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Holder's Happenings February 2013 Vol.I

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Holder’s Happenings

www.edholdermp.ca

Each week my staff and I receive hundreds of emails from constituents and people across the country. Many of them ask questions about certain government programs or policies. Some are what we refer to as “case work”, where someone has an issue that we try to solve to the satisfaction of that person. Many emails are supportive of our Government’s position on various issues, and as you would expect, I receive communiques which are quite critical of positions taken by the Government. In this category there have been more than a few that deal with the question of the latitude for voting by Government MPs and specifically the way we vote in the House of Commons on the bills and motions before us. A theme runs through these communiques that Government Members of Parliament are told how to vote through some authoritarian dictates, as compared to Members of the Opposition. What prompted my writing on this issue was that an old friend who has very divergent political opinions to mine, and because we disagreed on a specific topic accused me of ‘kowtowing’ to the Party line. He happens to be very supportive of the NDP, which is not the point, although it made me wonder.

So I started reviewing vote histories in the House, and it so happens that as I write this, the Globe and Mail did its own research and is running a series of stories this week about parties’ voting patterns and discipline. Borrowing the Globe’s research and personal observations from my seat in the House of Commons, I can tell you that Conservative Members of Parliament are the least likely to vote as a block than any other party in the House, whereas NDP Members have voted as a block 100% of the time. That is to say, since Thomas Mulcair became Leader of the Official Opposition, no Member of the New Democratic Party has ever voted counter to their Party’s direction, not once, not ever. So let’s look at the statistics…according to the Globe’s research, New Democrats voted with their Party 100% of the time on all issues, the Liberals 90% of the time and the Conservatives 79% of the time. Does it make you wonder?

When someone joins a political party, particularly as an elected Member, it is reasonable that most of the time you will support and vote with your Party; I get it. It is why one joins a political party; that’s why I’m a Conservative, because I think that what we do has a positive impact for Canada and I am comfortable in supporting most of the legislative issues that come forward. But you don’t check your brain at the door when you get elected, and you have an obligation to consider what is in the best interests of constituents and the country. And, contrary to what some might think, most votes in the House are not ‘whipped’, which means a Member is not obligated to vote with their Party on all issues. But to never have one party member ever break ranks on a single issue? I invite you to draw your own conclusions.

For Job Seekers – Please contribute to the list of employment links at www.edholdermp.ca/joblinks by passing along job links to help all those seeking employment. If you are an employer looking for staff in London, please advise me. If you know of any firms who are hiring, just let me know. My list of employment links continues to grow thanks to you. This week ZTR Control Systems in London has several positions they are looking to staff. For more information and to apply please visit: http://www.ztr.com/canadian-careers.php Infotech is looking to fill around 40 positions. To view these positions and to apply please go to: www.infotech.com Indigo Books and Music is looking for a Customer Service Representative. Please check out http://jobview.monster.ca/Customer-Experience-Representative-CER-Job-LON... to apply.

Last Issue We Asked You... - “Do you have confidence in Canadian banks and financial institutions?” 81% said YES, 16% said NO and 3% were Unsure. (665 votes).

This Week’s Question... – In the last few years, the Conservative Government has provided 1% of gas tax revenues to municipalities across the country. Since then, this has been doubled and made permanent, giving London $21 million annually. In light of current municipal budget discussions, this week I am asking: “Should London’s gas tax funds go to a) major projects only or b) into general revenues to be used as the municipality sees fit?” Please visit www.edholdermp.ca/poll to vote.

Meetings & Delegations

· Dealt with a number of issues through my constituency office and Ottawa, including: Bill C-380 (Ban Shark Finning), Veterans Issues, Save Polar Bears, Seniors Issues, Native Issues, National Health Products, Tax Forms, Parliamentary Budget Officer, Middle-East Conflict;

· Participated in the Standing Committee on Transport and Infrastructure where we continued our review of the report on Innovative Transportation Technologies;

· Participated in the Standing Committee on International Trade where we are reviewing our Committee report on a possible Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement;

· Joined in regular weekly regional and national Caucus meetings on Parliament Hill;

· Was asked by the Speaker of the House to give the ‘Address to the Haggis’ a great Scottish Tradition as we honoured Robbie Burns on Parliament Hill VIDEO PHOTOS;

· Rose in the House of Commons to speak to an unfortunate incident that happened at the Speaker’s Robbie Burns dinner. It’s not often that one receives a standing ovation from both sides of the House VIDEO;

· Met with Community Relations Director Mandi Fields and Vice-President and General Manager Don Mumford of CTV News London, where we discussed mutual opportunities to support London community service activities;

· Was represented at the announcement of a new Military Research Chair to be based in London, named after Group Captain G. Edward Hall. Congratulations to Dr. Raymond Kao, who is the recipient of the first Chair in Military Care Research in Canada. My congratulations are also extended to Surgeon General Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier and Dr. Kao again, who were presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at the same event.

· Sat at London Tourism’s table at the Meeting Professionals International reception in Ottawa; thanks to Barry Webb for his hospitality;

· Had a great lunch with Hugh Mitchell, CEO of Western Fair District in London;

· Attended the London Fanshawe Conservative federal fundraiser where the guest speaker was Treasury Board President Tony Clement;

· Made remarks at the opening ceremonies of Black History Month PHOTOS;

· Met with Western University medical students Alexandra Farag and Matthew Lubanovic who were in Ottawa with the Canadian Federation of Medical Students;

· Attended a Mid-Winter Reception with Acting British High Commissioner Mrs. Corin Robertson at Earnscliffe, the home of Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Sir John A. MacDonald;

· Participated in the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association AGM;

· Was represented at the unveiling of a 16’ tall figure skating couple carved out of black walnut, located at the corner of Dundas and Wellington. This is sure to be a major point of interest for those attending the upcoming World Skating Championships in London in March; for more details go to www.worlds2013.ca.
•Attended a Conservative Auto Caucus meeting and met representatives from the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada;
•Met a number of insurance representatives of CAMIC, the Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies at an event in Ottawa.

Canada Summer Jobs - This is a TIME SENSITIVE Federal Government initiative that provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities. Canada Summer Jobs provides work experiences for students, supports organizations, including those that provide important community services; and recognizes that local circumstances, community needs and priorities vary widely. Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year. The application period for Canada Summer Jobs 2013 will be from February 1 to February 28, 2013. Before completing an application, employers must consult the Canada Summer Jobs Applicant Guide and review the local priorities for their constituencies. To help employers complete their application, the Canada Summer Jobs Applicant Guide and the local priorities are available online, by calling 1-800-935-5555, or by visiting any Service Canada Centre. The online application process is quick and easy. An electronic number that confirms successful receipt will be generated once the online application is submitted. Employers must keep this number for future reference. Employers can download a printable form. Completed applications may be submitted in person, by mail, or by fax to any Service Canada Centre. An employer submitting a paper application in person, by mail or by fax will receive a letter of acknowledgement. The Application deadline is February 28, 2013. For more information Click on Frequently Asked Questions or call 1-800-935-5555 or you can visit your local Service Canada Centre

Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards - I am pleased to inform you that a call for nominations for the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards (PMVAs) is now open, and will remain open until March 1, 2013.The best solutions to the challenges facing Canada's communities are often found locally. The goal of the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards is to recognize individual volunteers, groups of volunteers, businesses and not-for-profit organizations that are making a difference in their communities. Last year, we received over 750 nominations. With almost half of all Canadians volunteering, we know that there are many more volunteers who deserve to have their contributions recognized. For more information about the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards, including details about last year's recipients, please visit www.pm.gc.ca/awards or call 1-877-825-0434.

Events Listing – Please submit your upcoming event! The events listing page at http://www.edholdermp.ca/events is always changing. Most events are family-friendly and free. If you want your event listed, please follow the submission process at www.edholdermp.ca/events/submit.

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