SHAUNAVON - The Shaunavon Legion was the site of a Town Hall meeting on March 15, with Conservative MP Jeremy Patzer as the host.
The MP took questions from a crowd of about 20 people in the audience.
Patzer started the town hall explaining what the upcoming issues in Parliament were, and how they might affect the people of Shaunavon and area. These issues included the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, the potential CP Rail workers strike, and the upcoming Emergencies Act review.
Patzer highlighted that the situation in Ukraine is very difficult but he would like to see Canada take more of a leadership role in the situation, specifically when it come to Europe using Russian oil and gas.
Patzer went on to say that sanctions will have impacts to this region’s economy, affecting farmers to manufacturers, that might have been selling products in Russia.
“There's been a cancellation or stop of export permits to Russia, from Canada," he explained. "There's been some definite regional and national implications. I think it goes without saying that there will be some long-term impacts felt from that.”
He also spoke on the humanitarian aid that the government is providing the people of Ukraine and said if anyone wants to help themselves, they should reach out to the Regina Ukrainian Congress.
Patzer also brought up the CP Rail strike, saying that they are keeping an eye on it, and that the party is planning on using an official opposition day to floor their concerns on the issue.
The Emergencies Act was one of the larger focuses of the Town Hall, specifically an upcoming review of the act.
Patzer said that a committee is being formed, but he doesn’t like the way it is being set up by the government, with support from the NDP and the Bloc who will co-chair the committee.
Regular rules of the House call for oversight committees to be led by the Opposition.
Patzer said that the same type of meddling is also happening on the Senate side as well.
Another topic of interest was Bill C-11, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, which is geared towards getting online streaming services on the same level as other big broadcasters in Canada.
There was some concern in the crowd that it would be like Bill C-10, that some worry will censor free expression. But Patzer said the two bills are different.
“Bill C-11 is more geared towards getting online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime in the same playing field as everybody else," he stated. "There still is some concerns around user-generated content being uploaded, things like that. We're still seeking some answers there. Once the bill is voted on at second reading, obviously it goes to committee and committee is typically where we intend to get good witnesses there to be able to really dig into it and find out what the bigger issues are.”
The Conservative Party leadership race was another hot topic for the night. Patzer said he believed that Erin O'Toole's leadership was one of the reasons the party didn't win the last federal election.
He also said he felt that Pierre Poilievre and Leslyn Lewis were both good candidates in the leadership race.
“I would say it's hard to put one over the other," he stated. "The fact is that this isn't about winning the leadership, it's about becoming the next prime minister. And who is going to attract non-conservative voters to vote conservative when the time comes? Maybe people want to see a bulldog like Pierre in there, but maybe they want to see somebody that's sort of a more unifier like Leslyn.”