MP Mike Lake looks ahead to 2016

Looking ahead to the coming year involves embracing the role of Opposition MP for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin’s Mike Lake.

Mike Lake

Mike Lake

With a new Liberal majority in the House of Commons, looking ahead to the coming year involves embracing the role of Opposition MP for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin’s Mike Lake.

Contacted for an interview by the Pipestone Flyer Jan. 6, Lake said looking ahead to 2016 with Liberal Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister means looking past hype surrounding the new head of the Canadian government.

Trudeau’s victory as Prime Minister has elicited an almost Hollywood celebrity type atmosphere around the new leader, but Lake said he plans to ignore the celebrity and focus on the reason MPs are in Ottawa. “I will be, in my role as Opposition, looking at results and substance,” said Lake.

He said he plans to hold the new Liberal government to account on issues Trudeau touted during the election campaign, such as the Syrian refugee crisis, and more down-to-earth issues like the economy.

“The new Trudeau government is, in large part, stealing policy from the old Trudeau government,” said Lake by phone. “ I don’t think that’s the right course.”

Lake stated the Conservative government worked very hard to rebuild the economy and balance the budget following the global economic meltdown in 2008, one of the few nations in the world to recover so successfully.

He said he’s concerned the new Liberal government is going to stall or harm that recovery through public debt. Lake said the Liberals don’t look like they have any limit to the amount of debt they’re willing to lay on the taxpayer.

Changing the election rules

Lake said he and other Conservative Party MPs are very concerned about Trudeau’s electoral reform plans first mentioned during last fall’s election campaign. The Liberals stated they wanted to “restore democracy in Canada.”

Lake said it appears the Liberals will use their majority to fundamentally change the way governments are formed in Canada. “I think it will absolutely be a dominating part of the debate over the next few months,” said Lake.

Trudeau promised during the election he would eliminate the “first past the post” system used since Canada was created in 1867. During the election, Trudeau also promised a new system would be proposed within 18 months of his coming to power.

Lake said if a change this big is being made to the Canadian electoral system, it should include major public consultation, including a national referendum, and he said he’s also concerned the Liberal majority would allow Trudeau to make changes to suit his party, not necessarily Canadians.

Lake said the recent Liberal victory was almost the same as one recent Conservative victory, but the Liberals would never have stood for electoral changes if the Conservatives were in power. “That consultation is really important,” added Lake.

Newborns and children

Lake said he will continue working in an area that’s very important to him. He’s been named the critic for global maternal newborn and child health, a subset of the International development department. “It’s been a personal interest of mine,” said Lake.

He said the initiative stems from the 2010 Muskoka Initiative which drew attention to the high mortality rate among children under five years of age around the world, particularly the developing world. Plus, the initiative also focuses on reducing the mortality rate among birth mothers.

Lake said 2010 numbers stated about 9 million children under five years of age die every year; about half a million mothers die in childbirth.

“There was a commitment to significantly reduce those numbers,” said the MP, noting Canada has shown much leadership on this issue. He also noted a number of non-governmental agencies have supported the previous Conservative government’s leadership role in this area.

The MP said that, in less than a decade, the initiative has shown impressive results. The child fatality rate ahs already dropped to six million, and the childbirth death rate ahs also dropped.

Lake said he requested this critic post and plans to be very active lobbying the government to stay the course lest momentum be lost. He said he’s been involved since the initiative began in 2010, and traveled to Africa in 2013 to see effects of the initiative firsthand. The MP noted modest investments can have big results.

Legalizing marijuana

The Conservative MP for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin was hesitant to comment on the issue of legalizing marijuana in Canada. “That’s a question for the government,” said Lake.

He said he wasn’t sure legalizing marijuana was at the top of everybody’s list of what’s going to be discussed in the House of Commons right away.

Lake also pointed out there is a number of jurisdictions around the world that have legalized marijuana and who felt later that things could have been handled better. He suggested reserving judgment until everybody involved in this issue is better informed before making what could be a big mistake.

“I think we have to be thinking about the kids,” said Lake. “I think we need to tread carefully.”

 

Just Posted

(File photo from The Canadian Press)
Red Deer down to 66 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer has lowest number of active cases since last November

File photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate fatal collision

One fatality in a serious collision on Highway 2A on June 18, 2021.

Participants in Rock Soup Food Bank’s fundraising drag race that took place on June 20, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ PipestoneFlyer.
Rock Soup Food Bank fundraises with literal drag race down main-street

Participants ran in drag down Wetaskiwin’s main street as a fundraiser for the food bank.

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

A pair of Alberta residents were arrested after police responded to a report of a woman who had allegedly been assaulted and confined against her will on June 20, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP arrest 2 Albertans suspected in alleged assault, unlawful confinement

Firearms, stolen items seized including NHL hockey cards believed to be worth thousands

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

Most Read