The Member of Parliament for Provencher says two special visits highlighted 2023 for him.

Ted Falk says it is always memorable when a Head of State comes to visit Parliament. He notes in 2023 they had two such visitors. He notes American President Joe Biden as well as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy both graced Parliamentarians with their presence. 

"We were honoured to have both of them here to speak to us," says Falk. "Certainly, they both had different messages, but we consider both of them to be our friends and allies and we want to support them where we can."

Falk says another highlight from 2023 happened earlier in the year when he had the privilege of presenting Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medals to 50 residents of Provencher. He notes these individuals were nominated by their communities for either being volunteers or for positively impacting their communities. 

"That was probably one of the bigger highlights this past year going forward," admits Falk. "It's always exciting to recognize community builders and people that make our lives better."

Falk says 2023 will also be remembered for some key pieces of legislation. He notes there had been quite a backlog in processing new immigrants until the Liberals removed some of the eligibility requirements in January. 

"Certainly, that concerns us a little bit when maybe we're not vetting people that want to come to Canada as thoroughly as we should be," says Falk. "And that's how we started the year with the Liberals doing that."

Also in 2023, Falk says it became known that the cost of government grew by 30 per cent, which he says is significant. He notes the Liberal budget this year also included a projected $43 billion deficit. And, in their fall economic update statement, Falk says Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a further $20 billion of new spending. 

"So, we've seen the Liberal government add $60 billion of additional spending over revenues for this coming year," states Falk. "And we know that when they spend more money than what they take in, that produces inflation and that is a common theme that I've heard right across the riding."

Further to that, Falk says one thing that is only exasperating the cost of living is the carbon tax.

Falk says several bills made headlines in 2023. He notes the Liberal government is pushing for Medical Assistance In Dying legislation, or MAID, to be made available for individuals experiencing mental health challenges. He notes the Conservatives are fighting hard against this and had Abbotsford MP Ed Fast present a bill that would not allow a mental illness to be used as the reason for using MAID. However, he notes Bill C-314 was defeated by the Liberals with help from the NDP. 

"We think that is very irresponsible of the government to do that, but they've chosen to do that," says Falk. "And we as Conservatives are committed to repealing that when we form government."

Falk says other bills to gain national attention this year were Bill C-11 and Bill C-27 which have to do with online legislation. Falk says these bills infringe on freedom of speech and privacy issues and the Conservatives are committed to repealing them. 

Also in 2023, Falk says the Conservatives were made aware of Chinese interference in our federal election. He notes it is very evident that there has been influence in our elections and in most cases, this benefited the Liberals. 

Falk notes 2023 also saw Canada consumed with two conflicts around the world. Those include the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and then the invasion of Israel by Hamas. Falk says our federal government stands firm with Ukraine and has provided them $10 billion in aid.

Meanwhile, Falk says the Speaker of the House of Commons was also forced to resign this year after recognizing an individual in Parliament that happened to be a Nazi. 


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