I thank the voters of the North Okanagan-Shuswap who entrusted me to continue serving as member of Parliament.
Election campaigns are demanding, and I thank the many grassroots volunteers who helped drive our campaign across the finish line. I also thank my best friend and life partner, Linda, for supporting me every step of the way.
Although many Canadians and I opposed the election call, it was heartening to see citizens engage by voting and supporting campaigns of their choosing. Our democratic process and right to vote are important, even in an ill-timed or unnecessary election. I thank everyone who voted and volunteered, and the candidates who participated and provided voters with choices.
Throughout the election, thousands of residents shared their concerns with me. What I heard at doorsteps, in emails and on the phone was that Canadians didn’t want an election – they wanted the government to lead our nation out of the pandemic.
Young families and seniors shared their concerns about rising costs and inflation driving affordability out of reach. Employers shared their challenges in hiring workers and workers related how local housing and rental markets make it difficult to settle here to work. Heat domes and wildfires this summer reinforced the need for climate action and many residents expressed the need for greater efforts in fighting climate change.
As MPs await the resumption of Parliament, I am engaging with Indigenous and local governments to further define needs and priorities across the region and support my development of a pre-budget submission. I will make my submission to the government prior to the next federal budget and it will also guide my work in the coming year.
September 30th will mark Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. I supported the establishment of this day because I believe it can support reconciliation if we use it to strengthen our understandings of history and commit to actions supporting reconciliation and healing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. In support of reconciliation, I will continue to press for accelerated implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and other necessary actions.
I am committed to listening to all constituents, regardless of political affiliations, and fighting for legislation and policies delivering results for our communities.
My staff and I are here to serve you. If you have input to share or if we can assist you in navigating federal government services, you can reach us by phone at 250-260-5020 or my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mel Arnold is the MP for the North Okanagan-Shuswap.
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