Happy New Year! 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, and I am looking forward to serving you in the busy year ahead. I campaigned on the promise that I would be a strong voice for Kootenay-Columbia in Ottawa and my priority remains visiting communities across the riding to hear from you.
Earlier in January, I had the opportunity to host open houses at my Cranbrook and Nelson constituency offices. I was also able to host Coffee with the MP in Field and Revelstoke, and in Golden, residents joined me for an evening of pints and politics. From these public events and the many reply cards my office has received by mail, I have heard from constituents about priorities ranging from democratic reform, to concerns about the environment, to health care, to support for our small businesses and making life more affordable.
Though it will be a busy upcoming session in Ottawa, I look forward to making the most out of the break weeks back in our riding. One of the most important resources I am able to offer in my role as your Member of Parliament is to support constituents on federal matters. I know that accessing your nearest Service Canada office or even my constituency offices can be a challenge across an area as big as Kootenay-Columbia –especially during these winter months. That is why I am excited to announce that throughout 2017 I will be bringing my constituency offices to communities across the riding in a series of pop-up offices.
My staff will be on hand to help you to navigate and resolve issues with federal government departments, programs and services. Whenever it is possible, I look forward to being able to stop in at the pop-up office to hear your concerns. I know how challenging it is to access updates and information from federal government agencies – especially if your only point of contact is a busy phone line. As your MP, I am able to inquire on your behalf and assist you in updating your case file with additional required information.
Please contact my office if you are interested in making an appointment at a pop-up office. I will also be accepting walk-ins on a first come, first served basis. Please make sure to bring your Social Insurance Number and a piece of identification. Please note that, in order to assist you, I am required to have you sign a parliamentarian consent form before looking into your file. This means that the person requiring assistance must attend the meeting in person; third-party requests cannot be accepted.
Aside from my constituency pop-up offices, I am also looking forward to continuing to hear from our local businesses by hosting more small business forums in 2017. After the success of my first forum in Fernie last October, I am excited to hear from the Columbia Valley next, at a forum in Invermere in early March.
Also in March, I will be hosting a telephone town hall meeting with residents of the riding. You will have the opportunity to listen to, and join in a discussion with, a panel of stakeholders on the government’s plans to legalize marijuana. Please check my website or contact my office for more information on these upcoming events.
I hope to see you in my travels around the riding this year.