Mike Sullivan, our MP, just celebrated the end of his first year in the House. He was kind enough to offer us an interview to mark the occasion.
I asked Mr Sullivan about his plans for the next year. He said that the NDP will continue to hold the Conservatives to account, and try to “change the direction by whatever means are at our disposal. We want to draw attention to the integrity of this government; it’s not been as clean this year.”
Sullivan said that the policies of the feds have hurt Weston, and especially our most vulnerable. He said that many people with immigration issues have been coming to his office; the new immigration laws, which are intended to stiffen requirements for refugees and people smuggled into the country, mean that the situation “is only going to get worse… a number of people in my office have applied before 2008. It’s just so wrong. We’re helping them get through these processes.”
Sullivan said his other priority is cleaning up the streets of town. Referring to comments he made in the House, he said, “There are issues in this riding with handguns. There is no reason for these [guns] to be there. I’m going to press for solutions to be created, and it’s a long term project. It has taken us 25 years for us to get this many. It may take us 25 years more to solve this problem.”
Mr Sullivan is a frequent speaker in the House, but your humble correspondent has noticed a trend: he often seems pretty down on our town. He frequently mentions the problems here—he has discussed guns, drugs, robberies, and lost jobs, among other problems— but rarely mentions the nice parts of our riding. I know it’s his job to grumble so that we get some of the pork, but I wanted to ask if he had noticed, or if it was part of a plan.
Mr Sullivan seemed surprised that I thought he had been down on our town, but said it was part of a strategy:
I’m not trying to say that it’s not a great place. It is great place. I’m trying to say that it needs help, and it needs help more than other places in Canada that are getting help. We need it more than any place else…. Where I represent, we have had a hard time. For the past 40 years, we have had a hard time. But there’s something different happening in Weston. A new community is trying to ensure that its members are prospering. There are signs of prosperity. There are signs of life.
As a parting word, Mr Sullivan promised to say something complimentary in the House about our riding at his next opportunity. We shall hold him to account.