From the Hill

From the Hill: Getting feet wet in Ottawa

"It was humbling to walk the halls of the parliament buildings, knowing this was to be my work place for the next four years."

My first week in Ottawa was unseasonably warm; we could walk in light sweaters along the Rideau Canal, the last autumn leaves drifting down to the path. It was humbling to walk the halls of the parliament buildings, knowing this was to be my work place for the next four years.

For me it was largely an orientation week: meeting with helpful House of Commons staff who outlined how I could hire staff, when I will get an office, options for accommodations in Ottawa, helped me a bewildering number of passwords for IT access, and more. The House has entered the 21st Century at last, so instead of handing me a gigantic binder which I would have had to wheel around the city, I was given an iPad with access to hundreds of documents, forms, and detailed information on my new role as a Member of Parliament.

Much of the orientation was done one-on-one but I was continually meeting new MPs of all political stripes; it was good to start my Ottawa experience with a sense of collegiality. On one morning all of the new MPs met together to hear a number of presentations. In the middle of one of the talks, the new Prime Minister unexpectedly dropped by and gave a short extemporaneous welcome. In the partisan climate of Ottawa, I appreciated Mr. Trudeau’s gesture and sincerely hope it is a sign of a new way of doing business on Parliament Hill.

The NDP caucus is a strong group of 44 MPs, 14 of them from British Columbia. We will be the progressive opposition in parliament, working with the Liberals to fulfill their long list of promises and holding them to account when they hesitate. Canadians voted for change, and we will ensure that change happens, whether it is for open and transparent government, action on climate issues, environmental protections, a new relationship with First Nations, or protecting our rights and freedoms.

Parliament will begin sitting on December 3rd. By that time I will have an office in Ottawa and you will be able to contact me through my email address: Richard.Cannings@parl.gc.ca .

I will also be opening offices in Penticton and Castlegar; when those details are known I will advertise as to how to contact me there.

This is a solemn week for all Canadians, when we remember those men and women who gave their lives for their country. My own grandfather signed up for the army in 1915 even though he was 36 years old and had just opened a grocery store to support his young family in Penticton.

He spent that winter in tents at the Vernon army camp, developed pneumonia, and died before he could go overseas. His name is on the cenotaph in Penticton along with many others. This year I’ll be laying a wreath at the Penticton Remembrance Day ceremony; I hope many of you can attend events in your communities around the riding.

Richard Cannings is the MP for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Lemon Creek fuel truck driver gets $20,000 fine

Danny LaSante was sentenced in Nelson court today

Actsafe BC brings expertise, new lighting to Trail theatre

Consultants are all technical directors in Vancouver theatres with years of experience in the field

Hospital improvements good news for entire region, says Trail mayor

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board will review the matter next month

Life insurance can be a business expense

Tax Tips & Pits with Ron Clarke, Trail Times columnist

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read