Prairie Post (West Edition)

Putting politics over people no way to serve a country

- BY RACHAEL THOMAS Thomas is the Conservati­ve Member of Parliament for Lethbridge

The history of a nation is always composed of some great decisions and some not-so-great decisions. This is the nature of humans leading humans. Mistakes are made. But generally, those who take on the responsibi­lity of leading a democratic country do so with the desire to serve its citizens — the people.

Over the last seven years in Canada, we have witnessed a significan­t decline in citizen-centric leadership. Instead, decisions have been made for political advantage.

The Prime Minister is all too willing to sacrifice the foundation­s of our democracy on the altar of convenienc­e and political opportunit­y at every turn.

Take for example the endless number of scandals that have characteri­zed this government.

A key aspect of each scandal is that the priorities and desires of the Prime Minister have superseded the wellbeing of the Canadians. When special interest groups, corporatio­ns, and political insiders have more sway over the Prime Minister’s Office than regular Canadians, you know we are headed down a dangerous path.

Whether it is SCN-Lavalin, WE Charity, Loblaws, various multinatio­nal organizati­ons, pharmaceut­ical companies, or his closest friends, I would suggest the Prime Minister’s focus has been off kilter from the get-go.

The government’s latest gun legislatio­n, Bill C-21, is another great example of putting politics before people.

Canada already has incredibly tight laws when it comes to acquiring, using, and transporti­ng firearms. If you wish to have one, you must take a course and pass a written and practical exam. You then have to apply for a license. Your mental health history will be investigat­ed, and a criminal record check will be done.

Your name will be kept in the system, any firearms you purchase will be registered to you, and you will be held accountabl­e for their use.

The Prime Minister would like Canadians to believe that none of this is true and that anyone who owns a firearm is a bad person.

If he can make you think this, he can get away with his useless gun legislatio­n. He claims it will help keep Canadians safe and upon first read that might seem reasonable, but the stats tell a different story.

Gun crimes are committed largely by gangs, with guns that are smuggled into Canada from the U.S. They aren’t registered and those who use them obviously don’t abide by the law.

Putting more laws in place, won’t take these thugs off the street. More laws will simply punish those who already abide by the existing ones.

Money needs to be invested in shutting down gangs, reinforcin­g our border, and cracking down on smuggling operations. To do otherwise is simple about maintainin­g a political image at the expense of truly serving the safety and security of Canadians.

Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 are two separate pieces of censorship legislatio­n, which would give the government more control over the public discourse and disseminat­ion of informatio­n online.

This agenda is a blatant infringeme­nt on freedom of expression, and it is completely contradict­ory to a free and democratic society.

Another very clear depiction of this government putting politics over people is when it continues its inflationi­nducing spending to score political points, despite the growing inability for millions of Canadians to pay for basic necessitie­s like food and fuel.

We are in a cost-of-living crisis with inflation hitting 7.7 per cent, the highest rate in 40 years, yet the Liberal Finance Minister has promised more spending, which will pour gasoline on the fire. What Canadians need is for the government to reign in its fiscal spending and exercise restraint, so that they can keep more of their hardearned dollars and prices can go down.

If the Liberal government truly cares about putting people first, they would put in place policies that minimize the state and maximize the sovereign individual.

John F. Kennedy wisely said, “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

In other words, when a government is afraid of its people, or worse, fears the people are losing affection for their government, the state will try to keep them in line to alleviate the potential for independen­t thought and action. Canadians deserve to be put first! We need a government that puts Canadians above politics and at the forefront of decision-making processes.

Where partisan politics, and divisive strategies have become commonplac­e, there needs to be a reversion to greater respect, considerat­ion, and honour for the people this government is meant to serve.

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