Blog post for August 17, 2017

It’s usually around the half-way point of August that I start to hear people question where the summer has gone. Indeed, September is just around the corner, a time for shorter days, kids going back to school, and, of course, the return of MPs to the House of Commons.

I have sincerely enjoyed my summer back in the riding since the House recessed on June 21st. It has been a real pleasure to reconnect with constituents, whether it’s through face-to-face meetings in my community offices or at various summer events in communities throughout this great riding. Ironically, summer is a time to cool down the heated partisanship that can dominate Parliament during the months of May and June, and to receive the very important feedback on the issues that were debated and those that will be of future importance when we return to the nation’s capital in September.

As always, Canada Day was very busy, especially it being Canada 150. I was pleased to be able to travel to seven events during the day: the Malahat Legion, Maple Bay, the BC Forest Discovery Centre, Centennial Park in Duncan, Chemainus, the Sikh Temple in Paldi, and Mesachie Lake. We have certainly come a long way as a country since Confederation 150 years ago, but we still have a lot of work to do in the pursuit of environmental, economic, and social justice. We are very lucky to live in a country that respects the rule of law and the rights and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.

I am set to return to Ottawa a week before Parliament resumes, during the week of September 11th. The Standing Committee on Health will be conducting an intensive study of the government’s Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act during this week; it is a major and overdue change to our country’s drug law, and there are a lot of expert witnesses the committee will need to hear from in order to make sure we are passing a good bill. As the Justice Critic for the NDP, I will be joining my colleague Don Davies, our Health Critic, on the committee to conduct our thorough review of the bill.

I hope many of you are squeezing out as much time as you can with friends and family for what remains this summer. I’ll look forward to posting more updates on my blog as we get closer to my return to Ottawa.