I have recently returned from my trip into the riding of Timmins-James Bay, which graced me with wonderful people, beautiful scenery, and awesome weather. I was able to visit the city of Timmins and surrounding towns like Porcupine, Cochrane, and Iroquois Falls, as well as drive through many others like Matheson, Val Gagné, and Smooth Rock Falls.
Back in 2004, Charlie ran on a platform of providing service to the entire riding, a region larger than Great Britain. At the time, many areas had never seen service before. For this reason, Charlie currently has four constituency hubs: Timmins, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls and Kirkland Lake. I visited three of these offices and was amazed by the amount of case work that the constituency assistants are dealing with every day. I think Team Angus’s dedication to helping everyone and anyone is incredible. I have learned that there is no greater feeling than the gratitude that comes from successfully helping a constituent who is need (and because of this, I have been picking up a lot more constituency work nowadays!). To me, this is what politics should be all about. You are elected to represent, serve, and defend your people and that is exactly what I saw in the riding of Timmins-James Bay.
But my trip to the riding was not all work. Not only did I learn how to drive an ATV, but I got to meet two polar bears, road trip with Charlie, enjoy beautiful Northern sunsets every night, and much more; I was getting a “true Northern Ontario adventure”.
A big highlight of the trip was travelling to Peawanuck, which is a small First Nation reserve 777km North of Ottawa on the Winisk river. In 1986, the Winisk Flood completely devastated the community, forcing them to relocate on higher ground. 30 years later, I got the opportunity to celebrate this anniversary. There was lots of food, song and dance, along with many celebratory competitions like skeet shooting, and sport tournaments. As the picture below illustrates, although it was only 8 degrees there, it was still so so warm.
I am so grateful that this internship provided me with the opportunity to explore the riding. This trip taught me a lot about Northern Ontario and allowed me to apply the work and research that I have been doing in Ottawa to work on the ground in the riding. I feel more apart of Team Angus than ever and I’m sure that that will make my last month here all the more valuable!