District pre-budget consultations slated

By John Rafferty
Well, here we are at the end of a busy and eventful year.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, and renew my pledge to work hard for you and your family in Ottawa. I will not forget those of you who have helped over the years and I know that my work has only just begun.
I also wanted to let you know about a series of pre-budget consultations I will be hosting in the New Year. Finance minister Jim Flaherty recently sent a letter to my office asking for input about the content of his Jan. 27 budget, so I’ve decided to set up a series of meetings to meet with you and hear ideas about what our riding needs the most.
Would you like to see better access to Employment Insurance? What kind of assistance do our forestry and manufacturing need? Are there certain road and highway construction projects or upgrades you would like to see?
These consultations will be your chance to have a voice.
The dates, locations, and times of these pre-budget consultations in this part of the riding are as follows (if you have any questions, call my Thunder Bay office toll-free at 1-800-667-6186):
•Monday, Jan. 5—Rainy River Legion (6-9 p.m.);
•Tuesday, Jan. 6—Emo Legion (6-9 p.m.);
•Wednesday, Jan. 7—Our Lady of Way School in Stratton (6-9 p.m.);
•Thursday, Jan. 8—Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau (6-9 p.m.); and
•Friday, Jan. 9—Atikokan Pioneer Centre (6-9 p.m.)
I hope many of you will be able to make it out to one or more these meetings to discuss what our riding needs are for the coming budget. If you can make it, please consider bringing along a non-perishable food donation in support of one of our local agencies devoted to helping those in need.
If you can’t make it, you can always write to me via e-mail at raffej@parl.gc.ca or by regular mail to 326 West Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0A6 (no postage is required for all mail to my address).
Finally, I’d like to thank you again for trusting me to represent you in Ottawa. I know we are heading into tougher times on the economic front, but I also know we will get through it just as we always have—by sticking together.
In that spirit, let’s use this holiday season to reconnect with our friends and neighbours, and our families and loved ones.
Happy New Year, everyone!

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