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April 14, 2016: Federal Report; Volunteers build communities.

April 14, 2016: Federal Report;
Volunteers build communities.

By Catherine McKenna, MP, Ottawa Centre.

Budget 2016.
Our new government’s first federal budget released on March 22 takes important steps to revitalize the Canadian economy, and delivers real change for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

It also brings real opportunity and great news for Ottawa Centre, including investments in affordable housing, green infrastructure, public transit, science and research, as well as funding for our national cultural institutions.  Here are some highlights:

  • $3.4 billion over three years for public transit, including funding for large-scale projects, such as Ottawa’s new light rail transit, and active transportation initiatives, such as the pedestrian footbridge that will connect Old Ottawa East and the Glebe;
  • $2.3 billion over two years for affordable housing – I campaigned hard for this support as an important aspect of community development and sustainability in Ottawa Centre;
  • Up to $281 million to support the construction of a new collection and conservation centre for the Canada Science and Technology Museum; the renewal of the National Arts Centre’s performance venues; and repairs to the National Gallery of Canada;
  • Up to $2 billion over three years to improve research and innovation infrastructure at post-secondary institutions like the University of Ottawa, Carleton and Algonquin College; and
  • $2.1 billion over five years towards retrofits, repairs and greening government operations to reduce the footprint of federal government buildings, many of which are located in the National Capital Region.

Community Office Open House.
On April 2, some 120 people attended our open house. It was a delight to meet so many engaged constituents. It was not surprising, considering that Ottawa Centre is one of the most engaged ridings in the country, with 82% of our residents voting in the last federal election.

At the event, I joined local artist Bhat Boy in unveiling an amazing painting of the riding that I personally commissioned to hang in our community office. It was wonderful to have Ray Sullivan, Executive Director of the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) speak at the event, as our new office is located at Beaver Barracks, one of CCOC’s community housing developments and a model for sustainable planning.  Entertainment was provided by talented trio of sisters – Elizabeth, Rachel and Esther Joseph. The sisters are part of OrKidstra, a Centretown child and community development program aimed at fostering diversity and community through music.

National Volunteer Week (April 10 to 16).
Volunteers played a major role in my election campaign and my community office has a strong team of dedicated volunteers who help with administration, communications and policy work.

Volunteers are the roots of strong communities and are essential for communities to blossom as strong and resilient places. I am so proud of the volunteer spirit in Ottawa Centre and thank all you who freely give your time, ideas, energy and commitment through volunteer endeavours that make our community stronger.

Climate Change Consultations.
On April 28, I will be hosting climate change consultations where I will hear first-hand from Ottawa Centre residents on this very important issue. Visit our website at http://www.CatherineMcKennaMP.ca or follow us on social media for more details to be available soon.

Getting in Touch with Us.
We want to hear what issues are important to you, so please feel free to get in touch with our office at 613-946-8682 or Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca . And don’t forget to follow us on social media.

[Ed: Unabridged Version, exclusive to the on-line version.]

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