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."

EDITORIAL – Firefighters face challenge

The fire chiefs expressed their concerns to government officials and politicians in Ottawa this week. The chiefs said representatives from all parties were receptive and offered suggestions. They note New Democrat MP Gord Johns rose in Parliament to highlight the importance of retaining volunteer firefighters. He also retabled his bill to increase the volunteer firefighter tax credit. And the fire chiefs are hopeful the program to replenish training and equipment is considered for the 2023 budget.

IN THE NEWS- NDP MP Gord Johns calls for audit of government’s response to toxic drug crisis

OTTAWA – Yesterday, the Public Health Agency of Canada published updated data and modelling projections demonstrating the devastating toll the toxic drug crisis continues to have on families and communities across the country.

Between January 2016 and June 2022, 32,632 Canadians have died due to drug poisoning. The data shows that another 4,100 people may lose their lives in the first half of 2023 if urgent action isn’t taken.

“The Liberal government knows it needs to do more to turn the tide on this tragic crisis but continues to drag its feet because of stigma,” said MP Gord Johns, the NDP’s Critic for Mental Health and Harm Reduction. “Just like in June, this devastating new data has been released as Parliament adjourns because the government doesn’t want to answer for its ineffective response that has cost lives.”

IN THE NEWS – Nanaimo Bulletin - licensed-vancouver-island-gun-owners-say-theyre-no-threat-to-public-safety/

Bill C-21 amendments propose banning hunting, sporting rifles

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns addressed Bill C-21 Friday in Parliament. He criticized the Liberals for promising to keep people safe from gun violence, then making a last-second amendment that would hurt rural and coastal communities.

“This bill was supposed to protect people, not go after hunters, farmers or Indigenous peoples,” Johns said in the House of Commons. “Will the prime minister listen to the outpour of concerns and clean up his mess?”

IN THE NEWS – Times Colonist - Customers feel boxed in by Canada Post fuel surcharges

"It's nuts," she said Wednesday. She can't understand how Canada Post can justify a $4.20 surcharge on a package travelling just 70 kilometres to a customer in Metchosin. "I think it's a money grab, honestly."

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns feels the same way. He rose in the House of Commons this week to demand that the federal government force the post office to give consumers a break and drop the surcharges this Christmas. Families are having trouble as it is and shouldn't be wobbled by the cost of sending gifts to loved ones, he said. "It's price-gouging."

For its part, Canada Post says year-round fuel surcharges have become standard practice in the shipping industry. "We understand the impact this can have on customers and we therefore work to reflect current pricing," the corporation said in a statement. The rate is tied to the cost of diesel, ranging from a 20 per cent surcharge when the price per litre is $1.50 to 45 per cent when it tops $2.51.

This week, diesel was pegged at $2.30. Note that Canada Post's 39.5 per cent rate was comparable to FedEx's. Also note that the post office lost buckets of money last year. Johns contends that the fees are disproportionate to the actual impact of rising fuel costs. In any case, he said, the surcharges are too hard on inflation-battered families and small businesses.

IN THE NEWS- People waiting in our emergency rooms are paying the price for Liberals and Conservatives not putting in the work

OTTAWA – Emergency rooms across British Columbia are overwhelmed, and some are even being forced to close, making families drive hours to get help or wait hours to get help. While our ERs are already overwhelmed with flu season and the pandemic, Canadians struggling with their mental health often have nowhere else to turn because of out-of-pocket costs and long waitlists for supports.

“Our emergency rooms cannot be the solution for the government’s failure to support people and their well-being,” said NDP Mental Health and Harm Reduction Critic MP Gord Johns (Courtenay – Alberni). “Canada needs to be treating the mental health crisis like the health emergency it is. That’s why New Democrats are calling on the Liberals to make mental health a part of our universal public healthcare system, deliver the funding frontline organizations have been pleading for, and to get everyday people the help they need. We will keep fighting to improve our health care system so that you and your children can access care when you need it most.”

IN THE NEWS – ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS – New Lakeshore Trail extension opens in Sproat Lake

Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay-Alberni, thanked the Sproat Lake Parks Commission and ACRD staff for their work in developing the trail and applying for funding.

“When we build trail networks, it gets people more active, it lowers our healthcare costs and it’s better for our environment,” he said. “And it’s great for the economy, because we want people to come visit the Alberni Valley and the more things they can do, the better.”

IN THE NEWS- Liberals are failing Canadians mental health by refusing to deliver on mental health supports

In response to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) calling on the Liberals to implement a mental health care transfer payment to the provinces and territories, NDP Mental Health and Harm Reduction Critic Gord Johns made the following statement:

Across the country, people are suffering because they don’t have access to the mental health services they need. With the rising cost of living and long waitlists it’s almost impossible for people to get support when they need it. The provinces and territories have time and time again asked the Liberal government to step up on health care funding, but they haven’t acted.

IN THE NEWS- With the cost-of-living skyrocketing for working families, Justin Trudeau is turning his back on them

OTTAWA – With Thursday’s Fall Economic Statement it’s become clearer – that the Liberal government is working for rich bosses, not for you and your family. The same week where studies revealed that 20% of families are cutting meals to make ends meet, that Loblaws made an extra $ 1 million a day in excess profits and that people have never taken on so much debt to get by – Justin Trudeau’s Liberals chose to protect profits instead of giving respect to British Columbians feeling the crunch.

“Families in British Columbia, and across Canada are having to make really tough choices about what bills they can pay and what bills they just can’t afford. And costs are only going to get higher as we head into the winter,” said NDP MP Gord Johns (Courtenay – Alberni). “The Fall Economic Statement only showed how out-of-touch Justin Trudeau is with the realities of working families – and the Conservatives don’t want to help you, they only want to slash your pension and cut employment insurance. We could be giving families more support – instead they Liberals are giving $15 billion to fill the pockets of rich investors. It’s wrong.”

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