It’s been a long and busy year for M.P Mark Gerretsen.
The rookie M.P got down to business following the Liberals landslide win.
Mark Gerretsen: November 2015
“I didn’t see this coming. Not a Majority Government in Canada and to have the opportunity to be apart of this… I’m at a loss for words.”
Reopening Prison Farms was high on his priority list.
After months of work and public consultation Gerretsen is confident a plan will be brought forward in the new year.
“I expect for some kind of resolution or recommendation from the Minister sometime during the winter session of Parliament.”
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Gerretsen and the Liberals.
The Government came under fire for glitches in their new Pheonix Payroll System.
Gerretsen’s office fielded dozens of calls from Federal Employees who are still owed thousands of dollars and are worried about the impact this may have come tax time.
Gerretsen: Spring 2016
“We need to do something. we need to step it up and fix this problem immediately.”
The same attitude Gerretsen took to Parliament Hill on behalf of a Kingston mother.
The rookie M.P presented a Private Members Bill aimed at helping pregnant women working in hazardous environments.
Gerretsen: Fall 2016
“To provide more flexibility to women who become pregnant that work in hazardous employment conditions. The second part is to call on the Government to form a national strategy with respect to maternity assistance that respects the labour market of today.”
The bill passed by a majority in the House and is now being studied at higher levels for approval.
” It should be wrapped up at least within the house sometime within the winter session and then it’ll be up to the senate and who knows how long they’ll take with it.”
looking ahead…Gerretsen is hoping to assist the City with Federal Funding for the Third Crossing.
“It’s hard to go forward and say hey, we might need some money on this project that the city might approve. What we need is a firm yes or no at some point.”
Gerretsen says it’s been a year full of steep learning curves.
“it was kind like trying to drink through a fire hose”
His job on Parliament Hill not the only new role he took on in 2016. He and his wife also welcomed a son into the world this past June.
-Jonna Semple, CKWS News-Kingston