Blog Post for January 29, 2018

Dear constituents,

Today marks the return of the House of Commons after the Christmas recess, and after a period of time being at home and working out of my local office, I’m rested, recharged, and ready to again bring forward your interests and concerns to the national stage.

My NDP caucus colleagues and I had a great strategy session together last week in Ottawa. We had originally planned for the Saguenay region of Quebec, but blizzards and freezing rain cancelled many flights, forcing us to change our plans to Ottawa. Such is life in Canada in winter! During this time we really concentrated on coming together to discuss the needs of Canadians and to get to know our new leader, Jagmeet Singh, and his vision for Canada. I’m very excited and looking forward to working on these themes in the weeks and months ahead.

It was during this time that I had the honour of being named as the new NDP Critic for Agriculture and Agri-food. I will also sit as the second Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture. This is a role I am incredibly excited to take on because of the personal interest I have in the subject. I’m lucky to own a small farming property in the Cowichan Valley with my wife, which we are working hard to bring into production with the planting of fruits, nuts and vegetables, and the raising of sheep, chickens, ducks, and turkeys. I’ve also formerly been a board member of the Cowichan Green Community, an organization dedicated to food security. Finally, we know that the Cowichan Valley (the Warm Land), blessed as it is with a mild climate with plentiful rain in the winter and lots of sunshine in the summer, is home to a multitude of farms and many people who are interested in local, sustainable agriculture.

All in all, the new critic role is a fantastic fit for our riding.