MP Todd Doherty met virtually with Cariboo-Prince George constituents Wednesday, May 19. (Zoom image)

MP Todd Doherty met virtually with Cariboo-Prince George constituents Wednesday, May 19. (Zoom image)

Cariboo Prince George MP checks in with Indo-Canadian constituents

“It’s about staying together and reconnecting,” said Todd Doherty

Todd Doherty believes we are all at the point where we need our faith.

The Cariboo-Prince George MP recently held an online meeting with Indo-Canadian constituents from communities such as Prince George, Vanderhoof and Quesnel, who shared their concerns on how COVID-19 and other ongoing events have impacted them locally, internationally, and financially.

“The reason why I called this meeting is over the course of last year, it’s probably been the hardest year to be an elected official, but it has been hard on our communities that have friends and family overseas, and nowhere are we seeing communities hardest hit in recent days than we are in India,” Doherty said Wednesday, May 19.

Doherty was joined by Conservative colleagues Edmonton Mill Woods, MP Tim Uppal, and Calgary Forest Lawn MP Jasraj Singh Hallan.

Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara secretary Pal Bassi believes the Canadian Government should do more and call for the Government of India to resolve ongoing protests by farmers. Hundreds of thousands have been living in tents and camps pitched on highways for months.

Doherty agreed it is difficult to watch.

According to Bassi, the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara has not received any COVID relief funds from federal or provincial governments.

Doherty said that while it is similar to a business, it is still a faith-based organization and there has been no funding available for that.

“Unfortunately the Liberal government has not come forward with any kind of programs specifically for places of worship because many of them have mortgages to pay, utility bills, and the lockdown is preventing people from going there and donating and being a part of it,” Uppal said.

Meanwhile, Doherty said provincially he is troubled by the ongoing gun and gang violence in B.C.’s Lower Mainland that could spread to Interior and Northern communities and is claiming the lives of someone’s brother, sister, uncle, aunt or cousin.

Read More: Cariboo-Prince George MP calling for 1-year deadline to establish 3-digit suicide hotline

An attendant, Dr. Manpreet Sidhu of Prince George said that everyday she sees patients struggling with their mental health—and for youth and elders it is of particular concern.

She said more work needs to be done to prevent youth from getting involved in gang activity, addressing mental health and trauma, and helping those struggling with their identity.

“On the ground, we’re struggling for resources,” Sidhu added.

“It is always a challenge, especially in the area of youth mental health, particularly in the north as we struggle to recruit any child psychiatrists that will stay up here.”

In Calgary, Hallan said they ended up renting space to teach Punjabi every night that eventually attracted 400 kids attending a safe place to come and talk.

Read More: Opposition parties support sending COVID-19 aid to India; no specifics from Canada

Another participant, Narinder Ludu who is a business owner, had finished building a Best Western Hotel on Highway 16 mid-last year after beginning work in 2017 and said he had been told he does not qualify for relief funds, subsidies or low-interest loans as he was not in business before COVID-19.

Over the last year, more than 200,000 businesses across Canada have closed their doors resulting in the loss of millions of jobs according to Doherty, adding at least one in six businesses are considering closure.

Vanderhoof business owner Ash Talwar plays cricket over the weekends with a small group of fewer than ten people and said they hope to host cricket matches in the future when safe.

In New Delhi Talwar’s family has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus, with his 89-year-old grandmother testing positive twice for the disease and on oxygen for the last 30 days.

“I have so many close friends and family members that have lost people so things are tough out there in regards to COVID,” he said, noting his worry is if someone in his family needs him, how does he travel.

Doherty encouraged constituents to reach out to his office any time and said he hopes to host such meetings again soon to ‘stay together, reconnect, and make sure we’re not losing sight of what’s important and keeping together as a community.’

Read More: No increase in suicide rate in B.C. during worst of the pandemic, says coroner

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read