We all need to work together and stay healthy in order to beat Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Together our community and our country can manage this crisis.
As your Member of Parliament, I want to hear from you.
I’m always eager to hear feedback from Edmonton Griesbach constituents and other Canadians.
This is all the more vital during this time of a pandemic.
Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government have put together a package of responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
These include everything from financial aid measures to emergency phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
If you’ve reached out to the federal government during this time of crisis, how satisfied have you been with the service or help provided? It’s essential during a time of crisis that citizens get the best and most timely service from their federal government.
If you’ve got a good story, please share it with me. Write to Kerry.Diotte@parl.gc.ca.
If you had service which was less-than stellar, I’d like to hear about that too.
By sharing our experiences we can ensure that all Canadians are well-served during these trying times.
If you’ve got any other questions, concerns or comments, please send them my way.
My Edmonton office is still open and I’m here to help you. Please call ahead to arrange an appointment as we are temporarily no longer accepting walk-ins due to COVID-19. I can be reached by email at Kerry.Diotte@parl.gc.ca or by phone at (780) 495-3261.
Please also see below for some useful contact information
You can find up-to-date information from Alberta Public Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Alberta Public Health can also be reached by phone at 811.
Employment Insurance (EI) claims related to COVID-19:
- Waived the one-week waiting period for EI benefits.
- Waived doctor’s note requirement to access EI sick benefits.
Visit their website or contact EI’s COVID-19 phone line at (833) 381-2725.
For Canadians not covered under EI benefits there is the Emergency Care Benefit:
- This program will provide up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks for Canadians who are sick, have to take care of others who are sick or children out of school.
- Applications will open in April. Phone and program website are not yet available.
- When it opens you can sign up with a CRA My Account secure portal, a My Service Canada Account or a yet-to-be disclosed phone number.
Tax and benefit changes to help Canadians:
- A one-time special Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC) payment in May.
- Increase to the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, by $300 per child.
- Tax return date is deferred until June 1.
- Payment for taxes owed is deferred till August 31.
- A six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans.
Support for small businesses:
- A wage subsidy equal to 10% of wages paid during the emergency period.
- Working Capital Loan available through the Business Development Bank to help support entrepreneurs during the crisis.
Contact information for Canadians oversees and in need assistance in this emergency:
- Global Affairs Canada 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre. They can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at (613) 996-8885.
Help from the Government of Alberta
- Emergency Isolation Support:
A one-time payment of $573.00 for working adult Albertans who meet the Government of Alberta’s criteria for self-isolation. Registration will be available at the alberta.ca website next week.
- Utility payment holiday:
Residential, farm, and small commercial customers can defer bill payments for the next 90 days. This will cover electricity and natural gas, regardless of the service provider.
- Provincial student loan holiday:
Six-month interest-free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments.
- Emergency deferrals are available for ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to six months.
Our community’s charities are also here for you
- If you’re a senior in need, volunteers at Drive Happiness Edmonton can deliver food and medication. You can visit their website drivehappiness.ca or reach them by phone at (780) 424-5438
- As senior centres are closing, we must also ensure the social wellbeing of our community’s seniors. Seniors’ Centre Without Walls is a great resource where people can call and interact with others from the comfort of their own home. You can register at (780) 395-2626.
- The Mustard Seed is also still serving less fortunate members of our community.
Good stories in the news
Even though we’re in the grips of an emergency, we Canadians continue to come together. I posted the links to several good news stories below.
- Glass Bookshop – located in City Centre Mall – is offering free online delivery of their books. Link.
- There’s an App for everything these days including, an Edmonton companies App that that shows where scarce goods can be found. (Reminder, there’s no need to hoard goods.) Link.
- Inferno Fitness Sherwood Park is offering live-streamed workout classes to clients. Link.
- Alberta distillers shift to producing hand sanitizer during outbreak Link.
Here for our community
As your Member of Parliament, I’m always here for our community.
The civic spirit of our residents and organizations makes Edmonton Griesbach the amazing place that it is.
The events they host, are essential to the vitality of our community.
In the name of public health these events must temporarily be put on hold.
We must find other ways to come together.
Whether it’s on the internet, by phone or by good works our civic spirit continues.
Productive meeting with Liza Bouchard, executive director of Drive Happiness seniors assisted transportation service that provided 20,000 rides annually in Edmonton using volunteer drivers.
Delivering food with Edmonton Meals On Wheels organization board member Michael Kirk.
Always enjoy meeting Africa Centre officials. The Africa Centre does a lot good work in our Edmonton community. Thanks for the productive meeting Youth Programs Manager Emmanuel Onah and Executive Director Sharif Haji.
At the Ukrainian Christmas Shchedryi Vechir dinner held at Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex.
At the Edmonton Chinese Community 2020 Lunar New Year Banquet and celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the Chinese Benevolent Association.
With Christy Morin, executive director of Arts on the Avenue and also a director at Northlands.
I want to hear from you
Mail (postage free):
Kerry Diotte, MP
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
We all need to work together and stay healthy in order to beat Coronavirus (Covid-19).
See below for some useful contact information:
Find up to date information from Alberta Public Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Alberta Public Health can also be reached by phone at 811.
Employment Insurance (EI) claims related to COVID-19.
Phone: (833) 381-2725
For Canadians not covered under EI benefits there is the emergency care benefit.
This new program will provide up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks for Canadians who are sick, have to take care of others who are sick or children out of school. Applications will open in April. Phone and program website not yet available.
Contact information for Canadians oversees and in need assistance in this emergency.
Global Affairs Canada 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
Phone: (613) 996-8885
If you’re a senior in need, volunteers at Drive Happiness Edmonton can deliver food and medication.
Phone: (780) 424-5438
As senior centres are closing, we must also ensure the social well being of our community’s seniors. Seniors’ Centre Without Walls is a great resource where people can call and interact with others from the comfort of their own home.
Phone: (780) 395-2626
“You can help the call volumes by considering visiting http://alberta.ca/covid19 for info, if you do not need a health assessment.
For health concerns unrelated to COVID-19, consider visiting http://ahs.ca/options to find out where to get the right care for your health needs.”
True leadership requires fiscal restraint.
A responsible government would have prepared for a downturn. Instead, the Liberals recklessly spent more than $72 billion. Because of that mismanagement we're going into the economic downturn from a position of weakness.
Posted by Kerry Diotte on Monday, March 9, 2020
The illegal blockades must stop.
We conservatives want to get Canada working.Not see it shut down.If you agree that the illegal blockades must end please sign my petition. www.kerrydiotte.com/2020/02/tell-prime-minister-trudeau-to-stop-the-illegal-blockades/
Posted by Kerry Diotte on Thursday, February 27, 2020
Kerry Diotte met in Vienna, Austria with two Members of Parliament from Ukraine
— Vadym Halaichuk and Pavlo Frolov at Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) winter meetings.
Edmonton Griesbach Member of Parliament Kerry Diotte condemned ongoing Russian actions in the independent nation of Ukraine and said he’s glad Canada continues to assist that country in its struggle.
“Canada has strong ties with Ukraine and many descendants of Ukrainian immigrants live in the riding I represent in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,” Diotte told delegates at the winter meeting in Vienna, Austria of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.
“As stated in the Programme of the Albanian 2020 document the ‘crisis in and around Ukraine remains the most pressing security challenge in Europe,” Diotte told delegates Feb. 20 who represented 57 nation states including Canada, the United States, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, France, Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom, among others.
Diotte attended the winter meeting as part of a small Parliamentary delegation from Canada.
“We in Canada have also consistently and firmly condemned Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea as well as pledged ongoing support to the insurgence in eastern Ukraine,” Diotte said.
“Unfortunately, despite efforts to strengthen democracy in Ukraine and to work toward a resolution, the conflict in Donbas continues and Crimea remains occupied,” he said. “We still have work to do.
“Could the (OSCE) chairperson please elaborate on the plans to de-escalate and resolve the crisis in and around Ukraine and the strategy to make progress in 2020?” Diotte asked.
The Edmonton Member of Parliament was told at the meeting that the crisis in Ukraine will be raised by George Tsereteli, president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on a visit to Moscow.
Diotte is a member of the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.
For further information contact MP Kerry Diotte’s Ottawa office at (613) 992-3821 or firstname.lastname@example.org
By KERRY DIOTTE
Member of Parliament
Notorious English punk band, The Sex Pistols had a venomous anti-establishment hit in 1976 titled “Anarchy in the U.K.”
Flash forward a few decades. We’ve got the real thing — right here and right now. Welcome to Anarchy in Canada.
Our country’s national passenger railway system has ground to a halt due to a handful of radicals who are staging illegal blockades to protest the planned Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, part of a $40-billion LNG project that would see clean Canadian natural gas shipped to China to help that country stop burning coal.
That’s a project that’s been approved by regulators after extensive consultation and has the enthusiastic support of the vast majority of indigenous people eager to reap its rich financial benefits. It also has the support of B.C.’s NDP government, an entity not usually enamoured of the energy industry.
But here’s the rub. A handful (but not all) of the British Columbia Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs oppose it. So, now a cascading series of protests are plaguing this country, the biggest by Mohawks near Belleville, Ont. that has shut down passenger train service and severely disrupted freight traffic.
Lost in the emotion amid these blockades is the fact that the majority of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs actually support the pipeline. Observers have noted only five of 13 hereditary chiefs oppose the Gaslink pipeline. And the validity of two of these opposing chiefs’ titles are in dispute given accusations two females chiefs had their chiefs’ titles stripped and given to men due to the women’s support for the pipeline.
Roads nation-wide have been illegally blocked, as has the B.C. Legislature on the day of the provincial speech from the Throne. Ports have been shut down too.
There are court orders in place calling for an end to blockades, yet there’s little or no action to stop this ongoing insanity that’s disrupting people’s lives, keeping them away from work and costing the nation’s economy hundreds of millions of dollars.
And where has our prime minister been in all of this — our virtue-signaller-in-chief?
Well, Justin Trudeau has been largely tied up gallivanting around Africa kissing up to politicians in hopes of winning what he finds more important — a seat for Canada on the United Nations Security Council. The expression, “fiddling while Rome burns” comes to mind.
Trudeau has done nothing to end this. He says there’s a need only to “dialogue” with protesters even as there are dire warnings disrupted train service will lead to shortages of propane, chlorine to treat our tap water, de-icing fluid for airliners and even food.
“We are not a country where politicians can order the police to do something, we are a country that has confidence in its police forces and allows them to do their work in scope of these blockade,” the virtue-signalling Trudeau said with a straight face, knowing full well he indeed has the authority to order an end to this mayhem.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, meanwhile, expressed views that I guarantee resonate with 95% of average, common-sense Canadians. “I believe it’s time for the law to be enforced,” said Scheer. “We have court orders,” he said. “We have court injunctions. They need to be respected. “We cannot allow a small number of activists to hold our economy hostage and threaten thousands of jobs.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney agreed, noting Indigenous people along the route of the proposed B.C. pipeline want the jobs and prosperity that comes with them. “All of their livelihoods are being disrupted by an angry fringe,” he said. “I think Canadians are losing patience with this. I know Indigenous people are.”
Hard-core activists are leaping on the protest bandwagon to spout Marxist, anti-capitalist venom. One such radical bunch has a home at, itsgoingdown.org. That website boldly promotes the Twitter hashtag #ShutDownCanada and breathlessly details illegal acts of sabotage against railroads.
The website boasts: “We chose rail because it has a long history aiding in the colonization and confederation of Turtle Island and the displacement and death of Indigenous people … F- – k the state. F- – k the colonial courts. It’s time to stand up and shut sh-t down.” These are the kind of people who are being emboldened by Trudeau’s wimpy, irresponsible lack of leadership.
What’s especially galling is many in the mass media are giving an almost unquestioning platform to so-called experts who are anti-capitalist, anti-oil and gas activists. As a former journalist of 30 years I can’t stomach the lack of balance.
Panelists on TV and radio have been afforded a generous platform to spew a steady barrage of accusations about Canadian society peppered with emotive phrases like “colonialism,” “European invaders” and more.
One woman interviewed by the CBC said the following controversial blanket statement and wasn’t even challenged by the interviewer for it: “The oil industry is a contributing factor to the missing and murdered aboriginal women.”
Trudeau and his Liberals insist dialogue, not enforcing the law, is the key. But here’s the burning question: Why? Why is there a necessity to dialogue with activists in Belleville, Ont. about the situation thousands of kilometres away in B.C. whereby there’s already a legal court order to allow the project and stop the blockade there?
Trudeau dispatched his Indigenous services minister to “dialogue” with Ontario Mowhawks — who are blockading train service — presumably about the fact they don’t agree with the court decision in the Wet’suwet’en case. The “dialogue” seemed more like the minister begging for protesters to please stop disrupting train service.
Canadians can be forgiven if they’re tired of hearing Trudeau talking about dialogue when this nation is in crisis. They want and deserve action. Their blood is beginning to boil — and Trudeau has done nothing but give them all a cold shoulder and his trademark smarmy, morally righteous sneer.
If you’d like to send a strong personal message to Trudeau, I’ve put together a very popular on-line petition you can sign. Please do so and share it on social media and with friends. Please go here: https://www.kerrydiotte.com/blog/
Don’t ever think that speaking up doesn’t help. If every Canadian who’s enraged by this situation speaks out, even this incompetent, globe-trotting prime minister will be forced to take action.
I am an anti-Christ
I am an anarchist
Don’t know what I want
But I know how to get it
I want to destroy the passerby …
– Anarchy in the U.K., The Sex Pistols
(Comments? I’m interested in your views. Please leave me a message at kerrydiotte.com)
Petition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
I demand that you uphold the rule of law in Canada and stop the illegal blockades shutting down our country.
By KERRY DIOTTE
Member of Parliament
“I don’t approve of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
This famous quote sums up French philosopher Voltaire’s view on freedom of speech.
Clearly Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals don’t share those noble sentiments.
They’ve long been criticized for spending more than $1.2 billion annually on CBC that critics feel is decidedly sympathetic to this federal government.
Grits have also been lambasted for a scheme to hand other media $600 million in cash including the ultra-Liberal-leaning Toronto Star. That creates a clear conflict of interest and endangers the sacred principle of objective reporting.
Recently the country was rocked by news the Trudeau government was planning to mandate that all media outlets be licensed. That alarmed free speech advocates including pundits and Official Opposition Conservative politicians.
The news came out of the mouth of Trudeau’s Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, a Quebec Member of Parliament who was, in his previous career, a militant climate-change activist.
This same man first made headlines when he climbed 340 meters up Toronto’s CN Tower in 2001 with a British activist to unfurl a banner that read: “Canada and Bush Climate Killers” referring to the then- U.S. president. Guilbeault, who was 31 years old at the time, was arrested.
His newest controversy came during a CTV interview about a report called “Canada’s Communications Future: Time To Act.”
That report was compiled by a panel of independent broadcast experts and included a recommendation that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) or yet another regulatory body control licensing of all companies creating “audio, audiovisual, and alphanumeric news content.”
Guilbeault was discussing media outlets and how they would be licensed based on their size when he said quite plainly: “We would ask that they have a licence, yes.”
After those plans created a firestorm, there was a quick reversal.
Within a day he was vehemently denying that was the government’s plan saying “some people were confused.” Ugh, no kidding? But who “confused” them?
When Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer led off Question Period with an attack on this “Orwellian” notion of licensing and controlling media, Trudeau was quickly back-pedalling bigtime.
Said Trudeau: “I want to be unequivocal: We will not impose licensing requirements on news organizations nor will we regulate news content.”
Given the prime minister’s previous record of being truth-challenged, Canadians could be forgiven if they’re still not convinced the Liberals won’t pull other tricks out of the bag to endanger free speech.
Don’t forget, this is the same PM who once adamantly denied there was any veracity to the blockbuster SNC-Lavalin scandal after it was first reported by the Globe and Mail. Trudeau told this Pinocchio-style, nose-grower when he said, “The allegations in the Globe story are false.” Ultimately, the parliamentary ethics commissioner ruled those allegations to be absolutely true.
Trudeau himself muddied the waters on the news medias’ licensing issue by saying he wants to make sure people in Canada have access to “diverse, high-quality and credible news.” Call me cynical, but I don’t want Justin Trudeau and his Liberals deciding what news or news outlet is credible or not.
Rex Murphy wrote a thought-provoking column in the National Post highlighting another incident that continues to draw flak from critics who see it as a shocking attack on free speech.
Murphy’s column detailed how Ezra Levant of Rebel News Network wrote a book critical of Trudeau and his Liberals and sold it during the fall election, in part by advertising it on a billboard and lawn signs.
For that, Levant was summoned by authorities and grilled by investigators from the office of the commissioner of Canada Elections alleging he’d contravened the Canada Elections Act.
Murphy wryly remarked: “For the unwary, it is a feature of publishing a book that it be advertised, and, surprisingly, even a book criticizing a government … Can anybody give the name of any other book, ever, which has been the subject of an investigation by the Commissioner of Canada Elections?”
Despite Trudeau’s dubious platitudes extolling his heart-felt support of free speech, many Canadians are still nervous about the Liberals’ intentions. Telling the truth is not their strong suit.
Remember those Liberal promises of teeny, tiny deficits and a balanced federal budget by 2019?
Do you recall Trudeau’s key campaign platform of 2015 when he said the election that year was the last one Canada would ever have under the system of first past the post?
People still remember Trudeau once famously admitted he admires China’s “basic dictatorship.” And we all know how dictatorships deal with the free press.
This issue of free speech is vitally important. It’s particularly important to me. I was a journalist for three decades and was a national director of the Canadian Association of Journalists, an organization dedicated to improving the news media and defending free speech.
But Canadians who are nervous about Liberal plans regarding free speech in the traditional media or online should know Conservatives have their back.
There’s nothing more sacred than free speech in a democracy. It’s something Canadians fought and died for and must always be defended vigorously.
(Comments? Suggestions? Contact Kerry Diotte at email@example.com)
Please subscribe to my newsletter: kerrydiotte.com/#contact