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
Canada and Poland Strengthen Coordinated Engagement in Ukraine
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that Canada and Poland will partner on various initiatives to help Ukraine stabilize its economy, consolidate its democracy and support civic engagement. Baird made the announcement in Warsaw, Poland, alongside Radosław Sikorski, Poland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, following their meeting to discuss a coordinated approach to the crisis in Ukraine.
Harper Government helps seniors mentor youth in Richmond, BC
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), today announced that seniors in British Columbia will share their life experience with school-age children through a community mentoring project.
The Honourable Jason Kenney and the Honourable Alice Wong will announce Government of Canada support to S.U.C.C.E.S.S. to help internationally trained workers get their credentials recognized and find jobs in their fields more quickly
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Richmond, will announce Government of Canada support to S.U.C.C.E.S.S. to help internationally trained workers get their credentials recognized and find jobs in their fields more quickly.