Jati Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, believes that the riding’s future is bright as his term enters its final year, and looks ahead to 2019 with optimism.
“Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon has had many reasons to celebrate this year, including major infrastructure announcements, such as the inland rail port in Ashcroft, the Fraser River Sanitary Crossing Siphon Project, the Highway 7 expansion, and others,” Sidhu says.
“However, the community has also faced hardship, with flooding once again in Cache Creek, and yet another devastating fire season. It is in these moments that the resilience of our communities is called upon, and time and time again, the people of this constituency rise to the task. The character of the people here humbles me and reminds me how fortunate I am to be their voice in Ottawa.”
Sidhu is aware that there are other challenges facing the riding, ones he intends to face head-on. One of his top priorities is the unacceptable rise in gang violence throughout the Fraser Valley.
“By working to fight the scourge of gang culture, we are ensuring that our families thrive, young people have a chance at the life they deserve, and communities prosper,” says Sidhu. “That’s why we’ve committed $327.6 million in funding to help support a variety of initiatives to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities. This plan will bring together federal, provincial, and territorial efforts to support community-level prevention and enforcement efforts, and invest in border security to intercept illicit goods including guns and drugs.”
In addition to this funding, Sidhu highlights the other investments that have benefited Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, including increases to the Old Age Security Benefit (OAS) that will ensure that a single senior receiving OAS and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) with no other income may receive $1,728.84 more per year.
Further, the government has made significant investments to help seniors stay independent for longer and receive care in their homes whenever possible, and has made historic investments in dedicated funding for mental health and home care services totaling more than $11 billion over 10 years. It also offers the new Canada Caregiver Credit to make it easier for Canadians to take time off work to care for a sick or elderly relative.
Finally, in the summer of 2018 the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) was increased and indexed to keep up with the cost of living in Canada, two years faster than planned—meaning up to $6,500 per child under age 6 is now going to families. Since 2015, the CCB has helped to lift 300,000 children out of poverty.
“It’s been a great year, but there is still much to accomplish in 2019, including continuing to push for national pharmacare and a federal Seniors Strategy,” Sidhu says. “I promise to bring the same hard work and determination I see every day from the constituents of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon that I am fortunate enough to represent. I believe in our work, and I believe in our future.”