Gord Johns says record federal investment in his riding is a highlight of his term in Canada’s 42nd Parliament.
The Courtenay-Alberni MP is reflecting after the House of Commons rose for the summer last Thursday.
“One of the reasons I ran was because I wanted to make sure Courtenay-Alberni got its fair share of investment in infrastructure and job creation from Ottawa. “As a former executive director of a Chamber of Commerce and a municipal councillor in Tofino during the Harper Conservative years, I was always disappointed with the very low level of federal investment in our region”, he observes.
“During the last three years of my term, communities in our riding have received an average of over $31.8M annually in federal infrastructure investment as compared to an average of only $5.7M per year over the previous eleven years”, he says.
“This was in no small measure due to the hard work of provincial, regional and local governments. It was my job to facilitate meetings, bring the parties together and to keep the needs of our communities in the forefront while in Parliament”, MP Johns said. “This has been a big boost for jobs in our communities. It’s historic, in fact”, he added.
When it comes to MP interventions in the House of Commons, Johns is miles ahead of his Conservative predecessors during the Harper years.
He’s ranked in the top 10 per cent of all MPs in that category. His predecessors were ranked in the bottom 10 per cent according to a search conducted by the Library of Parliament.
“The myth that only government Members of Parliament can achieve results for their constituents has been well and truly debunked. What it really takes is hard work and a willingness to cross the aisle to work with decision makers, Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, senior officials, whatever it takes,” Johns says. “In the meantime, the hard slogging is in the municipal planning offices and Council Chambers, it takes quality submissions to attract major investments like these and we certainly had them in spades throughout Courtenay-Alberni”.
Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells is pleased with the job Johns has done in Ottawa.
“The work of Gord Johns in securing the largest federal infrastructure investment in the history of the Comox Valley was invaluable.
“His organization of meetings with government officials and his leadership as the Co-Chair of the All-Party Entrepreneur Caucus were also very important to us”, added Wells.
In addition to infrastructure investment in Courtenay-Alberni during Johns’ term, there has been a 58 per cent increase in funding for Innovation, Science, Technology and Industry; and, a 147 per cent increase in Canadian Heritage funding.
“We have had more support from the federal government over the last couple of years than in the entire history of our company”, said Wayne Coulson of Coulson Aviation in Port Alberni. “The hard work of our Member of Parliament in showcasing the economic opportunities in the Alberni Valley has really helped”, he said.
It is hoped that additional federal investment in Courtenay-Alberni will be announced before Parliament is dissolved in the fall ahead of October’s election.