Barrie Innsifil signs

The Barrie Examiner

I hope everyone had an amazing summer taking in all our area has to offer and spending quality time with family and friends.

It was a busy and productive season for me personally, with plenty of activities happening inside and outside the riding.

Here at home, I held dozens of constituent meetings on a wide range of topics from supply management to PTSD to climate change.

In July I hosted my inaugural Community Barbeques in Barrie and Innisfil, and thanks to a terrific group of volunteers and community partners, we were able to raise enough money to sponsor 10 local youth to play house league soccer next year.

I attended nearly 100 community events this summer including grand openings for new businesses. It is always exciting when a company opens its doors for the first time and I am happy Barrie-Innisfil was chosen to create jobs and pursue their dreams.

It was also real pleasure to be behind the bench to coach Team Aaron Ekblad at Hockey Night in Simcoe County IX, held at Barrie Molson Centre in mid-August, when over $200,000 was raised for area health care.

The prime minister made a stop in the riding last week to announce funding for transit. During the election, the Liberals made some very lofty promises when it came to infrastructure funding and promised it would flow quickly to cities like Barrie.

Ten months have passed since the Liberals took office and this is the first drip we’ve seen from that faucet. That said, I had been lobbying Minister Amarjeet Sohi for transit investments consistent with the City of Barrie’s priorities since the beginning of the year, so I welcomed that announcement.

There was also plenty going on outside the riding.

I met with First Nations Fire Chiefs at Six Nations of The Grand River to discuss how to improve fire services on reserves, and I took part in the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) annual conference in Windsor, where Innisfil’s Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin was appointed as the new AMO president.

I also made my second trip to Washington D.C. with an all-party group of parliamentarians for continued bi-lateral talks with senators, governors and other high- level US officials.

This working committee covered a wide range of topics including: the threat of ISIS, border security, trade agreements, energy policy and the future of the Great Lakes.

It is vital to the future prosperity of Canada to have a close working relationship with our largest trading partner. Our integrated economies pose challenges but they also present common opportunities. I appreciate being able to work with colleagues from across the border as well as from across the aisle.

Regardless of my travels or the role the party leader has assigned to me, the people of Barrie-Innisfil will always be my top priority and focus.

The fall session of Parliament is beginning soon and there will be many more issues to tackle in the coming months and years.

I am excited to return to Ottawa and continue the work on behalf of Barrie-Innisfil.