Pubdate: Fri, 20 Mar 2015
Source: Kimberley Daily Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015, Kimberley Daily Bulletin
Author: Trevor Crawley


It's not everyday that a federal Cabinet minister comes to town.

However, Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks has been trying to get 
James Moore out to Cranbrook for the last year.

"I think he was well received and it was great to have him out and 
about," said Wilks, who spent the day with Moore meeting with 
different groups all day, including addressing members of the 
Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce for lunch on Wednesday.

"We met with the Columbia Basin Trust and another group of people 
regarding broadband," said Wilks. "Broadband's a significant issue in 
this area, especially to those people who still don't have access to 
high-speed Internet and we're working toward making that happen."

The day also included a presentation by the CBT to put a proposal 
forward with the Digital 150 grant application for broadband funding.

Addressing C-51

There were protests across the country last weekend as people 
gathered in a national day of action to take a stand against Bill 
C-51, an anti-terrorism bill that is currently being proposed by the 
Conservative government.

Critics of the bill believe it hands too much power to government 
authorities and has vague and ambiguous language that can be used 
beyond the scope of anti-terrorism.

Responding to the criticism of the bill, Wilks, as a former RCMP 
officer, said the most important part of the bill is the 
information-sharing aspect of it.

"Most people won't realize that CSIS, RCMP, CBSA-all of those 
agencies don't share information and never have.

This bill allows them to share information on individuals or an 
individual of interest and allows for a better flow of information."

Drawing on his former career, Wilks said he's authored affidavits for 
wiretaps and warrants.

"It's no walk in the park. It's a long, arduous process that is 
extremely vetted and scrutinized by a Supreme Court justice and they 
ensure that every (i) is dotted and every (t) is crossed," Wilks said.

"And if it isn't, you don't get your warrant. Or you don't get your 
wiretap. It's just that simple."

He encourages people to read the bill itself to understand how it is applied.

"It says at the bottom of Section Two, for better certainty, it 
doesn't not include lawful advocacy, protest, dissent and artistic 
expression. It's pretty clear to me, maybe it's not clear to other 
people, but it's pretty clear to me that it means if you want to have 
a lawful protest, you may.

"And there's nothing wrong with that."

On overcoming addiction

Wilks recently opened up a more personal side in the House of 
Commons, acknowledging his past addiction with alcohol and the recent 
work that came out of a summit from the Canadian Centre for Substance 
Abuse at the end of January.

"Mr. Speaker, I bring this to your attention because just over 26 
years ago, I took my last drink," said Wilks, in his statement. "My 
life had spiralled out of control. But by the grace of God, I stand 
before you and all Canadians to give hope to all those who still 
suffer with addiction, that they can find a path which will provide 
them with a daily reprieve from their addiction.

"Today, I can tell you that I would not trade my best day drunk for 
my worst day sober. Today I reach my hand out to help anyone in need, 
rather than pushing them away."

Wilks said he made his statement because it was important to him and 
although he wished to make it closer to the CCSA summit date of 
January 27-28, it wasn't his allotted time to make a statement.

Wilks noted that recovery is a long hard road, but he doesn't agree 
with programs like Insite, covered under legislation from Bill C-2.

"I don't think it's a wise idea to be looking at safe injection sites 
across Canada when the fact of the matter is that those addicted to 
drugs and alcohol for that matter, opening these sites enables them 
to continue to do what they want to do," Wilks said. "We shouldn't be 
enabling them. We should be encouraging them into recovery, not 
enabling them to continue with the drug of choice."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom