Update from Catherine McKenna

By Catherine McKenna, MP Ottawa Centre

New Year’s Eve at 8:17pm on Parliament Hill marked the kickoff of Canada 150, celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. This is an exciting time to be in our nation’s capital region with events throughout the year including free access to National Parks, National Historic Sites and National Marine Conservation Areas.

Rideau Canal Skateway Opening
On Saturday, Jan. 14, I had the pleasure of speaking on behalf of Heritage minister Mélanie Joly, at the opening of the Rideau Canal Skateway. I joined Dr. Mark Kristmanson, (CEO of the National Capital Commission) and Michel Liboiron, (Senior Director, Government Relations and Public Policy at CIBC) to raise the green flag that will fly as long as the canal is open for skating.
Throughout the open-air skating season, as many as 20,000 people visit the canal every day to experience the world’s largest skating rink. Whether you are visiting Ottawa for your first time or you have lived here all your life, skating on the canal is a unique experience.
Always be sure to check ice conditions and weather to have the right equipment and attire to stay safe and warm. It doesn’t matter if your skates (or your skills) are a little rusty, you will find your stride.

Canada is not the only entity celebrating a big birthday this year. Congratulations to Carleton University on its 75th anniversary. Jan. 18 kicked off a year-long celebration that will honour all that Carleton has achieved. Founded on the principle: “It’s the people, not the buildings, that make an institution,” Carleton is celebrating the people who have made it great over the last seven decades.
While Carleton is celebrating their past this year, they are also looking to the future through reducing emissions and energy usage. Last November, I was delighted to announce that our government is investing $22.5 million from the Strategic Investment Fund to support the greening of operations at Carleton. This funding supports the university’s goal of reducing energy consumption while expanding research on green technologies and smart environments.

World Economic Forum (Davos)
Last month I had the immense honour of joining five of my Canadian ministerial colleagues in representing Canada at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Forum brings around 2,500 of the greatest minds in leadership and business together every year.
At the conference, I spoke with environmental leaders from around the world about our initiatives here in Canada and the investment opportunities in green technology. The environment and the economy will both be stronger if we invest in clean energy and green technology.

Black History Month
From the Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, the first black Member of Parliament and the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, to Viola Davies Desmond, a civil rights activist who challenged racial segregation in Nova Scotia, every February we recognize the accomplishments, struggles, and triumphs of Canadians of African descent in the past and the present. There’s a lot happening in Ottawa Centre to celebrate this month. I encourage everyone to participate in one of the many events that will be taking place.

This year, Winterlude runs Feb. 3-20 and has something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Check out the ice sculptures, competitions, activities and performances in various locations across Ottawa such as the Crystal Garden in Confederation Park or the Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park.
New this year on the Rideau Canal Skateway is the Ice Dragon Boat Festival on Feb. 17 and 18. I am so excited for this event. There are athletes coming from all over the continent to participate. Ice Dragon Boating is not only a first for Winterlude, but it’s a first for all of North America.

Social Media
What are you doing this month to #OwnOurOttawa? Send photos of how you embrace, enjoy and improve our community with the hashtag #OwnOurOttawa. I would also love to know what you’re doing this month for Family Day, Reading Week, Winterlude and everything in between. Post your photos on social media using the hashtag #OwnOurOttawa and don’t forget to tag our office @CMcKennaOttawa.

On the Hill
If you’re interested in getting passes for Question Period or would like to take a tour as an individual or group, please contact my Parliamentary office at 613.996.5322 or at Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca for more information.

In the Community
We want to hear what issues are important to you, so please feel free to get in touch with our office at 613-946-8682 or Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at McKenna.Ottawa and Twitter @CMcKennaOttawa.

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