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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Thanks to Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department Chief Leo Groenewegen and his all-volunteer crew for welcoming me to Saturday’s celebration of the Department’s 50th anniversary. I was glad to hear his view that my private members bill which led to the doubling of volunteer firefighter tax credits will help with recruitment. Great to see Parksville Councillor Sean Wood again along with RDN Chair Vanessa Craig and Electoral Area E rep Bob Rodgers. I enjoyed meeting volunteer firefighter John Thompson who retired after thirty-two years service. This fire hall handles more than two hundred calls a year, many health emergencies and motor vehicle accidents. All of the members are volunteers, contributing their time and making personal sacrifices along with their families, to provide an essential service to the community for which we are very grateful.

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