KENORA – As a new parliamentary session begins this week, I look forward to voicing the issues that affect us here in the North. In my conversations with constituents, it is very clear that we need to tackle the difficult issues such as affordable housing, improving our roads and airport infrastructure, and ensuring that we have access to 21st health care services throughout the region.
I believe that if we truly want to continue to build a diverse and prosperous nation we must invest heavily in the North. It goes without saying that we should all have access to modern roads and airports, high-speed Internet, and quality healthcare.
Recently, as many of you may have heard, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau followed through on his commitment to visit Pikangikum First Nation. I cannot overstate the importance of the Prime Minister seeing firsthand the many challenges that residents living in our remote fly-in communities in the North are faced with daily. I believe that his visit will have a lasting impact on community leaders and residents and, in turn, lead to positive outcomes. It was obvious by the reaction of community members that having the Prime Minister visit will not be forgotten by both young and old alike.
Before returning to Ottawa for the upcoming session, I was able to spend time in the riding meeting with constituents and taking part in various community activities. In addition to my regular meetings with constituents, I have also had productive conversations with local mayors and councils including in Ignace and Machin. Those meetings come in advance of the Kenora District Municipal Association’s (KDMA) annual general meeting later this week in Ear Falls.
The KDMA is one of the best platforms for leaders in the riding to have frank discussions about our future. Northwestern Ontario is a very unique place to live, and in many cases, we face challenges that people living in southern Ontario never really experience. Events like these help us to establish what are the key common priorities and provide the roadmap to building stronger communities throughout the region. I always look forward to participating in this particular forum as I believe that dialogue with local leaders is critical to our long-term success.
I am pleased with what we have accomplished so far, but the work we need to do is far from complete. While in Ottawa, I will continue advocating on your behalf to ensure that we are heard by all levels of government.