Parliament has resumed and I am eager to participate in this fall’s hectic parliamentary session. This summer was very eventful. I made a number of trips to BC’s Southern Interior as well as having the privilege of representing the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, the Honourable Diane Finley, at my old stomping grounds in the Yukon.
In the Southern Interior, I represented the Minister of Environment, the Honourable Jim Prentice, at the unveiling of a plaque designating the Japanese Interment Memorial as a National Historic site in New Denver. The Japanese Internment Camp has been restored and includes an Interpretive Centre which was funded and restored by many Japanese-Canadians who experienced injustices during the Second World War. The site is part of Canada’s history and has long deserved to be a National Historic site. Notably, I was able to relate and speak to their experience as my mother-in-law’s family was interned at Coaldale, Alberta. In the past, both of our daughters had interviewed their Grandma and wrote papers on her experience during her time in the camps. However, in all the time I knew her there was never a bitter word spoken by her about anything or anyone and she certainly was a proud Canadian. It was an honour to represent all Canadians at this unveiling.
For more information on the historical Japanese Internment experience and more specifically how this event shaped the lives of Japanese-Canadians, I recommend you read “Images of Internment” by Henry Shimizu.
In Dawson City, I made announcements on funding partnerships for affordable housing for seniors as well as funding for housing projects for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation. It was great to see how well the First Nations people in the region were taking ownership of the planning, development and construction of aboriginal housing. The results were not only impressive but also a testimony to how our government is enabling First Nations to be partners in projects rather than warrants of the state.
The summer ended with the IPE in Armstrong and the Salmon Arm Fall Fair. Both events were, as always, a great time for family and friends. The one and only problem I had with summer -- it went by too fast!
Now back in Ottawa, I will once again start up my weekly columns to keep you, my constituents, abreast of what is happening on Parliament Hill.
Colin Mayes, MP