Toronto Star Editorial Board Endorses Alistair's Bill C-277

This week, the Toronto Star Editorial Board endorsed MP Alistair MacGregor's (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) Private Member's Bill C-277 the National Strategy on Brain Injuries Act. 

Brain injuries are, in fact, implicated in many of our most pressing social problems, yet they frequently go unnoticed. They have come to be known as "invisible disabilities" and a "silent epidemic," unseen and unheard threats to lives and livelihoods.

Most acquired brain injuries are preventable or treatable, however, and British Columbia NDP MP Alistair MacGregor is aiming to provide us with the tools to do just that.

Last year, MacGregor introduced a private member's bill calling for a national strategy on brain injuries, and last week, members of the Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium joined MacGregor in urging the federal government to support the plan.

Among other things, the strategy would promote preventive measures, improve research, data collection and training of health care professionals, create national guidelines on prevention, diagnosis and management, and raise public awareness.

Consequently, Brain Injury Canada and the Canadian Traumatic Brian Injury Research Consortium are encouraging the federal government to declare moderate to severe traumatic brain injury a chronic condition.

That could complement a national strategy devoted to raising awareness and improving research, training and treatment. And a national strategy could in turn help to inform and improve our efforts to address some of our most intractable social problems.

To be sure, it won't magically cure all of our social maladies. But given the profound role brain injuries play, it could go a long way toward alleviating them.

-Star Editorial Board


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MP MacGregor calls on Liberals to reverse decision to end recreational fishing in Port Renfrew

On Tuesday April 30th during question period I urged the Liberals to reverse their decision to expand the no-fishing zone to include Port Renfrew.

If their decision goes through, Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation’s economy will be devastated. Recreational fishing brings in over 26 million dollars per season to the community. I have voiced my concerns with the Liberal’s decision on this before, creating an online petition that promotes science-based regulations for recreational fishing at Port Renfrew.

These abrupt salmon fishing closures will impact over 100 small businesses, and yet the Liberal government has failed to provide clear data to justify this sudden decision. Our government needs to consider the communities that will feel the impacts from their decisions, yet they have refused to share their data and conduct proper consultations with the people of Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation.

 You can watch the full video, and a response from Parliamentary Secretary for the DFO  here.

Save Port Renfrew Sport Fishing

I want to bring to your attention an important e-petition I sponsored in support of recreational fishing in Port Renfrew. It was initiated by Chris Tucker, President of the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce, and it was published on April 10th. It is open for signatures until May 10th.

Closures by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), without notices, threaten over 100 small businesses and the livelihoods of the owners and employees who run them. DFO has failed to provide credible data to justify the closures, leaving the local economies of many communities severely impacted.

E-petition e-4919 advocates for a shift away from arbitrary and punitive regulations imposed by DFO, moving instead to evidence-based policies that protect the economic stability of small coastal communities like Port Renfrew.

I have been a supporting the recreational fishing community and bringing their concerns to Ottawa for many years. In 2021a cross-party representation of BC MPs and I wrote a letter to previous Minister Jordan in support of marked selective Chinook fishery opportunities that DFO is considering for the Pacific region. In 2023 and 2024  NDP MP Lisa Marie Barron and I wrote to Ministers Murray and Lebouthillier regarding the closing of Tidal Area 20 in efforts to protect the Southern Resident Killer Whale and wild pacific salmon.

Together, with your support and advocacy, we have a chance, through e-petition 4919, to tell the Government of Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that protecting our recreational fishing in Port Renfrew should be a key goal. I hope you’ll join me in signing and sharing this petition.

Letter to Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier

My colleague MP Lisa-Marie Barron and I wrote to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister on behalf of several Vancouver Island coastal communities, including Port Renfrew, regarding protection efforts for vital species such as the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) and wild pacific salmon and the closure of Tidal Area 20 by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Those out on the water have firsthand knowledge of the marine ecosystems that surround Vancouver Island, yet they are largely being left out in DFO`s decision-making process.  

This potential closure will have detrimental impacts to many who rely on sport fishing for their livelihoods, yet the Sport Fishing Advisory Committee has not been meaningfully consulted causing unnecessary strain on Sport Fishers and costal communities. Again, the protection of the Southern Residential Killer Whale and wild pacific salmon is of upmost importance to everyone involved. And those on the water have local knowledge necessary in developing effective solutions. 

You can read the full letter here

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