Alistair MacGregor column: Getting ready for a new term in Ottawa

Environmental justice will not be successful unless we also tackle economic and social justice.

By Alistair MacGregor

I am humbled and grateful to the people of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford for their vote to re-elect me as their representative in the House of Commons for the 43rd Parliament. I want to sincerely acknowledge the trust that has again been placed on my shoulders, and I pledge to work hard in the weeks, months, and years ahead to ensure our riding continues to have a strong voice in Ottawa.

I also want to again acknowledge my fellow candidates: Alana DeLong for the Conservatives, Lydia Hwitsum for the Green Party, Blair Herbert for the Liberals, Rhonda Chen for the People’s Party of Canada, and Robin Stanbridge for the Christian Heritage Party. I enjoyed being on the campaign trail with each of them and want to express my thanks for their role in actively strengthening our democracy.

On Oct. 21, Canadians elected a minority Parliament, which means the governing Liberals will now have to actively work and collaborate with opposition parties to pass legislation and determine budget priorities. As a Member of Parliament who spent four years across the aisle from a majority government, I welcome this change, and I look forward to working and making sure we embark on a path of effective policies and solutions that will tackle the twin threats of climate change and growing inequality.

Our riding’s communities have always been very important to me. When I was first elected in 2015, I resolved to make sure that my constituency offices were always there to help and that I was involved at the local level as much as possible. This community involvement and participation will continue to maintain its importance, as I am resolved to make sure that I am always speaking with an authentic voice for our constituents’ concerns when I’m in our nation’s capital.

Our pursuit of environmental justice will not be successful unless we also tackle economic justice and social justice. More than anything else, I believe this statement resonated with many residents in our riding, and it is what will guide me as my NDP caucus colleagues work to set conditions for our cooperation with the minority Liberal government.

People want to see action on climate change — a real and scientifically-backed greenhouse gas reduction plan that is coupled with a legitimate and achievable plan for a transition away from fossil fuels. However, this action plan must also take into account and recognize the extreme inequality and poverty that exists in Canada, which is coupled with a very real struggle that many people are experiencing on basic affordability issues.

The challenges facing our country are going to be difficult to overcome, but that is a reason why now, more than ever, we must find a way to put aside partisan differences and work together. I look forward to working on your behalf to advance solutions to these problems when the 43rd Parliament is convened, and I welcome any opportunities to talk with you when I’m out and about in our beautiful riding.

Alistair MacGregor is the Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford.

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