I am writing in response to the April 19, 2015 editorial, “The right and duty to question”. While I appreciate Ms. Marshall feeling the need to question government decisions, it is her right to do so in a democratic society, I would also challenge her, and all residents, to examine all the facts and numbers before coming to any conclusions.

As you know, our Government recently announced our Economic Action Plan 2015 which included record high transfer payments to the Province of British Columbia to support health care, education, and social programs. More specifically, British Columbia will receive over $4.4 billion in health transfers, nearly a $1.6 billion (or 59 per cent) increase from under the old Liberal government.

Clearly, health care spending has not been cut.

In fact, the Canada Health Transfer will continue to grow, with record funding reaching $40 billion nationally by 2020. And beginning in 2017, we are moving towards a long-term sustainable and predictable funding arrangement to ensure that Canadians continue to have a stable and affordable health care system. Health transfers will grow in line with the average GDP growth, with a guaranteed increase of at least 3% annually.

Again, health care spending has not been cut.

With regards to our Government’s decision to extend and expand Canada’s military contribution to the fight against ISIL, ISIL has made it clear that it targets Canada and Canadians.

ISIL’s violent campaign and vile ideology must be firmly opposed, and our Conservative Government stands firms in our resolve to combat this global terrorist threat.

The brutal attacks last fall related to extremism in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and in Ottawa are a strong reminder that Canada is not immune to the threat of jihadist terrorism.

These attacks on Canadian soil, and more recent attacks in Australia and France, make clear that terrorism is a global threat. They are a reminder that we must remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us, but Canada will not be intimated. These senseless acts of violence strengthen our resolve as Canadians to safeguard our values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

Canada is doing our part to combat ISIL. With our allies and partners, we have helped push ISIL back.

If left unchecked, this terrorist threat will only grow. Canada will not stand on the sidelines, we will do our part. Our Conservative Government is standing up for the safety and security of Canadian families and innocent civilians around the world.

Bob Zimmer, MP
Prince George-Peace River
Chair, BC/Yukon Caucus