Conservatives Pass Motion to Support Small and Medium Sized Businesses

  Ottawa, ON – Pat Kelly, Conservative Shadow Minister for Small Business and Western Economic Development, and Philip Lawrence, Shadow Minister for National Revenue, released the following statement regarding the passage of the Conservative motion to support small and medium sized businesses: “Today, with the passage of our motion in the House of Commons, Conservatives have secured more help for small and medium sized businesses harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of our efforts, the Trudeau Liberals must pause their punishing audits on small and medium sized businesses until June 2021 and provide additional flexibility in the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and other programs to support entrepreneurs and workers. “This builds on our Conservative track record of standing up for small and medium sized businesses and making the government’s emergency programs better for Canadians. This includes increasing the wage subsidy from 10 to 75 per cent, advocating for changes to the Liberals’ failed rent subsidy program, and now, postponing the Liberal audits on small and medium sized businesses. “It’s shameful that the Trudeau Liberals failed to support this motion and voted for punitive audits on small and medium sized businesses during the second wave of the pandemic. These community businesses are fighting to keep their doors open, and Justin Trudeau wants to make it harder by sending the tax collector after them. While Justin Trudeau and the Liberals think small businesses are tax cheats – Conservatives know they are the backbone of our economy. “Conservatives understand that there is no Canadian economy without our small and medium sized businesses. It’s as simple as that. Under the leadership of Erin O’Toole, we will continue to stand up for workers and entrepreneurs across Canada and ensure they get the support they need to weather this pandemic.”

Erin O’Toole statement on support for small and medium sized businesses

Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, today issued the following statement on the Conservative Opposition Day motion calling for better supports for small and medium sized businesses:“There is no Canadian economy without our small and medium sized businesses. It’s as simple as that. For Conservatives, these businesses are our country’s backbone, the local shops that keep communities together.“In bringing forward today’s motion, our Conservative team sends a strong message on behalf of Canadians.“The government should be postponing audits of these businesses until at least June 2021. Small business owners and their staff deserve better than this.“We also ask for additional flexibility in the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and other support programs. While the government made it easy for everyone, including some wealthy individuals, to apply for the CERB, they keep adding red tape for small businesses.“The rent relief program was far too restrictive and only allowed large landlords to apply for relief, rather than tenants. It required businesses to have lost 70 percent of their revenues in order to be eligible, but if your revenues fell by 69 percent, you got nothing.“Today there are tens of thousands of businesses in Canada that aren’t getting the help they need – at a time when Canada already has the highest unemployment in the G7.“And if they shut down, all of Canada suffers. That’s because small businesses provide employment for millions of Canadians from coast to coast.“They help moms and dads work hard and provide for their families; they offer the first job out of school; like Rom Sandhu of Sandhu Computers in Edmonton, they are often set up and operated by new Canadians; and, they stayed open when so many Canadians worked from home.“Justin Trudeau likes to pit Canadian workers against small businesses. I’m here to tell him Canadian workers want small businesses to stay open.“Because whether he likes it or not, Canadians don’t want two more years of the CERB – they want to get back to work.”The Conservative Opposition Day motion is:That, given that the pandemic has had devastating consequences on Canadian workers and businesses, especially in the restaurant, hospitality and tourism sectors, the House call on the government to: (a) immediately pause the audits of small businesses that received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until at least June 2021; and (b) provide additional flexibility in the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and other support program.The motion can also be found here.

Conservatives have record breaking fundraising quarter

  The Conservative Party of Canada has released its quarterly fundraising report, and it’s a record breaking quarter with $5.6 million raised from nearly 40,000 Canadians. This fundraising quarter is Erin O’Toole’s first as Conservative Party leader, and is the best Q3 the Conservative Party has had in its history outside of an election year. “Our team knows the difficulty Canadians are facing as a result of the economic slowdown from COVID-19 measures, and that makes these fundraising results that much more important to me,” said Erin O’Toole, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives. “Canadians are depending on us to continue to stand up for them and their family, and ensure those left behind by the Liberals have someone in their corner. They’re trusting us, not just with their vote, as we saw in the recent by-election in the Liberal stronghold of York Centre, but they’re also making a financial commitment to ensure we have the competitive edge to take on the Liberals in the next election, and give the country the ethical, serious, and intelligent leadership it deserves from their government.” The final results for the Conservative Party in Q3 was $5,659,092 raised from 39,451 Canadians. The next best Q3 was in 2018 when the Party raised $4,855,184 from 36,655 Canadians. Comparatively, the best non-election year Q3 from the Liberals was in 2018 when they raised $3,761,601 from 33,070 donors. “This is a big step towards defeating the Liberals, and this has been a strong showing from Erin O’Toole and our team this week,” said Scott Lamb, President of the Conservative Party. “With impressive results in the by-election in York Centre, and now a record breaking fundraising quarter for his first quarter as leader of our party, Erin O’Toole is showing exactly the type of leader Conservatives voted for, and the type of leader Canadians are now getting to see firsthand. Someone that’s focused on the priorities of regular Canadians, not just the well-connected Liberal insiders like we’ve seen from the Trudeau government.” The full fundraising report can be found online at elections.ca. The next fundraising report will be for Q4, scheduled for release at the end of January 2021.

Conservatives Respond to Trudeau Government’s Delay on COVID-19 Testing

OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Shadow Minister for Health, and Pierre Paul-Hus, Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement, issued the following statement regarding the Trudeau government’s continued delay in approving new COVID-19 testing options in Canada: “Scientists around the world have always said that easily accessible testing is the key to combating the spread of COVID-19 while helping people live normal lives. Conservatives have been calling for rapid and easily accessible tests since March. However, Justin Trudeau and his Health Minister have repeatedly failed to fight for access to these vital tools for Canadians. “Justin Trudeau’s Health Minister said today that there are no antigen at-home tests in the Canadian review process. This is ridiculous. She should be out actively looking for these types of technologies and proactively getting them into the review process. At a time when every country in the world is proactively trying to acquire and develop these technologies to protect their people, Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is content to say “we’re letting them come to us”. “Also, our allies are winning in this race for supplies. Months ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved similar tests that Justin Trudeau only now is getting around to looking at, after weeks of intense political pressure and parts of the country once again on lockdown. “Today, we still have no clarity on when these types of tests will be widely available to Canadians. We have no delivery or distribution date, even though the tests are in use in other parts of the world. The same rapid point-of-care test that Health Canada is now looking at has been being used by our G7 allies for months. And yet, it still is not approved in Canada. Why has it taken our country so long to get this done? How many schools have had to close because we didn’t have this capability? How many hours were lost as working parents had to stand in line for a test? “The Trudeau government’s complete inaction on testing is unacceptable. We know that testing is a key tool to get our country back to work and fight this pandemic. As Canadians face more lockdowns, Canada’s Conservatives will continue to stand up for Canadians and continue to force the Trudeau Liberals to act. We are getting results, as we saw today. There is much more to be done and we will deliver.”

Erin O’Toole statement on Conservative Opposition Day motion regarding release of pandemic documents

  Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, today issued the following statement on the Conservative Opposition Day motion regarding the release of pandemic documents:“It’s been seven months since the start of the pandemic. And what was the Liberal response? Masks, gloves and gowns from the government’s own reserves sent to China, while health care professionals and first responders here at home were being asked to ration. “And now, we are falling behind our allies in securing future COVID-19 vaccines and in approving rapid tests.   “The Liberal’s response to COVID-19 needs to be reviewed. Canadians deserve a government that will have their backs. A government that will develop our local medical equipment production chain without the worry of Liberal insiders getting rich off taxpayers. “The Liberals have repeatedly attempted to shut down studies of the pandemic response. My colleagues in the Health Committee have been facing obstruction, delays, and manipulation in the midst of a pandemic. “To all Canadians waiting for ventilators to arrive, to all Canadians hoping we’ll get rapid testing, and to all Canadians having lost a loved one to the virus, you deserve answers. “This motion will instruct the Standing Committee on Health to undertake a study focused on: Rapid and at home testing approvals and procurement processes to reduce our waiting lines, Vaccine development and protocol for its distribution, A review of federal public health guidelines and data being used to inform government decisions, A review of long-term care facility COVID-19 protocols under federal jurisdiction, The availability of PPE in Canada and a review of Canada’s emergency PPE stockpile from 2015 to today. The impact of this government’s use of WHO advice to delay closing borders and delay recommending the wearing of masks And, importantly, the reasons why and the eventual impact of closing Canada’s early warning system, the GPHIN. “In bringing this motion forward, we want to offer the government a chance to work with us, better its approach, and act with transparency. “Canadians deserve a government that learns lessons from mistakes and successes so we can prepare better for the future. That is what this motion will accomplish.” The Conservative Opposition Day motion can be found here.

Erin O’Toole Announces Conservative Shadow Cabinet

OTTAWA, ON – The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, today announced the Conservative Shadow Cabinet for the second session of the 43rd Parliament. “Today, I am proud to present the Conservative government in waiting that will defeat Justin Trudeau’s corrupt Liberal government in the next election,” O’Toole said. “In the coming weeks, we will be presenting a plan to put hardworking Canadians first, lead our nation out of this crisis and rebuild our great country.” Conservative House of Commons Leadership Team: Deputy Leader: Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage – Lisgar, Manitoba) Quebec Political Lieutenant: Richard Martel (Chicoutimi – Le Fjord, Quebec) House Leader of the Official Opposition: Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, Quebec) Chief Opposition Whip: Blake Richards (Banff – Airdrie, Alberta) Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition: Karen Vecchio (Elgin – Middlesex – London, Ontario) Deputy Opposition Whip: Alex Ruff (Bruce – Grey – Owen Sound, Ontario) Caucus-Party Liaison: Hon. Tim Uppal (Edmonton Mill Woods, Alberta) Question Period Coordinator: Eric Duncan (Stormont – Dundas – South Glengarry, Ontario) National Caucus Chair: Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, Alberta) Conservative Shadow Cabinet: Leona Alleslev (Aurora – Oak Ridges – Richmond Hill, Ontario) – National Security Committee Rob Morrison (Kootenay – Columbia, British Columbia) – National Security Committee Lianne Rood (Lambton – Kent – Middlesex, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food Alain Rayes (Richmond – Arthabaska, Quebec) – Shadow Minister for Canadian Heritage, Official Languages & Quebec Economic Development   Cathy McLeod (Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo, British Columbia) – Shadow Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations Dane Lloyd (Sturgeon River – Parkland, Alberta) – Shadow Minister for Digital Government Kenny Chiu (Steveston – Richmond East, British Columbia) – Shadow Minister for Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Warren Steinley (Regina – Lewvan, Saskatchewan) – Shadow Minister for Economic Development & Internal Trade Hon. Peter Kent (Thornhill, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Dan Albas (Central Okanagan – Similkameen – Nicola, British Columbia) – Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change Michael Barrett (Leeds – Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Ethics Tracy Gray (Kelowna – Lake Country, British Columbia) – Shadow Minister for Export Promotion and International Trade Jamie Schmale (Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Families, Children and Social Development  Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Finance Richard Bragdon (Tobique – Mactaquac, New Brunswick) – Shadow Minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Hon. Michael Chong (Wellington – Halton Hills, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner (Calgary Nose Hill, Alberta) – Shadow Minister for Health Brad Vis (Mission – Matsqui – Fraser Canyon, British Columbia) – Shadow Minister for Housing Raquel Dancho (Kildonan – St. Paul, Manitoba) – Shadow Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Gary Vidal (Desnethé – Missinippi – Churchill River, Saskatchewan) – Shadow Minister for Indigenous Services Hon. Andrew Scheer (Regina – Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan) – Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Communities James Cumming (Edmonton Centre, Alberta) – Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry Chris d’Entremont (West Nova, Nova Scotia) – Shadow Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs & Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park – Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta) – Shadow Minister for International Development & Human Rights Hon. Rob Moore (Fundy Royal, New Brunswick) – Shadow Minister for Justice and the Attorney General of Canada Mark Strahl (Chilliwack – Hope, British Columbia) – Shadow Minister for Labour Hon. Erin O’Toole (Durham, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Middle Class Prosperity James Bezan (Selkirk – Interlake – Eastman, Manitoba) – Shadow Minister for National Defence Greg McLean (Calgary Centre, Alberta) – Shadow Minister for Natural Resources & Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) Philip Lawrence (Northumberland – Peterborough South, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for National Revenue Eric Melillo (Kenora, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Northern Affairs & Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia – Lambton, Ontario) – President of the Queen’s Privy Council & Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, Alberta) – Shadow Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Pierre Paul-Hus (Charlesbourg – Haute-Saint-Charles, Quebec) – Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement John Nater (Perth – Wellington, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Rural Economic Development Rosemarie Falk (Battlefords – Lloydminster, Saskatchewan) – Shadow Minister for Seniors Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge, Alberta) – Shadow Minister for Small Business & Western Economic Development Stephanie Kusie (Calgary Midnapore, Alberta) – Shadow Minister for Transport Luc Berthold (Mégantic – L’Érable, Quebec) – Shadow Minister for Treasury Board John Brassard (Barrie – Innisfil, Ontario) – Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs  Jag Sahota (Calgary Skyview, Alberta) – Shadow Minister for Women and Gender Equality  Todd Doherty (Cariboo – Prince George, British Columbia) – Special Advisor to the Leader on Mental Health and Wellness Tony Baldinelli (Niagara Falls, Ontario) – Special Advisor to the Leader on Tourism Recovery

Back to Work Bonus - Andrew Scheer announces Conservative proposal to help workers and local businesses as they reopen

Ottawa, ON – The Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, today announced the Back to Work Bonus, a Conservative proposal to make the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) more flexible and generous.“Since the pandemic began, Conservatives have been putting forward constructive solutions to help Canadians,” Scheer said. “As provinces reopen, Canadians are optimistic about their futures and anxious to return to work.  They just need a helping hand.”Under the Conservative plan, Canadians who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during the pandemic will continue to receive their full $2,000 CERB.  In addition, as businesses reopen, workers who make between $1,000 and $5,000 per month would qualify for the Back to Work Bonus, a gradually phased out CERB top-up.“Conservatives believe it should always pay to work,” said Scheer.  “By making the CERB more flexible and generous, workers will have the support they need to transition back into the workforce.”Despite a global pandemic, the private sector created almost 330,000 new jobs in May.  This continued private sector growth will be integral to Canada’s economic recovery.  Canada needs to be firing on all cylinders. “Conservatives are focused on getting Canadians the help they need.  We know that our economic recovery will be driven by Canadians’ hard work, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Scheer.  “The Back to Work Bonus will help Canadians get ahead.” See backgrounder for full policy details.

Andrew Scheer Statement on Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor

Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, issued the following statement regarding the charges laid by the Chinese government against Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor:“It’s been 18 months since Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arbitrarily and unlawfully detained by the Chinese government. While in prison, these two Canadians have been subject to near torturous conditions and have had no access to lawyers or consular services for months. During this time, Justin Trudeau has done nothing to stand up against the People’s Republic of China’s actions.“This case should be being dealt with at the highest levels. But Justin Trudeau has repeatedly refused to intervene.  His failure to do so and his decision to pick a Minister of Foreign Affairs who is indebted to a bank owned by the Chinese Communist Party has only further weakened Canada’s position. This is the same minister who just three years ago said that ‘China stands out as a beacon of stability, predictability, a rule-based system, a very inclusive society.’ I highly doubt Mr. Kovrig or Mr. Spavor would agree.“Over the past five years, Justin Trudeau’s weak leadership and naïve approach to Beijing has let Canadians down. Many Canadians have been illegally detained, our exports have been blocked, our citizens harassed, and medical equipment we’ve received has been defective or contaminated, and Justin Trudeau has done nothing.“He’s refused to pull Canadian taxpayer’s money from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and he still refuses to ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G network.“Canadians deserve transparency and accountability when it comes to Canada’s relationship with Beijing, and they deserve to know that their government is standing up for our national interests. I will continue to call for Justin Trudeau to personally intervene in this case and hold him accountable for his naïve approach to Beijing.”

Liberals must use PMPRB delay to ensure Canadians can access life-saving medications: Jeneroux

EDMONTON, AB – Matt Jeneroux, Conservative Shadow Minister for Health and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Riverbend, responded to today’s Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB) announcement and called on the Liberal government to consult with patients to ensure all Canadians can access life-saving medications. “I’m relieved that the voices of patients have been heard and the government has decided to delay the changes. However, we still have a lot of uncertainty and I expect the government to use this additional time to better consult with patients,” said MP Jeneroux. After months of Conservatives advocating on behalf of concerned Canadians, raising the issue in Parliament and writing the Health Minister, the federal government delayed its July 1 implementation of the PMPRB regulations by six months. The regulatory changes set aggressive price ceilings for some new therapies, especially those involving rare disorders, that make it almost guaranteed that these therapies will not be brought to the Canadian market.  Since October 2019, more than 25 new medicines have been launched in the United States and none of them have been submitted to Health Canada for approval due to the uncertainty of the regulatory changes.  “We could see a drug shortage if these changes go ahead as planned in six months. Canada will no longer be a competitive marketplace and drug companies will be reluctant to bring their therapies here,” said MP Jeneroux. Jeneroux added, “I’m regularly speaking with Canadians who depend on daily medical treatment and they’re afraid of how their futures will look if these changes proceed. Without the introduction of life-saving, innovative drugs in Canada, their options are quite limited. I’m again urging the Health Minister to put patients first and consult with them during this period to ensure that Canadians can access life-saving medications.”

Conservatives Respond to Privacy Commissioner’s Alarming Testimony

OTTAWA, ON - The Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Shadow Minister for Industry and Economic Development, and MP Jeremy Patzer, issued the following statement regarding alarming testimony delivered by the Privacy Commissioner Therrien to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology: “As we know, the Prime Minister has said that he will soon be “strongly recommending” Canadians use a contact-tracing app in light of the pandemic. However, the Privacy Commissioner stated that he has not been consulted by the government on any plans to adopt a contact-tracing app, although he maintained that his office is available and ready to provide such guidance to the government. This is absolutely unacceptable.” “When asked if he was confident whether Canadians privacy laws would protect Canadians if a breach of a contact tracing app occurred, the Privacy Commissioner responded “No, I am not. My office has been talking for several years about the fact that our legal framework needs to be modernized and strengthened.” “Prior to COVID-19, Canada’s privacy laws were woefully inadequate. Now that Canadians are being required to conduct business online, work and attend school from home; and now may be required to install a tracking mechanism on their cellphones, it is difficult to underscore the potential for disaster in the event of a leak or hack. Additionally, Conservatives are not confident that existing laws have any teeth in the event of a breach.” “In today’s testimony, the Privacy Commissioner also revealed some shocking issues with the Liberal government’s inaction on strengthening our privacy laws in Canada. We have questioned Minister Bains at the Industry Committee about this very issue and the apparent gaps in our current legislation. Yet, the government has not acted to fix these outdated laws, which has become even more urgent in light of this pandemic. “After hearing from the Privacy Commissioner today, we now know that Canadians have even more reason to be worried for their personal information under this government. While the Commissioner stated clearly that public health can and should be protected in such a way that respects individual rights, including privacy, we also heard Liberal MPs ask about an opt-out system for a contact tracing app. As far as Conservatives are concerned, it is hard to see how, in practice, that kind of approach is not an invasion – if not a violation – of privacy. If something like this moves ahead, it would be coming from a government with departments which, according to the Commissioner, have frequently disagreed with recommendations for better protecting privacy. The Prime Minister, who has expressed interest in tracing technology, still has a lot more explaining to do. “Canada’s Conservatives will continue to demand transparency and action from the government on data privacy. With the Prime Minister’s plans to strongly recommend a contact tracing app, Canadians need answers on privacy now more than ever.”