Pictou-Advocate-opinion

Many changes made in a year

Opinion

To the Editor:

One year ago we watched with excitement as Canadians went to the polls and elected a new Liberal Government. I was humbled by the trust that you placed in me and I have been working tirelessly during my first year in office to live up to the high expectations we set for ourselves during the campaign a year ago.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau started his mandate by introducing gender-balance in Cabinet. We reinstated the long-form census and unmuzzled federal scientists to ensure that policy reflects facts, science, and evidence. We have been making extensive efforts to engage with Canadians and at the local level, our first year included stops in every corner of the riding for special events, meetings, and celebrations, including over 30 community consultations, constituency clinics, and town halls to provide unprecedented access to your Member of Parliament.

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We put more money in the pockets of those who need it, by introducing the Canada Child Benefit, which helps nine out of 10 Canadian families and has stopped giving child care cheques to millionaires. We lowered taxes for the middle class and increased taxes on the wealthiest one per cent.

We returned OAS eligibility from 67 to 65, expanded the CPP, and increased benefits for low-income single seniors.

We introduced the Atlantic Growth Strategy that has already seen investments of over $30 Million in Central Nova for infrastructure and innovation that will create jobs in the short term and encourage long term economic growth. This initiative will also bring 6,000 skilled workers and their families to Atlantic Canada over the next three years to meet the needs of local businesses that are seeking to grow.

To help protect our environment, we put a price on pollution, reached international agreements to reduce emissions, and are reviewing legislative changes that impact our fishery and navigable waters. We have also extended protection to environmentally sensitive areas in Central Nova and made investments to encourage the return of Atlantic Salmon to our local rivers.

We have doubled the investment in the Canada Summer Jobs program for youth and have increased grants for students by 50 per cent. We brought forward changes that will help students stay in Nova Scotia by ensuring they won’t need to repay student loans until they earn at least $25,000.

We have re-engaged with the world community by committing to international peacekeeping missions, rebuilding strong relationships with our trading partners, and by welcoming over 30,000 Syrian refugees to our shores. Central Nova has welcomed newcomers to our communities with open arms and in September, our region was in the international spotlight for its efforts when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared the inspiring story of the Hadhad family and their chocolate factory in Antigonish, at the United Nations in New York.

I was proud to introduce the prime minister to over 4,000 of you that joined us this summer for a community barbecue because you represent the region that has given so much to me. But I am even more proud to know that the work we are doing in Ottawa will continue to make a difference in the lives of Atlantic Canadians.

Sean Fraser
Central Nova MP

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