Cherry blossoms blooming here in Ottawa tells me summer is in sight! And while the pandemic is not yet fully behind us, our freedom to gather, and to travel for business, family or a holiday, is a relief to many.
The pent-up demand to travel outside of Canada is certainly understandable. However, many Canadians have allowed their passports to lapse during COVID, resulting in a massive increase in passport renewal applications, which is straining Service Canada’s ability to respond in a timely way. If you do plan to travel outside Canada, please check your passport expiry date right away, and apply for a renewal early, as it might take time.
BC Salmon Restoration projects
The health of wild Pacific salmon is crucial – and challenged! BC’s salmon stocks are an important food source for Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia, and integral to their culture. Last week I, along with provincial Fisheries Parliamentary Secretary Finn Donnelly, announced $30.5 million in funding for 22 projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund
. These investments will help in understanding and addressing the critical factors affecting the health of our wild salmon populations.
Launching the independent public inquiry into the invocation of the Emergencies Act
In February, our government invoked the Emergencies Act
to assist the provinces and territories in restoring public order and help to end the costly and illegal blockades.
A requirement of the Act is the appointment of an independent public inquiry. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister appointed the Public Order Emergency Commission to conduct this inquiry. The Commission’s review is in addition to a review by the Parliamentary Review Committee, now underway.
These mechanisms were designed into the legislation years ago to ensure transparency and safety of all Canadians and I look forward to their conclusions.
Canadian Charter turning 40
marked the 40th
anniversary of the internationally admired Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Adopted in 1982, the Charter has been a symbol of freedom and liberty for Canadians. Over my career in politics I have met many parliamentarians from around the world who are inspired by Canada’s Charter, and are working to create similar protections of rights and freedoms in their own countries.
May is Asian Heritage Month
This year is particularly special, as we mark the 20th
anniversary of Asian Heritage Month in Canada. To acknowledge and celebrate the many past and current achievements and contributions of Asian Canadians to the country we all know and love, the Government of Canada is hosting a gala in Ottawa; enjoy this live streamed event being held at the National Arts Centre on May 9th from 6:30pm –8:00pm
Eastern time; 3:30pm - 7:00pm Pacific time.
In case you missed it:
- Join me on Friday May 6th at 10 am for a virtual MP Brunch Connections on the topic of Ukraine and Europe. My guest is Dr. Yves Tiberghien, Professor of Political Science at UBC and Faculty Associate with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. Register here.
- On April 19th, $56 Million in new funding was announced to bring high speed internet to more than 6,500 households in rural and First Nations communities. For information about Canada’s high speed connectivity programs visit: Home - High-speed Internet for all of Canada.
- Our federal government’s new Co-operative Housing Development Program announced in Budget 2022 will provide $1.5 billion to add an estimated 6,000 affordable co-op housing units across Canada. A further $1.5 billion will build homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
- To help get more Zero Emission Vehicles on the road we’ve increased the number of makes and models eligible for purchase rebates of up to $5,000; and we’re adding to the charging infrastructure across the country. For more information visit: Zero-emission vehicles (canada.ca)
- The Federal Court of Canada has overturned the decision made by our government in December 2020 to end open-net pen salmon aquaculture in the Discovery Islands. I and my team are reviewing this ruling, and I remain committed to transitioning away from open-net pen salmon farming on the Pacific coast.
- While BC stepped up early, Ontario has now joined the rest of the provinces and territories in signing a child-care deal with the federal government. These agreements will cut the cost of childcare in half, on average, for savings of about $6,000 per child per year. That’s helping young families with affordability! By 2026 regulated child-care in Canada will cost only $10 a day, while tens of thousands of new child-care spaces will have been created, 86,000 in Ontario alone.
The willingness of Canadians to get vaccinated has been key to reducing the spread and severity of COVID-19 and its variants – thank you! Canada has suffered 94 deaths
per hundred thousand people, which, compared with the 279 deaths
per suffered in the USA, is low. COVID variants are still with us and our professional health advisors continue to recommend booster vaccines to strengthen the immune response. Enjoy the return to quasi-normal and greater ability to travel, visit and gather again, and please continue to take care of each other.
The Hon. Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra