Report from Parliament Hill:
Supporting our Community
Eric Melillo - Kenora Riding MP
I’m incredibly proud of the generosity and resourcefulness of people across the Kenora riding as we face this pandemic together. Throughout our riding, individuals and organizations are stepping up to serve our community.
Businesses like Lake of the Woods Brewing Company have overhauled their production processes to make hand sanitizer.
Restaurants like Quesada, culinary students from Seven Generations, and faith groups like Jubilee Church in Kenora have been providing meals to the homeless. And the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre is partnering with Dr. Jonny Grek to provide job opportunities to the homeless population, in addition to delivering emergency food hampers. And of course, organizations like the Sioux Lookout Out of the Cold shelter are providing emergency accommodations to vulnerable people.
Members of Northern Youth Programs in Dryden are delivering PPE by plane to remote First Nations communities, and True North Aid has partnered with Grand Council Treaty 3 to donate furniture to communities in need.
This is just a small fraction of the work that is being done by good Samaritans across the riding.
The Kenora region has always benefited from the work of volunteers and charitable organizations who are the lifeblood of their communities. This public health situation has made their humanitarian work more challenging – and even more essential.
Last week, I was happy to give a speech in the House of Commons celebrating these citizens, encouraging all Canadians to follow their example.
In Question Period last week, I raised concerns from local business owners about the Canada Summer Jobs program.
Many businesses and organizations in the Kenora riding have applied for funding through this program, and have told me that lengthy wait times for approval have made it difficult to budget and recruit workers. In many cases, by the time a business has been approved for funding, the worker they were hoping to hire has found employment elsewhere.
Questioning Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough, I asked for a timeline for when final funding decisions will be announced, and for statistics about average wait times.
I also suggested that, going forward, the Canada Summer Jobs application process be opened earlier in the year. This common-sense solution would allow businesses to be notified well before the summer, giving them more time to plan and recruit the best workers.
Minister Qualtrough replied that this was an excellent suggestion, and pledged to follow up with me for more information.
I am continuously working to ensure more support and better services to my constituents.
As always, if there is anything my office can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 807-468-2170 or by email at [email protected].