Blog Post Feb 14

This was a much anticipated constituency week for me. While parliament did not sit this week, I kept busy on both the constituency front as well as on the seniors issues file.

I was pleased to welcome Don Pearson from the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority to the London office to discuss matters around how we sustainably manage Canadian water sheds. By protecting Canada’s water ways we ensure the beauty of our natural environment, good health, and prosperity for Canadians.

On Tuesday I had a good telephone meeting with my colleague MP Matthew Kellway. As our Critic on Infrastructure and Urban Affairs, Matthew provided me a thorough update on our “Urban Agenda” (http://matthewkellway.ndp.ca/sites/default/files/multisite/135615/field_content_files/mk-urbanwhitepaper-en-print.pdf) in preparation for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities “Sustainable Communities Conference” which took place in London this week. I am heartened by the work of municipal leaders to build the sustainable communities that Canadians need to improve our quality of life now and into the future. This includes the work being done in London to conserve water, increase our urban canopy cover, improve public transit and more. I also took the opportunity to visit http://www.shiftlondon.ca/ and learn more about London’s transit and encourage everyone to do the same. It is important the community shares its goals with our city council moving forward. On Tuesday evening I attended the Mayor’s reception for the FCM conference hosted by Mayor Matt Brown and Museum London. It was a great opportunity to meet and talk with representatives from city councils right across Canada.

Wednesday I turned my attention to my seniors issues role, meeting with the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada at UNIFOR local 27 to discuss pensions and income security for Canadian seniors. New Democrats and union retirees agree with the credo “what we want for ourselves, we want for all” when it comes to a secure pension and dignity in our retirement years.

Thursday saw me on the west coast, to speak to seniors at two events in Victoria. I was able to discuss issues around aging in Canada and my motion calling on the federal government to develop National Aging Strategy in collaboration with Provinces, territories and stakeholders.  As the official critic for seniors, I believe that we owe our seniors a debt for shaping the institutions and values of our society.  Calling for a national policy on aging is necessary to improve the quality of life for seniors, and to fulfill our indebtedness to those who have made Canada what it is today. Both events in Victoria were very well attended; it is always nice when we have to bring in extra chairs because the room is full. The attending  seniors were overwhelmingly supportive of the plan I’ve put together.

It was clear to me that seniors are not happy with the direction of the Harper Government and are doing their homework in the lead up to the next federal election!

I am back in London now for the weekend, looking forward to attending a citizenship ceremony hosted by London Area Scouts Canada this afternoon, where 30candidates for citizenship will take the oath of citizenship and become Canadian citizens.

Next week, I will be back in Ottawa, but I hope everyone has a great family day weekend!