Rob Morrison sworn in as Kootenay-Columbia MP

Rob Morrison sworn in as Kootenay-Columbia MP

Parliament set to reconvene on Thursday with election of House Speaker, Throne Speech

Rob Morrison has officially been sworn in as Kootenay-Columbia’s Member of Parliament during a ceremony last week in Ottawa.

The Conservative MP will join the ranks of newly elected and re-elected colleagues representing 338 ridings across the country when parliament reconvenes on Dec. 5.

Morrison said his swearing in ceremony was an ‘eye opener’ in terms of feeling the historical weight of seeing his name in a scroll alongside fellow parliamentary members dating back to Confederation.

“It was huge, it took me back a bit,” said Morrison.

Morrison won the Kootenay-Columbia riding with 44 per cent of the vote by a margin of roughly 7,000 ballots, defeating NDP incumbent Wayne Stetski, who had represented the riding since 2015.

The federal election returned a minority government, as the Liberals won 157 seats, Conservatives won 121 seats, NDP won 24 seats, Bloc Qebecois won 32 seats, and the Green Party won three seats. Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould also won her Vancouver-Granville seat as an independent candidate.

READ: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

For a political party to hold a majority government, it must capture 170 seats in a general election.

Once parliament resumes, the MPs will elect a Speaker of the House on Thursday morning, then hear the Throne Speech before getting down to debating the contents, said Morrison.

“As the Opposition, really my task is to keep the government accountable, but also to build relationships to work with the other parties so that we can move issues forward that are important to us,” Morrison said.

Morrison said he has been fielding approximately 100 emails a day from constituents seeking government action on a range of issues such as immigration, the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Canada Pension Plan and the federal Phoenix pay system, which has been mired in technical glitches since it was rolled out three years ago.

Party politics

While political parties adjust to the new reality of a minority government, the Conservatives are dealing with the electoral aftermath as Andrew Scheer’s leadership has been under scrutiny following October’s election.

For an election that could have been a federal tap-in for the Tories, the Conservatives fell short of capitalizing at the polls on Liberal scandals such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ethics violations and political interference in a bribery prosecution involving SNC Lavalin.

During the election, Scheer was criticized on social issues, such as a refusal to participate in pride marches and comments made in Parliament nearly 15 years ago on same-sex marriage.

READ: B.C. Conservative MP Ed Fast declines critic role, cites Scheer’s leadership

Morrison said the Tory caucus had a seven-hour post-election meeting where a decision was made to bring the issue of party leadership to Conservative Party members at an annual general meeting next April.

“The reason being, we probably have 100,000 to 200,000 Conservative members across Canada, and really, I think that’s their role, rather than 121 elected Members of Parliament, to decide the fate of a leader,” said Morrison. “It should be decided by the party.”

Morrison added that the Conservative caucus remains unified as the Official Opposition.

“We’ve got a strong group of people with a lot of talent, there’s a lot of experience and we would like to focus on what’s important to our constituents and to our party and that’s where I stand,” he said.

Member of Parliament salary and benefits

According to the Members’ Allowances and Services Manual, MPs are entitled to receive a base sessional salary of $178,000, while additional salaries are eligible for serving in roles such as a cabinet minister, Speaker, Minister of State, committee chair and vice chair and many more.

For example, the Prime Minister is eligible for an additional $178,000 on top of the MP salary, while cabinet ministers, House Speaker, official opposition leaders and Ministers of State can receive an additional $85,500.

Along with salary, MPs are eligible for benefits such as life insurance, health and dental care, travel insurance and allowance and pension, among others.

Each MP is also allocated a basic budget of $363,600 for constituency office operations, with increases eligible for ridings depending on the size of the elector base or geographic area.

For example, Kootenay-Columbia Member Office Budget is eligible for an additional $26,570 due to the geographic size of the riding, while the size of the elector base allows for an additional $32,030 for a grand total of $422,200.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read