February 16, 2016

This past week I was back in Central Alberta while Parliament broke up for constituency week. Aside from regular meetings with constituents in my office, I was pleased to be invited to Sundre to speak with Mayor Leslie and a group from the community on some pressing issues. I was also honoured to be on hand as the Red Deer 2019 Canada Winter Games announced a major funding partner in Nova Chemicals. These events do not happen without volunteers and sponsors – so thank you to everyone who has stepped forward so far and will continue to do so.

This week I am back in Ottawa, where we continue to discuss several items that are important to our region and the country as a whole. Below are a few thoughts on a couple items that are front and centre.

Ballooning Liberal Deficits

During the election the Liberals claimed that they would run a deficit of $10 billion annually. However, Mr. Trudeau has now admitted it is “very likely” that the deficit for his upcoming budget will exceed $10 billion. A National Bank of Canada report released last week says that the Liberal government is on pace to accumulate $90 billion in debt due to Mr. Trudeau’s spending promises.

After inheriting a surplus, Justin Trudeau’s massive new deficits are solely the result of out-of-control spending. Canadian families are worried about their jobs and financial security, and now is not the time for out of control spending that will lead to waste and higher taxes.  Conservatives will stand against taking Canada down that path.

Fight Against ISIS

Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada will cease all airstrikes as part of the coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by February 22, 2016. Canada’s withdrawal from the combat mission against ISIS is a step backward for Canada from our country’s traditional role as fighters for human rights and international security. Canada has a long, proud history of defending innocent and vulnerable populations by taking on those who commit mass atrocities. ISIS and ISIS-inspired attacks have spread beyond Iraq and Syria, and claimed the lives of Canadians in recent weeks. Halting and degrading ISIS is more critical than ever to keep people safe.

Canada has been a key ally in the air combat effort, the fifth largest contributor today. It is extremely irresponsible for the government to not only downplay Canada’s contribution, but to whittle it down for political purposes. My colleagues and I in the Official Opposition strongly believe that Canada has the capacity to continue to contribute to airstrikes alongside training and humanitarian support. In fact, Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been doing so very effectively for nearly a year.

The Liberals remain incoherent on the air combat mission. They have not provided any explanation of how the withdrawal of the CF-18s will help the coalition more effectively able to defeat ISIS. Despite the Liberal government’s supposed opposition to bombing, Canadian aircraft will continue to refuel planes that conduct airstrikes and identify targets for them. The Government’s focus on humanitarian and security assistance (which was already being done, and where Canada was already one of the world’s leading donors under the mission approved under Conservatives in 2014) is simply an attempt by them to distract away from the withdrawal of the CF-18s from the mission

Mobile Office Update

The next mobile office will be at the Innisfail Legion on Wednesday, February 17 and then Sundre at the Greenwood Neighborhood Place on March 2. Hours will be 10-2 both days.

Sincerely your Member of Parliament,

Earl Dreeshen