In Touch - Spring Session Wrap up and Upcoming Legislation
I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer so far. It has been an interesting one to say the least, with some of the most unpredictable weather that I can remember. I hope your summer plans have not been affected and everyone has been able to enjoy some of the sun – especially the past couple of weeks.
It has certainly been an interesting summer for me, as well. Due to the election, our spring session in Ottawa was only about a month long, with many issues to sort through in a short time. During the session we were able to introduce and pass our budget, pass legislation to restore mail delivery to Canadians, amend the criminal code to address mega-trials, and introduce legislation to prevent human smugglers from abusing our immigration system and to reform the senate.
Bill C-3, the Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada’s Economy Act implemented key measures from Budget 2011 and received Royal Assent on June 26, 2011. A few of the highlights include:
- A new Hiring Credit for Small Businesses to support job growth
- A new Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up benefit for vulnerable seniors
- $5,000 grants for Alberta families to make their homes more energy efficient
- Loan forgiveness to attract doctors and nurses to rural Alberta
- A new $3,000 Volunteer Firefighters’ Tax Credit
- The waiving of license renewal fees for hunters and firearm owners
- Investing in innovation to help our agriculture sectors grow—a new $50 million Agricultural Innovation Initiative
When Parliament resumes on September 19, we will begin introducing a heavy legislative agenda. Our Government will move quickly to reintroduce comprehensive law-and-order legislation to combat crime and terrorism. These measures will protect children from sex offenders. They will eliminate house arrest and pardons for serious crimes. They will give law enforcement officials, courts, and victims the legal tools they need to fight criminals and terrorists. We will propose tougher sentences for those who abuse seniors and help at-risk youth avoid criminal activity. We will address the problem of violence against women. I also look forward to the end of the long gun registry and for the opportunity to reintroduce my Private Members Bill, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (personating a peace officer) which unfortunately died on the order paper at the call of the last election.
After receiving a strong mandate from the Canadian people in the form of a majority government - it will be refreshing to be able to move forward with our Conservative agenda and spend four full years working for all Canadians. I am excited about what is to come and look forward to continuing to serve the interests of the Red Deer constituency.
Earl Dreeshen, MP