website statistics



Parliament’s Break: Oda Responds

During Parliament’s recent two-week break, I encouraged all Canadian citizens to get in touch with their local Member of Parliament and express any concerns, questions, or comments they may have. Considering the amount of mudslinging happening within the House of Commons at the time, I suggested anyone writing to their MP tell them to just sit down, shut up, and get on with the business of governing this country.

At the time, I took a dose of my own medicine and wrote to my MP, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, Bev Oda. Yesterday I received a reply:

Dear Mr. Gilham:

Thank you for your recent email correspondence.

I appreciate very much your desire that government act toward improving people’s lives. Together with my Cabinet colleagues, I have been working very hard to ensure the budget presented by the Minister of Finance on March 19 acts to help all Canadians.

In terms of my own constituents in Durham, the two week adjournment of the House of Commons fortunately allows me to spend more time with them and to directly hear their concerns. I also often send out newsletters and fact sheets soliciting feedback as a means to ensure I hear what my constituents are thinking. We will begin preparing a report to constituents on the budget once that information becomes available.

In the meantime, thank you again for being in touch. Please do not hesitate to contact me any time with questions, concerns or advice.
Sincerely,

The Honourable Bev Oda, MP (Durham)
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

I have to give Oda a lot of credit — she makes a fairly impressive effort to keep in touch with her constituents. Every few months, we find a new postcard, letter, or survey from her office in our mail and she’s often seen participating in a number of community events. From the wording of her e-mail, it looks like she probably sat down and wrote it out herself. In a world where citizens are increasingly disconnected from the people governing them, it’s nice to see someone as busy as Oda taking the time to reply to a few e-mails.

Even if she plays for the wrong team, politically.

2 Responses to “Parliament’s Break: Oda Responds”


  1. Gravatar Icon 1 Amanda Mar 21st, 2007 at 9:44 pm Quote

    It’s possible that she wrote it, but also possible that she did not…
    I wrote to Cam Jackson (former Conservative Burlington MP, now mayor.. ugh) last year during the college strike. He was the one to write to for college/university matters at the time. I got an email back very quickly, not that anyone really ever did anything about the strike.. but he was on our side, and therefore ok. haha.

    I later met him in the summer (at the grocery store of all places) and we got into a discussion. He claimed that he remembered my email, but I’m skeptical. It’s hard to tell who reads the mail and who doesn’t.

    About 3 weeks after the strike ended, I got a form letter from McGuinty’s office. Didn’t have the same feel.

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Brian Gilham Mar 21st, 2007 at 11:07 pm Quote

    It’s possible that she wrote it, but also possible that she did not…
    I wrote to Cam Jackson (former Conservative Burlington MP, now mayor.. ugh) last year during the college strike. He was the one to write to for college/university matters at the time. I got an email back very quickly, not that anyone really ever did anything about the strike.. but he was on our side, and therefore ok. haha.

    I later met him in the summer (at the grocery store of all places) and we got into a discussion. He claimed that he remembered my email, but I’m skeptical. It’s hard to tell who reads the mail and who doesn’t.

    About 3 weeks after the strike ended, I got a form letter from McGuinty’s office. Didn’t have the same feel.

    The fact that it arrived two weeks later and referred to the specific issues in my letter (sort of) makes me hope it was a personal reply. But, in the end, I’m smart enough to know that there’s a good chance it probably wasn’t.

    I’m just a political romantic, I suppose. ;-)

Leave a Reply

Quote selected text