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Parliament is an essential service and should be working: Zimmer

Prince Geoerge-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer Credit: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer 

BY BOB ZIMMER

Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP

I know many of you are angered that the Liberals, with the help of the NDP, have extended the suspension of regular sittings in the House of Commons until at least the fall. I am too.

On June 3 and 4 I was in Ottawa to take part in the Special Committee on COVID-19 in person. Before leaving for Ottawa, I had reach out to constituents asking for questions that they would like me to ask the Liberal government. I am grateful for all the responses I received and plan on continuing to ask these questions on your behalf.

I pressed the Minister of Public Safety on whether he will apologize for misleading Canadians when he said that 12-gauge shotguns are not a part of the Liberal firearms ban. I also asked what is being done for the thousands of sporting goods store owners like Cassandra Premack of K.K.S. Tactical Supplies in Prince George who now have inventory they can’t sell with no buy-back program coming any time soon. My final question was for the Minister of Health on behalf of constituent Malcolm Dutchak who wanted to know why the Liberals didn’t review and update our national emergency stockpile before the pandemic hit.

Unfortunately, the meetings were plagued with technical issues, including suddenly being unable to hear the responses being given by Ministers answering questions virtually. We’ve had similar technical issues during our virtual meetings of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs committee where we have been studying the government’s response to the pandemic.

While it was good to be back in the House of Commons, it’s clear that these hybrid meetings are no replacement for regular sittings. Our democracy deserves better than this.

As my colleague the Honourable Peter Kent said in the House: “…this chamber [is] effectively the beating heart of our Canadian democracy. Unfortunately, the heartbeat of this place is suffering a prolonged arrhythmia brought on by the disgraceful neutering of responsible government by a Liberal minority, aided and abetted by the NDP, who not only voted for closure of debate, but closure of Parliament until late September.”

He went on to say: “Canada remains in crisis and the heart of our democracy should be beating on all cylinders with appropriate health and safety protocols.”

Peter is a former journalist who had a remarkable career covering historic events like the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. Any time he speaks out in concern for our democracy, we should listen.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that all three of my constituency offices have reopened for those who need in-person assistance and that we have put in place some safety protocols to help protect the health and safety of our staff and those we are assisting. If you have any questions, please contact any one of these offices. Here’s the contact information:

As always, my staff and I are here to serve you.

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