Raw sewage being dumped

Do you think we should be dumping raw sewage into Okanagan Lake or other waterways in Canada? You likely said no, and I don’t think we should either; however, this is what is occurring in other waterways in the country.

Bill C-269, introduced by a member of the Conservative party, would have amended the Fisheries Act to prohibit the dumping of raw sewage into our nation’s waterways.

Since 2013, Canadian cities have dumped almost 900 billion litres of raw sewage – enough to fill more than 355,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. What’s worse, is that this amount is increasing every year. Could you just imagine with the recent high temperatures, how unbearable it would be to be near a beach, or even consider being in the water.

One might think that common-sense legislation like this would be easy to pass in the House of Commons, but that turned out to not be the case.

I was happy to cast my vote in favour to protect our waterways. Shockingly, the Liberals, NDP, and Green Party members all voted against this real action on environmental protection.

After breaching four lawful orders of the House of Commons to produce documents relating to deadly viruses being transferred from Canada to China and the subsequent firing of two government scientists, the Liberals are now taking the unprecedented step of taking the Speaker of the House to court to prevent the document release to parliamentarians. The Speaker is the highest officer in the House of Commons and is impartial. Some responsibilities include interpreting rules, maintaining order, and defending the rights and privileges of all Members (MPs).

The government taking the Speaker to court is another example of our democracy being tested.

Last week, Conservatives announced our Canada Emergency Preparedness Plan to ensure we are ready to face future pandemics. Notwithstanding decisions since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, there were many prior decisions by the Liberals, such as shutting down the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (Canada’s pandemic early warning system) and depleting our stockpiles of PPE, that left us vulnerable.

Lives have been lost, our economy was crippled, businesses closed, and mental health concerns continue. We need strategic plans now. Our four-part plan includes making Canada resilient to threats, preventing pandemics, detecting and assessing threats, and countering the threat.

Details can be found here.

It has been wonderful to be back in the riding and connecting with constituents. With the lifting of health restrictions, I look forward to being able to connect more in person.

It is important, now more than ever, that we support local. I have been all over our community visiting some exceptional small businesses and not-for-profits, and you can see some of these on my social media.

With the intense heat our region has been facing, it takes extra effort to stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay safe. We all need to work together to conserve water and prevent human-caused fires. Prolonged high temperatures have the added risk of increased fire activity – as we hear of new fires and of the tragic news out of Lytton. Thank you to our local firefighters who have gone to the region to help.

There are heartbreaking stories of those who lost homes and loved ones after having just minutes to gather what they could before fleeing. It is a stark reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness. There are many websites that have tips, and two that have family emergency planning details are the Canadian Red Cross and the Government of Canada.

To report a wildfire, or other burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cellphone.

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

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About the Author

Tracy Gray, Conservative MP for Kelowna-Lake Country, is the official Opposition’s critic for Small Business Recovery and Growth.

She is a member of the national caucus committee’s credit union caucus, wine caucus, and aviation caucus.

Gray, who has won the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the 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, sat on the Passenger Transportation Board from 2010-2012 and was elected to the board of Prospera Credit Union for 10 years.

In addition, she served on the boards of the Okanagan Film Commission, Clubhouse Childcare Society, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Okanagan Regional Library and was chairwoman 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]


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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