GLACE BAY: Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso, says serving on two parliamentary committees will give him an opportunity to let the voices of his constituents influence discussion on a national level.
“I’ll be taking local Cape Breton-Canso experiences and viewpoints to a national stage to inform the discussion and possibly legislation and law,” he told The Reporter after being named to the Standing Committee on Justice.
That appointment was made on February 7, but he was also tapped for the House of Common’ Standing Committee on Health. That appointment came a few weeks before the Justice appointment.
“I was in Swiss Chalet when I got the first call, and a couple weeks after that, the second appointment came,” he said. “The health announcement came first because we had to get up and moving with the coronavirus. We were the first committee to go live.
“The justice committee has met as a caucus of the Liberal government, and we’ll be meeting soon with the entire committee, with folks from the other parties. It’s going to be exceptionally important work, and I’m looking forward to hearing from people in my community.”
When asked if locals were able to interact with him about their concerns, he said he’s had some good conversations so far.
“On the health side, yes,” he said. “People have reached out to tell me about their experiences in terms of doctor shortages and doctor recruitment initiatives. Our riding knows very clearly that health care is administered by the province, but they also want to know what things you can do as MP.
“We’ve got a lot of great assets in our riding but we also have some challenges when it comes to health care.”
The MP said health and justice are two of the most significant committees for the federal government. He added the two issues have significance throughout the Strait area. When pressed for specifics, he referenced First Nations communities in his constituency and health concerns across the area.
“We have to fulfill our obligations with respect to our party platform in recognizing fully, in words and in deeds, the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous People,” he said.
“Number two, medical assisted dying is a contentious issue. How we approach a national dialogue that’s inclusive, careful, and thoughtful will be exceptionally important when and if legislation comes down one way or another.
“That’s where you need an MP who understands that’s an issue here but it’s also an issue elsewhere in the country.”
Kelloway became MP on October 21 of 2019, edging out Conservative candidate Alfie MacLeod by 1,873 votes. For more on last October’s election, go to: https://porthawkesburyreporter.com/kelloway-overcomes-early-deficit-to-take-cape-breton-canso/.