Kenora MP Eric Melillo says he and his party are taking a close look at their priorities to help ‘fix Canada’ over the holiday break, as the House of Commons gets set to return next month.

Melillo, who also serves as the PC’s Shadow Minister for FedNor and Deputy Shadow Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations, says the Conservatives are hosting a series of meetings to determine their priorities for the upcoming Parliament session at the end of January, after adjourning on December 14.

In an interview with Q104, KenoraOnline and DrydenNow, Melillo explains that one of his major goals is to continue reducing the high costs of energy, utilities and groceries in northwestern Ontario – as the country continues to muddle through its inflation crisis.

“In large part, we’ll still be facing a lot of the same issues that we are now,” says Melillo. “The cost of living is still on the rise, and the new year’s carbon tax increases will only make that worse. We’ll continue to be calling on the government to cancel that.”

Kenora’s MP explains that the Liberal government plans to triple the amount of Carbon Tax that Canadians pay on a number of essential items like gas and groceries in the new year – which he says will only make things worse for lower-income families.

The federal carbon tax, currently at $50 a tonne, is set to rise by $15 per year until it reaches $170 by 2030 in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan – while other provinces use their own carbon tax plans.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has repeatedly criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government’s plan to ‘triple, triple, triple’ the carbon tax until 2030, saying it will add up to 37.5 cents per litre onto the cost of fuel across the country by the new year.

“We will also be resuming debate on the hunting rifle ban. Of course, we continue to stand with hunters, trappers and sport shooters across the region on that,” says Melillo.

Amendments to Bill C-21, which the Liberals revealed earlier this month, alter the definition of a ‘prohibited weapon’ to include ‘a firearm that is a rifle or shotgun, that is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner and that is designed to accept a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity greater than five cartridges.’

“The Liberals must withdraw that ban – plain and simple. We won’t stop fighting until they do that,” he adds.

Melillo raised his concerns surrounding the firearm ban at the House of Commons earlier this month, as the move would be the single largest gun ban in Canadian history. It could cost the country up to $1 billion, on top of the already expected $756 million for the original buyback plan.

Shadow Ministers are members of the Opposition party who are tasked with specific policy files within the House of Commons, and work to hold the government and MPs to account.