Lethbridge Herald Column - August 2011
August 5, 2011
However, the one thing that was never pointed out was how honored I would feel following in the footsteps of Canada’s greatest leaders while walking through the halls of our parliament buildings or sitting in the House of Commons where generations of prime ministers and legislatures have made decisions which have formed our nation. During the past few months I have been humbled by the opportunities afforded me as your representative including speaking in the House, voting on legislation, being in the presence of royalty and witnessing our prime minister inducted as an honorary aboriginal chief, to name a few.
It was with pride that I observed Prime Minister Harper inducted as an honorary member of the Kainai Chieftainship by the Blood Tribe of Alberta. A tribute requested by Blood Tribe Chief Charles Weasel Head in response to the prime minister’s heartfelt apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools in 2008. Having close ties to the Blood community, I fully understand and appreciate the importance of that apology and what it meant to them, so observing the traditional ceremony was a personally touching event.
It was also an honour to watch Master Cpl. Melissa Whitegrass, a proud member of the Blood Tribe and our Canadian Forces who had served in Afghanistan, play an active role in the ceremony.
- The sod turning for the city’s new Community Performing Arts Centre, in which the federal government has invested $3 million through the Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund.
- Ribbon cutting ceremonies at the North Lethbridge Sports Park Picnic Shelter/Playground and the Nicholas Sheran Leisure Centre, where the federal government made contributions of $538,000 and $500,000 respectively, showcased how our investments in projects serve the community’s greater good.
- Launch of the new ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, a $97-million program investing in research, development and demonstration projects for clean energy technologies that will create high-quality jobs for Canadians.
- Creation of Shared Services Canada, which will streamline and consolidate government IT services, to transform and get better value for money from IT services across the federal government.
- Reintroducing and passing The Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials bill — legislation that will ensure our justice system has the tools it needs when faced with mega-trials, during the final day of the House sitting.
- Reintroducing legislation to crack down on human smugglers. Our Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act will stop those who seek to take advantage of our generous immigration system, and abuse our fair and welcoming nature for financial gain.
- Creation of the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards to recognize the enormous contribution volunteers make to Canada. The Government of Canada has also expressed its interest in looking to innovative charities and forward-thinking private-sector companies to partner on new approaches to many social challenges.
Government of Canada News
Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks with Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia
Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke yesterday with Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia. Their discussion centered on international peace and security issues. With regard to the situation in Iraq, there was a shared sense of the need to respond to the barbaric actions of the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Both underlined the importance of providing support to the Iraqi people, including through humanitarian assistance. Prime Minister Harper indicated that Canada stands ready to offer additional support, working with allies, to counter the current crisis.
Minister Moore unveils federal proposal for free and open trade in Canada
Industry Minister James Moore today unveiled the Harper Government's proposal to work with the provinces and territories in breaking down Canada's internal trade barriers that harm the national economy and hurt Canadian businesses, workers and consumers.
Parliamentary Secretary Brown to Reiterate Canada's Commitment to Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, will participate in a round table discussion with Brad Butt, Member of Parliament for MississaugaÂ–Streetsville, Toronto-area Members of Parliament and stakeholders, on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) following the May 2014 Saving Every Woman Every Child summit.