As a productive 2012 comes to an end and we look forward to a new year full of challenges and rewards, I would like to take a moment to look back on this past year.
For me, the event that will always remain a highlight was having the honour of standing up to vote in favour of ending the wasteful, ineffective long-gun registry. As I stood to have my voted counted, I thought of the hundreds of local law-abiding long-gun owners who have worked for so many years to see that day come to pass.
I also had the proud opportunity on August 1 to commemorate the official opening of the wheat and barley free market for Western grain farmers with some of our own local farmers. This is an issue that was of great importance to many farmers in our region and I was pleased, as a member of the special legislative committee which focused solely on this Bill, to see so many local farmers enjoy the freedom to market their own grain for the first time in 70 years.
This year our Government also introduced our plan for Responsible Resource Development. This plan will streamline Canada’s review system, while ensuring the environment is respected. Here in Northeastern BC, we are blessed with an abundance of natural resources and with several proposed projects planned in our region, our Responsible Resource Development plan has the potential to add thousands of jobs and have a significant economic impact. I recently sent out a newsletter to residents requesting your thoughts and opinions on this issue, and I am looking forward to hearing your responses.
2012 also marked the Queen’s 60th year on the throne. As part of the celebrations, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal was presented to many recipients throughout Canada. Here in Prince George-Peace River, I have had the honour of presenting medals to the following individuals who have made significant contributions to our communities and our country: Paul Gevatkoff, Connie Patterson, Tim Love, Bill Streeper, Captain Ben Lippers, Mike King, Neil Evans, Chris Parker, Larry Evans, Ben Klassen, Sheldon Clare, Aaron Marchuk, Susan Scott, Shaely Wilbur, Bruce Sutherland, Joan Patterson, Rose Colledge, Lori Slater, Dr. Charles Helm, Dr. Gail Fondahl, Baljit Sethi, Bruce D. Christensen, Alvin Stedel, John Van Spronsen, and Dale Campbell. All medals have now been allotted although I will be continuing to hand out these medals in the New Year.
To better serve our region, this year I opened a new constituency office in Dawson Creek and it has been very well-received and utilized. We had our Grand Opening November 13, 2012 and I would like to thank the many friends that came to help us celebrate! In Ottawa, we have had many friends come to visit our Parliamentary office and I have enjoyed being able to take them on a tour of the historic Parliamentary Buildings.
Please don’t hesitate to call or drop by any of my offices so that my staff and I can assist you with any issues concerning the federal government. People usually contact the office regarding Citizenship and Immigration, Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, Passport Canada, and Canada Revenue Agency. We are here for you!
As I look toward 2013, I am looking forward to continuing to meet with you, local community leaders, stakeholders, and individual constituents, listening to your ideas and concerns. If you would like to get in touch with me, please feel free to contact my office in Fort St. John at 250-787-1194, Prince George at 250-561-7982, Dawson Creek at 250-719-6848, or Ottawa at 613-947-4524.
From my family and staff to yours, a Healthy and Happy New Year!