December 2014 eNewsletter

As this year comes to an end I’d like to thank all of you who have written to me about many important issues. I’d like to wish you a happy and prosperous new year. I’m looking forward to continue the work I’ve been doing in Ottawa into the next year as we resume our session on January 26th. The new year will be an election year and despite the scheduled election date in fall of 2015, we’re expecting that Prime Minister Harper may call an early election in the upcoming spring. 

For me, this year ends with sad news. Over a year ago I tabled motion M-460 in the House of Commons laying out an action plan to address the main threats to the Southern Resident Killer Whales: pollution, noise, and dwindling food supply. After more than a year, the government has yet to respond. When I began my research, we had 82 local orcas, and now, with the most recent death of a calf we are down to 77. The numbers of these orcas continue to fall and they are now approaching the point of no return. Meanwhile the federal government continues to say it’s studying the responses to its own year old draft action plan, which proposes little real action.

On another note, the death of our two soldiers in November on our own soil raised national security concerns, but unfortunately triggered a rushed reaction by the government with the passage of Bill C-44. In the new year the government says it will be introducing additional national security legislation. Following the shooting in Ottawa, Harper stated that “our laws and police powers need to be strengthened in the area of surveillance, detention and arrest.” New Democrats have emphasizing the necessity of both to strengthen national security and protecting civil liberties. We cannot protect one at the expense of the other. My colleagues and I are concerned that Bill C-44 fails to provide the kind of oversight over CSIS we need to ensure our civil liberties are protected when we are expanding CSIS powers. New Democrats will continue to call for effective action to protect our national security and preserve our civil liberties.

On a positive note, last month we received new reports supporting the NDP position that investing in renewable energy creates far more jobs in far more communities per dollar spent than continuing the investment in fossil fuels. We need to begin the transition to a sustainable future now.

With the upcoming election you will have a major role in deciding what kind of Canada you would like to see in the next four years. While I continue to represent you in Ottawa please do not forget to contact my constituency office if you have any questions.

Again, I wish you happy and safe holidays and I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring us.    

Warm Regards,

Randall Garrison, MP (Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca)