The Barrie Examiner

February has been an incredibly productive month in Barrie-Innisfil and in our nation’s capital.

I met with stakeholders here in the riding on a wide range of subjects including mental health, supply management, employment insurance reform and securing more funding for research to combat Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases.

These are all very important issues and the input is essential to a Member of Parliament who wants to get things done.

I also had the pleasure of judging a public speaking competition at W.C. Little Elementary School and dropping in on local retirement homes to hear first-hand about the issues that matter to our seniors. We are truly blessed to live in communities with such an engaged and informed citizenry.

With three full weeks of Parliament in session, there is plenty going on in Ottawa in February.

I held productive meetings with leaders from the dairy farmers of Ontario, Building and Construction Trades Council, the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. I was also proud to be a panelist at the Forum for Young Canadians Conference on the role of an MP.

I had further consultations with Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman and Innisfil Mayor Gord Wauchope on addressing our infrastructure needs, and made a submission to Infrastructure and Communities Minister Armjeet Sohi highlighting projects which merit funding under the government’s stated, albeit evolving criteria.

Question Period has been very spirited and I had the privilege to rise in the House of Commons to address a number of bills and motions, including speaking against the rollback of Tax Free Savings Accounts.

Last week the government introduced its new ‘refocusing plan’ in Canada’s fight against ISIS and I expressed my serious concerns.

Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan describes this new anti-ISIS strategy as “an expansion with greater risk” and Chief of Defence General Jonathan Vance is on record as saying “the lives of the men and women of the military are actually at greater risk”.

I do not believe voters heard Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speak of putting our military at greater risk during the campaign, and regardless of which political team we play for, the safety and security of our men and women in uniform should always be first and foremost in our decision making as parliamentarians.

I would, however, like to express my appreciation for the government’s modest funding increase to the Canada Summer Jobs program. I also applaud extending the deadline so local business can take the opportunity to give a young person the chance to gain the experience to succeed and prosper in the 21st Century economy.

Finally, over the past weekend I attended the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, DC as a member of the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group.

Our four-member, all-party delegation met with selected legislators from our largest trading partner on issues of shared Canada–US concern, including economic development, border security, energy and other natural resources.

To learn more about my advocacy for Barrie-Innisfil, please visit https://johnbrassard.com/

I look forward to hearing from you. My door is always open.