As we head towards our Conservative Government’s next Speech from the Throne, many have been asking what Members of Parliament have been up to these last few weeks. While I can’t speak for all of my colleagues, I can say that, for me, this fall has been quite busy. 

I started September traveling the riding and meeting with many local town and city councils. This included meetings with the councils of Dawson Creek, Pouce Coupe, Fort Nelson, Chetwynd, Fort St. John, and Taylor. Later on in early October I also met with the City of Prince George, as well as the Village of McBride. 

While in Fort St. John, I had the opportunity to be a part of the grand opening for the BC Police Barracks and the Paddy Carroll/Peck Cabin at the Fort St John North Peace Museum where my mom regularly volunteers and my daughter, Bobbie, volunteered over the summer. Both buildings provide a glimpse into our region’s historic past and give us a better appreciation for how our ancestors once lived. 

I was then off to Kelowna to meet with various BC stakeholders, and enjoyed a working lunch with my BC caucus colleagues and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. While there, I met with newspaper publisher David Black and heard first-hand about his plans to build a refinery near Kitimat of which I am supportive.  

Following the meetings in Kelowna, I was off to Kansas City as a Canadian representative for the Council of State Governments’ 2013 National Conference. It was a successful trip, with both ‘Canadian’ resolutions passing. The first was to address NAFTA/WTO obligations regarding country of origin labelling, and the second was to support necessary spending at the proposed Windsor/Detroit bridge. Both resolutions received unanimous support. 

I then travelled back to Dawson Creek to attend the inaugural meeting for the Dawson Creek City Council and see Dale Bumstead sworn in as the new mayor. I look forward to working with Mayor Bumstead in representing the interests of the people of Dawson Creek. 

In late September I travelled to Terrace to attend the grand opening of the new Kitsumkalum Health Centre on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health. 

It was then back to Fort St. John where my friend and colleague Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Peace River, and I had the opportunity to answer questions about economic development in the north at the Northwest Corridor Development Corporation’s Annual General Meeting. 

The next day, I celebrated National Seniors Day with a meet and greet at the Peace Lutheran Apartments. National Seniors Day is a way for Canada to publicly acknowledge and thank all seniors for their many and varied contributions to their families, communities, workplaces and society. 

It was then off to the BC Energy Conference to hear about the great economic impact our region’s natural resources are having on our economy, as well as future projects and opportunities. 

As you may have heard, Petronas recently announced a commitment of $36 billion in Canada’s liquefied natural gas industry. This investment has the potential to have a positive impact on our region’s economy. 

It has been a busy time to say the least. I am looking forward to heading back to Ottawa for the start of a new session of Parliament and moving ahead with a renewed policy agenda.