Recently I wrote to Parry Sound-Muskoka’s 32 municipalities and First Nations councils about a motion passed unanimously by Parliament to establish a national suicide 9-8-8 helpline.
The motion, put forward by Conservative MP Todd Doherty of British Columbia, called on the government to “take immediate action in collaboration with our provinces to establish a National Suicide Prevention hotline that consolidates all suicide crisis numbers into one easy-to-remember three-digit 9-8-8 hotline that is accessible to all Canadians.”
Currently Canada’s Suicide Prevention Service operates a hard-to-remember 10-digit number – 833-456-4566. This hotline is a small but important tool to begin to address the mental health crisis in this country and reduce the number of suicides in Canada.
I am pleased to report we have had a tremendous response from many local communities, and many local councils have adopted a motion supporting this initiative. This is yet another example of Parry Sound-Muskoka rallying to help others.
What’s interesting about this important initiative is it didn’t come from the government. This positive step was initiated and promoted in the House of Commons by Canada’s Official Opposition.
While the “Opposition” parties may be best known for their “opposition”, you might be surprised to learn how much the Opposition contributes constructively to the business of Parliament.
Last month, British Columbia Conservative MP Brad Vis got a motion passed in Parliament calling on the government to act on the issue of housing affordability, and the lack of supply, in Canada.
Other Conservative Members, including myself, pushed back against the Liberal, Bloc, and NDP efforts to push their problematic Bill C-10 through Parliament. While the Liberals ultimately prevailed, our efforts drew worldwide attention to this weak legislation and the threat it poses to freedom of expression online.
Meanwhile, other Conservative MPs successfully convinced the government to revamp its failed cross-border hotel quarantine program, and still others exposed the Liberal government’s WE Charity corruption scandal following the release of the latest Trudeau Ethics Report.
I was honoured to be asked by my friend Scott Davidson, MP for York-Simcoe, to deliver a speech in support of his Private Member’s Bill calling on Canada to stop shipping its plastic waste overseas for final disposal. Even though the Liberal government voted against this Bill, it received widespread support from the other parties in House of Commons and we got it passed!
Manitoba MP Larry Maguire’s Private Member’s Bill was also passed recently to amend the Income Tax Act to make it easier for families to transfer their small business or family farm or fishing corporation to other family members. It was brought forward by an Opposition MP because it wasn’t a government priority, but it was urgently needed by many Canadian families.
Most Canadians only ever see the theatre of Question Period and it really makes you wonder whether anything ever gets done. As ridiculous as it can be, there are many MPs from all parties working hard to accomplish positive results for Canadians. I am particularly proud to be a part of this institution and part of the Conservative team on days when people like my friend Eric Duncan, MP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, delivers a deeply personal and heart-warming message to end discriminatory practices with blood donations.
The approach I have always taken is to try to work collaboratively and cooperatively with my colleagues, of all parties. After all, we’re all in this for the same reason – to help our communities thrive and prosper.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!