Cornwall - Nov. 22, 2011 - I often get comments like. "Oh are you off this week?", when constituents see me out and about in the riding. I have heard similar comments so often that I usually just smile and nod my head. In this week's article I would like to explain what having "a week off" means.
Parliament usually sits 130-140 days per year. It sits from 11:00 am – 6:30 pm Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm Wednesdays, and 10:00 am - 2:30pm on Fridays. I usually leave home at 6:30am and arrive on Parliament Hill at approximately 7:45am. On a typical day we attend committee meetings, Caucus meetings, have House duties, meet delegations, constituents, attend Question Period, vote at committee and on various pieces of legislation, and answer calls and emails. Our days are very full. It seems we are always rushed, but I am not complaining. This job is the most exhilarating one I have ever had in my life. My adrenaline flows non stop from early morning to late evening. I usually arrive home between 8:00 pm-9:00 pm, tired, but very happy with the day’s work.
The weeks when Parliament is not sitting are called Constituency weeks. They are meant to give the MP time to meet with constituents, consult with various municipal officials and other stakeholders, cut ribbons and attend various functions throughout the riding. It is also a time to go out into the community and reach out to various groups that need particular assistance.
I thought you might be interested in knowing what your MP does during a typical Constituency week like last week. Sunday was spent attending three Remembrance Day ceremonies. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday my staff and I held six information sessions in Cornwall, Morrisburg, Winchester, Ingleside and Chesterville advising seniors of their entitlements regarding OAS, CPP and the Disability Tax Credit Program. Most of the day Thursday was spent in the constituency office meeting constituents and answering correspondence. Frances and I had the honour of attending a very moving Remembrance Day dinner Thursday evening. The dinner honoured all veterans including 24 who have served in Afghanistan. And Friday was spent attending Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout the riding. But the work didn’t stop there, the weekend was spent at a number of new business openings, anniversary certificate presentations, fundraising teas and dinners.
As you can tell from the above I have the most stimulating, rewarding, interesting job in Canada and I thank you the constituents of SD and SG every day for giving me the privilege of having it.
Member of Parliament