Blog Post March 27th

I began this week by celebrating Greek Independence Day and attending the parade downtown London.  It was lovely to see so many Londoners out celebrating and remembering Greek Independence Day. It’s an opportunity to honour all veterans.

In Ottawa this week I gave a statement in the house on Fanshawe college’s new Canadian Centre for Product Validation. I also had an opportunity to ask a question on veterans and follow up questions to the parliamentary secretary on seniors’ issues. 

I also had several meetings regarding the NDP’s National Strategy on Aging.  I spoke with CARP, College of Family Physicians, Neurological Health Charities, and the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association.  I was pleased to attend the launch of discussions for an all party caucus on seniors and senior care in Canada. The event was sponsored by the speaker’s office and the Canadian Medical Association. 

If you are interested in reading more about the National Strategy on Aging please visit: http://irenemathyssen.ndp.ca/supporting-seniors

It was also a pleasure to attend the NDP’s women’s day breakfast where speakers highlighted the need for affordable childcare. 

The Broadbent Institute held the annual Progress Summit in Ottawa.  I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the summit and meeting with leaders from across the country, these dynamic young leaders are working to make Canada a more fair and equitable place.

We have had some serious debate and consideration of bills in the House this week.  C-51, the government’s anti-terrorist bill is being studied in committee. It places some very concerning limitations on the freedoms of Canadians, understandably New Democrats are very concerned about the bill.  The Government also introduced a motion to expand our contribution to war in Syria and Iraq.

New Democrats had some success this week, as we debated an NDP motion to add “micro beads to the list of toxic substances managed by the government under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. These manufactured pieces of plastic are used in everyday items like toothpaste and facial cleansers. Several studies have pointed to serious potential health risks – especially for young children and pregnant women. Not only do these microbeads pose a danger to human life, they cause significant damage to our environment. The plastic particles wash into our lakes, rivers and oceans and have been found throughout the aquatic food chain. Tragically, birds have been asphyxiated and fish have starved to death because their digestive system is clogged with plastic. I am pleased that both the conservatives and the liberals have agreed to support this initiative. 

Here in London, I am looking forward this evening the Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project open house.  I am so pleased this important project has begun the process of establishing this important heritage site.