My roles on the Liberal team in Ottawa this fall
I am happy to be working on the Liberal Party team. I have great respect for the abilities and experience of my fellow team members (a.k.a. the Liberal caucus) who are a great source of policy information, experience from hard lessons learned, advice, and personal encouragement.
Am I an expert in health? No, but Dr. Hedy Fry, the Liberal critic for health is just down the hall. Human rights? Internationally respected expert and Liberal critic Irwin Cotler is two steps away across the hall. Finance and budgeting? I can tap our Liberal critic Scott Brison on the shoulder in his seat in front of me in the House.
Justin Trudeau has announced a critic shuffle for the Liberal caucus and here are my roles on the team this fall:
Science and Technology critic: this is reprising an old role I had before Bob Rae moved me to Natural Resources temporarily. As a former researcher in physics I naturally pay special attention to issues in this area. Funding for research in science and technology is important for the economy of Kingston and the Islands.
Ontario Economic Development critic (FedDev for southern Ontario and FedNor for northern Ontario): reprising another role I had before the temporary switch to Natural Resources. Regional economic development is a topic that I became acquainted with in my work running a sustainable energy association (SWITCH) before being elected as an MP.
Post Secondary Education critic: I am very pleased to continue this role which I took over from Justin Trudeau when he became leader. Kingston and the Islands has two universities and one college, including Canada’s only federally run university (Royal Military College of Canada).
Caucus Accountability Officer: This person is a member of the National Policy and Platform Committee and must report back to the Liberal Party of Canada (to the biennial policy conventions, and to the Council of [riding association] Presidents) on how the party’s policies have been implemented by Caucus.
Ontario caucus chair: I chair weekly meetings of the Ontario caucus to discuss issues of special relevance to the people of Ontario and to bring these issues to attention of the party leader and national caucus.