MP Mel Arnold speaks at the 2019 Day of Mourning in Vernon last month. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP defends dedication to constituents

LETTER: Mel Arnold says he is open and accessible

I wish to provide clarification in response to Barbara Cousin’s letter of May 17 in which she asserted that I am unavailable to my constituents. Having met with Ms. Cousins, hosted her at constituency events and provided responses to her written questions, I was somewhat surprised to read her letter. I campaigned on a commitment to being accessible to the voters of the North Okanagan-Shuswap and I continue to follow through on my commitment.

In her letter, Ms. Cousins questions meetings I attended in Manitoba in April. This is somewhat surprising as I responded in writing on April 30 to her query on these very questions.

See also: LETTER: Time to step up and rep the people

For the sake of your readers, I wish to clarify that while in Manitoba, I participated in multiple meetings related to my position as a Member of Parliament and the deputy shadow minister for Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, a position with responsibilities here in the North Okanagan-Shuswap and across Canada.

In Manitoba, I toured of a closed containment aquaculture production facility relevant to my role as a deputy shadow minister. As Member of Parliament for North Okanagan-Shuswap, I also participated in a trade meeting with agricultural producers examining canola shipments and potential trade barriers affecting fruit producers. I also met with fish and wildlife conservation organizations relevant to my role as deputy shadow minister.

Ms. Cousins’ assertion that I ignore my constituents is incorrect. I have made it a priority to consistently seek input from the people of the North Okanagan-Shuswap through multiple surveys, open houses, town halls and an overall approach of being accessible.

See also: LETTER: Holding the government accountable

I will continue to be open and accessible to my constituents and work hard to advocate on behalf of the North Okanagan-Shuswap.

Mel Arnold, M.P. North Okanagan-Shuswap


@VernonNews
letters@vernonmorningstar.com

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