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In-Your-Service

People, business legislation

Though there is much work to be done to focus on economic recovery, there are also other bills being debated and voted on in Parliament.

I’ll touch upon four pieces of legislation I was happy to support that were brought forth by Conservatives to support people and businesses in a number of ways, and which showed leadership on important issues.

First, it is imperative to support and recognize caregivers – who are often unsung heroes. Bill C-220 would extend compassionate care leave for caregivers up to three weeks after a loved one’s passing. Currently, eight million Canadians act as informal caregivers to loved ones.

These caregivers often experience physical, emotional, and financial stress and need time to make appropriate arrangements and grieve.

Second, Bill C-204 seeks to take action and ban the export of non-recyclable plastic waste from Canada to foreign countries.

Since we have means to properly dispose of much of our plastic waste domestically, Canada has a responsibility to ensure it’s not exported where it is then often dumped, burned, or left in landfills. This is a practical measure that will protect the environment globally.

Third, from heating barns to farm equipment, farmers face steep energy costs, which have skyrocketed in many parts of the country due to the increasing federal carbon tax.

Bill C-206 would exempt farmers from paying the carbon tax on gasoline, propane, and natural gas.

It is a practical measure to help alleviate the financial strain on the agriculture sector. Supporting our food security is more important than ever.

Lastly, Bill C-208 would allow the transfer of a small business, family farm or fishing corporation at the same tax rate when selling to a family member as they would when selling to a third party.

I was happy to jointly second this bill in the first session of this parliament. This was a poor tax policy change brought in by the government.

This policy bothered me so much, it was one of the factors that led me to run to become an MP.

Succession planning is a challenge at the best of times for small businesses and farmers and it is unfair that it is more financially advantageous to sell to a stranger than to your children who often grow up around their family business and contribute over a long time.

I recently received an email from a local small business owner:

“I am just writing to thank you for supporting Bill C-208, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (transfer of small business or family farm or fishing corporation). My wife and I are ready to hand over the reins of our business to our children.”

These four bills above were all passed in the House of Commons recently, and at committee for study.

On another topic, the changes to the government’s Bill C-71 on firearm legislation includes downloading the responsibility of handgun possession, storage, and transportation to by-laws within municipalities.

This will create a patchwork of rules across the country and with neighbouring communities.

This bill also includes changes that will dramatically affect airsoft and indoor paintball recreational usage and may negatively affect the Canadian film industry as well.

I recently participated in a few local virtual events including the Boys and Girls Upstream Kelowna’s launch ceremony. I was also a panellist on a local workshop, “Expanding Awareness of Financial Abuse to Seniors.”

This included great questions from participants about how to protect seniors from various types of fraud. Be sure to let me know if you are planning any local virtual events or would like to connect.

If you need any assistance with programs or have any thoughts to share, feel free to reach out. Stay well.
250-470-5075 or [email protected]. tracygraymp.ca

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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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