My Blog for November 4, 2016

Dear Constituents,

We are now in the final week of our second 3-week session in Parliament, and I am looking forward to returning next week to visiting and reconnecting with the wonderful communities that make up our riding.  I will be visiting a number of schools during my time back in the constituency and speaking to students about the institution of Parliament and what my duties there are.

Since my previous blog post, much has happened in Parliament.  There have been several new government bills introduced, notably Bill C-26, which will expand and enhance the CPP, and Bill C-29, which is the second Budget Implementation Act.  I’ve had the chance over the last three weeks to speak on both bills, and you can easily find the transcripts of my speeches on the website www.openparliament.ca.  I have always advocated for an expansion of the CPP because there is evidence that Canadians are not saving enough for retirement, and pensions offered by employers are not what they used to be.  With respect to the Budget Implementation Bill, I am concerned by the infrastructure privatization plans that have been announced by the government of Canada, where they will leverage public funds to attract private investment into existing and new infrastructure plans.  The major problem with this is twofold:  first, there was no mention of these plans in the Liberal campaign platform, and second, these private interests will want a high rate of return on their investment, which translates into user fees and tolls.

I am excited to announce that I will now be serving on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for the remainder of the year.  My colleague Murray Rankin, who serves as our critic for justice issues, has become the NDP House Leader due to Peter Julian’s consideration of a leadership bid.  His duties as our new House Leader do not afford him any time on the committee, so I will take over and be present for this committee’s important work in the weeks ahead.  To see the work the committee is undertaking, you can access the following link:  http://www.parl.gc.ca/Committees/en/JUST

I’ve very much appreciated receiving your comments, feedback, and suggestions regarding the issues that Parliament is deliberating.  Thank you for your interest, and I look forward to keeping you up to date with another blog post after my constituency week, which will look ahead to Parliament’s agenda for mid-November.