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Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray: Year in review

MP Gray looks back on 2022
MP Tracy Gray handed out Canada Day cake on July 1. (Contributed)

This year was a milestone year in many ways.

I often refer to sudden acts of generosity as the “Spirit of Kelowna-Lake Country.”

We saw this spirit many times throughout the year including when people stepped up to help our local Ukrainian community and refugees as their homeland came under attack.

The number one topic residents reached out about most was the invocation of the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian History.

We saw 40-year high inflation.

The high tax, high spend, high debt agenda of the Liberal government is hitting people hard and stories are heartbreaking how people and small businesses are struggling.

The Governor of the Bank of Canada said Canada’s inflation is home grown. With record housing prices, rising interest rates and economic slowdown, I hear the dream of home ownership for many is now only a dream. I’ve fought for tax relief on gas, groceries, and home heating.

Conservatives fought against unscientific federal mandates and various Liberal legislation including removing minimum sentencing for serious crimes, internet censorship, and going after hunting rifles.

The Auditor General released a scathing report on the Liberals housing strategy to curb homelessness.

I introduced my first Private Members Bill, “End the Revolving Door Act,” to provide mental health assessment, addiction treatment and recovery in federal penitentiaries. Over 70 per cent of people sentenced there are struggling with addiction and my bill provides a common-sense approach to help people, their families and the communities they return to.

It was wonderful to be around the community at fundraisers, pancake breakfasts, community cleanups, visiting farms as part of my annual farming tour, and meeting with residents, businesses and not for profits.

Having our booth set up at car shows, Vaisakhi, and Canada Day saw lots of people coming to chat and kids enjoying our coloring table. Thousands of residents responded to my many surveys sent to homes.

All this reaching out allows me to gain important feedback, which I bring to Ottawa.Many residents had challenges accessing federal government services – including CRA, passports, NEXUS, immigration, veterans disability, or various benefits. Most departments are not meeting service standards.

I want to thank my team for their dedication to serving our residents while they overflow with opportunities to serve. I hosted a ceremony to present Queens Platinum Jubilee pins to locals who contributed to our community. We didn’t realize it was to be the day before Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. Parliament was recalled and I attended the National Commemorative Ceremony in Ottawa.

I’ve been advocating for a full-service passport office in Kelowna so residents don’t have to travel to Surrey. The statistics justify this service increase and many local organizations support my initiative.

It was a privilege to be appointed as Shadow Minister for Employment, Future Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion by the new Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre.

It is always an honour to serve the residents of Kelowna-Lake Country as your voice in Ottawa.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year.

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