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In-Your-Service

MP focuses on the future

As we move through stages of reopening and recovery, I have been connecting with many individuals and organizations from every sector. 

Many of our local tourism and business association groups have been working diligently connecting with their members and greater business community, offering important surveys that help us all understand how the pandemic has affected local businesses in detail. 

One virtual meeting I attended was with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, hosting a large Advisory Council Industry Round Table focusing on three important business sectors in the Central Okanagan. These groups are providing insight and perspective that is useful as I bring forth their concerns and ideas into policy discussions and recommendations within the Official Opposition.

A question that I get asked often is why parliamentary committees are important, and what work they do. The government voted to shut down full Parliament until late September, and most committees are also not active and sitting. This is really unfortunate as the work committees do is valuable, including commissioning studies, bringing in experts to testify, and preparing and tabling reports to the government. 

Fortunately, I sit on the Industry, Science, and Technology Committee, one of the few which have been allowed to meet virtually.

With conversations turning to contact tracing as a way of informing health officials and the public about infections, it was timely hearing from a Google Canada representative at the Industry committee. Through my questioning, he provided interesting information about how Google tracks user movements through mobile devices, depending on the settings someone has set on their phones. We also had the privacy commissioner attend who laid out recommendations their department has made to the government on strengthening our privacy laws. We just started a study on the Canada Investment Act. There are concerns with international state-owned enterprises taking advantage of the pandemic situation, so it is a timely topic.
Additionally, in a COVID-19 committee meeting, I asked the government to restart the work on breaking down interprovincial trade barriers that they put on hold due to the crisis. I believe it is imperative to help stimulate our economy, and one way, is the ability to move goods and labour interprovincially throughout Canada without barriers. 

I have been proactively reaching out to many individuals and businesses as the government announces policy or program changes. Some of the topics I have gone back and updated constituents on include reunification with family members from the U.S., the opening of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), addition of prohibited firearms to the government’s prohibited list, and amendments to other programs. Therefore, I appreciate you continuing to reach out as it helps me know what is important to you and allows me to follow up when necessary. 

One underlying issue I hear about a lot is the anxiety around uncertainty for what the future will hold, the unknown makes it difficult to plan personally and professionally. 

I appreciate hearing from you. Reach me at 250-470-5075 or [email protected]. If you go to my website tracygraymp.ca, you can see clips from some of the questioning during recent committee meetings I mentioned.

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About the Author

Tracy Gray, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country, is the Official Opposition’s Shadow Minister for Export Promotion and International Trade.

She also serves on the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, and is a member of the National Caucus Committees Credit Union Caucus, Wine Caucus, and Aviation Caucus.

Gray, who has won the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the year, and Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award, worked for 27 years in the B.C. beverage industry.

She founded and owned Discover Wines VQA Wine Stores, which included the No. 1 wine store in B.C. for 13 years. She has been involved in small businesses in different sectors — financing, importing, oil and gas services and a technology start-up — and is among the “100 New Woman Pioneers in B.C."

Gray was a Kelowna city councillor for the 2014 term, on the Passenger Transportation Board 2010-2012, and elected to the board of Prospera Credit Union for 10 years.

In addition, she served on the Okanagan Film Commission, Clubhouse Childcare Society, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Okanagan Regional Library as a Trustee and was chair of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

She volunteers extensively in the community and welcomes connecting with residents.

She can be reached at 250-470-5075, and [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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