Lots happening

This next session of Parliament promises to be a busy and productive one—provided the government allows Parliament to continue with its important work for Canadians. I am looking forward to returning to Ottawa next week to continue work on the projects I began last session and to see the needs of the Northwest met.
Last session I put forward the “Buy Canada” motion, which called on the government to use Canadian labour and products in its public transport projects. The motion passed unanimously in the House of Commons. Hearings have been planned for the Transport Committee to ensure that the Government puts the proper regulations into place. The passing of the Motion has come at just the right time, as regional developers look to bid on Toronto transit projects. Losing these contracts would be bad news for Ontario transport producers, but this Motion and the work of the committee could help safeguard against shipping these opportunities overseas. Public transit jobs need to stay in Ontario!
Last session also saw the production of the Forestry Report, putting Forestry issues back on the front burner for the first time since 2005. The Forestry Report was given unanimous support in committee, meaning that Parliament can act quickly on its recommendations, recommendations that could help save jobs and reinvigorate local economies. If the Government calls an election, however, this important work will be put on hold.
A third initiative that I would like to see move forward this fall is the Food Safety report. At our emergency meetings this summer to fight cuts to food inspection, we discovered the government has been secretly implementing some of these measures since March! The Food Safety Report also goes hand-in-hand with the efforts of many to launch our Buy Local Food campaign.
It is also important this session that the concerns of many regional health groups expressed over the summer be translated into action. I have been meeting with a number of organizations including heart, diabetes, cancer, ALS, MS, Alzheimer’s and arthritis regarding our need for a National Health Strategy. Such a strategy would not only allow for coordinated planning in response to these illnesses, but would also advocate for healthier lifestyles and the prevention of these ailments. During this next session, I plan to move forward on two Private Member’s Bills that I introduced last session, on lowering gas prices and on restoring decorum in the House of Commons.
Initiatives are also being planned to stop Bill C-39, legislation that would cost Thunder Bay 115 grain commission jobs. Many of you are aware, as well, of the need for a workable environmental plan and to green up our economy. We are working towards such a strategy, and are speaking with Canadians like yourself to develop a plan that fits our needs and objectives as a nation.
This fall promises to be a full and productive one. The list above is long, and reflects the many initiatives and visions that are shared for Canada and the Northwest. As we move into the fall and this coming year, let’s hope we can keep on pulling together to turn these visions and initiatives into reality.

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