an inflation-support measure is inherently inflationary.”

  • Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist at the Bank of Montreal

By fueling inflation, this government is just making the problem worse.

For the past 2 years, Conservatives have been suggesting alternatives centred around cutting costs in one area to give to another, like axing the $25 million ArriveCan app (which has finally happened), scrapping the $35 billion Infrastructure Bank, or cancelling corporate welfare programs that only help large and powerful companies.

Most recently, we have been calling on this government to cancel all planned tax increases, including payroll tax hikes planned for this January 1st.

It is painfully obvious that none of the people voting against these breaks for Canadians are among those most affected by inflation – it is the average hard-working individuals and families that are burdened with the consequences of the governments’ decisions.

I want to hear from you. Click here to let me know how inflation has been affecting your life.

In your service,

Tako van Popta

MP for Langley – Aldergrove

 

15/09/2022

This week has been marked by significant transitions in leadership.

On September 8th, the world was saddened by the loss of our beloved monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Our queen has reigned over the United Kingdom, Canada, and the rest of the Commonwealth for an astounding 70 years, and her presence was a great source of stability and security.

Her passing has left a void in the hearts of many, and Canada has joined the UK in a period of mourning marked by black ribbons and events of commemoration. The Queen played a subtle but important role in the governance of our country, and as our new monarch King Charles III takes her place, we gratefully remember her dedicated service.

Visit these links if you would like information on commemorative services or to sign a virtual book of condolences.

Only days after Her Majesty’s passing, Canada experienced a much more jubilant change in leadership with the election of the Hon. Pierre Poilievre as our leader of the Conservative Party. Having endorsed Pierre some months ago, I was thrilled to see the overwhelming support he garnered amongst Canadians, and especially within our riding of Langley – Aldergrove.

With a resounding 68% majority nationwide, Pierre won the race on the first ballot alone. In our riding, he won with an even stronger margin of 70%. This amount of support indicates Pierre’s ability to unite our party and our country as our next Prime Minister.

Just this past Monday, Pierre addressed the national Conservative caucus for the first time. The first speech a new party leader gives is their opportunity to give insight into their priorities and to set the tone for the upcoming Parliamentary session.

In Pierre’s speech, the resounding message was empowerment. He champions the everyday Canadian and pushes back against a government which places an always-increasing burden upon its citizens. The vision Pierre has for Canada is one I am proud to get behind – tackle inflation, get government spending under control, and pave the way for Canadians who are willing to work hard to actually see results from their labour.

This message could not be more welcome given that the Bank of Canada recently increased interest rates yet again, and inflation is the highest it has been in over 40 years. How can Canadians hope to ever afford a house when even a grocery bill is becoming too expensive? Instead of offering a helping hand, Justin Trudeau plans to raise payroll taxes on January 1, 2023, which will mean even less money going into the pockets of workers every month, and he also plans to triple the carbon tax to meet emission-reduction targets.

This isn’t what Canadians need right now. They need freedom to prosper and a leader who listens to and unites all voices. I am excited to stand behind a leader who will give just that.

In your service,

Tako van Popta

MP for Langley – Aldergrove