Member of Parliament for Battlefords-Lloydminster
Archived Press Releases-2002
Choose from List below or Scroll entire file for archived press releases:
Changes Just Won't Cut It - Dec 17, 2021
Liberal Gun Registry Worse Than Failure - Dec 5, 2021
Taxman Running Amok in Hockey League - Nov 25, 2021
Kyoto No Treat for Lloydminster Upgrader Project - Oct 31, 2021
Public Works Minister Tables Empty Report in Haste- Oct 10, 2021
Iraq Leader Must Behave - Oct 7, 2021
Liberal Legacy, Liberal Lunacy - Oct 1, 2021
No Rainbow in Liberals' Kyoto - Sept 4, 2021
Vanclief shows up late and empty handed - Aug 22, 2021
Liberals Stumbling On Protecting Children - April 30, 2022
Ritz New Job Exposes Liberal Corruption- April 22, 2022
Sask MP's Call for Stem Cell Research Moratorium - Mar 4, 2022
New Species Bill Puts Property Rights at Risk - Feb 26, 2022
Ritz Stands with Day on Montreal Podium - Jan 9, 2022
Sponsorship Changes Just Won't Cut It
For Immediate Release
17 December 2002
OTTAWA - Canadian Alliance Senior Critic for Public Works doesn't buy the Liberal government's "new" sponsorship program, announced today by the Ministers of Goodale and Robillard.
"The announcement today is just more paper shuffling. The same money is still being spent, and the new structure does nothing to address the unethical and potentially illegal activities of the Liberal Government in managing sponsorship, advertising and public opinion services. This issue requires a judicial inquiry to get to the source of the problem and to bring those responsible to justice," said Ritz. "The RCMP and Auditor General still have not reported their own investigations into the Liberal sponsorship mess. I can't believe the gall of the Government to green-light this tainted program again."
"A couple of things stink, and not just in Denmark. There is a clear conflict of interest in continuing to use the Liberal Party's own advertising agency as the federal government's primary advertising agency. Furthermore, the Liberal Government, day in and day out, continues to announce government contracts to the same organizations. The tap has not been turned off!"
"Alfonso Gagliano, the former minister responsible for the mess, remains in self-imposed exile as Ambassador to Denmark. He should never have been appointed. It is an embarrassment and a stain on Canada's reputation -- one that has not been erased by today's attempt by the Liberals to sweep their sponsorship troubles under the rug."
"Canadians need to ask themselves one question, " concluded Ritz. "Can this government be trusted to manage taxpayers' money? We believe the answer is no."
For Immediate Release
05 December 2002
OTTAWA - It's cold consolation," said Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz, "but all our predictions about the gun registry were true, and all the government's promises have been broken."
Ritz says the recent Auditor General report on the federal firearms licencing system has only confirmed what he Canadian Alliance has been saying since the original Reform Party came to Ottawa nearly a decade ago. "There is no evidence the gun registry works, no evidence they ever cared about costs, no evidence anybody in Ottawa had any idea what they were doing, but they sure didn't want anybody to know what was going on."
Ritz says his colleague Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, has been tireless in leading the charge against the bureaucracy that Allan Rock Built. "Through 250 access to information requests, Garry has tried to get the real story on this cesspool. On Wednesday he stood in the House and accused the Justice Department of providing him with false and misleading information. That is a serious charge in Ottawa."
Auditor General Sheila Fraser contends that federal departments have violated number of their own rules. Figures are incomplete, money has been shuffled under different headings, and cost overruns have been buried under "supplementary estimates", which are intended only to provide emergency funding at year end.
"In their blind rush to pretend they were making Canada safer, a number of Liberal cabinet ministers have participated in a scheme to hide spending and deny the fact they were wrong about gun control. Former Finance Minister Paul Martin, former Justice Minister Allan Rock and Anne McLellen, and present ministers John Manley and Martin Cauchon all have a lot of explaining to do. You can't simply fudge the numbers, waste a billion dollars, and fail to take one firearm away from a criminal, and still look the Canadian People in the eye. Is this what we can expect on Kyoto: hidden costs and misleading statements? We already see it in a lot of other programs and it has to stop."
For Immediate Release
25 November 2021
OTTAWA - "Leave it to Revenue Canada to devise a 'checking system' that can bring a whole league to a standstill", said Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz. "This Liberal government can't find a way to shut down a terrorist group masquerading as a charity, but in a flash they can bring down a junior hockey player trying to get by on a couple of hundred dollars a month."
Ritz says he's getting complaints that Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) has decided to charge teams of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with tax penalties for giving their players modest honorariums and for small allowances given to families who host the young men during the season.
"Liberals talk all the time about 'Canadian identity', but they'll chuck it all for another crack at your wallet," complained Ritz. "What can be more basic to who we are as a people than amateur sport supported by volunteers in rural communities? Who is sitting around the table in Ottawa saying: 'Yeah, let's sic the tax collectors on these guys in Saskatchewan who are struggling to keep their towns alive.'?"
Ritz compares the short-sighted attack on amateur hockey in Saskatchewan with recent policy changes that forced thousands of disabled Canadians to prove they were still disabled. "The mask is off for Liberals supposedly being compassionate. Right now the federal government is on a hiring binge to get back to the days of Trudeau-sized bureaucracy and all they can come up with are more ways to harass and penalize Canadian citizens. While Chretien and Martin snipe at each other in Liberal Party backroom meetings, this country is suffering from bureaucrats gone mad. We can't afford to have this country drift through another season of mismanagement by these clowns."
For Immediate Release
31 October 2021
OTTAWA - "We have been telling the Liberal government that their botched attempts to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases is going to cost Canada jobs, and now it's hitting close to home," said Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz. "Both PetroCanada and Husky Oil are reconsidering billion-dollar projects in our area and it's a direct result of government bungling. Jean Chretien's stubborn insistence that he's not leaving until he has some kind of legacy is making some very big companies very nervous."
Ritz explained that the Kyoto Protocol is being sold to Canadians as a solution to global warming and clean air issues. "This Protocol focuses on CO2, which is a harmless, natural gas, and ignores noxious gases which actually cause air pollution. It offers polluters the opportunity to buy the 'right' to continue their emissions from a developing country that is itself using outdated and filthy technology. Kyoto is a fraud and it will drive jobs and dollars to jurisdictions that do not shackle its industries with useless regulations."
Ritz compares Kyoto to the Liberal gun registry. "The Liberals are looking in all the wrong places and using the wrong tools to solve problems that everybody is actually willing to address. Take the gun registry: nearly a billion dollars later, tourist dollars are down, costs are up, police are diverted from crime-fighting to pursuing law-abiding individuals. Kyoto represents that kind of wasted effort but a hundred times worse. The entire Canadian economy will see investment go elsewhere, costs and taxes will rise in every industry, companies that already want to invest money in green technologies will have their sources of investment dry up instead, and air quality won't be helped one bit."
Ritz gives the oil and gas industry full credit for changes they have been making for the last two decades. Technologies to re-use C02 and reduce other emissions are already in place. "Liberals pocket donations from the oil patch and then turn around and use them as a whipping post on behalf of the environmental lobby. I don't blame any entrepreneur for putting their investments on hold while this bunch of phony environmentalists are running the country. Nobody can tell from day to day whose speaking for the government and what it is they believe in."
Public Works Minister Tables Empty Report in Haste
10 October 2002
OTTAWA – "We waited six months to see a Public Works 'Quick Response Team' report on the Liberal's corrupt sponsorship program and we were not surprised," said Canadian Alliance Public Works Critic, Gerry Ritz, (Battlefords-Lloydminster). "We expected a whitewash and we got it."
Ritz received a five-page report without letterhead or authorship that supposedly detailed what Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) had uncovered in an internal audit of a $40 million per year sponsorship programme. The Liberal government scrambled to get copies into the hands of opposition members, apparently in advance of a public leak.
"The report uses terms like 'some files' or 'many files', are lacking documentation and it expresses doubts that anything was delivered, let alone that anybody in the department cared about value for taxpayer's money," said Ritz. "We knew all this from the Auditor General's report last May. What we have now is a report from department bureaucrats that outlines a so-called 'action plan': more study, more referrals, more delay."
Ritz points out the report only looks at the 17% of contracts over $500,000 that had come under public scrutiny. Millions of dollars of waste will continue to hide in filing cabinets while departmental colleagues continue to study each other's questionable contracts.
"This report was meant to convince Canadians that something was being done about the monumental waste of their tax dollars, but what it really does is prove beyond doubts that this corruption goes right up to the PMO and won't be rooted out until we have a full, independent public inquiry."
For Immediate Release
7 October 2021
OTTAWA - "Saddam Hussein may not be the world's worst dictator," says Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz, "but for the sake of peace and security around the world, he is as good a place to start as any."
Ritz was commenting on recent debates in the House of Commons that were demanded by the Canadian Alliance. The Official Opposition is trying to discover exactly what the Liberal government has in mind for Canada's position on the American-led effort to deal with Iraq's leader.
"My constituents are worried that Canadian lives will be on the line to fulfill an American political agenda, but that's a very narrow view," said Ritz. "We share the fear that war may be coming and we are as interested in avoiding that possibility as anyone else in north America. But, in the wider view we have to recognize that Canada has a moral responsibility to support our allies. It isn't just the U.S., but Britain, Australia and Gulf states like Qatar who are lining up. We have a history of standing up to tyranny and threats to world peace and we cannot shrink away now. If we fail to show solidarity in the face of this dangerous dictator, where do we think we'll draw the next line? Not only will Canada's reputation suffer, but the concept of an international community of shared security will crumble."
Ritz says he knows there are doubts circulating about whether Mr. Hussein really possesses 'weapons of mass destruction' or even intends to attack another country, but those doubts seem based on wishful thinking rather than Hussein's record.
"People have to realize this isn't a 'post September 11th thing, " said Ritz. "Mr. Hussein has spent the last twenty years attacking neighbours, gassing his own people, and defying the United Nations on fourteen different resolutions. Although funding terrorists is a shadowy business, it's pretty clear that this guy is involved and on that basis alone he is a standing threat to us all. The reign of Saddam Hussein has to be dealt with now, before any more deadly attacks occur."
Liberal Legacy, Spending Lunacy
1 October 2002
OTTAWA – "In Western Canada we learned a long time ago that a man's promises only had value if they were carried out, " said Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz. "In Ottawa, they have only learned promises can make people happy as long as you keep making them. They care more about publicity than public good. Monday's Throne Speech is a rehash of nine years of Liberal failures with promises of more to come."
Ritz says there was nothing for his Saskatchewan riding. "Drought conditions and trade issues are hammering farmers, but not a word in this Throne Speech," he said. "The Agriculture minister has announced and re-announced millions of dollars in aid, but you won't see much evidence of it out here."
Ritz says the Kyoto Accord was in the speech and will have an impact in Saskatchewan--a very negative one. "Not just in the oil and gas sector, but in every household. Prices will rise for energy, chemicals and transportation, and jobs and investment will be lost. The Liberals have no plan as to how to implement this accord and no idea if it will do any good. This is one empty promise that can do a lot of damage."
Ritz explained that there is no rule about when a Throne Speech needs to be tabled. A government can decide to have one anytime it wants to refresh its agenda. "But this is one of the most useless speeches on record. They claim an agenda for health care before a royal commission tells them what to even talk about. They announce aboriginal programs to cure problems they couldn't deal with over the last nine years, and before there is any accountability of money presently being spent."
Ritz sees the main problem being that Ottawa wants to have its fingers in every pie. "Instead of focusing on federal jurisdiction and creating a prosperous economic climate, resolving international trade issues, and building up our armed forces and national security , the national government wants to run provincial programs without paying for them. They jump in where they don't belong by offering big taxpayer's bucks then disappear. After the headlines fade and the bills remain unpaid, the Prime Minister claims his legacy and walks away from his responsibility."
No Rainbow in Liberal's Kyoto Blue Sky Daydream
4 September 2021
BARRIE ONTARIO - Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz lashed out at Prime Minister Jean Chretien's surprise announcement that Canada will ratify the controversial Kyoto Protocol before the end of this year.
"Even though the Liberal government has already wasted ten years arguing with itself about the costs of implementing Kyoto, there is still no need to rush into a half-baked scheme that will devastate Canada's economy." Ritz said. "Canada generates only two percent of the world's "greenhouse' gasses. The twenty to forty billion dollar hit the Liberals are getting ready to put on all of us isn't going to save the world."
Ritz said that polls indicating Canadians are behind the Protocol are really about the desire for cleaner air, "Of course nobody is against that," he added. "But instead of using low taxes to encourage more railroad use, mass transit, new technologies or ethanol gasoline which would help the farm sector, the Liberals are going to impose big taxes to discourage energy consumption. The effort is too little, too late and misdirected."
Ritz says Kyoto targets carbon dioxide which isn't even the most problematic of the gasses in the atmosphere. The Protocol also lets developing countries off the hook for clean air targets and they tend to use the most polluting technologies.
"If we want to clean the Earth's atmosphere we have to engage everybody in moving forward, not penalize a few for little gain. The Liberals have no plan as to how we're going to achieve Kyoto targets anyway. They dismiss claims of multi-billion dollar costs but can't explain how we're going to avoid high costs and job losses. Taxes on fuels are going to ripple through the economy from transportation of goods to the manufacture of everything including fertilizers. The cost of everything will go up as everybody passes along their costs. Consumers will be hit with higher energy bills. At the same time the economy will slow throwing these same consumers out of work. And if Alberta is hit hardest as expected, who will continue to prop up federal spending in the have-not provinces? The Liberal approach is all wrong."
For Immediate Release
22 August 2021
NORTH BATTLEFORD - Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz compared the recent appearance of Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief to Jean Chretien's infamous sand bag toss during the Manitoba floods. "It's the drive-by photo-op," Ritz said. "Thousands of people are suffering and calling for government action and the Liberals deliver an empty press conference that plays to the Toronto media."
Ritz said he could call Vanclief 'the most ineffective agriculture minister ever', but the Liberals have always offered a lot of candidates for the title.
"This minister has never had any clout at the Cabinet table, and he has shown no signs of imagination or innovation when it comes to saving Canadian agriculture," Ritz said. "His policies on NISA accounts are short-sighted, unworkable, and do nothing for farmers who don't have NISA accounts but are suffering the same fate as their neighbours. We have a drought situation, trade problems, tax issues, marketing and transportation bottlenecks that have all been ignored by the Ottawa Liberals for years."
The Prime Minister responded to Western demands for assistance by joking he would ask the Pope to pray for rain. Announcements of monetary assistance haven't been much more serious as figures go up and down depending on who's talking. In any case little money actually ends up in the hands of producers.
"Eastern farmers have generously donated what they could spare to help Westerners and the government has been playing catch-up to pretend it's also helping," said Ritz. The short fall in Alberta and Saskatchewan amounts to 850,000 tonnes of hay and Vanclief says the Experimental Farm near Ottawa can ship 750. Not exactly an answer to our prayers. The Canadian Alliance sent a four point plan that would address the drought crisis and the minister doesn't even respond to the letter. I have called his office to get action on taxes being applied to the hay and they have no answers. His office did manage to get him a trip to Japan though. Too bad they didn't leave him there."
Liberals Stumbling on Protecting Our Children
30 April 2022
OTTAWA – Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz expressed frustration over the “silly games” being played in the House of Commons. In particular, he referred to the recent attempt by the Canadian Alliance to push the Liberal government on raising the age of consent for sexual activity.
“It’s expected that political parties will compete to look good in the public eye, but we also realise that all Members of Parliament are in Ottawa for a reason, and that is to make a better country,” Ritz said. “ What we are seeing more and more is partisan abuse of Parliament to score points rather than working together to get something done.”
The Alliance had prepared a motion urging the government to raise the age of consent from 14, where it had been lowered in 1987, to at least 16. Not only did the Liberals use their majority to defeat the motion, but they used a Question Period slot the next day to mistakenly claim the Alliance motion would undermine the age of “sexual exploitation”.
“This cheap attempt to confuse the public is just an example of the silly games that go on to deflect attention from a government whose record over nine years shows very little progress on a number of issues,” Ritz said. “All MPs agree that protecting our children from the monsters who prey on them is a noble cause, but the Liberals want to move like wet cement on the tough issues. They’re content to consult and examine even while courts are making excuses for perverts to carry on their selfish nonsense. Right now, the law says a 40-year-old can have sex with a 14-year-old if they can show it was ‘consensual’. This can be a cover for pimps to get their hands on young girls and ruin their lives. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t want to crack down on these guys?”
Ritz says the House has been filled with cheap tricks that have interfered with individual MP’s rights to conduct “private members business”. “Keith Martin was outraged the government buried his private member’s bill rather than let it be studied in committee, so he grabbed the ceremonial mace. The Liberals acted as if he had killed someone. If only they could move as fast when somebody’s teenager is grabbed off the street…”
For more information call Gerry Ritz at (613) 995-7080
“Health Canada signed a $300,000 contract on March 31st 1998 that called for training and telecommunications technology to be delivered in one day,” Ritz said. “That day happens to be the end of the government fiscal year, and clearly someone had taxpayer’s money they had to burn off. Health Canada could not explain how anyone could be trained in one day, and there is no proof anything was ever delivered. The Liberals sent the cheque anyway.”
Ritz and the Alliance have been pursuing a number of questionable contracts including $101 million for two Challengers that was signed on the ‘magic date’ of March 31st 2002.
“The Liberal excuse is that the present Challengers are nineteen years old. They would like us to forget that the navy’s Sea King helicopters are forty years old and the air force has thirty year old Hercules aircraft. They don’t want you to see what $101 million would buy in terms of water treatment plants or medical diagnostic equipment. We’ve been looking for a workable farm income support programme or $5 million to drill wells in these drought conditions and we’re told money is too tight. They forget this is money we have to pay them in the first place. This tired old government is putting its comfort first and Canadians aren’t going to forget that come election time.”
FEDERAL HEALTH AGENCY BYPASSES STEM CELL DEBATE
Saskatchewan MPs call for Moratorium on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 4, 2022
SWIFT CURRENT - Several Saskatchewan Canadian Alliance Members of parliament called on the Canadian federal government to place a moratorium on embryonic stem cell research in Canada until Parliament can fully debate the issue. Members of Parliament, David Anderson, Garry Breitkreuz, Carol Skelton, Larry Spencer, Gerry Ritz, Maurice Vellacott, and Lynne Yelich joined Official Opposition Critic Rob Merrifield in calling for new legislation on embryonic stem cell research.
"The House of Commons Health Committee has submitted a report on reproductive biotechnology that initiates debate on the many controversial issues in this field. That report and possible legislation was to be debated in Parliament in the near future. Now, the CIHR has short circuited that debate by bringing forth new proposed regulations prior to Parliament debating the Health Committee's report.
"We, as Official Opposition Members, call on the government to put an immediate moratorium on embryonic stem cell research and to support Canadian research that will maintain Canada as a leader in adult stem cell research. It is our concern that Canadian taxpayers money is better served y focusing on the area of adult stem cell research rather than wandering into the legal, ethical and scientific quagmire of embryonic stem cell research. We anticipate that the rapidly developing field of stem cell research will soon lead to the cessation of embryonic stem cell research," the Saskatchewan MPs stated.
"A Moratorium, while funding adult stem cell research, is a responsible way for this government to deal with this issue," they concluded.
For more information, please contact:
Rob Merrifield, MP, Opposition Health Critic 613-992-1653
David L. Anderson, MP 306-778-4480
Larry Spencer, MP 306-791-0707
Garry Breitkreuz, MP 306-782-3309
Maurice Vellacott, MP 306-975-4725
Gerry Ritz, MP 306-445-2004
Lynne Yelich, MP 306-252-6100
Carol Skelton, MP 306-975-6555
New Species Bill Puts Property Rights at Risk
For Immediate Release
26 February 2022
OTTAWA – Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz joined his Canadian Alliance colleagues this week to battle the Liberal government over their long overdue Species at Risk Act, (SARA).
“Nobody’s fighting against the idea that we should work to preserve species,” Ritz explained. “The problem is, the government is stuck on the idea that the only way to accomplish this goal is to trample property owner’s rights and make criminals out of anybody who is going about their business and accidentally steps on a bug or a flower.”
Bill C-5 is attracting criticism across the spectrum from environmental groups to industrial and agricultural interests. “After six years, and three attempts, we’re still dealing with 139 amendments, including some from the government contradicting their members on the Environment Committee.”
“I find the government’s approach disturbing,” Ritz said. “Liberal legislation puts enforcement in the hands of the minister of the day rather than experts. Is this about science or politics? Civil rights are dumped in favour of knee-jerk action. We saw this in C-36, the Anti-terrorism Act, and the gun registry: innocent people are swept up by the hundreds in order to catch a couple of guilty ones. In C-5 the government wants to charge people even if they accidentally run over a creature on a list. They will not guarantee compensation even if you are forced to take hundreds of acres out of production. They will do this even if it trumps provincial law or property rights. Unless all Canadians are enlisted in the struggle to preserve our natural heritage, on a co-operative basis, then I believe this ham-handed Liberal programme will fail.”
Ritz Stands With Day on Montreal Podium
9 January 2022
OTTAWA – Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz made it very clear on Monday night who he supports for the Canadian Alliance leadership. “Stockwell Day has the backbone, the brains, and the energy to win this race and the next election beyond.”
Stockwell Day had convincingly defeated Preston Manning in a leadership race in the spring of 2000, but internal dissent tore the party apart. “Stock stood up to more backstabbing than any other politician. He finally threw down the gauntlet and said: ‘we’re going to settle this once and for all and go forward.’ I’m definitely ready for that.”
Ritz says it was ironic that Stock pointed to narrow elites, including the media, as responsible for blowing a lot of things out of proportion. “The media insist that 250 attended the Montreal launch of the campaign while our organizers lost count near 600. Another reporter complained the speech was too long, but he didn’t mention it was interrupted dozens of times by wild applause! I guess having declared Stock a dead duck in 2001, they want to make sure enthusiasm for him in 2002 doesn’t prove them wrong.”
Ritz says that a renewal of Day’s leadership will not harm Canadian Alliance chances for the future. “Stock’s trial by fire has taught him so much about how to run this party that we’d be foolish to start over again with a rookie. Look at how well we did hammering the Liberals this fall. That was Stock’s leadership, and his team, and the Liberals should be worried.”
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