Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs says the past few months of Parliament have been “weird” and calls it a “glorified committee” as members returned to the House of Commons in a COVID-19 adaptive setting.
Earlier this summer, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prorogued Parliament in the midst of an ethics controversy around the WE Charity student volunteer grant. Following the prorogation, elected officials returned to the House to continue business while under new pandemic measures. The hybrid sitting parameters saw a reduced number of physically sitting members while others sat-in virtually.
“I think Parliament should be back to work and MP’s should be in Parliament. I think the Liberals are taking advantage of a situation that allows them to be a lot more in the driver’s seat then they would be in a regular minority scenario.”
“It’s a different situation when MP’s are actually with each other and holding the government actively to account on a regular basis.”
Despite the changes, Stubbs mentions she’s been hard at work the entire time on issues in the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness portfolio. Stubbs took on the portfolio as part of her duties as shadow minister in Erin O’Toole’s cabinet as well as Vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
“It’s a very demanding portfolio right now given the situation our country faces, but also because of the number of crucial issues that it touches on and that we’ve been dealing with. I’m grateful to be in a position where I can contribute meaningfully work on issues I’m especially passionate about.”
Stubbs says once she returns to Ottawa she will continue working on the security agenda by highlighting proposals and solutions as well as advocating for victims of crime and measures to protect children from sexual exploitation. Other topics on her agenda are issues related to the parole board and federal plans focused on repeat offenders.
She says the new Conservative Party leader considered her work on the motion combating rural crime when offering her the new position. She adds she admires O’Toole’s strong position on China and foreign intervention. Stubbs says the party is calling on the Liberal government to ban Huawei, pull money out of the Asian Infrastructure Bank and develop strategies to deal with any growing risks of foreign states within the country.
“He has been a very strong leader on pushing the Liberals to be very clear eyed about the risk that China poses to Canada and other Western nations in terms of economic imperialism, security threats and defence threats.”
Even with her new role, Stubbs says she will keep advocating on issues affecting her constituents such as the Carbon Tax increase and rural crime. She adds her colleagues are working on another analysis surrounding rural crime.
“I will continue to speak out against the Liberals’ anti-energy, anti-Alberta, anti-private sector policies and advocate for a competitive, thriving and sustainable oil and gas industry which is so critical to the standards of living and the economy of the entire country.”
Stubbs also indicates the possibility of another federal election in the near future.
“There are a lot of rumours and thoughts that it might happen in the spring. I don’t know if that is going to happen, but I will continue to do the work in this portfolio while helping to develop our policy proposals and our platform commitments in this area in anticipation of an election.”
The next sitting of Parliament is scheduled to resume on January 25.