Catherine McKenna, MP, Ottawa Centre

McKennaCatherine_LibMy first six months as your Member of Parliament have flown by at an incredible pace! Every day is a learning experience marked with major developments and achievements along the way.

New Canal Access Points

On May 10, I announced the installation of two new paddle access points along the Rideau Canal. These new paddle docks, which were installed in response to feedback from the community, will ensure safe and easy access to the Rideau Canal for paddlers and their canoes, kayaks and paddle-boards.

The new paddle docks are part of a series of federal government infrastructure investments along the length of the Rideau Canal, between Ottawa and Kingston, totaling $57 million. This is the largest investment of its kind in the 184-year history of the Rideau Canal. The funding will be used to rehabilitate and repair bridges, dams, locks and historic masonry structures in communities along the canal, more than doubling previously announced federal funding.

One access point is on the west side in the Glebe at Patterson Creek. The other is on the east side in Old Ottawa East at Clegg Street. As the weather warms up I encourage you to get out and take advantage of these new docks!

Climate Change

On April 22, I had the honour of joining Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the historic signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change at the UN in New York. On May 6, I tabled the Paris Agreement in the House of Commons. It should be ratified later this year. Our government views climate change not only as a challenge, but as an opportunity. It is a chance to build a clean-growth economy that will help fight climate change, while also creating well-paying jobs for middle-class Canadians.

We know that to move towards a real solution we need to work with all partners – including at the community level.  I was very pleased to host a climate-change consultation in Ottawa Centre on April 28. Some 250 constituents attended this successful event to provide input on mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing emissions, putting a price on carbon, growing good jobs through clean technology and preparing our communities.

If you missed the consultation session, you can still join the conversation and contribute to the climate change debate at www.canada.ca/climateaction. I want to hear your ideas!

National Capital Commission

On the same day as the climate change consultation, the National Capital Commission board announced that, following a broad consultation and rigorous evaluation process, the Commission would begin negotiations for the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats with RendezVous LeBreton Group.

As part of my commitment to you, I called for NCC reform to increase openness and require stakeholder engagement, particularly for major developments on public lands. Close to 8,000 Canadians contributed their views on what a redeveloped Flats should look like. Another 3,000 people participated in town halls leading up to this announcement.

In the past, I have also called for formalizing the participation of the two National Capital Region local governments at the NCC board level.  On April 28, I was thrilled to see Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin attend their first NCC board meeting as ex-officio board members!

At the same meeting, I was also pleased that the NCC board approved a federal land use request that the Memorial for Victims of Communism be built in the Garden of the Provinces and Territories. I support this new location, as a much more appropriate site than what was originally planned in the parliamentary and judicial precinct on Wellington Street.

New Central Library Project

The Ottawa Public Library board is in the planning stage for the new central library. Ottawa residents will have an opportunity to help shape the criteria that will be used to evaluate the potential sites.  A public consultation meeting was held on May 16, followed by online input. I hope you will give your thoughtsVisit http://ottawacentrallibrary.ca/get-involved for more information.

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Filed in: Front Page, Political Pages

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