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Holder's Happenings December 2013 Vol.II

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DECEMBER 2013 – Vol.II - ISSUE 247

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Holder’s Happenings

www.edholdermp.ca

 

This past week we dealt with the death of Nelson Mandela, one of the most profound leaders of the modern world. Londoners know much of his story – how an anti-apartheid South African activist was arrested, spent 27 years in prison and upon his release rose to the highest elected office in the land and unleashed one of the greatest examples of forgiveness and compassion ever witnessed. He could have been vindictive against his white jailers, but instead worked to ensure blacks and whites worked together for a greater good – that of a strong, united South Africa based on optimism, truth and reconciliation. One can argue whether the promise of South Africa has been fulfilled since Mandela stepped away from power after just one term. For my part, I am deeply concerned about the future of what was once one of the most economically powerful countries in Africa. When whites are forced from their farms, when power is concentrated in the hands of a few, when crime runs rampant in major cities then I fear the worst for this beautiful country.

 

My views may be coloured by the fact that my wife still has family in Johannesburg. Because of my relatives, I have visited South Africa on two different occasions before entering politics.  With the current tensions in the country, I fear for their safety. My nephew was shot three times in his family’s driveway while his truck was being hijacked (he lived). My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were tied up and robbed in their own home during a home invasion; while another family member’s niece had her throat cut while assailants stole her purse. She died on the sidewalk because thieves who have no value for the sanctity of life, stole what she had of value in a little purse…it was just a purse. When lawlessness, robbery and murder are daily fare, then those are marks of a society in decay. It is easy to suggest that my family members leave South Africa, and for the sake of their safety they have certainly been encouraged to do so; but as they say, it is their home and it is what they know. I also listened on the news this week to one South African woman who lives in the Johannesburg slums of Alexandria, who declared that her life and living conditions had gotten much worse since Mandela’s departure from office, but her great love and support for ‘Mandiba’ was unconditional.

 

So the legacy of Nelson Mandela is one of humanity and dare I say, optimism. His leadership strengths were unparalleled, and his followers were unified through him. Now that he is gone, what will become of this place? I am by nature an optimist, but as his death gives me the opportunity to reflect, I find it increasingly difficult to be optimistic. For all of Africa’s pristine beauty and the goodness that exists within the hearts of the majority of South Africans, when the rule of law and the rule of morality are irrevocably broken, then society is in chaos. But today is the day to praise Mandela for what he meant to his family, to South Africa and to the world – a beacon of hope when there needed to be hope. Perhaps we can be hopeful again.

 

For Job Seekers –This section is important for Londoners seeking job opportunities! Please help by adding to my list of employment links at www.edholdermp.ca/joblinks by passing along job links to support all those seeking employment. I do receive regular feedback that many Londoners have found jobs through these postings, and through our extensive joblinks listing. If you are an employer looking for staff in London, please advise me. If you know of firms who are hiring, please let me know. My list of employment links continues to grow, so accept my thanks. This week:

  • London Children's Connection is hiring an Early Childhood Educator. To apply go to: www.lcc.on.ca.
  • Robertson Electric Wholesale is hiring a Branch Manager, Quotations Manager, Order Desk/ Counter Person, Drivers and Warehouse Workers. Apply by emailing: rehiring@hotmail.com.
  • London Hydro is hiring an Accountant. Apply by emailing: jobs@londonhydro.com.

 

Last Issue We Asked You... - “Will you make a financial, food or clothing donation over the holiday season to a charity to support those in need?91% said YES, 7% said NO and 1% said UNSURE. (481 votes). 

 

This Week’s Question...  The United Nations is mediating competing claims to the Arctic seabed, including the North Pole. The first Canadian draft by government officials did NOT claim sovereignty of the North Pole. Seeing this, the Prime Minister intervened to have the document re-written to include Canada’s claim on the North Pole. Curiously, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, when asked if the North Pole belongs to Canada declined to answer clearly, saying he would “defer to the scientists” on determining ownership of the North Pole.  So this week I am asking "Do you believe Canada controls ownership of the North Pole?” Please visit www.edholdermp.ca/poll to vote.

 

Meetings & Delegations

  • Dealt with a number of issues through my constituency office and Ottawa, including: Senate, OAS-CPP, Trade, Reform Bill, Bill C-8: anti-counterfeiting, Press Freedom, Veterans Issues, Medical Marijuana;
  • Participated in a meeting of the Standing Committee on International Trade where we are discussing the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and heard testimony from the Canadian Canola Growers Association, John Curtis from the C.D.Howe Institute, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Spirits Canada, Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, and the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business;
  • Participated in a meeting of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology where we were studying the Supplementary Estimates and heard testimony from Industry Department officials;
  • Chaired the regional South Western Ontario Caucus and participated in the national Caucus meeting on Parliament Hill;
  • Gave a Statement in the House of Commons honouring retiring Senator Donald Oliver WATCH;
  • Was represented at The Boys and Girls Club, where Coca Cola announced funding to support a local youth with a new program that will inspire them to eat well and be active in 2014;
  • Was represented at the launch of the first nation-wide survey on the impact of domestic violence on workers and workplaces. The survey can be completed HERE, with the results being released Dec 6, 2014-the 25th anniversary of the Montreal massacre;
  • Was represented at a lecture with speaker Umit Kiziltan, Director General at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), who provided an overview of the mandate of CIC and described recent changes to policies and programs;
  • Gave a speech in the House of Commons on Bill C-475, an NDP Private Members bill which amends the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act to, among other things, give the Privacy Commissioner the power to make compliance orders and the Federal Court the power to impose fines in cases of non-compliance;
  • Along with MPs Joe Preston and Susan Truppe, I took part in the All-Ridings London Conservative Christmas party; thanks to Karen Vecchio and Ron Fisher for their great work on this event.  We honoured long-time Party supporter, volunteer and organizer Betty Crockett for her absolute dedication and commitment;
  • Met with Turkish Ambassador, His Excellency Mr.Tuncay Babali and his Second Deputy, Serkan Ozdemir to discuss the important and growing trade and people relationships between our countries;
  • Met with Mrs. Lucie Tedesco and Mr. André-Marc Allain of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to understand better their role in support of Canadian consumers in dealing with financial institutions;
  • Attended the ParlAmericas Annual General Meeting where I was re-elected Vice-Chair of this important link to South and Central America and the Caribbean Islands;
  • Attended the Great British Christmas Breakfast at the British High Commission; thanks to High Commissioner Howard Drake for his steadfast support of Canada;
  • Met with Jeff Pierce, Anne Argyris and Pierre Pyun of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition who discussed the issues and opportunities surrounding manufacturing in Canada;
  • Had a briefing from department officials on the Energy Efficiency Standards for Light Bulbs;
  • Had a meeting with the Association of Fundraising Professionals to discuss their concerns around legislative issues dealing with their industry.

 

Business Cares Food Drive – Last week I reported on this Christmas Food Drive that is employer-sponsored and employee-driven.  You can bring a can to home games of the London Knights until December 15th through our “Be a Fan Bring a Can” campaign. You can go on-line and register so that we can count your support with hundreds of other employers in London. www.businesscares.ca and thanks for caring!

 

Canada Day Challenge 2014 - The Canada Day Challenge is a contest offered by the Government of Canada that invites youth from 8 to 18 years old to submit poster designs, digital photographs, and pieces of creative writing inspired by the theme–Canada: Strong and Free. Participants have a chance to win great prizes, including an invitation to attend the country’s biggest party, Canada Day 2014 on Parliament Hill. I encourage youth of our community to participate in the Canada Day Challenge. This is an opportunity for them to explore Canada’s history, culture, and identity and to discover what makes our country a truly special place to live. Entries will be accepted until February 15, 2014.  To learn more about this year’s contest, visit www.challenge.pch.gc.ca.

 

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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