Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to deliver this statement from Williams Lake, British Columbia, my hometown and the home of the Williams Lake Stampede, the greatest show on dirt.
Over the last five years, the Liberals have shown through their disastrous policies that they do not respect or understand rural or western Canadians. The Speech from the Throne did not address increasing rural crime or the opioid crisis and did nothing to address the growing unity crisis grappling western Canada.
Small businesses are the backbone of our country and have been all but forgotten by the government. Communities in my riding depend on the economic benefits of major events, like the Williams Lake Stampede, Billy Barker Days, the Vanderhoof International Airshow and the BC Northern Exhibition. Due to COVID, all were shut down in 2020.
Because of this, businesses and great community supporters like C+ Rodeos, Central Display, Judy Russell's Enchainement Dance Centre, Blake Productions and thousands more have all suffered incredible losses this year. Sadly, they were all left behind by the government. They deserve better.
We may be down, but in true Cariboo spirit, we will get back up, dust ourselves off, saddle up and ride again. Yee-haw.