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He and his wife Val sat down in the Moose FM/energeticcity-beta.mystagingwebsite.com studio to discuss the past eight months, and look ahead to 2012.
Looking back on the year, Zimmer considers it a “productive” one, citing getting the Wheat Board legislation passed one of the biggest accomplishments. He says he’s proud to represent a riding that is doing so well compared to the rest of the country.
“It’s definitely nice to be able to go back to Ottawa and say we have one of those nice ridings that unemployment’s at 3-point-whatever per cent it is currently.”
Looking ahead to next year, Zimmer says there are two legislation that he’s most looking forward to. One is the C-10, the Omnibus Crime Bill C-10, which proposes changes such as increased mandatory minimum sentences, and harsher sentencing principles for young offenders. The second is the Gun Registry Bill C-19, which would end the long-gun registry act. Zimmer says that’s the question he gets asked most.
“In Fort St. John, I’d say 99 per cent are in support of getting rid of the registry and the data that’s attached to that registry. It hasn’t really done what it’s been promised to do, and that’s our problem with it and the huge costs it puts on Canadian citizens.”
Zimmer’s also looking forward to working on the Deficit Reduction Action Plan, which is asking ministries and departments to reduce their budgets by 5 to 10 per cent, something he campaigned on.
As the economy is always at the front of everyone’s mind, Zimmer says 2012 will see further development into the Asian markets, especially for natural gas. Premier Christy Clark recently went on a trip to Asia to build relationships with international companies. Building relationships with companies in China and Korea is important he says, as trade can follow.
“There’s a whole bunch of areas that are strong in the world, and we want to make sure we’re partners with those countries. We want to make sure that we’re talking to each other, that we’re respectful of each other, and that we want to let them know we’re open for business.”
Personally, he’s looking forward to getting more involved in the Transportation Committee and Natural Resources, and fixing some things he believes need work. That includes getting our rail system functioning in a modern economy.
“It’s a monopoly of sorts; you don’t have a choice. If you wanna go by rail you’re going with CP or CN. We just need to make sure that they’re doing what they need to do for our economy.”
In order to keep our economy, we’ll need the workers, Zimmer explains, which can be a difficulty as in other parts of the country there are much higher unemployment rates.
“We need to create more labour mobility; We have people in Eastern Canada and other parts, Southern B.C., that we need to enable them or encourage them to come up to these areas to find work.”
Zimmer says he’s excited for another year in parliament, and encourages anyone to contact him. He can be reached at (250) 787-1194 or Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca. You can also follow his work in parliament on twitter @bobzimmermp.
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