MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
Touching Base With the ‘Real World’
We listen. That should be every Member of Parliament’s plan for the House of Commons summer recess. Once we get away from Ottawa, we’re able to determine which of the issues that consume us there actually have a REAL impact in the REAL world when REAL people (our constituents) tell us what is really important.
It’s why I am always so eager to get back home, and given the immense size and terrain of Prince George-Peace River, summer allows me the opportunity to touch base with more local elected representatives, businesses, community groups and residents. Plus, my staff are also working their way through the constituency to firmly identify local priorities and to provide assistance and information at the federal level.
My latest travels began last week in Prince George for the official signing ceremony of the newly-formed Resources North Association. With the help of $1.475-million in federal funding under the Forest Communities Program, this organization brings together a diverse group of more than a dozen participants to find ways to meet the transition challenges facing the forest economy in our region.
It was then off to the most southern part of our riding, McBride, where I discussed with the Mayor and council local concerns and their economic development plans. I also had the opportunity to update area residents on the status of legislation in Ottawa and left armed with their opinions and input to deliver to my colleagues.
Back on the east side of the Rockies, I headed up the Alaska Highway to just past Muncho Lake where I was able to touch base with the lodges and business that service travelers along the highway. They continue to struggle with the increasing cost of fuel needed to operate the large diesel generators that power their businesses. And I continue to fight for some form of government incentive or assistance that would ensure a reasonable return on their investment, and recognize the environmental implications of running these generators.
In Fort Nelson I was pleased to be informed that the town is rebounding well from the hit it suffered with layoffs in the forest sector. The oil and gas sector has absorbed quite a number of displaced workers.
In fact, a major concern in Fort Nelson is the need for temporary foreign workers to fill numerous vacant positions, especially in the service sector. This was affirmation that our Conservative Government’s initiatives to streamline the foreign worker process are on the right track.
Towards week’s end, I’ll be heading to Tumbler Ridge for the Grand Opening of the Monkman Pass Memorial Trail and a chance to partake in one of the Wolverine Lantern Dinosaur Trackway Tours at dusk, which has become so popular with tourists. Given that Tumbler Ridge began the 21st Century on a dark note; it is so rewarding to see the community continue to pull together and rebuild following previous challenges.
Throughout the summer and when the House resumes sitting this fall, I will continue to work towards resolving new and remaining challenges throughout our riding and to support the hard work and optimism that drives all of our communities.