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Rudd reflects on first year as Member of Parliament

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

MP Kim Rudd

MP Kim Rudd

NORTHUMBERLAND - 

About a year into her first term as Northumberland-Peterborough South MP, Kim Rudd says she has had plenty of unexpected opportunities and learned things she never imagined the job would entail.

“One of the things is the surprising number of opportunities of the job to learn,” Rudd said in a telephone interview from her Ottawa office.

“When people come to the office to meet with me,” Rudd said, whether its Indigenous groups or the Northumberland Real Estate Association, the impact is that “I learn so much.”

It’s not just about groups seeking financial support, but providing her with an update about what they are doing, she said.

For example, when Rudd met with Compute Canada recently, she learned about the daughter of a woman who had a brain-related issue from birth identified at the children’s hospital in Ottawa. To date, she is the only child in the world identified with the particle of her genome having this issue, but with the scientific platform developed through Compute Canada searches can be done to determine whether there are others and what that might lead to.

“It’s amazing stuff,” Rudd said.

Another surprise is how disappointed she is not to be able to be in three places at the same time.

“I didn’t realize how difficult that would be” and her reaction to have to say “no” to invitations such as the upcoming Christmas parades.

Since taking office not only has the local riding MP dealt worked in her riding and in Ottawa but in her role as parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources, she has travelled to places like China, usually speaking to the nuclear file on behalf of the minister.

Wednesday, Rudd was expecting to be at Chalk River taking a tour of the research facility there and naming a new lab in the honour of Canada’s first female nuclear physicist, Harriet Brooks, who graduated in 1899 and hails from Western Canada.

“Don’t believe everything you see on TV,” she also warns people about the way MPs from all parties really do work together in Parliament.

“I have a great working relationship with people in all parties” and while some MPs may approach things from a different philosophy or route, “there is a common goal,” she said.

In her parliamentary assistant role as well, Rudd is in Ottawa’s Parliament buildings every Friday afternoon for Question Period, on behalf of her minister.

Asked about accomplishments in the first year of office, the local MP immediately referred to how Canada is creating a good reputation for itself, and that when she is out of the country meeting people from all around the work, there is positive reaction to Canada’s achievements such as in the nuclear field and in science and innovation.

The recent signing of the Paris climate change agreement was very important, she noted. As was the Canada/China long-term nuclear energy deal and its positive fallout in terms of Ontario companies participating in the supply chain.

Other accomplishments by the Liberal government, most of which directly impact this riding, include a $6.3-million commitment to Eastern Ontario to job creation and business innovation through the CFDC, the MP said.

“There has been a fabulous response” to the Canada Child Tax Credit and the extra $300/monthly, tax-free money is allowing families, among other things, to upgrade to a better quality of housing that was needed.

This week, the government will reduce by 50% the HFCs in refrigerators and freezers, as another way to address climate change, along with the carbon pollution framework put in place which allows each province and territory the opportunity to go cap & trade, or other method, she noted.

A member of the Rural Caucus, Rudd said Caucus has been working on high-speed connectivity and people can expect “to hear more” when details are rolled out on the $500-million commitment in the near future.

This is a matter that the mayors and members of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus in Eastern Ontario have been lobbying both levels of government about as it will impact cell phone users and small business, and others, unable to get high-speed service at this time.

vmacdonad@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/NT_vmacdonald 



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