Blog Post Dec 5th

This week, although I did not make it into one of Mohamed Salih's famous 'selfies', I was honoured to attend the City of London Inaugural Council Meeting on Monday.  I look forward to working with Mayor Matt Brown and our new city council to grow and build our city. I am strongly committed to fulfilling the expectations of Londoners and know that we will be able to work collaboratively to strengthen and diversify London’s economy while ensuring that the city remains one of Canada`s most beautiful and vibrant cities.

This week my NDP colleagues elected me Caucus chair. I am honored and determined to represent my colleagues with conviction and energy. I am also proud to be the 5th women to act as Caucus Chair for the NDP and follow in the footsteps of Audrey McLaughlin, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Jean Crowder and Nycole Turmel.  The role of caucus chair means that I will be taking on additional responsibilities including setting the agenda and chairing the caucus meetings.   It is an honour to take on this role and my colleagues’ faith in me is something I value very much.  Following my election I had many meetings this week to get me acquainted with my new role.

I also had an opportunity to meet with representatives from Canada Post who gave me a briefing on the changes to the postal boxes that are coming to parts of the riding in 2015.  I expressed to them my concerns about the plan and shared with them the concerns I have heard from constituents.  If you or a loved one are living in the affected area and are concerned about not being able to collect mail, you can call 1-844-454-3009 and someone will look into making an accommodation.  Accommodations may be made for the elderly or people with mobility issues.  Special keys can also be made available for people with arthritis.  Canada Post will deal with accommodations on a case by case basis.

I want to add that New Democrats and I have been very vocal in opposition of this move to community boxes.  We believe that having reliable and accessible mail delivery is vital to Canadians. Canada Post has provided critical and essential services for over a century. Instead of looking for ways to modernize operations, Canada Post and the Conservatives are taking an axe to our long-treasured postal service. My NDP colleagues and I will continue to oppose the loss of door to door mail delivery.

This week in the House we debated C-43 the Budget implementation act amongst several other bills.  I had an opportunity to participate in this debate and you can find my portion of that debate at: http://irenemathyssen.ndp.ca/c-43-omnibus

The NDP also put forward a motion on electoral reform which was debated in the House on Wednesday.  Next week is the final week of the House sitting before we break for Christmas. 

This weekend I will be attending events to commemorate the murders of the 14 young women at l’Ecole Polytechnique.  These young women were shot and killed simply because they were women. It is a tragedy that continues to haunt Canadians.  Let us commit ourselves to turn remembrance into action and provide leadership to end violence against women. This can only happen if we are determined to address the gender inequalities at the heart of the gender-based violence that robs women of their right to security.