Calgary, AB (April 11, 2020) – Today, Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Shadow Minister for Industry and Economic Development, issued the following statement regarding the motion in the House of Commons today that will enable the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology to meet:
“Nearly two weeks ago I began pushing to have the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology meet by writing a formal letter to the Chair. After encountering numerous road blocks, I am glad to see that we finally have agreement from the government to allow our committee to sit.
“COVID-19 has presented our country with unprecedented challenges. At a time when the decisions that the government is making literally impact the lives and livelihoods of Canadians, it is more imperative than ever that Parliamentarians have the tools to do our jobs and hold the government to account.
“Additionally, it is especially important for Parliamentarians from the West to have input on government decisions as there is no one from the West on the COVID-19 cabinet committee. Our key industries are facing major challenges and we will provide a voice for them.
“The Industry Committee needs to urgently examine issues like repatriating critical elements of Canada’s supply chain, enabling food security, privacy issues arising from contact tracing and cell phone geolocation tracking; internet network capacity, rural internet access, maintaining our critical infrastructure, and more. Members must also provide work to provide advice to the government across party lines on how to restart our economy while preventing the spread of the virus.
“We will be writing to the chair of the committee today to ask that we reconvene as soon as possible. It should not have taken this long to convince the government that this could be done. We can get the job done despite this new operating environment, just as so many Canadians have done. I expect the government to fully cooperate with our efforts to solve the challenges Canadians are facing, and I will continue to press the government for answers and urge action to protect our vital industries like the energy sector.”