Dear friends and neighbours,
The last sitting of the legislature may have finished at the end of May but I’m happy to say there is a lot of important work to be done here at home. What a pleasure it is to be back in Burnaby North full-time. This past month I’ve been busy meeting with constituents and attending local events. My husband Bill and I attended the VSO’s Symphony in the Park at the Shadbolt Centre where the young violin soloist was Burnaby’s own Sean Gao. If you’ve never been, I encourage you to go next year. It’s free! Bring a picnic. What a wonderful way to spend a warm summer evening. I was also honoured to be invited to be part of the Tsleil-Waututh water ceremony. My granddaughter was delighted to join me in the lead canoe with Ta’ah Amy George to demonstrate her commitment to protect our coastal waters from devastating oil spills. To find out more about other events I attend on your behalf, please check out my Facebook page.
Of course, this month started off with a bang (and some fireworks). My second official Canada Day as your MLA was a busy one. It started at Edmonds Park and ended with a concert at Swanguard Stadium. Celebrating Canada Day prompts me to reflect on what it means to be Canadian. To the rest of the world, we are famous for our politeness. “Sorry” and “thank you” are defining words in our vocabulary. To me, being Canadian is less about where we came from and how we got here, and more about what we do now that we are here. To me, being Canadian is to give back to the community that supports us and to help our neighbours when they need it. I am humbled by the many new Canadians I meet in Burnaby that, in spite of the challenges of establishing a new home in a new country, still find the time to volunteer for the organizations that strengthen Canadian society. So this Canada Day, I celebrated being Canadian by saying “I’m sorry” when someone else bumped into me, looking a stranger in the eye, and being kind just because.
This month also saw the first anniversary of your new government. I am proud to say that the government has delivered on almost two-thirds of its election promises within the first year. I am beyond excited to head back to the Legislature this fall to work on even more good things. I encourage you all to follow the work we do when the Legislature is in session by tuning in to the live-stream webcast.
As the summer unfolds I hope to see some of you at my constituency office or out in the community. I was honoured to be asked by the Speaker to attend the 56th annual conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Unfortunately, I had a mishap soon after arriving in Ottawa and ended up spending the better part of the week in the hospital with an ankle broken in three places. My plans to hit the door steps in August to engage constituents are somewhat curtailed. However, I am giving some thought to alternative ways to connect with people in Burnaby North. If you are having a block party please consider inviting me to meet your neighbours. I really enjoy talking to people about the issues that matter to them. One of the issues that will dominate our agenda in August and into the fall is the referendum on Proportional Representation. I’m particularly interested in hearing your views on that important topic and what will motivate you to cast a ballot.
As always, I am available to meet with constituents in my office and I look forward to getting to know many more of you! I encourage you to get in touch with my staff to advocate for something you feel passionate about, navigate the provincial public service structure, or to ask questions about our policies.
Janet Routledge, MLA
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