I join Canadians across the country in congratulating our Olympic medalists on their incredible performance in Sochi. I especially think of Whistler-native Marielle Thompson’s Gold Medal victory in Women’s Ski Cross. Marielle, you are an inspiration for our riding and a role model for everyone in Canada!
Constant contact with constituents keeps my work relevant and my priorities clear. Last month was typical – meetings with the Sunshine Coast Regional District Board; Sechelt’s Mayor and Council; Sechelt’s Chamber of Commerce; Sechelt’s Rotary Club; many constituents; and the Editor of this paper kept me alive to local issues. I also convened a conference call on ferry issues that provided opportunity for mayors, the Regional District, and Chamber heads to brief the Federal Minister of Transport. These types of meetings are key to “shrinking the distance” between our people and Ottawa’s decision-makers.
Last month also saw the introduction of the Canadian Government’s 2014 budget, The Economic Action Plan, on February 11. I applaud our Government’s focus on balancing our Budget by next year. Our voices were expressed through the inclusion in the Budget of many local priorities, including support for search and rescue; funds for fisheries habitat protection; and a big boost on a matter on which I have dedicated considerable work – combatting prescription drug abuse.
Through the budget, search and rescue volunteers on the Sunshine Coast will benefit from a new tax credit requested by me on behalf of land and marine SAR volunteers in 2013, and inspired more recently by the late Tim Jones and his team.
I am fond of the quote attributed to Sir Walter Scott: “the will to do; the soul to dare”. With the “will to do and the soul to dare”, we can accomplish even greater things, for our riding and for the country. With that in mind, I announced last month that I will seek the Conservative nomination once again for our riding, to be running again in the 2015 Federal election. It is an honour to serve the “most beautiful place on earth” in the Parliament of a country that is the toast of the world. May we have the will to keep it that way, and the soul to dare to make it even better.