Report from Parliament Hill:
Demanding Better Government
Eric Melillo - MP, Kenora Riding
I hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy as our region enters Phase 3 of Ontario’s re-opening. Rest assured, I am continuing to fight for constituents impacted by this pandemic.
Fighting for rural internet
The lack of reliable broadband in rural and remote areas has become a crisis in the era of COVID-19.
The ability to conduct business online or do appointments over video chat would be a game-changer for many rural Canadians – especially those who live in remote areas which currently require service providers to fly in from afar. But right now, many of my constituents don’t have that option.
With education, healthcare, and mental health, financial and legal services moving increasingly online, rural and remote Canadians are at risk of being left behind.
Last week, I wrote to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains urging him to act with haste to ensure reliable internet service for all Canadians.
The Conservative Rural Internet Caucus recently released a policy document outlining both long- and short-term solutions to provide internet service to rural and remote communities. I am urging the government to act with haste to implement these measures, and to empower local internet service providers to provide innovative solutions.
Prime Minister Trudeau under investigation again
The Conservative Opposition was rightly critical when the Liberal government awarded WE Charity, an organization to which Prime Minister Trudeau and his family have close ties, a sole-sourced contract to run a $900 million program.
It’s since come out that WE has paid the Prime Minister’s immediate family hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees.
Prime Minister Trudeau is now being investigated by Canada’s Ethics Commissioner. (This is unfortunately a familiar situation for Justin Trudeau – he’s been found guilty of violating ethics laws twice before).
The Prime Minister has apologized for failing to recuse himself from Cabinet discussions about giving this contract to WE – but in this case, sorry shouldn’t cut in. As Prime Minister, he absolutely should have known better.
Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is also under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner. He also neglected to recuse himself from discussions about WE Charity – even though his daughter works for them.
This is not how an honest, ethical government behaves.
An unfortunate side-effect of this scandal is that this irresponsible behavior from the Liberal government throws yet another wrench in the roll-out of the Canada Student Service Grant, which has already suffered delays. Canada’s youth deserve better. Canadians
In the Community
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting my Conservative colleagues MP Garnett Genuis and MP Arnold Viersen during their visit to Northwestern Ontario. After an insightful roundtable discussion about issues impacting marginalized groups in Thunder Bay, we headed to Kenora for a productive meeting with Chief Lorraine Cobiness of Niisaachewan, Chief Chris Skead of Wauzhushk Onigum, and Marie Seymour and Shirley Kelly from Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong.
Later in the week, I was happy to join Kenora Mayor Dan Reynard and Council to celebrate the city’s re-opening, and to chat with residents at a BBQ hosted by Ignace Mayor Penny Lucas. I also enjoyed a productive meeting with Council members in Pickle Lake, where I also had the opportunity to do a ride-along with members of the local OPP.
At Your Service
As always, if there is anything my office can assist you with, or a cause you would like me to take up in Ottawa, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 807-468-2170 or by email at [email protected]
Member of Parliament - Kenora riding