It is traditional at this time of year to look back at the past twelve months and review the highs and the lows that occurred during the preceding 365 days. From my perspective it has been a very exciting and productive year but, it also included some sadness.
Cornwall - Dec. 27, 2011 - It is traditional at this time of year to look back at the past twelve months and review the highs and the lows that occurred during the preceding 365 days. From my perspective it has been a very exciting and productive year but, it also included some sadness. It was an exciting year because on May 2nd Canadians elected a strong, stable, national, majority Conservative Government. A sad aspect of the year is that we lost Jack Layton, the leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition and a very dedicated parliamentarian.
After governing with a minority government for five years it was very humbling to be given a strong, stable majority by the Canadian electorate. In the months leading up to the election, pollsters and pundits alike were predicting our Conservative government would have difficulty holding on to the 143 seats we held when the election was called. Others were convinced we would be held to minority status and the opposition parties would actually form a coalition government. Much to everyone's surprise we won 166 seats.
The low point of the past twelve months was the untimely death of Jack Layton. After courageously leading the NDP to Official Opposition status Jack succumbed to cancer on August 22nd, 2011. His death had a profound effect on all parliamentarians and staff alike. His passing reminded all Canadians how precious and fragile life is.
After a three week spring session and the summer recess we returned to the House of Commons last September intent to deliver on the campaign promises we made during the election campaign. And we delivered on a good number of them.
Our government finally passed our budget after introducing it in February and fighting an election campaign on it. We enacted our omnibus crime bill ensuring violent and serious sexual crimes will be appropriately punished. We enacted the Fair Representation Act which will bring Canada closer to representation by population. We got rid of the Canadian Wheat Board, something western Canadian farmers have been trying to do for the past 40 years. Further, we introduced legislation to scrap the ineffective and wasteful long gun registry.
I do believe our greatest accomplishment as a government during the past year is that we were able to maintain economic growth and create jobs. Although 2011 had its ups and downs I would say all in all it was a good year.
Happy New Year!
Member of Parliament
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