First of all, I want to thank you for your continued support – especially these past months as I shared with thousands of Canadians our story, the story of Papineau. To only name a few, I have spoken about openness, transparency, hard work, citizen engagement, and community based solutions. Essentially, I spoke about the values of our community. I proudly remain your Member of Parliament, and always at your service.
Important issues dominated my discussions with citizens, including the electoral district redistributions such as the riding of Papineau, the government’s poor management of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the changes to Employment Insurance.
Last July, following a meeting with Jacques Beaudoin of the Mouvement Action Chômage , I wrote a letter to the minister responsible for Employment Insurance, Mrs. Diane Finley. I expressed my concerns regarding the proposed changes, and shared possible solutions. This letter remains unanswered. Despite the silence and closure of the Harper government, I am committed to ending the recently imposed changes and even see the program improved. Workers alone contribute to the EI program, and to treat all recipients as fraudsters is unacceptable. We can make Employment Insurance fairer.
This past year, I have been particularly interested by the electoral redistribution file. In order to provide a more balanced representation of people and communities in Parliament, The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec proposes new electoral boundaries every ten years. Following the 2012 national census, the Commission examined the demographic changes since the last redistribution and proposed a new map of all ridings.
In October 2012, in from the Boundaries Commission, I presented my proposition for Papineau: include the totality of the neighbourhoods Park – Extension, Villeray, and François – Perreault into a single federal constituency. These three neighbourhoods each represent individual sociological and economic realities, as well as share municipal and provincial services, such as three CLSCs, the CDEC, provincial MNAs, and municipal councilors.
The Commission’s final report was tabled in the House of Commons on February 25 th 2013, and I am glad to say they accepted my proposition for Papineau. Subject to approval by a majority of Members in the House in a few months, the boundaries of the constituency will be as follows: the western border will be Acadie Boulevard, and the eastern will be 24 th Avenue. Going West to East, the southern border streets will be Beaumont, Jean – Talon until Papineau, then Bélanger; Highway 40 will run as the northern border until Papineau, where Jarry will proceed going East.
Since 2006, the Conservative Government has made significant changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. They claim to have created a ―fast and flexible‖ system. However, the hundreds of files (plus the thousands we’ve dealt with since 2008) my office is currently assisting tell us differently. File processing times keep getting longer. In Montréal, for example, a citizenship application can take between 23 and 45 months before receiving an answer. If for any reason, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) have questions regarding a file the wait can be even longer. This without warning, information, or details from CIC. As with many other circumstances when dealing with the Federal Government, it is important to communicate with my office. Although I cannot accelerate the processing of files, I can keep you informed on the status of your request. Furthermore, when necessary, I can help facilitate communications with CIC.
As such, our work together continues. Even with the approach of the summer months, my office will remain open, and I will be at your disposal. Otherwise, I hope to see you at the many summer events across the riding, such as the Fête Nationale du Québec, on the steps of Église St – Cécile, on the corner of Henri – Julien and de Castelnau on June 24 th .
See you soon,
Justin P.J. Trudeau
Member of Parliament