Now that the House has risen for the summer, I am thrilled to be spending more time in our beautiful Burlington. I was fortunate to attend several High School Graduations at the end of June, the annual Mosque BBQ and, of course, officially begin summer with a whirlwind of celebrations on Canada Day!
Beginning the day with the annual Canada Day 5k run along our city’s waterfront, I then ventured over to the Burlington Lawn Bowling Club and congratulated members on fifty years of Lawn Bowling, a great achievement in sport. Freeman Station was my next stop where I was able to see the new additions that have taken place over the last few months including the 30 foot tall signal mast that was installed in early May.
From here, I was able to visit a couple of neighbourhood block parties before making my way to Spencer Smith Park for the Citizenship Ceremony. On July 1st, Burlington welcomed 30 new Canadians from 18 different countries into citizenship with many more Burlingtonians reaffirming their citizenship through the oath. It was truly a heart warming scene of Canadiana.
Whether you are a new Canadian, or if you have live here your whole life, there are a few simple things that bind us all: we want to know our children and families are safe and have a fair chance at success. We want to breathe clean air and not worry about job security. We want to live in a free society, where our rights are upheld. We want to be free to love and be loved. We want to hope, dream and aspire and have the possibility to achieve our goals.
This is why I serve. To protect these hopes, to protect and expand our rights as Canadians. Politics, as is life, isn’t easy. You don’t get everything you want, that’s democracy. But while I can not guarantee I will win every battle, you can count on me to fight for you, every time. We have achieved something in Canada that no other country in the whole world has managed so successfully: a peaceful, pluralistic, inclusive democracy that takes care of each other.
We are not perfect, we have work to do still. I know that. But that is why I ran for office and I why I work hard every day for our community and our country. We have seen both here at home and around the world, that this social contract is fragile. If we do not work hard to protect what we have there are those who would seek to destroy it. Politics matters. We need to elect people who will not only protect what we have built over the last 152 years, but continually work to improve it.
I have fought hard these last four years for equality, your democratic rights, protecting our environment, and a strategic economic vision for Canada.
Increased parental leave, a national childcare framework, a national housing strategy, a feminist international assistance and foreign policy, fierce advocacy for anti-racism and religious freedom, investments in public transit, clean water, green infrastructure, strengthened electoral laws, expanded voting rights, support for local businesses, focus on manufacturing, pension security, and dedicated funding for autism, dementia and cancer research are just a handful of the policies I helped shape these last four years.
The work does not stop there. Climate change is happening, the evidence is unmistakable and we cannot afford to ignore it.
Our hard won rights are under threat from those seeking to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive rights, on LGBTQ rights, on voting rights. Access to healthcare and pharmaceuticals, pension security and childcare are still not adequate. Hateful rhetoric is on the rise and cyber security is a huge challenge.
We have too much at stake to take a back seat.
At my core, I am an optimist and I believe in humanity. More importantly, I believe in Canadians, and particularly the people of Burlington. We are a smart, caring and resourceful people. We are resilient and we are innovative. And I know we can confront the challenges on the horizon in our uniquely Canadian way. And so I ask you to be hopeful, to be aspirational and to join me in the fight to protect what makes Canada such a special place.
It is a privilege to be your Member of Parliament and to work everyday on your behalf for a better country.
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