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.
Over the next week I will be in Ottawa preparing for the fall return of parliament and my committee responsibilities. Once back in the riding I will continue my meeting and community parade schedule.
Government of Canada News
Community Centre Infrastructure Improvements to Attract Larger, More Diverse Events
The Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre has been an activity hub for Springhill area residents since 2004. That's little surprise given the facilities available-an NHL-sized ice surface; a walking track; baseball and soccer fields; basketball and tennis courts and a teen centre. Infrastructure improvements will help the centre further develop its economic and social role in Cumberland County, attracting a wider range of concerts, conferences, trade shows, and sporting events.
Harper Government Supports Expansion Activities of FGF BRANDS INC. in Toronto
FGF BRANDS INC. will be introducing state-of-the-art production lines to its Toronto facilities, thanks to an investment announced today by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, and the Honourable Peter Kent, Member of Parliament for Thornhill. The Harper Government is providing a $1.369-million investment which will allow the baked goods company to increase the production volume and efficiency of its line of healthy, fully baked muffins.
Harper Government proud to support Congress of Aboriginal Peoples' violence prevention program
Today, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, announced a new project to help end violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.