Perth-Wellington MP says more needs to be done to support Canadians and businesses
Perth-Wellington MP John Nater says this is the most challenging time his riding has ever experienced because of COVID-19.
Nater said right now on Parliament Hill, while there are still disagreements over some legislation, overall the parties have been able to work well together to help get Canadians support.
“We’re going to have disagreements over certain things, but I think the big priority right now is to try to do as best as we can for the people of the country right now. There are a lot of people out there who are suffering, both from the illness itself, but also from the economic consequences of COVID-19.”
Nater said he was happy to see an expansion to the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit, but there are still gaps to fill for some people. He notes people who were on low income and those who were already unemployed are now going to be getting support under the CERB expansion, but there’s still work to do.
“The one challenge we’re still seeing is with students in particular. Those who are unable to find summer jobs, all the jobs they had lined up are now cancelled, or put on hold, so that’s still a bit of a gap there. So we’re hoping to see some changes there to help those people.”
With respect to local businesses, Nater said there still needs to be changes made to better help small or independent businesses who right now don’t qualify for many of the government support programs. e says he gets daily emails, sometimes at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., from concerned business owners.
“And their greatest concern is, ‘am I going to be able to reopen?’ They don’t know when or how, and they often tell me ‘I prepared for a decrease, I prepared for an economic downturn, I was never prepared to go to zero.’ So that’s what’s happening right here.”
With Perth-Wellington being a massive agriculture area, Nater says there are immense challenges in that sector, too.
“There’s a real concern about the supply chain for food, so ensuring that the processing capacity is there, basically from farm to fork. So, there’s been some concern with the processing capacity decrease at some of the plants across Ontario. That’s a real concern when that gets backed up not only for our farmers but also for the food supply. So that’s something that is of great concern for the agriculture community.”
Nater reminds everyone that if you have concerns or need more help or information, you can contact his constituency offices in Perth and Wellington. You can find all the contact information on his website http://www.johnnater.ca/