I want to start by thanking the residents of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford for again placing their trust in me to be their Member of Parliament. Following the federal election results last month, my team and I have been busy in getting our feet back under us and resuming our constituency office operations to help constituents in their dealings with federal government agencies, policies, and programs.
Canada’s 44th Parliament looks remarkably like the one it just replaced. The Liberals’ quest for a majority government, which was the only reason why the election was called in the first place, was again denied, meaning the prime minister will be forced to look to opposition parties for collaboration and partnership in getting things done.
Parliament is finally scheduled to return on Nov. 22. When it resumes, I will be looking forward to both making sure that important local issues have effective representation in the House of Commons and to collaborating with my colleagues so that we see real and effective policies to deal with the challenges we face.
During the election campaign, when I was door-knocking in communities throughout our beautiful riding, I heard directly from many residents on what their main priorities were. People in our region are extremely concerned with the availability and affordability of housing, the increasingly harmful effects of climate change, the ongoing opioids crisis, and coverage of healthcare services. It’s important to note that many of these subjects were given serious consideration and discussion in each of the main parties’ election platforms, which gives me hope that there is room for strong collaboration across the political spectrum.
I’ve identified housing as a key issue that I want to start working on right away. More than anything else, this issue dominated the feedback from residents during the election. There are serious concerns regarding the availability of housing stock, the lack of non-market, affordable housing options, and the high cost and low vacancy rates of rental units. I’ll be working with representatives of local government and service agencies to identify our riding’s various housing needs so that federal government housing programs and funding streams are identified and used to maximum effect in our region.
As Members of Parliament, it is now our responsibility to accept the results of the election, roll up our sleeves, and work together in a meaningful way to address these concerns on behalf of Canadians. As this riding’s federal representative, I’m ready to do just that, and I encourage you to stay in touch with my office in the weeks and months ahead so that I can stay on top of your priorities.