[attach]6877[/attach]It seems like only yesterday that I was bring “dragged” into Parliament by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Olivia Chow, a tradition for members elected in byelections. Nearly a year has passed since my election, when I was given the honour and privilege of representing the vibrant community of Toronto-Danforth.
It has been my pleasure to spend the past year meeting and engaging with constituents, local organizations and business owners. Many of you have told me about your challenges and about what kind of Canada you want to live in.
I have made it my priority to bring your views to Parliament and to represent our community following the example set by my predecessor, Jack Layton.
In Ottawa, I have underscored the need for secure, affordable housing units in Toronto and the need to improve our employment insurance system. I have stood in support of the White Ribbon campaign to end violence against women, made clear the importance of building a clean and sustainable environment, as well as to create a new relationship with First Nations. I have introduced legislation to take action against fraudulent robocalls and to end discrimination against LGBT youth. And I have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to defend Canadian unity based on a vision of democratic federalism.
Canadians should be able to look to Ottawa and see a record of integrity and accountability. Instead, we see a Conservative government that would rather defend privilege and party control in the Senate, instead of prioritizing effective economic development, EI and important services that Canadians need.
I made the decision to run to be your Member of Parliament because I have faith we can build a more modern, equal and sustainable Canada.
One year later, under the capable and energetic leadership of Tom Mulcair, the NDP Official Opposition is making it our mission to earn Canadians’ trust.
In 2015 we will invite Canadian voters to make history — by electing their first-ever New Democratic federal government.
As Jack used to say, “Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done.”