Photo credit: MP Scott Aitchison's Facebook
The Member of Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka is frustrated by the lack of response by the Federal Government – regarding the number of issues affecting the District.
On Tuesday, MP Scott Aitchison was in the House of Commons, where he asked for answers from the Liberal party regarding rural internet access, as well as the situation surrounding summer camps and the regulations pertaining to local cruise boat companies.
In an interview with MyMuskokaNow, Aitchison voiced his displeasure – saying the Federal government has turned not answering questions into an art form.
“I try not to be petty or all that terribly partisan, but it is so maddening. They don’t want Parliament to sit because maybe they are getting tired of answering questions with talking points without actually answering them. I don’t know.”
Aitchison brought up the rural internet access issue a few weeks back.
He’s been heavily advocating to get better service provided to residents amid COVID-19.
“It’s outrageously expensive in some areas if you even do have access, and it’s fundamentally unfair for rural Canadians. The governments made commitments that they want to improve that and change it, and they keep talking about spending infrastructure money, but we haven’t seen anything from those investments.”
Aitchison says the response to the issue of rural internet access was easily less frustrating than the other two issues he brought to light.
He notes that he’s been approached by local camps about whether the Federal government will let them have even a shortened season.
Aitchison couldn’t believe the Liberal response but says he’s becoming accustomed to not getting answers.
“They said they were going to look for ways to get feedback? You’ve been given the feedback, from my office, from the Canadian Camps Association, from individual camps across this country. You didn’t want to answer the question – you just wanted to talk in circles. Camps that have been around for generations will fold.”
In previous engagements on the camp matter, Aitchison says the Liberals have told him previously that they will address the issue, but nothing has been done.
He feels there are too many questions being left unanswered.
“Answer the blood question, just answer the question,” he exclaimed. “I spent 25 years in public life and municipal politics. If I ever answered questions in that way – I never would’ve lasted in municipal politics. Can you believe that? It’s unbelievable.”
As for the issue facing cruise companies, Aitchison points out that the province’s reopening plan allows for cruise boats to resume on Georgian Bay – however, the Federal government still has restrictions in place that prevent them from doing so.
Because these boats hold more than 100 passengers, there are Federal regulations that limit these companies.
“It’s so maddening to me. Just think about how the people who work and own Island Queen Cruise feel right now. They want their government at the very least to respond to your question – and they cannot even do that.”
Aitchison says despite the lacklustre response on these issues from the Federal Government, he will be steadfast in continuing his advocacy for them.