Friday January 20, 2023 | COLWOOD, BC
OPINION-EDITORIAL by Randall Garrison, MP (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke) | Published by Island Social Trends
Looking Back at a Year of Big NDP Wins in Ottawa
As I look back on the last year in Parliament and start preparing for the upcoming sitting, I am struck by the long list of important wins that our team of NDP MPs has claimed for Canadians since we signed our supply and confidence agreement with the Liberals. During this challenging time for too many Canadians, New Democrats are fighting in Ottawa and getting results for the people in communities across this country who most need the government to have their back.
I hear often from constituents of mine who are already accessing these new supports from the rent subsidy to childcare and dental coverage for children. I know that more needs to be done to ensure that Canadians have the safety net we know they need at this time, and New Democrats are ready to keep working hard to make this a reality.
In the fall 2022 sitting, New Democrats used our role in the minority parliament to get dental coverage for children. This is a huge step towards completing universal health care, with more coverage coming including seniors in December 2023.
I know that many of you are concerned about increased spending on dental care at a time when our healthcare system is experiencing serious shortfalls, but it is clear that by including dental care coverage in our universal health care system, we will ensure better health outcomes and save the system money.
New Democrats are fighting for the restoration of federal health transfers in addition to this new dental coverage, because we believe we can and must have both dental and healthcare.
I hear from constituents who are concerned about the economy almost every day. I know that with rising interest rates, many are already feeling pinched. This fall, New Democrats fought for a doubling of the GST credit to help 10 million Canadians pay the bills, $500 for rent for 2 million households in need, and new investments in affordable housing.
We also convinced the Liberals to remove the interest permanently from federal student loans, as we know far too many young Canadians are struggling with student debt on top of the rapidly increasing cost of living.
During hard economic times, it is the government’s job to make sure that those who most need support and hardworking people just trying to make ends meet do not fall victim to profiteers and speculators. That’s why the NDP initiated a Competition Bureau investigation into grocery store greedflation driving up food costs for people and a tax on big banks making massive profits off families like yours just trying to keep up with their payments.
Workers are the backbone of our economy during hard times just as in easier times, and New Democrats made sure that they would be better protected with 10 days of paid sick leave and anti-scab legislation to ensure that workers can fight for better wages without worrying that their boss will give away their jobs.
While 2022 was a busy year for me and the NDP team, we know that Canadians need us to keep working hard for everyday people, and we have a busy year planned for 2023 already. We plan to work for a permanent dental care system that will cover kids under 18, seniors and people living with a disability in the next phase.
We know that the provinces are struggling to provide the healthcare that you need, and so we will fight hard for the restoration of full federal health transfers in 2023. We will also look at the issues with EI and fight to make sure that all workers can access support. New Democrats will advocate for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls recommendations to be implemented in full.
We have not given up on pharmacare, and we will push hard for the Liberals to finally deliver on their longstanding promise to provide this essential coverage to all Canadians who need it with enabling legislation this year.
The NDP will be calling for the doubling of the GST rebate and increases to GIS as well as continuing our work on a federal disability benefit.
As the threat of climate change impacts our lives more each year, New Democrats will continue to champion an end to fossil fuel subsidies and investments in renewable energy through a crown corporation to ensure that we provide jobs while meeting our GHG reduction targets.
All of this and more can be accomplished by making the ultra wealthy and rich CEOs pay their fair share, and New Democrats will be working on that in 2023 as well.
Thank you to the people of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke for continuing to inspire me with your resilience and conviction that we are better when we support each other.
===== ABOUT ESQUIMALT-SAANICH-SOOKE:
Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke is a federal riding on south Vancouver Island which includes the municipal areas of Esquimalt, Colwood, Metchosin, View Royal, and parts of Saanich (map of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke). The large riding covers an extended footprint of 328.51 sq km.
The official census population count of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke in 2021 was 128,644, up by about 6.5% from 120,834 in 2016. There is continual housing growth in the area as people seek accommodation that is considered relatively affordable compared to the core area of Greater Victoria.
In 2021, the working-age population (age 15 to 64 years) was 84,540, with 17,895 children age 0 to 14 years, and 26,205 people being seniors age 65+.
Randall Garrison, NDP, is the Member of Parliament for Esqimalt-Saanich-Sooke. He was first elected in May 2011, then re-elected in 2015, 2019 and 2021.
NDP draws attention to challenges of women in journalism (Aug 25, 2022)
NDP supports push for Canada Health Transfer increase (July 7, 2022)
Big day for NDP and Canadians (Mar 22, 2022)
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is a local and regional news service in the west shore of south Vancouver Island.
This journalism service has been operating since 2008 in the west shore, under the direction of editor and publisher Mary P Brooke: first as MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, then Sooke Voice News 2011-2013, then West Shore Voice News 2014-2020, then emerging fully online mid-2020 as Island Social Trends at islandsocialtrends.ca .