Annual Elders Lunch at Port Alberni Friendship Centre

For me, a highlight of the Season is joining the Annual Elders lunch at the Port Alberni Friendship Centre and this year was no exception. Always uplifting to share the joy and wisdom of the Elders and to visit the Friendship Centre where I have so many great memories over the years. Thanks to the board, Executive Director Cyndi Stevens, volunteers and cooks for a great lunch! Happy new year to all!

Moonlight & Magic Festival

Congrats to the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association and organizer Meaghan Cursons for another fantastic Moonlight & Magic in the streets of Courtenay. I never miss this annual extravaganza, a feast for the senses, this year especially—dancing in the street, great food, interactive art, official tree lighting, singalongs, wonderful costumes and discounted prices at local shops. I was pleased to set up a mobile office (with a face-painting table on the side) and very much appreciated hearing from constituents. Cost of living, affordable housing and health care are top-of-mind for most people. Small businesses need an extension on their CEBA loans and I heard this too. Great to see Mayor Bob Wells out and about again this year, we all appreciated Council’s decision to hold off the rain for this year’s event, well done Bob! Lots of time left to shop this holiday season, let’s do it locally!

MP Gord Johns Visits Parksville’s École Ballenas

 

The best part of my Member of Parliament job description, hands down, is showing up in the schools when invited by students or their teachers. On Friday, I was privileged to meet with the students of Parksville’s École Ballenas Secondary in the classrooms of Ms. Jessylee Spence (Political Science 12) and Deirdre Kennedy (Socials 10). Thanks to grade 11 students Tristan and Wyatt for greeting my assistant Cameron Leckenby and I and escorting us through the halls. Tristan remembered me from an Oceanside Elementary School visit years ago! I have lost count but I told the students this was between my 15th and 20th visit to Ballenas. I said a few words but the best part was fielding questions in the classroom. Many about the job of being a Member of Parliament and how I go about hearing constituents and representing their interests, they were curious about what it is actually like to do this work and I did my best to share my personal insight with them. Was I friends with opposition Members? What is the most heated debate I have been in? Have I ever had to stop a meeting because others are disrespectful? When I asked what is important to them, the first response was “the cost of housing”. As, always, I left with renewed hope for our future. Thanks to the administration, faculty and students of Bellanas for taking time to meet with me.

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