This year has been a busy year for me as your member of parliament for Esquimalt–Juan de Fuca. I have been working hard with my colleagues to bring your issues and concerns to Ottawa.
As the Official Opposition, we have had some successes in the Conservative majority government over the past few months.
New Democrats pushed for a federal ship building procurement plan for years and this fall we saw Seaspan win its bid for a $8 billion contract that will create hundreds of long-term, stable jobs here on the lower Island.
Federal infrastructure funding also helped fund the new Langford City Centre development, the recently officially opened Royal Roads Learning and Innovation Centre, and the ongoing E&N rail-trail construction. These are all good federal investments that will make our communities better.
I continue working with local representatives to push the government to approve funding to get the E&N railway repaired and running again.
We desperately need the E&N working to ease traffic and freight congestion and to make our roads safer by moving dangerous goods off the highway.
My colleagues and I in the Official Opposition continue to oppose the government’s private pension scheme that bets on uncertain stock markets.
We have introduced an affordable plan to double your CPP benefits over time, to a maximum of $1,920 per month.
Economists and provincial leaders agree that growing the CPP is the best, lowest-cost pension reform option available.
As opposition critic for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered issues I proudly re-introduced Bill C-279 to ensure the rights and safety of transgender people. I also seconded Bill C-215 to stop the unfair clawback of veteran and retired police officer pensions.
I would like to thank those that have written or called me to express your opinions. Serving as your MP is an incredible honour and privilege.
I will continue to work hard to represent you in Ottawa.
Best wishes and very happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season and New Year 2012 to you and your family.
—Randall Garrison (NDP) is the MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.