I’m a strong believer in the importance of meeting and talking face to face. This is especially true when it comes to my commitment to transparency and accountability to my constituents. That’s why I’m hosting a series of community meetings this summer, so we can get together and talk. I’ll share what I worked on in Ottawa, and then I’ll listen. You can ask me questions or share your concerns about federal issues.
I’ve hosted four of these community meetings to date and there are five more scheduled. You are welcome to attend whichever meeting works best for your schedule, regardless of which community or neighbourhood it’s taking place in.
The idea of hosting regular community meetings to promote an open dialogue between constituents and their MP is not one I can take credit for. I am following the example set by Elizabeth May. She has hosted community meetings across her riding of Saanich - Gulf Islands twice a year for the past eight years. That is a lot of meetings! It’s also a lot of conversations, it’s really getting to know your constituents and understanding their concerns at a community level. I think that’s important.
My report from Ottawa doesn’t vary much from meeting to meeting, but the questions and conversations we have afterwards have covered many different areas of concern. In North Oyster we talked about mental health issues and the opioid crisis. In Saltair there was a lot of concern over freighter anchorages. In North Nanaimo we had a lively conversation about cannabis laws, and frustration was expressed around the need for better cooperation between the federal, provincial and municipal governments to clarify and enforce regulations. In Lantzville we talked about the issue of homelessness amongst our veterans. We also discussed the importance of meeting with local mayors, chiefs, councils, community organizations and business leaders. I have been having exactly these types of meetings and I am working on addressing the concerns that have been brought forward.
There are more community meetings scheduled over the next few weeks. I invite you to come out. Let’s meet and talk in your neighbourhood.
Thursday July 18th - North Oyster Community Meeting Tuesday July 30th - Saltair Community Meeting Wednesday July 31st - North Nanaimo Community Meeting Thursday August 1st - Lantzville Community Meeting Monday August 12th - Gabriola Community Meeting
Tuesday August 13th - Nanaimo Community Meeting
Thursday August 15th - Protection Island Community Meeting
Monday August 19th - Ladysmith Community Meeting