On April 6, MP Shannon Stubbs participated in the following Q and A discussing a range of subjects to inform constituents about recent events.
1. What would you like to say to frontline workers throughout Lakeland?
“While it sounds simple, I would just say Thank You. I know that there are many hands working together to keep essential services available to residents. They put their own health and well being at risk, in order to help others and their efforts are extraordinary. In some cases, they are leaving their families, or isolating from their family members to protect their loved ones while also continuing to do their jobs and serve others,” said MP Stubbs.
2. What recommendations would you give to constituents to prevent COVID-19?
“Listen to medical professionals, and provincial and federal public health officials. They offer the best and most accurate advice; they emphasize staying home if possible, designating one person for shopping, leaving home only when necessary, and respecting physical distancing parameters when in public,” said Stubbs.
3. Amid the pandemic, how great of hope does the recent Keystone pipeline decision offer?
“Keystone XL is a great first step but the necessity for Canada’s oil and gas to get more diverse global markets while pursuing Canadian energy self sufficiency and security has never been more important or obvious. That’s why all last week I asked the Liberals to put forward the sector specific measures they promised in March. On Friday, I called on the Liberals to deliver support for Canadian energy workers and businesses. I suggested some immediate steps to secure both the short-term survival of energy employers and workers, and longer-term measures that will ensure the sector’s recovery and future growth in Canada, including:
1. Deliver on their promise to provide financial tools to increase liquidity and to recapitalize small and medium oil and gas employers, including credit facilities such as loan guarantees and accounts receivable insurance.
2. Reduce costs by cancelling the carbon tax - Canada is the only one of the world’s top ten oil producers with a carbon tax which is an added cost and barrier to investment, and makes life less affordable for all Canadians; and immediately put on hold plans for the globally unprecedented Liberal fuel standard that also applies to natural gas and industrial buildings and will hike costs on refining, trucking, manufacturing and ultimately consumers.
3. Encourage investment in Canada by working with regulators to speed-up assessments for the twenty-billion dollars’ worth of oil and gas projects in the queue, including the Énergie Saguenay LNG plant in Quebec, while maintaining the evidence and science-based approach with the highest standards for which Canada is renowned.
4. Provide regulatory certainty by committing to overhaul Bill C-69, and immediately adopt all the Senate amendments that were supported by the private sector and all provincial and territorial leaders.
5. Expand access to export markets and get pipelines built by committing to use every federal tool to expedite construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion – its completion is now an economic emergency; work with the proponents and the United States to advance the Keystone XL and Line 3 replacement pipelines; repeal C-48, the oil shipping ban, and work with proponents to set the conditions for a dedicated export pipeline to the growing Asia Pacific markets, and for a west to east cross country pipeline to secure domestic supply and export to Europe,” said Stubbs.
4. What kinds of benefits will this project bring to Alberta?
“Construction of KXL will create over 1,400 direct and 5,400 indirect jobs within Alberta. Construction employment will of course also have many spin-off economic to all communities along the construction route. Once operational, KXL will provide North America with expanded crude oil stable and supply, and is part of what must be a multi pronged effort to increase pipeline capacity for Canadian oil,” said Stubbs.
5.Being that your constituents have a large amount of agricultural interest, why would you like to encourage them to participate in the Strychnine survey (found at https://www.shannonstubbs.ca/strychnine)?
“Being Shadow Minister of Natural Resources, you may hear me speak often about oil and gas but as the Member of Parliament, I represent and advocate for all constituents, and I work with the Shadow Ministers of all sectors to stand up for residents in Lakeland. Agriculture is the central way of life and a key sector of every community in my riding. This is only one of many agricultural issues on which I am active - and seeking feedback from constituents. I hope all farmers and ranchers, with all different sizes of operations, will contact me along with experts like local agricultural field men, to give feedback on the ban on strychnine, as well as any other issues they want to raise as a priority. I have already received a cross section of input that, as has been the case for decades, strychnine remains the most effective, available, and affordable effective control product to stop gophers and protect crops and livestock,” said Stubbs.
6. I had a discussion with a fellow constituent around MP raises and am wondering whether you would like to release any comments on the subject?
“Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Let me be clear, neither I nor any of the currently serving Members of Parliament voted for it. If I had the opportunity, I would have voted against it, but the decision of its implementation is ultimately up to the Liberal government because only the Board of Internal Economy can decline the pay raise for MPs and Senators.
Some background is that Bill C-30 was adopted in 2005 under the Chretien government. It mandates the indexation of salaries and allowances for MPs and Senators based on the average percentage increase in base-rate wages in Canada for each calendar year. I do agree that MPs should not be in the conflicted position of voting on their own compensation, so I support the concept of it being determined by a formula, not dictated by self interest or political whims.
But there is the opportunity to stop or freeze it, especially given all the escalating economic and financial consequences for Canadians. And there is already a precedent for pausing this process during unique circumstances. For example, under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, during the last global economic crisis, salaries for all MPs and Senators were frozen for three years - an example of Conservative fiscal management and true leadership. Prime Minister Trudeau has not chosen to take that same lead but many Conservative MPs called for it through letters and public statements. Because there is no option to just refuse the raise that works out to just under $200 a month, our Leader Andrew Scheer has announced he will be donating to a local charity that supports Canadians affected by COVID-19, and I will be donating to Haying in the 30s,” said Stubbs.
7. Overall in the coming months what hope and encouragement can you offer your constituents?
“I can tell them that my staff and I are here for you. Right now my constituency staff are still at the office with closed doors for safety, and working day in and day out, evenings and weekends, to assist constituents with new government announcements, accessing support, travelling to Canada, and all the regular help with federal programs and services. In the days to come, there may be a change in the physical location of local staff, but there will not be a change in our assistance to residents or in my dedication to represent Lakeland,” said Stubbs.