Updates

Raising Awareness for Kidney Disease

On Friday, I had the opportunity to stand up in Parliament and raise awareness about the Kidney March and the great work that the Kidney Foundation of Canada does. 

The Kidney March through Kananaskis Country is a 3-day, 100 km walk to help raise funds and allows the Kidney Foundation of Canada to contribute funding to research, organ transplant programs, and services for those with chronic kidney conditions.

An estimated 2.6 million Canadians have kidney disease, or are at risk. Members of my family including my wife and my two oldest kids are affected.

I encourage all Canadians and residents of Calgary Shepard to join me in Kananaskis country for the 2016 Kidney March.

Alberta Caucus Shows Support for Trans Mountain Pipeline

Yesterday I came together with my Alberta Caucus colleagues to show our support for Canada’s energy sector. The National Energy Board recommended the approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline last month which is fantastic news for thousands of out-of-work men and women in Alberta’s oil patch.

 

But this Tuesday, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson was in Ottawa to lobby the government, seeking a 'definitive no' on the pipeline project.  

 

Scientific experts have already said that this pipeline can be built in an environmentally safe way. And oil tanker traffic in the Vancouver harbour is subject to some of the strongest safety regulations in the world.

 

My colleagues and I support this project because it is in the best interests of all Canadians. Responsible energy development is critical to our economy. It’s a fact; all Canadians benefit from the wealth created by our energy resources which pay for the excellent education and healthcare services we enjoy across Canada.

 

Standing Up for Small Businesses

Small business professionals are facing an uncertain future with higher taxes and ominous wording in the Liberal budget on page 220.

Listen to the Minister of Small Business trying to defend her government's indefensible position.

 

Kmiec Calls on Liberals to Recognize Genocide of Minorities in Northern Iraq

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA, April 20, 2016 – Tom Kmiec is calling out some Liberal Members of Parliament for preventing formal recognition of genocide perpetrated in Iraq. The Conservative Official Opposition sought a unanimous consent motion to recognize as genocide actions taken by Daesh (also known as ISIS). The MP for Calgary Shepard is concerned that a lack of unanimity – coming from the government’s own benches – will blunt what should be an unequivocal message against the so-called Islamic State and a message of solidarity with the Kurdish and Yazidi people and other ethnic and religious minority victims of Daesh.

Today in the United Kingdom, the House of Commons voted unanimously in favour of recognizing Daesh’s crimes against Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq as constituting genocide. On March 15, the United States House of Representatives voted unanimously to recognize these persecutions as genocide. This reflects a universal consensus to acknowledge the egregious nature of Daesh’s crimes.

“This is not an open question,” Kmiec says. “To fail to recognize the crime of genocide for what it is is a fundamental failure in leadership. I call on my colleagues across the floor to immediately and conclusively consent to designating these atrocities as genocide.”

Tom Kmiec is the chair of the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds, an all-parties caucus dedicated to cultivating dialogue and forming stronger parliamentary ties with the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq.

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For further information:

Jeff Park

Constituency Assistant

(403) 462-7871, tom.kmiec.c1@parl.gc.ca

Note to Editors:

Photos Available upon Request

Tom's Speech on Motion 43

Earlier this week I was proud to rise in the House to speak in support of Motion 43, which calls for better protection of taxpayers.

M-43 would require the CRA to take responsibility for any errors which occur from malicious intent or gross negligence on its part, thus making the CRA more accountable to all Canadian taxpayers.

I have received a great number of requests from constituents seeking help in dealing with the CRA. In many of these cases the CRA has been at fault, which has caused my constituents unnecessary work, grief, and financial hardship.

Response to the Liberal Budget

Earlier in the week, I stood up in Parliament to lend my voice to those cautioning the Liberal government against their reckless spending plans.

This year alone their deficit will be $29.4 billion, and their plan will add $113 billion to the national debt before the next election. All the while the Canadian economy is growing despite Alberta's hurting energy economy.

The Liberals need credit counseling advice and I thought I would offer them the advice of the Credit Counselling Society of Calgary that has been helping Calgarians with their financial problems for decades.

You can view my full budget speech below. Your feedback is important to me and I welcome your questions and comments. 

In your service, 

Tom Kmiec, MP

Calgary Shepard 

Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds Inaugurated

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CALGARY, April 13, 2016 – Today, Member of Parliament for Calgary Shepard, Tom Kmiec was elected chair of the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds, an all-party caucus within Canada’s Parliament dedicated to supporting Kurdish refugees in their transition to life in Canada, promoting peace in the Kurdistan region, and promoting institutional, legislative, and parliamentary democratic education and reform within the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

“There is a Kurdish proverb: A good companion shortens the longest road. I am encouraged by the feedback we have received from the community and the enthusiasm of the Kurdish Regional Government in working with us to enhance our understanding of the region”‎ says Tom Kmiec. "I am honoured to have been elected chair and look forward to enhancing our understanding of Kurdistan and promoting peace and democratic education in the region."

Tom Kmiec was elected chair, while Gord Johns (NDP, Courtenay-Alberni) and Dan Albas (Conservative, Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola) were elected vice-chairs. The Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds includes 14 parliamentarians including members of all recognized parties in Parliament.

Organizations and individuals interested in Kurdish culture, history, and the peaceful resolution of the conflict(s) in the region are welcome to contact Mr. Kmiec to engage with the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds. 

 

Tom Kmiec, alongside fellow MPs Gord Johns and Michael Cooper, meeting with Representative Bayan of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Washington, DC. 

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For further information:

Jeff Park

Constituency Assistant

(403) 462-7871, tom.kmiec.c1@parl.gc.ca

Note to Editors:

Photos Available upon Request

Washington Report

As part of increasing accountability to you, I am providing this video report to inform you on the details of my recent trip to Washington and what I accomplished there.

Click here to watch a video of the highlights from my trip. 

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On March 16, I participated in the 28th Anniversary commemoration of the Chemical Attacks known as the genocide of the Kurds in Halabja, Iraq. It was organized by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) representation in the United States at the Centre for Transatlantic Relations SAIS at the John Hopkins University. Representatives of the U.S. Government, from the Iraqi government, survivors of the genocide, and various political party officials from the region, including government and opposition members, were in attendance. As they remembered the victims of this genocide, a look ahead on current events in Syria and Iraq was provided with 1st person accounts along with discussions of justice, accountability, and the legacy of genocide. Several panel speakers also raised the point that many members of the former ruling Baathist Party of Iraq are key members of ISIS, providing logistical and organizational support.

In the afternoon, I joined a bipartisan effort including Michael Cooper, Conservative Member of Parliament for St. Albert-Edmonton, and Gord Johns, New Democrat Member of Parliament for Courtenay-Alberni, to meet with the KRG Representative to the USA, Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, to discuss the establishment of the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds, a cross-party initiative including MPs and Senators to strengthen our relationship with the Kurdish people in Northern Iraq, promote democratic education, and build stronger relationships between our parliaments as well as legislators. These types of friendship groups exist in our Parliament for many other countries -- the United Kingdom and the United States have these types of groups as well.

We also pressed the KRG officials in private as well as during a live press conference with Kurdish media for the safe return of the Azer children, namely Sharvahn, Rojevahn, Dersim, and Meitan. This case has received national attention in Canada and in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Later that day, I met with Alberta's Trade Representative to Washington in DC, Gitane Da Silva, to discuss North American energy policy, pipeline politics south of the border, and the impact the lack of market access is having back home in Calgary. I pressed the point that job losses are mounting and that employment figures do not reflect the depth of the joblessness with many working less than a full week or the increasing use of furlough, secure work but no pay. Da Silva provided me with valuable insight into how Americans perceive our energy needs, and the differing interests within the American environmental movement which is much more fluid than I originally thought.

I wrapped up my day in Washington by meeting with Naomi Kikoler, the Deputy Director of the Simon-Skjodt Centre for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, to discuss her latest fact finding mission to the province of Nineveh in Iraq where some of the worst atrocities have been committed by ISIS. The report she published includes first person accounts of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the terror organization. Partially thanks to her findings, the United States officially called the acts perpetrated by ISIS as genocide against the minority groups in Nineveh in Iraq. We also discussed the effectiveness of Canada's Office of Religious Freedoms and how highly regarded it is in the human rights advocacy movement.

I trust this fulsome report will be of interest to constituents. As always, please email me or call me about any of this content. I appreciate the feedback I receive.

In your service,

 

Tom Kmiec
Member of Parliament
Calgary Shepard

Speech on Bill C-6

Yesterday I spoke in the House against Bill C-6, which would change the residency requirements for applying for Canadian citizenship, make it impossible to revoke citizenship in cases of high treason, espionage and terrorism.

As the late George Jonas wrote:‎ "My reservoir of patriotic feelings is exhausted by Canada, and citizenship without patriotic feelings is a sham.” 

Bill C-6 proposes to drop the requirement that prospective citizens declare their intent to live in Canada. As an immigrant myself I was proud to call Canada home. As it is currently written, Bill C-6 risks creating ‘citizens of convenience’ who enjoy the privileges of citizenship without accepting the responsibilities and duties that accompany being a citizen of Canada.  

Click here to watch the speech. 

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