The Member of Parliament for Moose Jaw – Lake Centre – Lanigan, Fraser Tolmie is very excited to return to Ottawa after a lengthy holiday break.  

MPs from all across the country returned to the House of Commons on Feb. 1 for the first time since Dec. 14.  

Tolmie says that continuing his work as the Deputy Critic for Veterans Affairs is atop of his mind after returning to Ottawa.  

“We have seen a backlog of helping vets get the help that they need, which is very disappointing,” says Tolmie. “We’re obviously focusing on the medical assistance in dying for vets that were offered, which they shouldn’t have been.”  

In October, Tolmie called on the Minister of Veteran Affairs Lawrence MacAulay to apologize personally to a veteran that was allegedly offered medically-assisted suicide by a caseworker.   

Tolmie told the standing committee, which he is a part of that since medically-assisted dying was legalized in Canada, Veteran Affairs has been unprepared to deal with a situation like this.   

“Those that are suffering from PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder] need to be treated and reintegrated into society and they’re looking for help,” adds Tolmie. “It was very disappointing with the revelations that they were being offered.” 

His committee is also noticing that retired veterans are having a hard time finding employment.  

“The list seems to be getting bigger. We just found out that there’s been $1 billion left unspent for vets in need. This pile of issues keeps increasing and we’re only two months into the 2023 calendar.” 

The work done by the standing committee he is a part of is making a difference, as the federal government recently took a step back with medically assistance in dying legislation for mental health.  

“Our belief is that we need to protect the vulnerable, those that are facing struggles, and those needing help. They’re not looking to end their life. They have been listening to us.” 

Another topic top of mind for Tolmie is Bill C-21, which is looking into banning several types of hunting rifles.  

On Friday, the federal government withdrew an amendment to Bill C-21 that had introduced a controversial new definition of an assault-style weapon. The amendment introduced a new definition of an "assault-style" gun that includes semi-automatic rifles and shotguns with a capacity of more than five cartridges. 

“We have lots of hunters that are responsible in our riding and this legislation was going to impact them. These people have gone through safety courses and are responsible.” 

He adds that what the Conservative Party has advocated for was those stricter penalties to be implemented for those that have committed violent crimes.  

“We have done our job to hold this Liberal government to account. It’s very hard to communicate with this party because they haven’t been listening. I think they have found that they’re not getting support for this bill. They now have to go back to the drawing board and hopefully, we will have some input that will protect law-abiding citizens and law-abiding firearm owners.” 

When it comes to Moose Jaw and the rest of his riding Tolmie will continue to fight for the agricultural industry.  

“They are facing challenges with the Carbon Tax and the increased costs. This government has failed to recognize there’s been no reduction in emissions. We’ve seen that with Bill C-21 and medically assisted in dying. We’re going to be pushing from my chair to end this ridiculous Carbon Tax.” 

Parliament will wrap up their winter/spring session on June 29.