As the summer winds down, and as I prepare to join my colleagues back on Parliament Hill, I thought it would be great to look back on some accomplishments and highlight some of the important work we have planned.
This summer, Ottawa Centre received federal funding for some really exciting and important initiatives. Through the Canada Summer Jobs program, 133 organizations received a total of $1.4 million to hire students in the community, The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa and The Soloway Jewish Community Centre received $590,648 to upgrade their infrastructure, The Social Planning Committee of Ottawa and The Wood Manufacturing Council received funding to provide training to close to 150 youth in wood manufacturing and green construction, The Canadian Council of Aviation and Aerospace received $220,000 to hire post-secondary graduates for their first job in aerospace manufacturing, and up to $1.09 billion was announced for Ottawa Light Rail Transit Stage 2 Project.
Earlier this summer the final piece of funding was secured to build the footbridge between Clegg Street and Fifth Avenue and a new plan for 100 Wellington, the former US Embassy building located across the street from Parliament Hill, was announced. These are two projects I heard a lot about from residents of Ottawa Centre when I was campaigning. I made a promise to my constituents that the bridge would be built and that the Government of Canada would put forth a plan before the end of 2017 to transform 100 Wellington into a functioning space, and I am happy to say these are promises kept.
The legalization of cannabis, tax relief for deployed military personnel, and requirements for immigration are other topics I heard a lot about while knocking on doors in the riding this year. I am proud of the progress our Government has made in these areas.
A bill was introduced to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis by July 2018. This legislation will, for the first time, make it a specific criminal offence to sell cannabis to a minor, tax relief measures for deployed Canadian Armed Forces personnel and police officers were announced in May and it is no longer a requirement for sponsored spouses to live with their sponsor for two years in order to keep their permanent resident status. These changes are great news for residents of Ottawa Centre and Canadians across the country.
In June, Bill C-18 received royal assent. As the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Bill C-18 is something I am particularly proud of as it protects the ecological integrity of Rouge National Urban Park. The Rouge has an incredible diversity of natural and cultural treasures and has some of the oldest Indigenous sites in our country. Such a unique place deserves the same level of ecological protection as every other national park in our country.
There are a lot of positive milestones to look back on, but I know we still have plenty of work to do. I look forward to getting back to the Hill to represent the people of Ottawa Centre and to represent our country as the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
On August 9th I met with Meredith Brown from the Ottawa Riverkeeper to discuss important initiatives to keep our waters healthy. It’s always great to hear about the work of the Riverkeeper, they are environmental champions in the riding.
On August 9th I also met with the Carlington Community Health Centre. They are an incredible organization in the riding that works with everyone from youth to seniors to help them take control of their health.
On August 20th I celebrated India Independence Day at City Hall. I value the relationship our two countries have and I look forward to working together to tackle important issues like climate change.
On August 21st I had the honour to help raise the flag for Capital Pride. I believe in a Canada where every person is free to be who they are regardless of sexual orientation or gender. Love is love.
On August 21st I also visited the Ottawa-Carleton Children’s Village to meet some students who were employed for the summer through the Canada Summer Jobs program. These students are helping provide summer camps for underprivileged children in the area.
On August 25th two Canada Summer Jobs students from Mines Action Canada came by the office to share with my team what they were working on all summer. They are both so passionate and I wish them the best as they continue their studies this fall.
August 27th was the Capital Pride Parade. It always makes me so happy to see so many groups come together to show their support of the LGBTQ2+ community. I was thrilled that Prime Minister Justine Trudeau and Chief of Defence Staff General Vance marched this year as well!
September 13-17, 2017
The World Remembers
September 24 – November 11, 2017
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