I would like to begin my article this month by wishing everyone a Happy Canada Day. This Canada Day is a particularly great time to reflect on our country at its 145th birthday. It’s the day we celebrate our achievements as a country, and reflect on how lucky we are to live in the greatest country in the world.
Of course, as it is the beginning of July, many Canadians are enjoying Canada’s beautiful summer. It is the season when we gather in backyards, on balconies and in parks to enjoy the weather and spend some quality time with friends and family.
So as I enter the summer months, following a very busy and productive session of Parliament, I look forward to meeting with many of you out in the community.
I am also looking forward to spending some quality time with my family over the summer. My wife, Kiran, and I are expecting our third child in the fall and my daughter, Kirpa, is starting kindergarten in September.
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on some of the many accomplishments that our Conservative Government has achieved since we were elected with a strong, stable, national majority mandate.
Our Government’s accomplishments over the past year are delivering significant results for our communities here in Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Fort Saskatchewan. For instance, we’ve delivered action to support jobs and growth by extending the Hiring Credit for Small Business, action to help small businesses grow and employ more workers. We’ve also delivered support for youth, older workers, and Canadians with disabilities entering the workforce.
We’ve expanded trade and opened markets for Canadian business, while continuing to pursue new (and strengthen existing) trade relationships – particularly with large, dynamic and fast-growing economies in Asia. Plus, we’ve helped elevate Canada’s business competitiveness by reducing red tape and delivering the “one-for-one” rule – meaning every time the government adopts a new rule, it must eliminate an old one. Meanwhile, we’ve also taken action to move Canada’s immigration system towards one that places substantial focus on meeting Canada’s labour market needs.
We’ve established Responsible Resource Development, which ensures regulatory reviews are improved and streamlined, and that major projects take environmental safety into consideration.
Meanwhile, public safety is something that our Government has always taken very seriously. We abolished the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry which wasn’t keeping Canadians safe, only criminalizing honest hunters and farmers. We passed the Safe Streets and Communities Act, comprehensive crime legislation which cracks down on drug dealers and organized crime, while delivering support for victims.
We kept our promise and passed into law the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, giving Alberta wheat and barley farmers the freedom to contract their grain to the buyer of their choice.
This past year, in my role as Minister of State for Democratic Reform I took action to help strengthen our democratic institutions by introducing legislation to make the Senate more democratic, accountable and representative of all Canadians. As well as helped pass the Fair Representation Act into law, moving every single province towards representation by population.
In one year, our Government has achieved these accomplishments and more for all Canadians without raising taxes, or cutting transfers to seniors or the provinces for social spending such as education and health care.
I am very proud of our Government’s record over this past year and as we fulfill the second year of our majority mandate, our Government’s top priority is Canadians’ top priority: jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.
- The Honourable Tim Uppal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of State for Democratic Reform
Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park