Richard Cannings: More common ties than differences across political spectrum

Local MP is happy to be back in Parliament.

I want to start by saying that it’s a great honour and privilege to be re-elected as the member of parliament for South Okanagan-West Kootenay. I’ll continue to work hard to live up to the responsibility of that position.

It was a hard-fought campaign, and the landscape of Canadian politics has shifted somewhat. We have a Liberal minority government that received only a third of the votes cast, the lowest share for a governing party in Canadian history.

The Conservative opposition actually received more votes than the Liberals. In third place is the Bloc Quebecois, which managed to win 32 seats despite only getting seven per cent of the vote. The NDP elected 24 MPs with 16 per cent of the vote. It’s clear that a better electoral system is needed to properly represent Canadians in parliament and I’ll continue advocating for that.

There is concern in some parts of the country that the new government does not adequately represent regional interests, particularly in Alberta. After spending a considerable amount of time during the campaign with the candidates from all other parties, I can say that we have much more in common across the country and across the political spectrum than our differences might suggest.

We all want a thriving economy, a healthy environment, affordable housing and fair taxation. Politicians should work across party lines to achieve these goals instead of emphasizing the things that push us apart.

While the situation seems complicated, there is actually one clear mandate that the Liberal government received from the voters — to move forward quickly with an effective plan of climate action. Two-thirds of Canadian voters rejected the Conservative plan to get rid of a price on carbon and simply hope that industry will save us.

The Liberals must work with the NDP, the Greens and the Bloc to set science-based emissions targets, put them into law, and create an independent office that will ensure governments meet those targets.

Last week I met with my NDP caucus colleagues in Ottawa. I met the new NDP MPs and said goodbye to some of those who retired or lost their bids for re-election. Canadians responded well to the positive message the NDP offered in the election — such as our plans for pharmacare, dental care, and affordable housing — and we will continue to press the government to carry out those plans.

This is the time of year when we remember the sacrifices that the men and women in our armed forces have made to protect our country and to bring peace to conflict zones around the world. Too often governments have neglected the needs of veterans after they have put their lives on the line for us.

We must make sure that veterans have access to fair lifetime pensions. Perhaps most critical is ensuring that veterans have prompt access to mental health care to combat the unacceptable rate of suicide among members of the armed forces and first responders.

If you have any comments or concerns that you’d like to bring to my attention, contact my office in Castlegar (1695A Columbia Ave., 250-365-2792), or Penticton (202-301 Main Street, 250-770-4480) or simply email me at Richard.Cannings@parl.gc.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Snow scenes around Castlegar

Our favourite reader submiltted photos.

Castlegar Curling Club hosts mixed bonspiel

The winning rinks were McKenzie (A event), Cooke (B), Nichol (C), and Knutson (D)

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Two-vehicle collision near Castlegar sends two to hospital

The incident took place Wednesday evening near the Brilliant Bridge in Ootischenia

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read