COLUMN: Overcoming COVID-19 – Damien C. Kurek, M.P. (Battle River-Crowfoot)

‘A crisis is not a time for partisanship; however, a crisis does not mean there should not be accountability’

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused panic, stress, and uncertainty amongst all Canadians. I know this because I have heard from thousands of you, many of whom expressed concern about the virus, and what its impact will be on people’s health, your livelihood, and the economy.

While Canada faces this crisis, it would be easy to lose hope, and I am encouraging you that there is still much to hope for.

As Canadians, we are resilient, from our nation’s beginning, to the bravery of our soldiers demonstrated on battled fields around the world, to the ups and downs that every western nation faces. We will get through this crisis.

I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to follow the advice of healthcare professionals and share that there are supports available for you. Whether you have lost your job, are a business owner, or have been adversely affected in some way, people at all levels of government are fighting for you.

Some of these programs are available now while others are still being worked on, I would encourage you to visit www.canada.ca/coronavirus for details. Also, the provincial government has been working hard to make supports available as well, those details can be found at www.alberta.ca/covid19.

As many of you have likely heard, Parliament resumed for an emergency sitting to pass a bill enabling the government to provide many of these supports.

The Official Opposition ensured that the Bill was to support Canadians to be expedited through Parliament with unanimous consent. Unfortunately, the draft bill that the Government presented included additional measures that were not previously agreed upon. This included an unprecedented power grab that would have given the Government almost unlimited power with no oversight.

Conservatives made it clear that this was unacceptable.

We went to the negotiating table in good faith and it became obvious that the Government had not. Conservatives worked through the night to make sure the bill that was eventually introduced provides Canadians the support they need but removed the most egregious overreaches.

A crisis is not a time for partisanship; however, a crisis does not mean there should not be accountability.

Lastly, although my office has been closed to in person visits over the last couple of weeks, my staff and I have been working diligently to help constituents during these difficult times.

Please reach out if you need assistance with the programs being offered by the federal government, or if you need direction and do not know who to talk to. We are here to help.

Even in these difficult times, it is an honour to be able to serve as your Member of Parliament. I will continue to fight for your needs and stand up for what is right. Remember, do not lose hope and know that together we will persevere.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this column you are encouraged to write Damien at 4945-50th St., Camrose, Alberta. The postal code is T4V 1P9. Call 780-608-4600, text 403.575-5625, or e-mail damien.kurek@parl.gc.ca. You can also stay up to date with what he is up to by following him on social media @dckurek.

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