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In-Your-Service

Input, census, online rules

As we approach the May long weekend and warmer weather settles in, more and more we are outdoors enjoying the beauty of our surroundings in Kelowna-Lake Country.

Many residents are contacting me to seek updates on the progress of potentially completing the Rail Trail — specifically a seven-kilometre portion between Lake Country and Kelowna.

This was one of the first issues I looked into after becoming your MP and I’m continually corresponding with all stakeholders.

Part of this issue stems from the federal government’s delay administering an Addition to Reserve on part of the CN rail line. I wrote the Indigenous Services Minister asking him to look into this and provide an update.

Due to the lack of response from the Minister, this was one of the first issues I brought forth in the House of Commons when Parliament returned in September 2020 after the government’s shutdown through prorogation.

When I questioned the Minister, he gave no information, and promised to sit down with me at a later date.

Instead, he sent a note that stated, “the Addition to Reserve process is nearing its final stage.”

I raised this issue in the House of Commons at an evening “adjournment debate” and have again recently written the Minister on this important community issue.

This was one of several issues that were shared with me in the responses of two recent community surveys I sent out during the past couple of months.

Clearly, the residents of Kelowna-Lake Country are very engaged as I received more than 1,000 responses — with more still arriving.

I appreciate everyone who took the time to send their feedback and write detailed notes as this helps me to better serve our community in Ottawa.

It is also clear that protecting free speech is of critical importance to our residents based on the feedback I’ve received on Bill C-10.

This proposed legislation seeks to make overreaching regulatory changes to the Broadcasting Act, as well as many forms of media including online and social media.

This legislation is an unacceptable attempt by the Liberals to target the freedoms of individual internet users in Canada.

It would give sweeping new powers to the Canada Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to regulate the internet, with no clear guidelines as to how that power will be used.

It’s been suggested by experts that this bill would even allow the CRTC to regulate what individuals can or cannot post online. Conservatives have been opposing this bill in its present form and we will study any potential amendments carefully.

If one hasn’t arrived already, you should be receiving your census questionnaire shortly, which all residents of Canada are legally required to complete.

The census provides important information for policy makers and all levels of government for decisions including funding for our community.

You can do your census online using the secure access code that should have been mailed to you, or by calling 1-877-885-2021 to request a paper version. Go to www.census.gc.ca for more information.

Canada lost 200,000 jobs in April — a massive backward step for businesses and workers due to this third wave. Provinces pleaded for months for more vaccines, and the Trudeau government failed to act to keep COVID variants out of Canada from hotspot areas.

It was International Fire Fighters Day on May 4, and I paid tribute to my dad and all firefighters who serve or have served.

May is Asian Heritage Month and it was wonderful to participate in the OCCA’s Community Association virtual Opening Forum, the first of many events this month.

If you need any assistance with federal programs or have any thoughts to share, please feel free to reach out anytime. Stay well.

250-470-5075 / [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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