OTTAWA: The re-elected Member of Parliament for a riding covering parts of the Strait area has been officially sworn in to office.
During a ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on November 19, MP Sean Fraser took the oath to represent the people of Central Nova for another term.
“It’s a special thing when the Speaker of the House of Commons calls you not by your name but by the community that you represent and it reminds me very much that when you go to Ottawa, you’re there to serve the interests of the people back home, not to try to promote your own cause,” Fraser said. “I want to say thank you, because without the support of everyone at home, you don’t have that opportunity. I approach it with a humble attitude ready to serve and I’m excited to get back at it.”
Following the election in October, Fraser held his seat with a 7,517 vote majority over Conservative candidate George Canyon. Fraser earned a decisive victory in which he never trailed in a single poll, and captured 46.5 per cent of the vote with 20,718 votes cast in his name. Fraser’s numbers, however, were down slightly from the 2015 election in which he received 58.53 per cent and 25,909 ballots cast.
Since the election, Fraser said he and his staff have “hit the ground running,” making two trips to Ottawa and setting up constituency offices in the same location in New Glasgow and back on Main Street in Antigonish. The decision on the locations and schedules for satellite offices will be decided in the coming weeks and months.
This time around, Fraser will be part of a minority government, as opposed to the majority government he was part of in his first term.
“When I was there before, I was coming home every weekend, and every time I could get home for a big event, I would, and I expect that attitude towards focusing on the constituency will not change,” Fraser noted.
Fraser says the big change this time around will involve building a political consensus among opposition parties on each major piece of legislation. On middle and lower class tax cuts, Fraser said the Liberals and Conservatives do share common ground. The NDP and Bloc Quebecois have similar views to the Liberals on climate change and protecting the environment. To achieve a national pharmacare system, Fraser said the NDP and Green Party both have similar goals to his government.
“We’ll have to be a little bit more mindful of the need to gain the support of at least one other party on everything you do, otherwise, you can’t get it done,” Fraser said. “I have great faith in our ability to find common ground with certain other parties on an issue-by-issue basis.
“I think it’s actually going to be an interesting and enjoyable parliament, and it just may require us to be on our toes. As long as we move forward in good faith, I think we’re going to be able to find a dance partner on each issue to work with.”
First elected as the MP in 2015, Fraser stepped into the riding following the decision from Conservative cabinet minister Peter MacKay to not re-offer.
In September, 2018, Fraser was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.