As 2022 draws to a close, I would like to take the opportunity thank the residents of Cariboo-Prince George for their continued support and take a moment to reflect on the past year.
In 2022, we began to return to normalcy. There was the easing of pandemic measures and Canadians across the country began to step back into public life.
Once again, we were able to hug our friends, dine at a local restaurant and participate in community events. It has been a blessing to see our community begin to flourish and reconnect again.
In August, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) finally approved my motion to bring the 9-8-8, a national suicide prevention hotline, to Canada. This means by November 2023, Canadians coast to coast to coast, facing mental hardship will be able to receive help simply by dialing or texting 988.
The implementation of the simple 3-digit number will help reduce barriers to suicide prevention and mental health support. 9-8-8 will save lives.
I am immensely proud of this accomplishment and will continue to advocate for the mental health of Canadians as the newly named Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, along side the newly elected leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre.
Despite the opportunity to reconnect, life for all Canadians under this Liberal government is getting more difficult. At every turn, the Trudeau government has continued its out of control spending, from spending $54 million on the failed ArrivedCan app, to $32 billion in over payments. This illogical spending, undoubtedly, is contributing to the rising cost of living.
Throughout the parliamentary session, Conservative MPs have held the Government accountable for the issues facing Canadians, including the growing cost of living crisis, attacks on law-aiding firearms owners and inflation.
Over the past year, food prices have risen 11 per cent, gas 22 per cent, transportation 10.3 per cent, and shelter 5.6 per cent.
One in five Canadians are cutting meals because they cannot afford groceries and 1.5 million Canadians will visit food banks. It is clear, the failed inflationary approach of the Liberal government has failed, and Canadians are paying the price.
Conservatives MPs were still able to bring the issues of skyrocketing inflation and affordability to the forefront. We introduced and debated solutions to address inflation and cancelling the tripling of the carbon tax. Sadly, but not surprisingly, we received no support for these measures from the Liberal government.
It is a challenging time for many, but know I stand with you. My constituency office remains open and available to you. Should you have questions or concerns regarding a passport, any federal programs, services, or issues, please do not hesitate to contact my team so we can assist.
Despite the many challenges facing us as we move into the new year, I am hopeful for 2023. Last year, I commented that our Cariboo spirit is strong, and we never let adversity keep us down.
This fact remains undisputed – Cariboo-Prince George is resilient, and we can achieve anything together. From our family to yours, Kelly and I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year, Cariboo-Prince George.
Todd Doherty is the Member of Parliament for the Cariboo-Prince George riding