As we enter 2020, I want to take this opportunity to thank the good people of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls for their support, and more importantly, the trust they have placed in me, to be their federal representative in Ottawa.
I am so grateful for this past year. Being elected as Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Niagara Falls was one of the best moments of my life. It truly was a dream come true, and I will cherish that moment forever.
On the date of my swearing in, on Nov. 25, 2019, I was honoured to have the Clerk of the House of Commons conduct my ceremony. His words of advice that day were to enjoy the moment, and to realize what an honour, privilege and responsibility it is to serve as an MP. Those words resonate with me still, and I look forward to working on your behalf both at home and in our nation’s capital.
Since the new Parliamentary session began in December, I have had the pleasure of making my first statement in the House of Commons. Then, on Dec. 11, I had my first opportunity to ask the Prime Minister a question during Question Period.
My question was about Australia’s World Trade Organization challenge to the federal excise exemption on 100 per cent Canadian-made wines. A loss in this challenge puts 9,000 Canadian wine industry jobs at risk. Our understanding is the Australian government has indicated they are open to negotiating a settlement on this matter; yet this has not taken place. You have my assurance, I will continue to press the Trudeau government on this very important issue to Niagara.
On Dec. 20, I was pleased to be named the Conservative Deputy Shadow Minister for Transport. There are many important federal transportation policy matters both local to Niagara, and across our great country. This will be a busy portfolio that holds a lot of opportunity for policy and project advancement, as well as needed oversight for future transportation initiatives. I look forward to holding this Trudeau minority government to account, while working with my parliamentary colleagues to advance areas of common interest for the betterment of our country, when the House resumes in January.
Thank you once again for this opportunity to be your federal representative in Ottawa. May you and your families enjoy strong health, happiness, and good fortune as we enter into a new decade and celebrate the beginning of 2020. I look forward to seeing you soon. Happy New Year!