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January 2021 Updates

Keystone XL permit cancellation is devastating news

I am a proud Canadian and a proud champion for our natural resource sectors including oil and gas.

Alberta energy must play an integral role in Canada's economic recovery, and the loss of a vital piece of infrastructure like Keystone XL only makes that harder. Especially here in Alberta.

Keystone XL meant hundreds of needed jobs here in Canada, particularly as we try to navigate through a global pandemic. This project would not only bring important jobs to Alberta, but also billions of dollars in investment, corporate income taxes, as well as royalty payments for provincial and federal governments.

When we look at the entire economic snapshot, there is also a larger picture of what these energy companies, like TC Energy, are doing. They are providing jobs and opportunities, and the benefits go far beyond simply building a pipeline.

For years, Conservatives have been calling on the Trudeau Liberals to champion Canadian energy and workers. Yet, time and again, they fail to do so and have been "virtue signaling" to anti-oil activists through harmful policies like carbon taxes, Bill C-69 and Bill C-48. Liberals are determined to shutdown Canada’s energy sector. Trudeau has stated he wants to phase out Alberta’s oilsands, and by passing crippling legislation like C-69 and C-48, cancelling Northern Gateway and drowning Energy East under a wave of red tape he is well on his way to doing so.

Canadian energy is not the problem, it provides the solution. World class Canadian environmental standards, technology and resources can be exported around the world reducing the reliance on more harmful energy from countries with no environmental or human rights standards. We must unleash Canada’s energy sector.

More action needs to be taken to not only defend Canadian energy, but champion it on the world stage. 

COVID-19 shook the lives of every Canadian. It took the jobs of many, hurt small businesses and we should be preparing for our economic recovery by safeguarding projects of national interest, such as Keystone XL.

As I said, Keystone XL is vital energy infrastructure. It provides jobs, certainty and much-needed revenue for all levels of government. It is essential for economic recovery and plays a key role in reconciliation.

For the sake of national unity we need to set aside our political differences and stand shoulder-to-shoulder to advocate for this important project to get Canadian resources to market, to save Keystone XL and, with it, thousands of well-paying jobs in Alberta.

Watch my speech during the Emergency Debate on Keystone XL
Conservatives were successful in securing an Emergency Debate in Parliament on the cancellation of Keystone XL . 

When I spoke to this debate on Monday, I wasn't just speaking for my constituents - who are my #1 priority. But I was also standing up for what is best for Canada.

The impacts of losing this project are not just about Keystone XL. For many Albertans, and many Canadians, this is just the last straw of what has been a repeated attack on Alberta energy and Canada's economy.

You can watch my full speech during the late night emergency debate above (or: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTCRCXLZ6yk)

SHOCKING! I was furious when I found out this information - you will be too. Every Canadian has the right to know.

Conservatives were successful in securing an emergency debate on the Liberal government’s botched delivery of vaccines.

I encourage you to take a moment to watch my clip, where I shared some shocking information: https://www.facebook.com/johnbarlowmp/videos/191978019325451

Every Canadian has the right to know.

Canadian vaccines could have been developed and manufactured here in Canada but the Liberals discriminated against a possible made-in-Canada solution.

Representatives from Providence Therapeutics approached the Liberal Government in March 2020 with a vaccine based on the same technology being used by Pfizer. However, it received radio silence from the Liberal government. 

Brad Sorenson, the CEO of Providence Therapeutics, said on Monday, “We have a Canada solution. We've sourced it, we've followed the rules, we've done what we were supposed to do and we're not getting any engagement from the government.”

Solstar Pharma out of Laval, Quebec, has a very unique antiviral technology and was asking for help from the Canadian government. Again, there was no response. Only silence. CEO of Solstar Pharma said if it had the support of the Canadian government last spring it would be in clinical trials now and ready to begin production at home in Canada. Instead, it's being fully funded in the US. A Canadian solution, had to go elsewhere. 

You can watch my full speech, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A901FONf1a0 

Working together to overcome the stigma

Opioid addiction is a serious problem in southern Alberta, but the situation has surpassed a crisis level due in large part to the stress and unemployment brought about by the pandemic.

A recent study by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) showed the devastating impact the pandemic is having on the mental health of Canadians and consequently opioid abuse and overdose deaths are increasing dramatically.

According to the CMHA about 40% of Canadians said their mental health has deteriorated since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, 10% said they have had suicidal thoughts and 17% of respondents said they have increased substance use as a means to cope.

In Alberta specifically, opioid overdose deaths and suicides tripled from January to July last year.

This is an issue we must take seriously, which is why I was tasked with co-chairing a Conservative Opioid Crisis Working Group along with my colleague Todd Doherty, Member of Parliament Cariboo—Prince George. Our aim is to look at the crisis holistically and with compassion. We are exploring policies to save lives and break the cycle of misery and personal tragedy.

Numerous colleagues answered our call to help achieve our goal. We are gathering data, insight and proposals on what needs to be done to address mental health and addictions. We need to know what resources are available and where the gaps exist within the current system.

Prevention, enforcement, harm reduction, intervention and recovery all play pivotal roles in finding a solution. We must not turn our backs to any idea just because it does not fit our political narrative or goes against pre-conceived notions. Only by working together will we overcome the stigma associated with substance use and addiction.

We have had early success with the House of Commons unanimously passing a motion in December to establish the 9-8-8 suicide hotline in Canada, an initiative spearheaded by Mr. Doherty.

Clearly, there is more to be done. On the Health Committee we recently studied the mental health impacts of the COVID pandemic. I invited two Foothills business owners to appear at committee and share how COVID has impacted their mental health from a business owner’s perspective.

It was a sobering presentation as they outlined the depression and anxiety they face, not only for themselves, but also the pressure of supporting their employees and their families.

Their presentations at committee, coupled with the CMHA report and the Alberta overdose statistics show how grave the situation has become.

Over the past several weeks we’ve heard first-hand the effects this crisis has had on communities, our colleagues, families, friends and neighbours.

Working together the hope is to build a framework to get the dealers off the streets and offer people with substance use disorders  a tangible pathway to successful recovery.

The effects of the pandemic on the mental health of Canadians are real and will be long-lasting. Finding a solution to the mental health and opioid crisis in Canada simply cannot wait any longer.

If you need help call: Canada Suicide Prevention Service: Phone 1-833-456-4566 or Text 45645 (Text, 4 p.m. to midnight ET only) crisisservicescanada.ca

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868, Live Chat counselling at www.kidshelpphone.ca
If you are worried someone you know may be at risk of suicide please talk to them and watch for these warning signs: suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, purposelessness, anxiety, withdrawal, anger, recklessness and mood changes.

Thank you, 
To everyone who was able to virtually join on January's Facebook town hall your insights and questions were much appreciated. Feedback shows the comments and questions from constituents were warmly welcomed by everyone listening in and those who viewed later on. 

For those who were unable to make it, Sean Oliver with Shootin' the Breeze wrote up an extensive article with the questions and answers from the virtual town hall. 

Please check it out here: 
https://www.shootinthebreeze.ca/index.php/item/mp-barlow-discusses-covid-19-2021-federal-budget-farm-protection-during-virtual-town-hall 

I look forward to our next chance to connect online. As always, you can email me any time with your comments or questions at John.Barlow@parl.gc.ca
Each year, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) invites Canadian schools, individuals and organizations to make Valentines for Vets. VAC then distributes the valentines to Veterans in long-term care facilities across the country by February 14.

If you would like to send a valentine thanking a Veteran, please send it by February 1 to:

Valentines for Vets
Veterans Affairs Canada
Commemoration, Distribution Unit
125 Maple Hills Avenue
Charlottetown, PE C1C 0B6


https://www.veterans.gc.ca/.../valentines-for-veterans

Any valentines received after this date will be saved for next year, so you can send them any time. 
Statistics Canada is currently hiring approximately 32,000 people for positions across Canada.
Census jobs are short-term positions, between March and July 2021, collecting census data from residents in our community.
https://census.gc.ca/jobs-emplois-eng.htm

Canada Grain Act review

Consultations to improve the Canada Grain Act are taking place right now at https://www.agr.gc.ca/.../share-ideas-canada-grain-act.../

Please share your feedback regarding the existing regulatory framework of the CGA, as well as any suggestions into how you'd like it modernized. The consultation will be open from January 12, 2021 to April 30, 2021.

We need a plan for rapid testing and vaccinations

Canada has ordered the most vaccines per-capita, but when it comes to the percentage of the population vaccinated, Canada continues to fall further behind. It doesn’t matter how many doses the federal Liberals supposedly ordered; the reality is that they’re not here now. We have heard deliveries will be delayed weeks putting our seniors, front line health care workers and people with disabilities at risk.

As Canada's Official Opposition, we will press the Liberals to deliver an emergency plan that gets vaccines to all those Canadians who want it. 

Vaccines are not mandatory, but can be critical to save lives, reopen the economy and secure jobs for Canadians.

Every minute matters and we must use every tool at our disposal like widespread rapid testing.

E-petitions open for signature

e-3025 (Taxation): to allow seniors to withdraw RSP funds without any tax implications to help offset rising expenses due to COVID-19 without having to deplete savings such as tax free savings accounts and to help offset the reduction in the value of their RSP, especially if their holdings are in the stock market, such as mutual funds.
Linkhttps://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3025

e-3029 (Business and trade): to ensure that bailout subsidies and loans to Airlines will be conditional upon the protection of Travel advisor commissions paid for services rendered to Airlines and their subsidiary Tour companies.
Link: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3029

e-3061 (Justice): to review the laws related to trespassing and theft in order to include more severe punishments to further deter individuals from committing these crimes.
Link: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3061

e-3044 (Business and trade): so that Canadians can order the wine, craft beer and spirits they wish from Canadian producers, and be able to have those products shipped directly to them by Canada Post and support this important industry at a time when they need us the most.
Link: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3044

e-3017 (Culture and heritage): to direct that Parks Canada return to the negotiating table with NFNMF with a clear mandate to, respectfully and in good faith, work out whatever differences remain unresolved in order to move forward with officially granting a License of Occupation to the NFNM Foundation.
Link: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3017
 
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