The winter may be a time to stay indoors for many people but Kootenay Columbia MP David Wilks has been travelling around the constituency during his winter break.
“It has been a very fulfilling tour. I have been trying to let people know about what is happening in Ottawa with some of the bills which we are working on,” Wilks said.
While in the region Wilks took part in a meeting with business people at a luncheon, talked to a class at Golden Secondary School before heading to Field for another meeting.
Wilks spoke of the importance of the budget, crime bills and Bill C-20 the Fair Representation Act. Bill C-20 is an act which would see Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta receive more seats in Parliament. (Ontario 15, British Columbia six, and Alberta six)
“There is a lot going on and I am excited to see where we go with this,” Wilks said.
Though he was early in his tour in the area Wilks said people have made it very clear to him that they are concerned over the condition of the Trans Canada Highway.
He said the government is working on the issues with the highway and personally he has appreciated the work Golden Mayor Christina Benty has been doing but felt it was important for the Town and council to continue working hard to get the upgrades to the highway completed in a timely fashion.
“We have high hopes but work has to be done to move forward,” he said.
Another item which has been on his radar is how to bring more business to the region.
“We would like to see more industry come in to bolster what the area has. There are many needs throughout the Kootenay Columbia area which is quite large but by getting around we are working with the communities,” he said.
One of the main challenges the MP knew he would face is getting to speak to as many people as possible in a riding the size of this.
“It is a large riding. When we try to explain to some of our fellow members of Parliament from the greater Toronto area, whose riding is 10 square blocks, they don’t understand.”
During his time in Golden Wilks spent some time with a class at Golden Secondary School. Wilks said he felt visits to local schools were a very important part of what he and all members should be doing.
“We as politicians have to go to the next generation. They are the ones who are going to take care of you and I. We have to get them involved. I think it is important for a member of Parliament, an MLA, a city councillor, to get into the schools and say politics is important. We are in every facet of your life. Every time you buy a coke we are involved in it.
“The most important questions they ask is when I bring up the copyright act because there are things in that which are going to affect their iPods, iPads, their laptops. That is one of the big ones they talk about,” Wilks said.