2018 has been a year of promise and disappointment in our province, all while the Saskatchewan people continue to rise up for their jobs and livelihood.
Member of Parliament Dr. Robert Kitchen on the 2018 year went, "Great it was an extremely busy year, I was all over the riding and rightly so, getting out to meet and talk to my constituents. Finding out what their views are and listening to them is an important part of what my job entails. A lot of that is trying to take that back to Ottawa and trying to express it to the government at this point in time, It's a big thing to get that through but also to get them to listen to you and make changes to it,"
Kitchen in regards to the biggest issues that were faced, "The biggest issues that I hear about in my travels this past year, number 1 was really the carbon tax, this job-killing carbon tax is really going to have a huge impact on constituents, on the riding, and on all Canadians. It's being put in place to collect a tax that they say is going to give 100% of that back, turns out their only giving 90% of it back. And on top of that, there is a tax on top of that tax, which is not talked about at all. That is the GST that is put on that Carbon tax and that 5% adds up significantly. That money is being put into the Federal Governments coffers, so that is a lot of what I hear from my constituents. And I point that out to them, and that is something we need to continue to talk about."
The present course of actions has an effect in many different areas, "Obviously the big thing being discussed are the changes the present government made to coal and the coal-fired power plants. There proposal on moving upped the anti and there were gradual changes that were put in place by the Harper government. To look into things as we transitioned into newer technologies, but the Liberals upped the anti and are shutting it down by 2030. By changing those regulations its added in a huge panic not only into the Estevan/Bienfait areas but also into Coronach. THose are going to have a huge impact on our riding."
"The big thing that is being pushed by the Saskatchewan government is an equivalency agreement. I can say today that it has finally come to a state that we can hopefully have it accepted by the province. The federal government has come around it and it now has to go through a 60-day process. Hopefully, that will be at least some assistance as we go forward."
Kitchen showing support for his riding, "The other thing is the lack of support for the energy industry by this government has been mind-boggling, they are putting in legislation that will basically make it impossible to build more pipelines. What we're saying and what my leader Andrew Scheer is saying, we will number 1 get rid of the carbon tax when we get into government, number 2 we will get rid of Bill C69 which is the Liberals no more pipeline, Bill. If that goes through and we become government we will repeal that. We are pushing this government to get TransMountain built and to get other pipeline projects back on the table. We need those to get our oil to foreign markets, and to utilize our own oil in our own country, instead of importing oil from other parts of the world."
The farming industry will also be greatly influenced by Carbon Tax, "Another thing we can't forget about is how this is all going to impact our farmers and our ranchers, because the carbon tax is going to be added to them and although there is a certain exception on them for certain fuels. Everything that is not going to be done through the farm is going to be taxed. And so if they need to hire out to have someone come and move their grain, or to bring them in fertilizer, their going to be taxed on that. That's going to add to their costs. This present government had the nerve to call farmer's tax cheats. These are small businessmen that have family enterprises that they've built on. Who have not only helped to feed Canada but provide safe, affordable food products to all Canadians. This government turns around and lambastes them with such statements and changes. That it would be easier to sell their family farm to a stranger than it would be to hand it down to their family. And many of these farms have been homesteads that would be passed on to generation to generation."
On a positive note, Kitchen adds, "In the riding, there have been many local issues that we have seen some gains, but we see communities rallying behind each other to help our where needed. And that to me is a positive. We see other aspects when I've been through a lot of the parades in the summertime, that are celebrating the good things that each community does. Whether its Canada Day, or up in Moosomin where they are celebrating the diversity of the community, to Bengough where they celebrate with the music festival. These are tremendous things and you see that in typical Saskatchewan fashion. Where we rally behind our communities and assist each other."
2019 Kitchen is looking forward to, "Getting back to the House and calling out the current government on the impact they are having on Canada. That's the big thing, were extremely proud of Canada's energy sector and the huge wealth and prosperity that it's brought to all Canadians. Not only those working at it, but there is also a huge trickle-down effect. That's one of the great things we want to promote, are the great things that are done along those lines. This is an election year, and we will have big challenges and trying to make sure our message is heard. And that we continue to have the support and expanding on that nationally."