A Week on the Hill


What a week – phew! With the executive team and our public affairs team working hard, we had a good week of meetings and dinners. I wasn’t as involved because more role is more national than provincial and most of the meetings were with representatives of government from specific areas or responsibilities. I did enjoy some time with Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen. I was very impressed with him and though his assistant said he only had five minutes to spend with us, he ended up staying for forty-five minutes. An indication of the strength of the discussions and the interest he shares in our work.

The full schedule isn’t mine to share, but we did have a good few minutes with the Speaker of the House, good attendance at our reception, which the photo above is from, and with Minister Bill Blaire, who announced further funding for the humanitarian workforce.

MP Salma Zahid, who was born in the UK, was very engaging at the reception. She uses Scarborough Citadel for community meetings and knew much about our work. In this picture, she is seen talking to Kester Trim, another long-time friend of mine and session mate.

In the Speaker’s Office

It was interesting to be part of this for twice as a young officer I asked if I might be considered to be The Army’s federal liaison officer but my lack of French language kept me from the role. And of course, we did live in the city and I did get a chance to have some involvement in the life of the city, for it is also a city of diplomats and I did have some meetings with other members of the diplomatic core. Of special memory was the dinner in the Zimbabwean embassy with the president and vice president of CIDA.

And it was nice to meet up with one of our audit committee members, Adam Harvey. It was great to get to know him a bit better and to discover some of our common interests.

One day, as we were returning to the hotel we discovered the police and fire department trying to deal with a man who was obviously distraught, near the hotel, who was up high and very agitated. Some dear soul, who perhaps was also distraught, was behind us and calling 911 – though emergency services were right in from of us.

All in all, it was a great week – in Ottawa.

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