Standing up for our democracy


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/03/2022 (454 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It has been a difficult time for our country and our community. February has been a month defined by an illegal occupation that, until recently, brought our nation’s capital to its knees and temporarily shut down several international border crossings on which millions of jobs depend. Smaller occupations, including in Winnipeg Centre, have subjected residents to days of harassment and sonic torture.

Over the last few weeks, I have been working to ensure that your voices are heard loud and clear in parliament and that downtown Winnipeg residents are supported.

In parliament, during a debate regarding the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act, I spoke about the threats facing our democracy. I’m concerned by the spread of misinformation, the threats to journalists, the large amount of anonymous, foreign funding that helped sustain the illegal occupation and the roles of former police and intelligence officials who involved in organizing it. I’m deeply concerned by the racist and xenophobic rhetoric espoused by self-proclaimed “leaders” of the convoy, including Pat King, who said that “the Anglo-Saxon race” has “the strongest bloodlines.”

I noted that the NDP’s support for this emergency legislation is not a blank cheque, and we are ready to withdraw our support at any time if there is any overreach or indication that these measures are no longer required.

I also highlighted the growing gap between rich and poor, and how many people who were struggling before the pandemic are finding their lives even more difficult now. This inequality and human suffering is causing alienation and despair, which fuels the growth of extremist and anti-democratic movements. We must focus on raising people’s living standards so that we can replace this despair with hope.

In the short term, this means expanding income supports for workers, small businesses, seniors and people with disabilities who have bore the brunt of this pandemic. In the longer term, it means measures such as implementing a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income (GLBI) that would lift millions out of poverty, and ensure that everyone has what they need to lead a dignified life. As many readers know, I introduced Bill C-223 in December 2021 that would enact a national framework for a GLBI.

Along with my colleagues in the NDP caucus, I will never stop fighting to make lives better, and never stop fighting to defend our democracy.

Leah Gazan

Leah Gazan
Winnipeg Centre constituency report

Leah Gazan is the NDP Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre.

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