My Blog for April 16th

This was a tough week in Ottawa.  The NDP held their convention in Edmonton and voted in favour of renewing the party and holding a leadership convention in the next year or two.  I want to thank Tom Mulcair for all his hard work and dedication to the party.  It has been an honour to work with him as leader and we will be relying on him to continue that leadership while the party searches and votes on a new leader.  I look forward to seeing who comes forward; they will have big shoes to fill!

With the House sitting this week there was little time to recover from the weekend and the delayed flight which had us coming into Ottawa just before 2 am Monday morning.  I had meetings this week with Veterans advocates and London representatives from the Ontario's Big City Mayors caucus. 

At Veterans Affairs Committee we heard testimony from the Minister for Veterans Affairs, department officials and the Auditor General.  You can watch or read the testimony from committee by visiting:

I also attend the "Wounded Warriors Day" function hosted by Lieutenant-General the Honourable Roméo Dallaire to listen to the issues being raised by Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families.

Speaking in the House:

This week I made a statement in the House of Commons on Pay Equity Day which is April 17 this year.  You see me give my statement here:

I also asked the Minister a Question about manufacturing here in London:

Introducing Bills:

Finally, I introduced two bills that would change legislation so that we can better support Canadian Forces and RCMP veterans and their families.  It is absolutely essential that our veterans get the financial support that they need.  The first bill would ensure that any disability pensions received by an RCMP or CF veteran will not be clawed back once the veteran reaches the age of 65 and starts collecting CPP or a similar provincial plan.  The second bill would raise the amount the veteran's spouse or survivor or dependent children are provided for in an allowance. It would raise it to 70% of the veteran's annual allowance or annuity. This would provide much needed additional financial support to families and to veterans.