Last week I was able to travel throughout the constituency, holding public forums and meeting privately with constituents in Revelstoke, Golden, Invermere and Kimberley. I also attended the centennial celebration of the Spiral Tunnels in Field.
I met with many of you on a wide variety of issues, but the issue that was raised with me most was the proposed Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Seniors spoke to me about their concerns about not being able to afford the HST on a fixed income. In one case, a senior estimated that the HST will cost him more than $1,000 each year.
I also met with representatives of a number of non-profit organizations who told me that the loss of direct access gaming grant funding will devastate their operation. Arts groups, museums, hospice societies and sports organizations are all reeling from these cuts.
I also spoke to people about transportation issues and concerns about accessibility in our communities. I visited ambulance stations and fire halls. I spoke with laid-off forest workers, parents concerned about cuts to education and constituents who are being hurt by a loss of health services.
I am now back in Victoria, and this Legislative sitting will continue through to the end of November. This will mean that my time in the constituency will be limited but I will be able to return to the area during the one week each month that the House does not sit.
My next extended visit to the constituency will be following Thanksgiving Day when I will again be holding open houses and meeting days.
Constituents also have the opportunity to contact my staff for assistance when I am not in the area.
Constituency staff are available to provide services to both community groups and individual constituents. They can help you find the government agency you need, or make suggestions on how to resolve government service issues.
I look forward to meeting with you in October. My staff and I are here to listen to what matters to you.
Norm Macdonald is the New Democratic Party MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke. You can reach him toll-free by telephone at 1-866-870-4188 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is at www.NormMacdonald.ca