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  • COVID 19 update April 2.

    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, and I wanted to provide a brief update on some recent events in Ottawa and in our riding.

    Before getting into all that, I want to note the toll this situation is taking on many of us. Over the past several weeks, I have heard from constituents who have been laid off, seen their businesses shuttered, and found themselves stuck in foreign countries wondering how to get home – just to name a few of the dire situations this pandemic is putting people in. 

    I also know that mental health can suffer as we isolate ourselves in our homes and worry about what the next week will bring. I encourage everyone to keep in contact with their friends and loved ones as much as possible, whether by the telephone or through digital means. 

    The government has rolled out a massive economic package to address this situation. My Conservative colleagues and I support taking serious action to provide financial relief for those suffering and to keep Canadians safe. With that said, we are still the Official Opposition, and it is our role to scrutinize the government’s methods – even when we ultimately agree with their goals. 

    We have issues with the timing of some of their proposals. For example, the six-week delay in delivering the employee wage subsidy is devastating for many small businesses. They have seen their revenues plummet, and they need immediate relief. We have also disagreed with the government’s efforts to avoid parliamentary oversight. – the Liberal “power grab” many of you contacted my office about. We believe we need to get relief to Canadians immediately, and we are ready to do so at a moment’s notice. However, we will not abandon our democratic principles. We hope to continue to work with the government without any further attempts on their part to usurp parliament and seize an undemocratic degree of control. 

    Agricultural businesses are also in a very tough spot. Without farmers and ranchers, our supply chain doesn’t exist. We simply need them producing food to keep our grocery stores stocked as we weather this storm. My colleagues and I are in frequent communication with the government as we urge them to take whatever measures necessary to support farmers and ranchers and keep food on Canadians tables.

    I also want to make a special note regarding grocery store shopping. I have heard from grocery store employees in our riding very concerned for their health and safety. They are essential employees, and I think it’s important that we all support them by following safety guidelines. If you go grocery shopping, try to go alone if you can, and be efficient – avoid loitering and chatting in the store. Please make sure you follow social distancing guidelines, and limit your trips to once a week if you can. They are open and putting their health at risk as a necessity, not so we can enjoy an outing to relieve boredom. 

    As we work to put this pandemic behind us, I will continue to communicate with you through whatever means I have at my disposal. I can always be reached through the contact information listed below, and I will continue to post updates on social media. I have held numerous calls with my municipal and provincial counterparts. We are working across all levels of government to deliver for our constituents. 

    My Brooks office can be reached at 403-793-6775 or martin.shields.c1@parl.gc.ca, and my Strathmore office at 403-361-2980 or martin.shields.c1B@parl.gc.ca. My Ottawa office can be reached at martin.shields@parl.gc.ca. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.