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Imagine your favourite sports team is going up against its greatest rival. Suddenly, the referee announces that for every drink of water taken by a player, the team will receive a penalty. Of course, the players protest, but to no avail. They are scolded for their disruptive behaviour and other punitive measures are threatened.

How long do you think your team will be able to play before they must succumb to their need for hydration and therefore find themselves subjected to unwarranted penalties?

Likewise, when a government targets its citizens’ necessities like gas, heat, and groceries, how long do you suppose a country can go before problems emerge?

The Liberal carbon tax has been a harsh reality for some time already, but recently, amid the wildfires affecting western Canada, the former Minister of Environment, Catherine McKenna, tweeted: “Conservative politicians want to fight about a price on carbon pollution? You want to make it free to pollute while Canadians pay with their lives threatened, homes destroyed, and their communities obliterated? So what are you going to do? You are the arsonists.

Is opposing the carbon tax truly equivalent to arson?

I have looked for studies that might show the correlation between imposing a carbon tax and preventing wildfires. I have not found any. I wonder where the former Environment Minister found her “facts.”

Aside from being curious about the science behind McKenna’s claim, I am truly concerned about the Liberals’ demonization of anyone that might think differently than they do.

At the heart of the matter, we have a government that sees the people of this great country as the problem, rather than the solution.

G.K. Chesterton once said, “A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter.

Money taken from Canadians in the name of “putting a price on carbon pollution” causes more problems than it will ever solve. On April 1st, the original carbon tax on fuel was increased to an additional 14 cents per litre. Then, on July 1st, the Prime Minister implemented a second carbon tax. When the two taxes are combined, it costs the average Albertan household $3,930 per year.

I have heard from many of you that the government’s punitive measures are having a significant impact on your ability to heat your homes, put groceries in your fridge, and fuel up your car. Those living on a fixed income, such as seniors and people with a disability, are among the hardest hit.

With September here, parents are struggling to cover the extra expenses associated with back-to-school. On average, parents must spend $700 per child to ensure they have the materials required of them. I don’t need to tell you about the anxiety this induces in many of the parents in our community.

One of the chief responsibilities of the federal government is to facilitate economic prosperity.

The Liberal Cabinet recently met in P.E.I. to plan for the year ahead. This was their chance to spend time discussing the things that matter most to Canadians. Instead, it was used as an opportunity to enjoy a luxurious vacation spot and try great seafood. If you are interested, the new small business minister tweeted out a video of her eating lobster and oysters. This comes as more and more Canadians hit up food banks.

Meanwhile, the environment minister flew to China to discuss environmental policy. Before the minister took off, Beijing made it clear they had zero intertest in what the minister had to say, but still, he felt it necessary to hop on a jet and fly halfway around the world. Never mind the emissions.

A board member with the China Strategic Risks Institute even described the communications coming out of Beijing as “marching orders” for the minister. To fraternize with a dictatorship that has sought to interfere in our democracy, while ignoring the affordability crisis at home demonstrates a massive lack of care for the citizens of this country.

The solution to these darkening economic days is Canadians themselves—we, the people!

Canadians are the innovators, the problem solvers, the solution makers, and the wealth generators that can get us back on track. The potential held within the people of Canada is immeasurable, but the punitive measures taken by the government need to stop.

Human flourishing should be the goal of government. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Canadians now, more than ever, need to be entrusted and empowered to build their own future. We must axe the tax to make room for Canadians to thrive.

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

On Monday we will celebrate Heritage Day, an annual holiday set aside to commemorate Alberta’s heritage and the diverse traditions, thoughts, beliefs, and ways of life that shape our identity today.

Before European settlement, our region of southern Alberta was known as the home of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) people. What is now called Lethbridge was part of their wider hunting grounds. Early European settlers were originally connected to the whiskey trade and Fort Whoop Up served as their trading post. This drew the North-West Mounted Police, who established their presence here in 1874. In 1882, Sir Alexander Galt and his son established the first coal mine in a town called Coalbanks, which later became Lethbridge.

With the success of the first miners, railways were built to support a growing economy, including our world-famous single-track viaduct across the Oldman River Valley, now know as the High-Level Bridge. This growing prosperity attracted people to the city of Lethbridge to pursue economic opportunity and make a home for themselves.

To say the West was hard to settle, is an understatement. Those who chose to make this land their home were characterized by grit and determination. Courage was second nature to them. It is only through the hard work of Indigenous peoples and pioneers that this area grew into a strong local community.

As the coal industry waned and the vision of irrigation was realized, farming became the predominant livelihood. The mining town became an agricultural hub as farmers and ranchers grew canola, sugar beets, grain, and livestock. Soon, southern Alberta became a leader in food production.

By 1897, the first Lethbridge Exhibition was underway—eight years before Alberta even became a part of Canada! This exhibition sought to advance the burgeoning agricultural scene and served as a hub for Indigenous folks, farmers, ranchers, and businesspeople to partner with one another to advance the region’s prosperity.

In the span of less than a century, Lethbridge grew from a frontier outpost to a small metropolitan centre built by those committed to working hard and caring for their neighbour.

Today, the Lethbridge area is a beautiful tapestry of diverse cultures. From the Blackfoot peoples to fourth-generation Dutch farmers, to newcomers from Nepal, Syria, numerous African countries, Ukraine, and beyond, our region is a beautiful example of what hard work, innovation, and collaboration can produce.

Our population has grown, and the region’s workforce has evolved, but agriculture remains at the heart of who we are. Agricultural production, food processing, agri-science, agri-technology, and agri-business are what keep our region strong and hold the greatest opportunity for our future.

In just a few days, the Lethbridge Exhibition will hold a grand-opening for its expansion, known as the Agi-food Hub & Trade Centre. Continuing the legacy that began in 1897, this will mark our renewed commitment to being the premier hub for agriculture and agri-food in Canada. This world-class project will provide tremendous opportunity to do business, build community connections, and strengthen our ties to the rest of the world.

As the globe grapples with unprecedented challenges, the same bravery, grit, and determination that our predecessors exemplified will be required as our region rises to meet the needs of the future. We occupy an exciting point in history. Equipped with the knowledge of our past, we have an opportunity to steward our present and build a vibrant future.

Reflecting on our history helps us understand what we have inherited, how we can best steward our present, and determine what we hope to leave for those who come after us.

This Heritage Day, we have so much to celebrate—from the early coal mining days of the late 18th and early 19th Century to the dawn of a new era in agriculture and beyond. Let us appreciate our past, champion our present, and forge a legacy that will provide hope and opportunity for generations to come.

As the clock struck 12:12 am ET on Thursday, June 22nd, Parliament adjourned till September, concluding a year filled with fervent debates and passionate advocacy on behalf of the Canadian people.

As His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, my Conservative colleagues and I fought hard on Parliament Hill for the interest of everyday Canadians, and there was much to fight for! You see, the House of Commons was never meant to be about an elite few making decisions for their benefit or the benefit of their friends. Rather, the House of Commons was and is meant to be composed of common people making decisions on behalf of other common people.

It is Canadians who are the problem solvers, the solution makers, and the wealth creators, not the government. It is the Canadian people who are the visionaries, the inventors, and the moral ballast of society, not a governing few in Ottawa.

“We the People” is a powerful phrase because it appropriately depicts where the strength of a nation lies: with the people. When the people have the freedom to live up to their potential, the whole of society benefits. Conversely, when a government sees itself has holding all the power and imposes its will onto the people, picking winners and losers based on ideology, society regresses.

By listening to Canadians first, my colleagues and I did our best to be the voice of common sense and good government.

Conservatives advocated for affordability in a cost-of-living crisis.

More and more Canadians are struggling to feed themselves, pay their rent, and put fuel in their cars. Many are struggling to make ends meet and unfortunately, the Liberal-NDP coalition has failed to offer practical solutions. The 2023 Budget was incredibly out of touch with the needs of Canadians.

Taking these concerns to heart, Conservatives advocated for lower taxes and less spending. We fought for an economic plan that would make life affordable and create jobs and generate wealth.

We stood for solutions to fix Canada’s housing crisis by firing the gatekeepers, removing red tape, and ensuring municipalities allow more affordable homes to be built.

We called for the Prime Minister to answer for his second carbon tax that will hike the cost of groceries and gas for all Canadians starting on July 1st.

We supported our world-class farmers by removing the Trudeau carbon tax from farm fuels.

Conservatives fought for the freedom of what you can see and say online.

In this digital age, we have been vocal defenders of freedom of speech and the right to access and express ideas on the internet. Bills C-11 and C-18 posed a threat to these fundamental liberties, and we stood firmly against their passage, championing the concerns raised by everyday Canadians who rely on the internet for school, shopping, work, entertainment, dating, and so much more. We pledge to repeal C-11 and fix Bill C-18 when we form government.

Conservatives proposed a common-sense approach to crime and addiction.

In support of responsible gun owners, we pressured Mr. Trudeau to reverse course on Bill C-21, which cynically targeted hunters and Indigenous Canadians, rather than criminals.

Taking a victim-centred approach, Conservatives brought forward legislation to ensure all court-ordered dangerous offenders and mass murderers, like Paul Bernardo, would permanently be assigned a maximum-security classification.

With compassion for those who suffer from addiction, my colleagues and I sought to reverse the Liberal-NDP deadly policies of “safe supply” and redirect all funds from failed taxpayer-funded hard drug programs to treatment and recovery programs.

Conservatives worked to shine a light on foreign interference in our Democracy.

When the free media and several brave whistleblowers drew attention to the threats facing our democracy at the hands of the communist dictatorship in Beijing, my colleagues and I worked to investigate what was going on and hold the Prime Minister accountable for failing to be honest with Canadians.

When the Liberals resorted to forming a special committee with secret hearings, secret evidence, and secret conclusions– all controlled by Prime Minister Trudeau—my Conservative colleagues and I led the charge to demand a transparent and public inquiry into foreign interference.

We must understand Beijing’s interference as a direct attack on our sovereignty as a nation. As such, we fought to shine a light on what transpired and who is responsible. We have tirelessly advocated to have a fully independent and public inquiry. Canadians deserve this much at least.

The year was marked by the tireless work of holding the government to account on behalf of the people of Lethbridge and common-sense Canadians from coast to coast.

While I enjoy the work you entrust me to do in Ottawa, I am extremely happy to be home and I look forward to connecting with many of you at events, festivals, parades, BBQs, pancake breakfasts, and so much more!

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