Gun buyback misguided

The community has come together to pay tribute to those we lost in the tragic crane accident in downtown Kelowna – including displaying high-visibility vests as a way of mourning and showing support for the friends, families, and coworkers who lost loved ones.

My heart goes out to their families and to everyone who knew them. Thank you to all the first responders and emergency workers.

I recently held a round-table discussion on the ever-increasing costs of living and housing. We heard from supportive housing and social service providers, housing builders, and those working in various financial services in order to get a well-rounded perspective of what they are seeing. Their expertise and suggestions were invaluable and will greatly help as my Conservative colleagues and I work to address these growing issues.

In the Liberals' continued misguided drive to go after law-abiding firearm owners, they are now looking to spend nearly a billion dollars on a gun buyback plan.

According to the independent and non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer, the program would cost approximately $756 million on firearms alone, an amount 70% higher than the government’s own estimate. This does not include administrative costs that could multiply that amount, according to some observers.

Every dollar spent with this program is a dollar not going to fight the greatest issue of firearm crime in Canada – illegally smuggled guns. It has also been reported that the union representing RCMP officers has itself come out against the Liberal ban, saying it would do little to curb gun violence.

Conservatives have called on the government to scrap this, and instead focus on a real plan to keep Canadians safe by giving law enforcement the resources they need and targeting criminals.

The Liberals’ priorities also appear to include continuing their war on small business owners by recently refusing to implement tax reduction legislation that was recently passed in Parliament and signed into law. It is clear to see that our democratic functions are continually being challenged by this government.

Conservative Bill C-208 would make the taxes owing for transferring a business to a family member no different than selling to a stranger, as right now the taxes would be higher. I heard from many small business owners in Kelowna-Lake Country who were thankful for this legislation.

Previously, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called hardworking small business owners – who are the backbone of our community – tax cheats, and implemented harmful tax changes on the small business community.

It was only after continuous and sustained pressure from Conservatives that the Liberals finally agreed to respect the will of Parliament and implemented this legislation.

The ethics commissioner recently confirmed that he is taking initial steps of launching a new ethics investigation. This is because almost all Liberal MPs are using taxpayers’ dollars to pay for maintenance and licensing of software from a company which the Liberal Party of Canada uses to run their political database.

The company is also tied to a childhood friend of Trudeau who held senior positions within Liberal campaigns and is married to the former president of the Liberal Party of Canada.

It is important to remember that we have been in similar unsettling situations before. The prime minister was found guilty multiple times of breaking ethics rules with his trip to Aga Khan’s private island, and again during the SNC Lavalin affair – when he was more concerned about Liberal votes than Canadian laws.

The latter also led to the resignation of Canada’s first Indigenous attorney general, MP Jody Wilson-Raybould.

When under investigation for the third time during the WE Charity scandal, Trudeau prorogued Parliament in an obvious attempt to avoid scrutiny and accountability.

One of the pillars of our five-point Conservative Recovery Plan is “Securing Accountability,” which will toughen the Conflict of Interest Act, toughen the Lobbying Act, and increase transparency in Ottawa.

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

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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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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