My grandparents were my inspiration for my involvement in politics – Garnett Genuis, Young Canadian Politician acknowledged in his speech

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In today’s time, youth has started taking interest in politics. They want to change things and want to work in modern, more innovative ways. Garnett Genuis is one example of this.

Born in 1987, Garnett Genuis has achieved something remarkable at such young age of 30 years. Born and grew up in Strathcona County, Garnett Genuis acknowledges that it’s his grandparents inspiration that brought him into politics.

While speaking against Trudeau’s carbon tax, this young Conservative MP said something about his grandparent’s that is quite emotional and inspiring. This is what he said.

My grandparents were my inspiration for my involvement in politics. My maternal grandmother was a Jewish child who grew up in Nazi Germany, and taught us up the importance of universal human rights. My grandfather was an engineer who worked for Syncrude in Alberta in the 1970s and 1980s. My grandfather made sure that we understood the devastating impact that bad and capricious government policy could have on the lives of ordinary hard-working men and women, men and women who, from the stroke of a Prime Minister’s pen, could lose the ability to make a decent living for themselves and their families. This is his story.

My grandfather was born in Toronto in 1922. His parents came to Canada during the Irish potato famine. Even in Canada, he grew up poor. He studied engineering at U of T. He told us that he got good grades in the first year, and then he joined a fraternity. He went on to travel the world, practising his craft in the U.S., the Philippines, Venezuela, and Ecuador, where he met my grandmother at a house party.

Neither of my grandparents were political people in the same way that I am, but they were people whose lives were affected by politics. They settled in BC upon returning to Canada, and then moved to Alberta in 1975. Then, along with an entire generation of long-term and brand-new Albertans alike, my grandfather saw the economic health of Alberta collapse around him under the weight of the national energy program.

This is a common Alberta story, but it was a shock for me to discover, upon starting university in Ontario, that many people in this part of the country had not even heard of the national energy program. For those unfamiliar, the national energy program was a policy of the last Trudeau government that forced oil produced in Alberta to be sold at below market prices. Predictably, oil companies reduced production as a result, reducing wealth and benefiting no one. The program cost Alberta between $50 billion and $100 billion. Bankruptcies increased by 150%. We took decades to recover.

Albertans are not bitter people. We are proud and optimistic Canadians. We are proud to do our share, and more than our share. We are not bitter people but we will never forget, and indeed we will be ever vigilant. People like my grandfather, who were hit by the national energy program, were not privileged aristocrats, they were not big banks and they were not oil companies. They were ordinary people who came to one of those beautiful places in the world where hard work was enough.

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