IN THE NEWS – CTV News – Barton says he had nothing to do with federal contracts

New Democrats have been making the same argument, and they are hoping to see the committee expand its study to include other consulting firms that have received large contracts.

New Democrat MP Gord Johns aims to bring forward a motion at a committee hearing next Monday to expand the scope of the study to include other firms including Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, KPMG and Ernst & Young.

A researcher testifying before the committee earlier this week called the focus on McKinsey a distraction.

Amanda Clarke, an associate professor of public administration at Carleton University, said the study should focus on the public service's reliance on consulting firms overall.

"The focus on outsourcing and contracting in the federal government is the broad enough umbrella to get at these issues and any given firm," Clarke said Monday.

IN THE NEWS- NDP urging the Liberals to stop breaking their health care promises and protect Canadians

NDP Mental Health and Harm Reduction critic Gord Johns made the following statement as the federal government’s decriminalization pilot program in British Columbia is set to start:

“Canada is in a public health crisis as thousands of Canadians struggle with their mental health and with substance use disorders. It is encouraging that all the efforts of the British Columbia’s NDP government have resulted in the removal of stigma for drug users through the decriminalization of substance use. There is, however, an urgent need for this same approach to be taken across the country. 

Outside of B.C., 14 Canadians die every single day because of the toxic drug crisis. And with the high costs and long waitlists to get help, people are being forced to turn to our already overwhelmed Emergency Rooms. Canadians want to see a real plan for mental health and addiction supports that include the provision of a safe regulated supply for users, on-demand treatment services and recovery and prevention programs across the country"

IN THE NEWS – Alberni Valley News – Industrial waterfront development, Indigenous issues on table as NDP leader visits Alberni Valley

Economic development on the waterfront was one of the main topics of discussion during a recent visit to Port Alberni, B.C. by federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

Singh was joined by Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns as he travelled to Port Alberni’s waterfront on Tuesday, Jan. 24 for a chance to see some of the new opportunities for economic growth. Johns said there are a number of “incredible” initiatives on the waterfront that are building economic resiliency in the Port Alberni region, which has seen many ups and downs over the years in the forestry and fishing sectors. Some of these initiatives include Coastal Restoration Society choosing Port Alberni as its Vancouver Island hub, the opening of The Dock+ food hub and the creation of Uchucklesaht First Nation’s Thunderbird Spirit Water.

IN THE NEWS – Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News – MP Johns urges justice for the late Ucluelet fisher Doug Kimoto

MP for Courtenay-Alberni Gord Johns paid tribute to the late Ucluelet fisher Doug Kimoto in a Nov. 29 speech delivered in the House of Commons.

“Mr. Speaker, Doug Kimoto spent almost 60 years dedicated to commercial salmon trolling and his family’s livelihood on the west coast of Vancouver Island. He was a tireless advocate for the salmon trolling industry and for salmon enhancement,” Johns said.

IN THE NEWS - CBC - Vancouver Island community fighting to prevent refugee claimant's deportation

The Vancouver Island community of Courtenay that she has called home in recent years is fighting to let her stay. MP Gord Johns has been working with the immigration minister's office to intervene, and Courtenay city council will vote Wednesday on a resolution calling on the immigration minister to delay the deportation.

"This is unacceptable," said Johns, who has been helping Mukadzambo fight the deportation since November.

"We need the ministry to intervene, halt the deportation order and protect Grace's safety and her security and also ensure that she's got a chance here in Canada where she's already participating and contributing and lifting up the community."

Mukadzambo came to Canada to find a safe place to live and work and to provide for her family in Zimbabwe. She lived in Edmonton for two years, where she worked as a housekeeping aid at a Greater Edmonton Foundation senior residence. After moving to Vancouver Island in 2020, she began working at four local service organizations.

IN THE NEWS- Gord urges Liberal Government to prioritize mental health support

OTTAWA – Last week, NDP Mental Health and Harm Reduction Critic Gord Johns sent a letter to the Minister of Finance urging her to prioritize mental health and substance use care in the government’s 2023 Federal Budget by creating better programs to support Canadians.

“Canadians need mental health supports. After doing everything right to protect our communities during a global pandemic, people have been experiencing extreme stress, anxiety and feelings of isolation. They need more access to services that can help them,” said Johns. “The Liberals have continued to make promises then they never deliver on them—and it's Canadians who are paying the price. While the Liberals stall on funding commitments, families are losing their loved ones— something needs to change."

IN THE NEWS - iPolitics - 'People are dying': National standards delayed as talks continue over $4.5-billion mental health transfer

Gord Johns, Doherty's NDP counterpart, wrote to Minister Chrystia Freeland last week to ask that the upcoming budget prioritize the transfer. He said it would be "unconscionable" and "completely absurd" should the development of standards get in the way of a transfer at this point.

"There is a clear consensus from the mental health community (that) standards should not delay the Canada Mental Health Transfer," he said. "This is not how you respond to a crisis. This is not how you respond to ER rooms overflowing and a health care system near collapse."

Johns said he fears the current situation around service access will get worse with a recession underway. The cost of living is rising, and that added stress is going to exacerbate people's mental health issues and substance abuse, he said.

IN THE NEWS – Nanaimo Bulletin - West Coast officials scramble for solutions after losing bus service

IN THE NEWS – Nanaimo Bulletin - West Coast officials scramble for solutions after losing bus service

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns said the federal government needs to be ready to support the province to establish service.

"Wilson's has made it clear for a long time that they can't afford to run these routes and lose more money. They bled a lot through COVID and they just simply aren't going to recover in the shortterm and they can't afford to subsidize it," Johns said. "The province can't continue to shoulder all of this. They need a federal partner. The federal government, jurisdictionally, is downloading again and it's unacceptable. They need to take leadership here."

Johns is calling on the federal government to better support private bus companies.

"They need direct funding that's carved out and allocated for the private sector so they can operate these routes that are in jeopardy and under threat," he said. "They're playing a critical and pivotal role in connecting communities, in fact the government is kind of relying on the private sector without supporting them ... They're offering hundreds of thousands of kilometres in non-subsidized routes and really are the only mode of transportation in rural communities."


IN THE NEWS – CBC – Suspension of Vancouver Island intercity bus service prompts calls for a public option

Johns says that model is an "excellent" one, but that funding for the service remained short-term — lasting until 2026 — and the federal government should work on building long-term infrastructure.

"Right now, it's being studied at the Transport Committee," he told Kathryn Marlow, host of CBC's All Points West.

"What we're hearing from multiple witnesses is that … we need a national service or we need to provide funding for the private sector operators now."

In addition to B.C. Bus North, northern B.C. and the central Interior have also had other regional operators like Ebus step in after the departure of Greyhound.

TORONTO SUN - EDITORIAL: Government accountability? There's an app for that

The Globe has reported the company that received the lion’s share of the ArriveCAN project relies almost entirely on subcontractors. Neither the government nor the company will reveal the names of the subcontractors.


Bloc Quebecois MP Julie Vignola said the redactions mean taxpayers have no way of knowing who was paid what or what service they delivered.


“The goal is to ensure that taxpayers got their money’s worth and to suggest improvements if ever a similar situation were to arise again,” she said.


The NDP’s Gord Johns said the government is avoiding transparency.

IN THE NEWS – Globe and Mail - High level of redactions in ArriveCan app documents concerns MPs

NDP MP and committee member Gord Johns said the redactions contradict the government's pledges to be transparent.

"They're hiring really expensive consultants to hire really expensive consultants to deliver services for Canadians. We saw that with GCstrategies," he said.

"They're avoiding transparency on this because they don't want to, again, be embarrassed for the lack of accountability."

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