My hope: Positive change in parliament

Canadians wanted change, and we voted in record numbers to make that change happen. Voter turnout increased to 68 per cent across the country, and to 74 per cent here in Beaches-East York.

In the end, Canadians cast their ballots for positive politics, a progressive platform, and a leader – our next Prime Minister Trudeau – who proved he is ready. At the local level, I also like to think that our positive and persistent campaign, built on the idea of a smart, fair, and honest government, played a role in our riding’s decision on election day.

Looking ahead, I am hopeful for what we can achieve. We have an opportunity to restore respect for science and evidence in our decision-making (yes, 2016 will be a census year), and to restore respect for open debate and civility in parliament.

My hope is that we can restore Canadians’ respect for and trust in our democracy along the way.

I cannot wait to get to work on behalf of our community. It is a special privilege to serve my home riding here where I grew up, went to school and played baseball, where my parents are local teachers, and where I now live with my wife Amy.

At the outset of this four-year term, I’d like to first say thank you, and then to make a request of you.

Thank you to my family and friends for putting up with what felt like a never-ending election campaign. Thank you to my fellow candidates for a hard-fought and respectful campaign, and to Matthew Kellway in particular for his service to our community over the last four years. Thank you to all of our volunteers for their endless optimism and hard work, and to all of the volunteers of other political parties who exhibited the same dedication to their own respective campaigns.

Finally, thank you to everyone who participated in the democratic process. I enjoyed the conversations at the doorstep and around kitchen tables, and I look forward to continuing those conversations over the next four years.

That brings me to my request: no matter your political allegiance, please stay engaged and be involved.

Too often politics starts and stops at the beginning and end of an election campaign. Of course, politics is about more than winning elections, and we should make our involvement between elections count as much, or more, than our involvement during them.

As a lawyer, I am an advocate by profession. Instead of clients, I now have constituents: you. I am here to be your voice in Ottawa.

Let me know if there is an issue that you need help with, an issue that is important to you, or an issue you want me to be an advocate for. My promise to you over the next four years is this: I will do everything within the power of my office as a member of parliament, within reason, to advocate on your behalf.

The health of our democracy depends upon the active participation of citizens like you. I look forward to working with you over the next four years to build a better government, and a better Canada.

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