The Member of Parliament for Provencher says one of the more iconic images in 2022 happened early in the year. In reflecting back on the last 12 months, Ted Falk says January will be remembered for the Freedom Convoy, as truck drivers began their journey from western Canada all the way to Ottawa in an effort to protest vaccine mandates that still existed.
"I don't think we've ever seen such a demand for Canadian flags before in our history," notes Falk. "Everybody was flying the Canadian flag, there was excitement, there was enthusiasm and of course there was a push to have the Liberal government back off on the restrictions that they had implemented."
Then, on Valentine's Day, Falk says the Liberals invoked the Emergencies Act and shortly after, the convoy of trucks that had converged in Ottawa slowly dispersed.
Also, in February, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, we continue to hear of Ukrainian refugees coming to Canada, including southeastern Manitoba, where they are finding peace and work while also establishing a new place to call home.
Falk says in February, Canada began celebrating the Queen's platinum jubilee, marking her seven decades on the throne. On September 8th, Queen Elizabeth passed away at the age of 96 years. Her reign lasted 70 years and 214 days.
February was also the month that Erin O'Toole stepped down as Leader of Canada's official opposition.
Falk says one of the highlights of March was when Manitoba lifted majority of its COVID-19 restrictions.
"That was a huge relief for many Manitobans, especially here in Provencher," recalls Falk. "I got a lot of feedback, how excited people were to start to begin to return to what used to be a normal way of life."
One of the more significant events of April, according to Falk, was the new federal budget from the Liberal government. He notes it was a budget that would only add to inflation woes, exacerbating the situation by introducing a lot more new spending.
In May, Falk reminds us that Prime Minister Trudeau finally banned Huawei as a service provider here in Canada. Huawei is a technology company owned by the Chinese and Falk says there were many security concerns from Canadians over the presence of Huawei in many of our telecommunications and security devices.
Meanwhile, in June, Falk says Canada ended its longstanding dispute with Denmark. Known as the Whisky War, Canada and Denmark had been at odds since 1978 over a little island called Hans Island on the northwest corner of Greenland. Falk explains that this had been jointly claimed by Canada and Denmark as their territory. As a result of this friendly disagreement, Falk says when Canadians would arrive on Hans Island, they would place a Canadian flag and a bottle of Crown Royal whisky there. And, when the Danish would arrive there, they would raise the Denmark flag and place a bottle of schnapps. On June 14th, this conflict was officially resolved with both Canada and Denmark agreeing to each share half the island.
Falk says one of the more significant events in July was the failure of Rogers Communications Inc, with the outage impacting all of Canada and raising the alarm bell of how vulnerable many of our telecommunications systems are.
Then in August, Falk says the Liberal government began considering revisions to Medical Assistance In Dying (MAID) legislation. The legislation was passed several years ago and was up for review. Falk says there were calls to expand its use including using MAID to end the lives of minors and those battling mental illnesses.
"Our Conservative team has fought very hard to make sure that those changes do not go forward," he says, noting they have been successful in making sure it does not get offered to children.
He adds there are strong indications that they will also successfully prevent this from being offered to those struggling with a mental illness.
In September, Falk says a highlight was Pierre Poilievre becoming the new Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Another significant event was the beginning of the Emergency Act inquiry, which will see a ruling by Justice Rouleau by February 20, 2023.
Then in October, Falk says the month started on a very positive note when our country dropped all remaining COVID-19 border measures. By the middle of the month, it was discovered that the ArriveCAN app, which cost Canadian taxpayers $54 million to develop, was successfully replicated by a team of app developers, over the course of one weekend, for the low cost of less than $250,000.
Falk says November saw the fall economic update which will again lead to more inflation and more out-of-control spending by the Liberal government.
And finally, in December, Falk says the Auditor General discovered approximately $27.5 billion in suspicious COVID-19 benefit programs.
"We know that some of the COVID payments that were paid out by the Liberal government ended up going to people that were dead, ended up going to people that were incarcerated in our prisons," notes Falk.
Falk says December also saw the Liberals bring in Bill C-21. He notes initially it targeted handguns and made the sale, transfer, and use of handguns illegal in Canada. However, Falk says the Liberals have tacked on an amendment that encompasses all semi-automatic firearms, which means most rifles are used by hunters and farmers.