First of all, I must express my heartfelt appreciation to Erin O’Toole, his wife Rebecca, and his children Molly and Jack for the sacrifices they contributed over the years to our country. I have only known Erin these past two years, and while the consensus is that he was not effective enough to secure the confidence of Canadians, I have come to know him as a dedicated, compassionate public servant whose life has been dedicated to serving his country and for that – THANK YOU ERIN O’TOOLE!
So now what?
For myself, my focus is as follows:
First and foremost, my priority continues to be what is best for the people of Chatham-Kent-Leamington. To that end, my first duty is to ensure that the daily needs of my constituents continue to be addressed with the most professional level of service.
Next, my attention as a member of the Conservative caucus turns to the questions of who are we as a party? Where do we need to go as a party to represent the best interests of all Canadians in order to secure enough of their trust to be elected to government so we can implement the changes Canada so desperately needs!
To that end, I will be reaching out to my constituents and inviting them to write or email and share their thoughts with me directly. I want to emphasize that my priority is the views of my constituents, and those are the ones that I am interested in hearing from in a responsible way. Constituents can email me directly at Dave.Epp@parl.gc.ca or write me at Dave Epp, MP, Rm 615 – 229 Wellington Street, Confederation Building, House of Common, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6.
To those outside my riding, please direct your comments to your own MP or EDA, as they will be filtered and deleted. Automated email messaging apps contribute nothing to the important questions before us, so if you are a true constituent, I want to hear from you – directly – and I promise that I shall read every single comment that comes in from my constituents.
So what kind of Canada do you as a constituent want to see? How do we transition out of this pandemic and put in place more accountable and responsible response measures which are not so draconian due to un-preparedness and government over-reach, while ensuring we have space in our ICUs?
How do we ensure the spirit of the Charter of Rights and Freedom is better understood and upheld?
How can we best achieve food security and not export our raw resources only to reimport them after another country has added value that we should do here?
How are we going to better provide for our increasing senior population?
How can we support Canadian families without simply increasing their dependency on government money?
How can we best grow our economy, especially here in the Chatham-Kent Leamington region?
These and so many more important questions are issues for us to better explore now while there is a special opportunity to influence public policy in Canada during this upcoming leadership.
Once you as constituents have had your say, I will have a clearer sense of what leadership candidate can best achieve your hopes and aspirations? I have no preference for who that should be, nor do I have any intention of trying to bargain my support for some future position. Like the last leadership, I shall work to facilitate as many candidates to come to our riding to meet people directly, and then I shall make my choice known well in advance of the vote and be accountable.
These are troubling times in Canada. There is a great deal of distrust across the land. There is too much fear. People are talking over each other rather than with each other. As much as I can place much of the blame on how the Trudeau government has conducted itself by defying Parliament, by its scandals, and government overreach, all of us as MPs must continue to strive to do better. I certainly make that commitment for myself and trust that all Canadians will likewise share the humanity, respect and kindness that Canadians have always been known for.
Let’s be kind to each other, help each other through this, and I look forward to hearing from my constituents about what the Conservative party should stand for and what kind of leadership qualities they think we must have at this point in our country’s history.
David A. Epp represents the riding of Chatham-Kent—Leamington in the House of Commons of Canada.