MP REPORT: Work is far from finished as Canadians fall through the cracks

MP REPORT: Work is far from finished as Canadians fall through the cracks

Alistair MacGregor is the MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, my office has heard from numerous constituents about the profound struggles they have encountered.

We have heard from local business owners, who are watching years of hard work come undone; from families fighting hard to keep their children healthy while still working to pay bills as frontline employees; from students, entering a job market with little prospects and no safety net; and from seniors, struggling to even pay for basic groceries.

We have heard your stories, and we are doing more than just listening. We are fighting for you.

On April 11, New Democrats worked alongside other MPs to pass an emergency motion in the House of Commons. We successfully pushed for the Liberal government to address the gaps in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Too many Canadians are being not receiving the support they need to survive through this crisis, and it was critical that our caucus respond to their need.

Our motion to address this lack of support passed successfully, but work remains to be done. We cannot afford to leave anybody behind.

There is no playbook for what we are going through, forcing the federal government to create programs and services that are unprecedented.

Unfortunately, the programs have been overly complicated, full of delays, and we continue to hear from people who are falling through the cracks.

For example, some seniors now face going without the Guaranteed Income Supplement – a critical loss of income – because they have lost access to tax clinics.

Students are due to receive $750 a month less than CERB recipients, but they are still paying the same bills and having to save for their education. Rent is still due, and grocery costs are rising.

It was for these reasons that my NDP colleagues and I initially proposed a universal benefit for everyone while we figured our way through this crisis.

READ ALSO: Alistair MacGregor addresses federal response to COVID-19

Yet while students, seniors, and others fall through the cracks, companies that use tax havens to hide revenue haven’t been excluded from the possibility government bail-outs, as France, Poland, and Denmark have done. If companies utilize offshore tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of Canadian taxes, they should be fully disqualified from receiving public funds for support.

Furthermore, we must ensure that these public funds are never used for executive compensation or stock buy-backs.

Our work is far from finished, and we need proper oversight and accountability of government support measures to ensure that Canadians get the help they need.

We have fought hard, and succeeded, in increasing the business wage subsidy and expanding the eligibility of the CERB.

I am deeply grateful to the people of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford for their resilience during these trying times, and I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that our riding, and all Canadians, make it through this crisis stronger than ever.

Canadians and small businesses need the assurance that the federal government will be there to help them weather this storm and bounce back from it with resiliency and strength.

Alistair MacGregor is the MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford.

CoronavirusParliament

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tourists are being asked to postpone their non-essential trips to Tofino as COVID-19 cases rise across Vancouver Island, but at least one accommodation provider is offering conflicting messaging. (Westerly file photo)
Victoria woman says Tofino Airbnb host encouraged travel despite provincial restrictions

“The only way I would get a refund is if she would be able to rebook the suite for that weekend.”

A Victoria-based orthopedic surgeon has been reprimanded after using sexualized language during a surgical consult with a pre-teen patient. (Pixabay)
Victoria doctor fined and reprimanded for calling pre-teen patient a ‘loose woman’

Dr. Bruce Taro Yoneda admitted to using sexualized language in surgical consult

Victoria police are asking for the public’s help locating Alexander Stokes, 19. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for missing teen

Police looking to ensure safety of Alexander Stokes, 19

Capital Regional District Animal Control say an eight-month-old Rottweiler bit a Langford mother and her child near Glen Lake on Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Large dog attacks mother and child in Langford

Mother puts three-year-old on top of car to protect him

Cory Resilient was trapped in a cycle of homelessness for about six years before applying for residency at Anawim House, a sober recovery home in Victoria. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay Talks goes online with homelessness

Existence Project brings Cory’s Story to Oak Bay

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Product Care offers more than <a href="http://link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com/ls/click?upn=pDYyTceU0YgTDdsd92GohdQJsmSiPFEkcB4MdMM0Qkoqb1aJA-2By5aWklKJXV6QRdyTteNjr2FccUOVLUe4t5Zw-3D-3D1ds-_KVyBcpjXADXifSWVpM8nQcAzSm9-2B6fEFnjVrTsOcu31irDHDxi5k0QTOIWCqMXUxaNbrf0yRzXSSpROCkfx3NkUtbr65Dkcw1J0by-2F-2BDdDiJGbcfhtjHWYSs66NwakeCCLYkj20e9ICIZsLcedqNZKBhsN0sGgBsInpdzsddYikUZkmQvFdxLJhakpgAA6aAJ5ScUoWR6vO9sM819vRB-2F6x7dsdfIaWa4ZgHxR4G7hauxgSJCsNI2bP5J62EFfM0aiDqRPwUPUjt7i5-2FMqpdJxrEBewnLky-2B3lE0JAmi5UsJBkJejuLOjsndZz4b7dNgbvt6KyewKuF0sxU2rpYgkAO9YAKc9STuFJd28Qn7jE0-2FqlB8HKOvpW150NHS-2BOMBcK5rkZ8YAuPqJy11k-2BgndiKB-2FWl2icAfbWtRGJPb8fM-3D" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (Pixabay.com)
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
B.C. woman who survived Spanish Flu turns 105

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Most Read