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MP Gallant updates her riding

CHERYL GALLANT, SPECIAL TO THE DAILY OBSERVER

Please accept my sincere gratitude for your support throughout 2009.

As we start the new year, I would like to give you an update on our progress in Ottawa over the past year, as well as look to what lies ahead in 2010.

While the past year has been productive for our Conservative government, the challenge of governing in a minority Parliament, where a significant block of seats are held by separatists dedicated to the destruction of Canada, and the worst global economic recession since the Second World War, Prime Minister Stephen Harper requested, and received permission, to adjourn, or "prorogue" Parliament a few additional weeks.

This was done to allow us to make plans to respond to the great challenges all Canadians face, including a rising national debt and how Canadians should be asked to reduce it.

While the official opposition is calling for higher taxes, such as increasing the GST and the collecting of a new tax based on "carbon," our government is opposed to new sales and carbon taxes. We believe that by restraining the growth in spending, and as revenue increases as the recession ends and more people are working and paying taxes, the deficit can be eliminated.

The extraordinary fiscal stimulus package brought in by our government in the last budget allowed Canada to effectively buffer itself from the global recession. Once the recession is over and those measures are no longer necessary, I need you to tell me how fast our government should move to balance the books and what our spending priorities should be. Your suggestions will be presented directly to the Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

I remind all constituents that February 1, 2010 is the deadline to take advantage of the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC). You can receive a rebate worth up to $1,350, depending upon how much you spend fixing up your home or cottage.

As a member who sat on the Special Committee on Afghan Detainees, I have been particularly disturbed by accusations by members of the Liberal party, including their defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh, in accusing members of Canada's Armed Forces of war crimes. To his credit, when I cross-examined Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin in committee, he stated that he "never heard a hint of a Canadian who's been involved in any of these things".

Colvin went on to remark that he shared my view that the women and men of the Canadian Forces are "extremely professional, very well trained, one of the best militaries in the world," and that he shared my high view of them. It is one thing to slander the government. The harsh criticism I have endured is nothing compared to the day-to-day situation our soldiers face in Afghanistan. Our troops are not a partisan punching bag.

As your Federal Member of Parliament, I am pleased to represent you on a variety of issues. Whether that issue is eliminating the long gun registry, promoting agriculture, international trade, AECL, the military or jobs in the working forest, I am here to serve you!

As always, if you have any concerns of a federal nature, or just want to share your views with me, please do not hesitate.



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