On October 19th, 2015, Canada elected an ambitious federal government.
A government whose optimism and confidence in sunnier ways is matched in magnitude only by its disdain for the politics of fear and division.
It was this overwhelming desire for real, positive change, shared with me again and again by voters on doorsteps across Halifax, that reassured me every day of the longest election campaign in over 100 years that I’d made the right choice. Win or lose, I was proud to see my name in red, under the Liberal banner and the leadership of Justin Trudeau.
The outcome of that election is well-known and now a matter of history. Indeed, I am deeply grateful that the people of Halifax have chosen me to be your voice in Ottawa — and I will toil ceaselessly on your behalf.
And while our return to sunny ways has only just begun, my optimism has only grown since October 19. That’s because, as we pass the first 100 days of our 42nd Parliament, we’ve seen a wide and impressive range of achievements, promises kept, and real change – both in Ottawa, and from coast to coast to coast.
Take, for example, an issue very close to my heart: our nation’s cities. At the start of February, Justin Trudeau invited the mayors of Canada’s largest cities, including Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, to restart the relationship between the federal government and our municipalities, to hear from the mayors themselves what our cities need to meet their potential as key economic and social assets to our country. For ten years, the federal-municipal relationship went neglected, but no more.
Or look, for example, at Canada’s performance at the COP 21 climate conference in Paris. Our exceptionally capable Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, put us back on the world stage as a climate leader; the result was a historic climate deal agreed to by nearly 200 nations.
Don’t forget our government’s commitment to Syrian refugees. As I write this, Canada prepares to welcome its 25,000th Syrian refugee. I had the profoundly moving opportunity to greet Halifax’s first Syrian refugee family as they arrived at the Halifax airport early this year – an experience that has made me absolutely certain that we’re doing the right thing. I’m proud not only of our government, but also the Canadian people for the way we’ve stepped up to #WelcomeRefugees into our communities with open arms.
And then there’s Senate reform. Right out of the gate, in our Parliament’s first week of sitting, we acted decisively to restore public confidence in the Senate by announcing the establishment of a new, non-partisan, public process to advise on Senate appointments. This includes open nominations, and an Independent Advisory Board of Canadians that will consult broadly and begin filling vacancies this year.
That same week, our government acted on its platform commitment and launched an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, by immediately beginning to engage with survivors, family members and loved ones of victims to seek their views on the design and scope of the inquiry.
In the months since the election, our federal government has returned to Halifax time and time again to demonstrate that our riding is a priority. When Finance Minister Morneau began his pre-budget consultations, he chose Halifax as his first stop. When Infrastructure Minister Sohi sought to hear from municipalities on our government’s infrastructure plan, he came to Halifax City Hall. When Minister Hajdu and Minister Bennett began to hear from the survivors, family and loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, they made sure to visit Halifax. When Minister Brison and Minister Baines declared “science is back!” with a $13.7 million investment in science research, they chose Halifax and Dalhousie University. And when Minister Tootoo and Minister Foote set out to explore the power of Canadian waters, through fisheries and shipbuilding, they came to Halifax.
These are just a few of our government’s first steps in its first 100 days. There’s more still, like the introduction of the middle class tax cut, a gender balanced Cabinet, the return of the long form census, and the doubling of summer jobs for our students. But here’s the catch: we’re just getting started.
So you see, on October 19th, Canadians really did elect an ambitious federal government. The proof, as my mother used to say, is in the pudding.
PS: My constituency office is now open in Halifax! Stop by room 808 at 1888 Brunswick Street, Halifax between 9am-12:30pm/1:30pm-4:30pm Monday to Friday.