I was once told it’s important to recognize that each day, globally, there are roughly 100,000 scheduled flights that take off and land without drawing any media attention.
It is the flights that do not successfully take off and land that become the focus of media stories and often speculation.
The context of that analogy is that in public office it’s often the scandals and failures that tend to receive far more media attention than projects or policy that work effectively as intended.
This week it was particularly rewarding to participate in a media event profiling some of the more positive local initiates for public engagement.
CPAC, which many often believe is a taxpayer-funded Canadian parliamentary access channel, is actually owned and funded by Canada’s private broadcasters. A CPAC crew was in Central Okanagan-Similkameen Nicola earlier this week to profile, among other events, the Summerland pilot project that involves my shared constituency office with local area MLA Dan Ashton.
Aside from cost savings, this shared office better serves locals who are often unaware of what services are provincial and what are federal. They are not bounced between two different offices that may be located in different communities.
As much as it makes sense to share an office between an MLA and an MP, to date it’s the only one in Canada, hence the interest from CPAC.
Hopefully the idea will catch on elsewhere and the added exposure of our beautiful region should also help draw visitors to the area.
On the theme of shared offices, I would also like to publicly thank the mayors and councils in Princeton, Merritt and Keremeos for making space available so residents can meet their MP on a monthly basis. Operating budgets do not allow MPs or MLAs to open offices in every community they represent, so it helps when different levels of government work together. Constituents deserve to be heard and the ability to meet face to face with elected representatives is critical.
I also want to thank the many constituents who have visited the mobile constituency offices, as well as my regular office, to provide input and ask questions.