MP’s report: Questions about tax changes and soft wood lumber

MP’s report: Questions about tax changes and soft wood lumber

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray says federal tax changes are harming small business

Thank you for putting your trust in me to represent you as your Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country. I would like to again thank my family and volunteers who put in countless hours. Regardless of who you may have supported, or voted for, I am here to serve everyone.

Thank you to the Kelowna Capital News for allowing me the opportunity to have a column which will now run on a regular basis, this being the first one.

After over a year of talking to people in their businesses, with community organizations and on people’s doorsteps, I have hit the ground running as your MP with a fabulous team here in Kelowna-Lake Country and in Ottawa who is service-focused.

Being active and engaged isn’t just a tag line for me, it’s ongoing outreach. You may have already seen my team and I out in your neighbourhood, at community events, or at our free family community skate we hosted over the holidays at Rutland Arena. I continue to engage with people to ask what is important to them, as well as letting them know all the services we offer at our MP office, which I’ll expand on in detail during a future column.

I’ve had the opportunity to stand up and speak about several issues that are important to our community in the House of Commons. These included tax changes that have been harmful to small businesses, overall affordability, and putting a spotlight on wasteful government spending.

I talked about how Kelowna is experiencing a mental health and addiction crisis that affects our entire community. It is clear there is currently little focus on building a system of care that includes treatment and recovery. I implored the government to make this a priority.

I asked the government why it failed to address the softwood lumber issue when negotiating the “new NAFTA”, which has affected 217 jobs in Kelowna and tens of thousands across the province.

In addition, I’ve spoken about how our local wineries are concerned about a tax that may be forced upon them if Canada loses a trade challenge sent to the World Trade Organization by Australia. This will represent tens of millions of dollars in new taxes to the wine industry if we lose the challenge.

As the official Opposition, we have worked hard in holding the government to account. On Opposition Day, the Conservatives put forth three motions which were supported by other opposition parties and passed.

It is an honour to serve our community as shadow minister for interprovincial trade and to have the voice of Kelowna-Lake Country represented at this level. If you have any interprovincial trade issues you are dealing with or have any ideas or opportunities you would like to let me know about, please connect with me.

If you need assistance with federal services, would like me to participate in a community activity, have any issues that you would like to discuss, please be sure to reach out.

Tracy Gray is the Conservative MP for Kelowna-Lake Country and her party’s interprovincial trade critic. Contact her at 250-470-5075 or tracy.gray@parl.gc.ca.

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