Parliament resumes

Cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and the resumption of Parliament signal that autumn has arrived. I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the riding throughout the summer, but now I must re-commence my weekly odyssey to Ottawa.
The upcoming session promises to be both busy and interesting. There are numerous pieces of legislation on the order paper for debate and a “mini-budget” is expected sometime in the coming weeks.
If you would like to follow our activities, you can find a list of bills, as well as the daily order paper, at www.parl.gc.ca
The schedule in Ottawa is always full. In addition to debates during regular hours, there often are special debates that go late into the evening regarding urgent issues such as Afghanistan, the Canadian Wheat Board, and the Darfur crisis.
Although the government largely sets the agenda, there are a few days each month called “Opposition Days,” which allow for discussion of topics proposed by the opposition parties.
You can expect the softwood lumber deal to figure prominently on these allotted days over the coming weeks.
There are a wide range of important topics and each day brings new issues in the mailbox. Currently, I have been receiving correspondence on “Make Poverty History,” food labelling, euthanasia, animal welfare, gun registration, computer security, and foreign ownership issues—and that’s just this morning!
I will continue as a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Foods which meets twice weekly. I also will retain my role as chair of the national Liberal rural caucus and will continue to work to address the needs of rural Canada—specifically Thunder Bay-Rainy River.
I have tabled two private member’s motions: a Buy Canada Policy for Public Transportation and Decorum in the House. These items are on the order paper, and will be called to the floor for debate and discussion in the order appointed by Parliamentary procedure.
I will be back in the riding each weekend to meet with my constituents and attend local activities. My offices in Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Atikokan, and Fort Frances are open Monday to Friday to serve you.
Please feel free to call or visit at any time.

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