Member of Parliament for Battlefords-Lloydminster
 
 
 
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Important issues require timely reponses. Some of my most recent responses to issues impacting this riding are on this page. Each response is available for media release. Please contact my office any time to get more information about any of these issues. 



Ritz Says PM Martin has Some New Year’s Resolutions to Fulfill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5 JANUARY 2022

OTTAWA – Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz has little sympathy for Paul Martin’s disappointing performance as Prime Minister, but he still holds out hope that the present minority Parliament can accomplish some important business in 2005.

“In the last election the Liberals were busy making promises and misrepresenting what my party stood for and it’s time for a reckoning,” said Ritz. “I suggest Mr. Martin draw up some new year’s resolutions and make an effort to own up to his claims.”

According to Ritz:
• Martin claimed federal gas taxes would go to municipalities, but to date has no way to deliver them, no formula to say who gets what, and no numbers to allow cities and towns to start plans for roads and bridges.
• Martin claimed he would “fix health care for a generation”, but a meeting with provincial premiers merely led to the old Liberal dodge – throw a bag of money at it and promise to talk again later.
• Martin was supposed to fix the equalisation funding formula. He promised resource royalties to Newfoundland but pulled the plug as soon as the election was over. Premier Danny Williams won’t allow Canadian flags on government buildings. Equalisation remains a mess that even experts can’t interpret, forces higher taxes on have-not provinces and punishes success. Thanks to a hidden surplus, the Liberals got ton throw another bag of money at the problem. See you next year.
• Through three agriculture ministers the Liberals promised to review the Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilisation (CAIS) program. Its flaws are obvious to everyone except the Ottawa bureaucrats who should be revising it.
• Although the Americans seem ready to open the border to Canadian beef by March, the whole mess has dragged on eighteen months too long and there’s still no plan to deal with hundreds of thousands of mature cows.

“Martin has to resolve to work with the Conservative Party to actually solve some of the problems that have drifted along under his watch. I suggest he start on his promise to eliminate the ‘democratic deficit’ by allowing a free vote to all MP’s, including Cabinet members, on national topics like the redefinition of marriage. When the Liberals are forced to listen to Canadians instead of Ottawa consultants, they are going to be shocked out of their arrogance and complacency.”

For more information call Gerry Ritz MP at (613) 995-7080


Ritz Wishes “Year of the Veteran” Was More Than Political Rhetoric

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 6, 2021

Ottawa - On Monday Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz rose in the House of Commons and called for unanimous consent to endorse a Liberal motion to “establish a fund to help ensure the maintenance and the preservation of war memorials” in Canada. Considering the government declared 2005 to be the Year of the Veteran, it seemed the gesture of getting all parties to approve the modest fund would be quickly dealt with. Mr. Ritz, however, ran into a strange roadblock; the Liberal government itself denied consent.

“Private Member’s Motions aren’t legislation. They’re statements that basically call upon the government to actually do something,” explained Ritz. “I agreed with my parliamentary colleagues that we should have a fund to keep up war memorials in this country and I wanted to add some weight to the motion. In a knee jerk reaction against the Opposition, the minority Liberal caucus shouted down the call for unanimous support, even though it was a Liberal motion!”

Ritz says that at present there is no dedicated fund to help local communities maintain cenotaphs and memorials. In recent years Conservatives have tried to get the government to create such a fund without success, even as Canadians show a growing respect for veteran’s sacrifices and our military heritage. MP Andy Savoy reported that 6,000 war memorials across the country would need no more than $2 million per year.

“This government has dragged its feet on helping widows and Aboriginal veterans. They participated in ripping off thousands of vets who were made wards of the government. They starve our present day armed forces of decent equipment, so I see a track record of ignorance, incompetence and apathy on a whole host of military issues. By setting up a fund that helps small communities maintain the dignity and solemnity of their monuments we are sending a signal to our veterans and their families that we will always commemorate their efforts, and to our youth that national service is a necessary to make a great country. Too bad partisan politics trumps good intentions.”

For more information call Gerry Ritz MP at (613) 995-7080


Ritz Welcomes Nebraska Governor as US Ag Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 2, 2021

OTTAWA – Battlefords-LloydminsterMP and Agriculture Committee Vice Chair Gerry Ritz expressed approval with President George Bush’s choice for his new Secretary of State for Agriculture to replace Anne Venneman.

“Nebraska governor Mike Johanns has a track record for bringing people together and getting the job done,” said Ritz. “I’m looking forward to a chance to meet with Mr. Johanns after he is confirmed by the US Senate.”

Ritz says that Governor Johanns’ combines an upbringing based on a dairy farm with a record of political success at local and state level. He has advocated policies for rural development and value-added processing including ethanol production, and led trade delegations . Nebraska is the fourth largest agricultural state.

“Governor Johanns is on record as having pushed his federal government to re-open the Canadian border. He has recognised that the 18-month-old border closing has been ‘devastating’ for Canada as well as detrimental to his own state. That’s more than what we hear from Liberals in Ottawa.”

For more information call Gerry Ritz MP at (613) 995-7080


Fix flawed agriculture programs now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2021

NORTH BATTLEFORD - Any new agricultural program needs to be reviewed to make sure glitches are fixed. The federal goverment insists the Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization Program can address nearly every challenge a farm family may face and is ignoring the program's numerous flaws, according to Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz.

“You’re the third Liberal Minister in less than a year to talk about a review of CAIS,” noted Mr. Ritz, vice-chair of the federal agriculture committee, as he questioned the agriculture minister on Nov. 2. “When will that start and what is the timeframe you have in mind for when we’ll see a report?”

The minister replied that no report would be tabled until well into the next crop cycle this coming June at the earliest.

The minister seemed unphased when Mr. Ritz quoted Agriculture Canada officials who said that of the $1.5 billion set aside for agriculture last year, only $250 million of that amount actually got to Canadian farm families. Administration costs were $150 million.

“Of the roughly 300,000 producers out there, less than 10 per cent of them have actually triggered some sort of payment,” said Mr. Ritz. “Is that good enough?”
The minister may not have provided concrete answers, but on Oct. 27 Mr. Ritz put similar questions to agricultural representatives appearing before the agriculture committee.

“The CAIS vehicle to deliver these programs has four flat tires and there’s no spare,” said Mr. Ritz. “How can that possibly work when all of us know it has been a dismal failure?”

Stan Eby, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, answered simply.

“CAIS is the delivery vehicle and we are very well aware that it’s not working,” said Mr. Eby. “You say it has four flat tires. It may have an engine that’s not in too good tune either.”

For too long the federal government has contented itself with empty announcements that provide little help to Canadian farm families who grow more desperate by the day.

For more information call Gerry Ritz MP at (306) 445-2004


Ritz continues to bring accountability to BSE aid

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

18 October 2021

 

OTTAWA - After months of government delay, Conservatives have forced the federal agriculture committee to begin providing true accountability for agricultural programs.

 

“Conservatives remain committed to ensuring farmers are treated fairly, whether by government programs or private companies,” said Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz, who also serves as vice-chair on the agriculture committee. “It’s an important job and it’s equally important to do the job right.”

 

Prior to the election Ritz pushed the agriculture committee to have an independent, non-partisan examination of federal BSE aid packages in relation to the processing industry. The Liberals ignored the request and resorted to empty pre-election grandstanding.

 

The day after the election Ritz again called for resolution in an open letter to the prime minister asking him to immediately reconvene the agriculture committee and allow it to find solutions for many critical issues facing farmers. Again, the Liberals ignored the important request.

 

Finally, with the Liberals reduced to a minority on the agriculture committee, partisan politics are taking a backseat as Conservatives are demanding answers on behalf of farmers. The committee has notified major players in the processing industry that their records will be required prior to the end of October. Proper, non-partisan procedures will be followed and independent auditors will examine the books.

 

“When farmers see low prices at the auction barn and high prices in the grocery store they want answers,” said Ritz. “But they know pre-election government rhetoric didn’t resolve anything.

 

“We will get the answers farmers deserve and we’ll get those answers the right way.”

 

For more information call Gerry Ritz MP at (306) 445-2004

 

 
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