The federal government is back in its second session of the forty-first Parliament after the Governor General David Johnston’s Speech from the Throne on October 16.
“Two and a half years ago, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate: a mandate to protect jobs and our economy; a mandate to keep taxes low; a mandate to make our families and communities safe,” said Johnston.
Kootenay-Columbia Member of Parliament (MP) David Wilks was in Ottawa and pointed out three key points he thought pertained to Kootenay constituents.
“We’re focusing on new jobs for Canadians and further reducing the youth unemployment rate,” said Wilks. “One of the ways we want to try to do that is by giving them real life work experiences in high demand jobs. In our area, that is certainly in the natural resource sector with the trades. We really want to encourage those who want to go into the apprenticeship programs for whatever trade they want to look into because whether it is companies like Teck, Finning, or Cummings, they are dying for apprentices. It’s one thing we could really take advantage of.”
A job grants program is coming forward where the federal and provincial governments and the companies will each provide up to $5,000 towards apprenticeship programs for young people.
“Certainly we’re hoping that the provinces will buy into this,” said Wilks. “It will provide youth with an opportunity to get into the skilled trades or the apprenticeship programs plus they get up to $15,000 from the governments and the employer to go toward their apprenticeship.”
The small business and tourism sector is significant in Fernie regarding tourism.
“As government we recognize one of the things that impedes small business is all of the rules that are put in place so we are going to enshrine what we call the One-for-One rule.” It means that for every new regulation governments adds, one rule must be taken away.
“This is very important for small business,” said Wilks. “I own a small business. The less forms a business owner has to fill out the better. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but it’s huge. Every form that they don’t have to fill out is time in their pocket. Time is precious in small business.”
Minister of National Revenue Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., has already started to put this in place.
The third topic of drug labeling is more global. New drug labeling will ensure when a person receives a prescription, it will be written in plain language the potential side effects of themedication and that they are accurately indicated.
“What we found, in the past, is that some people take prescribed medicine not understanding what some of the side effects are. Some of the side effects can potentially result in death if you don’t clearly understand what that drug could do,” said Wilks. “Some of the drugs can make some people be depressed to the point of contemplating suicide. We need to make sure that these drugs that are being issued by the drug companies clearly state the side effects so when you receive a medication in the future, it will be clearly identified in large print, potentially on an eight by 11 piece of paper that’s going to say here are the side effects that could potentially effect you.
“It has never been in law and as a result some drug companies have side stepped it by writing the side effects in small print. There’s some important stuff in the small print and people glare over it. The fact of the mater is the small print is extremely important so we have to ensure that people can see that in plain language and in big print.”
As far as the justice issues brought up in the Throne speech, Wilks is very supportive of all of them. On October 21, Parliament heard the second reading of the budget. Following the vote on the budget, implementation of the new initiatives began.