Sunday , 1 August 2021

Stubbs priming up for minority federal government

The House is back in session.

MPs returned to the House of Commons to begin proceedings with a new federal government on Thursday with the Throne Speech from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs resumes her post as the shadow critic for the Ministry of Natural Resources and she’ll be the watchdog for the new Minister Seamus O’Regan (formerly Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of Indigenous Services).

Issues such as Bill C-69, the environmental overhaul bill that passed earlier this year under the Liberal majority government, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and continued growth for the sector will be top of mind with a fractured House of Commons.

She said she has some rapport with O’Regan thanks to his willingness to discuss issues, but expects more of the same coming from the Liberal minority government.

“Unfortunately, even before we came back to session he had already said, for example, that they would consider no legislative changes on Bill C-69,” said Stubbs.

Stubbs added that O’Regan did not even face her question on the bill and passed it over to the Environment Minister to answer in the first two days of political back and forth.

“I would say on the first day out, it is rather alarming that the Minister of Natural Resources did not stand up to answer my question,” said Stubbs.

New government, similar path

With uncertainty on how the minority government will proceed, Stubbs said she doesn’t see much else changing in the Liberal platform to work with the Conservatives.

“I’m not seeing a real willingness or openness for substantive changes in policy direction. Their messages are basically exactly the same on all the flashpoint issues,” said Stubbs on the Liberal minority government.

If the throne speech is a put to a vote it appear the Conservatives and NDP would be opposed, while the Bloc Quebecois voiced support.

“They’ll support it because there was no mention of oil. So I questioned whether or not they had made that agreement,” said Stubbs.

“And I fear to an extent that the liberals have that they’re willing to do deals and agreements with the Bloc and of course with their left-wing brethren the NDP just intend to sustain themselves.”

Trans Mountain appeals

Court challenges to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion will be heard this month at the Federal Court of Appeal, but construction in Acheson has ramped up.

TMX expansion is not in the clear yet.

“What I’m concerned about is the fact that Liberals didn’t go to court at all to give the rationale for their approval. Therefore, the judge was left with no choice but to hear the cases.

“The liberals have given no indication no plan whatsoever about what they would do in response to a negative decision to ensure that construction can proceed,” Stubbs said.

Stubbs made electoral history

Shannon Stubb’s resounding victory in the 2019 election was historic.

Stubbs earned the largest percentage of the vote by a female MP in Canada’s history.

“I think that percentage is reflective of the level of anger and frustration that my constituents have towards Trudeau and the Liberals. I think it is demonstrative of the change that they want,” said Stubbs.

“You know, my friend and mentor Deb Gray was sent to Ottawa by a huge chunk of the existing riding of Lakeland, so many years ago. She ends up being the first interim leader, the opposition, she was the first reform…and Conservatives have a long history of firsts of women in politics that we don’t usually talk about.

“I just love the opportunity to say look, all you feminists from different parts of the country can imagine what I mean look what my look what my riding did, look what my constituents did. Conservative Albertans just want actual action and performance and outcome, it’s very special and it blew my mind…now it’s even more pressure that I already apply myself all the time.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.