Kamloops MP says now is not the time for a federal election

Cathy McLeod is not sure what the Liberal government will put forth in its throne speech on Wednesday, but there are a number of issues the Conservative opposition wants to see addressed.

Kamloops-Thompson Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod conceded there is always the possibility of an election with a minority government situation in Parliament.

But, she added, her Conservatives don’t believe an election is what Canadians need right now.

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“It’s been less than a year [since the last election] and we’re in the middle of a pandemic, we’re in the middle of a crisis,” McLeod said.

She said the government needs to be more respectful of Parliament and do what needs to be done to help Canadians through the pandemic.

McLeod said she is not sure what the Liberal government will put forth in its throne speech on Wednesday (Sept. 23), but there are a number of issues the Conservative opposition wants to see addressed.

McLeod said Canada’s testing capacity is not where it should be and the supply of personal protective equipment needs to be increased in the fight against COVID-19.

The pandemic has also hit certain sectors hard and McLeod said there should be more targeted support for areas such as the tourism industry, which will need more support than others.

The federal commercial rent relief program needs to be revamped as well, she said, noting those dollars need to be given to tenants, not landlords. The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to cover a minimum of 50 per cent of their tenants' rent. In exchange, a landlord must reduce rent charged to small business tenant by at least 75 per cent. 

The Kamloops MP said there should be more federal funding sent to the provinces with fewer caveats.

“This current government seems to like to put a bunch of strings attached to the dollars they send,” McLeod said, noting seniors’ care may be different in B.C than it is in Newfoundland.

McLeod said the government should also address what she considers policies that hurt the economy.

“And I think they need to stop implementing measures that are sort of killing some of our economic opportunities, whether it is Bill C-68, the regulatory concerns over the environment,” she said. “Our natural resources are important. They seem to have ignored forestry. They seem to be very anti-oil industry and those sectors are going to be critical.”

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