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Thank YOU! And now, Canada’s 40th Parliament Gets Down to Business

Facing an increasingly fractured parliament and uncertain economic times, we needed a fresh mandate and, quite literally, a vote of confidence from Canadians that they want a Conservative Government to continue to lead our nation. And on October 14th, we got it!

Thank you to the voters of Prince George-Peace River for once again electing me to represent you in Parliament for the sixth consecutive time.

This month is my 15th Anniversary as your Member of Parliament. It was fitting to mark the milestone with an election campaign that gave me ample opportunity to spend time with constituents and be reminded every day why I enjoy this job so much!

I would like to thank my fellow candidates, Betty Bekkering, Hilary Crowley, and Lindsay Gidney. It takes courage to put your name on the ballot and I felt fortunate to be running with political opponents amidst an environment of mutual respect and thoughtful yet vigourous debate. While we may often not agree on policy, they were fair and passionate in their convictions and I extend to them my congratulations.

All-candidates forums throughout the riding were well-attended and offered an engaging exchange of views and concerns. I thank everyone who participated in the many campaign events and those who cast a ballot on election day.

My only note of disappointment was the all-time lowest voter turnout. Prince George-Peace River’s voter turnout was just 48.8 percent. Nationwide the turnout hit just 59.1 percent

I recognize that apathy, voter fatigue arising from frequent elections, voter registration problems and disillusionment with politicians are all factors to be addressed. However, it’s important to not lose sight that casting a ballot is an important democratic privilege that is envied around the world.

One of the Canadian soldiers who contacted me in the midst of the campaign explained how his troops were willingly accepting additional risk to deliver ballot boxes to Canadian troops stationed at Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan. It is difficult to explain to them the reasons a risk-free trip to a polling station back home in Canada didn’t happen.

Finally, I would like to thank my family, staff, supporters and volunteers for their hard work. Politics is not about any one individual, it’s about a team.

Speaking of which, our Conservative team, strengthened with 16 additional members and many new faces, is excited to get back to business in Ottawa!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has indicated that Parliament will be recalled quickly to ensure all MPs can address pressing issues, particularly the current global market crisis.

Solid economic fundamentals and a strong banking system have served to cushion some of the fallout. Yet Canadians are taking a hit from volatile international markets. While Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have responded swiftly and aggressively to ever-changing conditions, the recall of Parliament will ensure that the support of MPs and any legislative tools that may be required are readily available.

I look forward to the upcoming session and to keeping you updated in subsequent editions of the MP Report. Once again, thank you for your support!

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