MP Sorenson looks back on challenging year
It has been a tumultuous year in federal politics, but for the residents of Battle RiverCrowfoot, the one constant has been the representation from Kevin Sorenson.
It has been over a year since Sorenson was part of the government after the Liberal party came into power, his dedication remains.
“First of all, I am pleased that I am still representing the people of Battle River-Crowfoot. When I look back on the years, I think that this constituency, that I have had the pleasure of representing, is one of the things I really enjoy, you meet some really good and interesting people, and it is always all about people,” he said.
What has defined the year is the economy.
“It has been a challenging year. I think here in Alberta that might be a colossal understatement. We see what is happening in our economy as we just know there are people who are facing massive difficulties with hours reduced, or job losses,” he said. “This province is a great place to live, but people are facing a lot of outstanding issues.”
Through this, he feels the Conservative Party of Canada is making sure these issues are heard.
“On the other hand, I am pleased with the job the official opposition has done. We’ve seen what Prime Minister Trudeau has taken as his priorities. Even before he came to parliament for the first time, he committed over $3 billion to third world countries to fight climate change. Not to fight hunger, but climate change. It is a very difficult amount of money to make sure accountability measure and transparency measures are in place.”
“I think our official opposition has been the voice of the taxpayer, we have seen taxes already go up, and have seen $100 billion added to the na- tional debt. We have gone from balanced budgets to $32 billion deficits. We have to stand up. So 2016, as much as we are disappointed with the direction the government has taken, our opposition is trying to hold them to account.”
He foresees more challenges in the future. “I think we still live in the best country in the world, in the best province. We are challenged by the leadership of our province and the leadership of our country, but we still live in a pretty outstanding province. There is going to be new challenges in 2017. We have a new president-elect in the United States that is committed to doing things that if Canada doesn’t respond correctly to can really affect our economy. President Trump says he is going to lower corporate taxes from 30 per cent to 15 per cent. That is something that we did in the past to make sure head offices of companies and manufacturing stayed in Canada. We took it from 22 per cent to 15 per cent,” he said. “If Trump is making the United States the place to do business again, that could be a significant job loss again for Canadians. How we respond to that is going to be telling.”
While he agrees that environmental issues that have to be dealt with is something that will have to be addressed, he feels the policies being put in place are damaging.
“It is vital that we look to renewable types of energy for down the road, but the timelines are the difficulty. For example, when you say the carbon tax is going to start now, the extra payroll taxes for businesses is going to start in 2018, and by the way, the higher level of income tax for job creators. It is a combination of everything where people will ask why are we really do- ing this? We know eventually we have to go down that road, but do we have to do it in a way that drives jobs away from our country?”
He is also concerned with the Liberal government’s electoral reform initiatives.
“Quite frankly we have the best system in the whole world. We go all around the world observing other elections. Now we have a Prime Minister who says he wants to change how we do this, we are not going to do a referendum, we are going to have a survey,” he said. “It is something that we should all be aware of.”
He says he has not done any consultation, but has received hundreds of letters on it.
When I go around the constituency, I am constantly talking about this. We are going to try and have a few open houses after Christmas.”
“What I would like to see is a referendum on this. I don’t want this to be imposed on people.”
MP Kevin Sorenson... MP Battle River-Crowfoot