Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative MP Tracy Gray giving her election victory speech at the Ramada Hotel after being elected Oct. 21, 2019. (File photo

Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative MP Tracy Gray giving her election victory speech at the Ramada Hotel after being elected Oct. 21, 2019. (File photo

Conservatives not pushing for fall election: MP Gray

Kelowna-Lake Country MP says focus instead on solving issues

The Conservative Party is expected to face a decision whether or not to support a non-confidence vote of the federal Liberal minority government when a prorogued Parliament reconvenes Sept. 23.

But following a Conservative B.C. caucus meeting Sept. 5 and 6 in Penticton, local Conservative MP Tracy Gray (Kelowna-Lake Country) says her party members want to focus on issues facing Canadians rather than a potential fall election.

“It is difficult to comment on something that we have not seen,” Gray said.

“Our focus is on our constituents…our safety and economic recovery, and not about having an election. But if that is the direction the government takes us, we’ll be ready.”

The election talk has been fueled by a recent commitment from the Bloc Quebecois leader to introduce a non-confidence motion following the throne speech given by the Liberal government to start this next session of Parliament.

The Conservatives now have a new leader in Erin O’Toole who has set out to immediately restructure the Official Opposition, with both Okanagan area Tory MPs Gray and Dan Albas (Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola) given shadow cabinet portfolio responsibilities.

Up until now, any talk of an earlier election call has been sidelined by the Conservatives being wrapped up in a leadership campaign and the NDP backing the Liberals by using their leverage to seek legislation changes, such as a national policy of 10 days of paid sick leave for workers.

READ MORE: Local MPs named to Conservative shadow cabinet

READ MORE: Andrew Scheer to step down as Conservative Party leader

Gray said Canada is facing a myriad of issues, many complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which her party has been focused on providing solutions for at the committee level.

“(Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau seems to have gone back to making speeches from podiums and appears to be disinterested in the hard work of governing our country,” Gray said.

She said his move to prorogue Parliament, which effectively stifled all work being done at the Parliament committee level, was a prime example of his government trying to stay one step ahead of the WE scandal.

“He shut down Parliament ironically on the very day the finance committee received thousands of pages of communication among government officials leading up to the WE Charity agreement,” Gray said.

That agreement saw the charity awarded a $900 million contract to run the Canada Student Service Grant, a summer program to help students who couldn’t find jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it has since come to light that Trudeau’s mother and brother were paid guest speakers at various WE events in recent years, while finance minister Bill Morneau had to resign after it was revealed his family had financial ties to the organization and the charity partly paid for his family to go on two of its service trips.

Gray said the B.C. caucus heard presentations from an array of speakers in Penticton, which she says suggests Trudeau’s ethics issues are overshadowing real concerns that Canadians are facing.

She cited the impact the wine industry will face after the World Trade Organization after Australia successfully won a trade challenge against Canada regarding trade restrictions on Australian wine imports.

Since 2006, wines that are 100 per cent Canadian-made have been exempt from a federal excise tax, but the Australia government argued that was unfair to foreign competitors.

Winning that decision has left fears of job losses and winery closures among Canadian producers, now forced to pay that tax.

“What we are hearing is that ruling has set back the wine industry 15 years,” Gray said.

She said Canada seeing its credit rating slip from AAA to AA means more taxation revenue required to service the debt rather than being directed to government programs.

“Moving forward, we don’t see any economic plan from the Liberals or how to manage our debt. Two reasons why our credit rating slipped was because of a lack of a national economic recovery plan and strict inter-provincial trade barriers that have impeded economic growth.”

She described her new party leader as someone who is “hard-working, not about selfies.”

“He is focused on doing the work and bringing people together to find solutions to issues facing our country,” Gray added.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Kelowna International Airport. (Contributed)
Contactless parking payment available at YLW

Kelowna International Airport parking now compatible with the PayByPhone application

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
Outbreak at Kelowna long term care home declared over

Penticton, Kelowna long term care home outbreaks declared over Jan. 20

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A petition to spare the Mount Rose Swanson area from logging later this year has eclipsed 21,000 signatures as of Jan. 20, 2021. (Rose Swanson Mountain/Facebook)
Controversial logging will cut 4% of ‘sensitive’ Armstrong forest area: Ministry

A petition to spare the Rose Swanson area from logging has eclipsed 21,000 signatures

Most Read