Politicians are representatives of the people in the regions in which we are elected. I strongly believe as a young individual and a community-oriented person that we must work from the grassroots – build from the ground-level up. I believe in public consultation and involving my constituents in the process through regular public meetings, community/Town hall meetings, door-to-door discussions, availability at public events and also the forum of the social media to communicate. There is an expectation in today’s modern society that politicians be available to their constituents more than ever.
I had the privilege of meeting Alberta’s NDP Leader Brian Mason who believes that public engagement is critical to a more democratic society. The Alberta election is about three years away. However, the Opposition Wildrose Party (right-wing) and the New Democrats (left-wing) are working together to reach out to youth across Alberta to change the political landscape from the 40+ year reign of the governing Progressive Conservatives. They are participating in seven or eight debates across universities and colleges in major cities across the province.
On September 18th, 2013, I took public transportation (LRT) to University Station in Edmonton to the Lecture Hall at the University of Alberta. I was very surprised to see about 400 people, mainly youth gather at the event. It was refreshing as a youth and as a politician to see such interest as these two Leaders raised the bar and reached out though public debate of the issues and keeping it real. The Alberta New Democrats have been very vocal against the PC budget cuts of 7% to the education system. This campaign has garnered much support in their Edmonton base with currently four MLAs from the Capital and evident support from repeated cheers during much of the debate.
There were many issues brought to the forefront such as energy, pipelines, economy, post-secondary education, health care and public services. I enjoyed hearing the differing viewpoints of Leader Danielle Smith and Leader Brian Mason. The issues facing Alberta (a commodity economy) in many cases mirrors Newfoundland & Labrador on a smaller scale. We must conduct long-term planning and evaluate the impacts our aging demographics will have on program and service delivery.
On September 25, 26 and October 1st, I held a series of Public Meetings in St. Anthony, Sandy Cove and Roddickton. It was an excellent opportunity to hear concerns, issues and ideas of those living in the community. Meetings brought out about 150 people total and included those as young as 19 years of age. This is all very positive, as you can listen to the views of constituents and share information. It reduces barriers and builds trust. There is power in the voice of everyday people and commend you all for stepping up! Together we will build a stronger economy in the District of The Straits-White Bay North.
Public engagement is critical – rural NL certainly needs more of it!
Live Rural NL -Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North NDP Office of Public Engagement critic
- MHA hosts Public Meetings in St. Anthony, The Straits & Roddickton-Bide Arm (christophermitchelmore.com)
The “Perk Me Up” Coffee Soap may be just the cure for those heading to work on Monday morning. The ingredients are listed as lard, olive oil, caster oil, sodium hydroxide, ground coffee, coffee beans and fragrance.
“Fun at the Beach” is a pleasant bar that is nice and refreshing.
“Peppermint Pattie” boasts a scent that can almost be eaten. I love the mixture of chocolate and vanilla coming together to produce something truly delicious.
“Oatmeal, Milk & Honey” is full of relaxation. One can only imagine the good these products can do to moisturize the skin.
Who knew that I would be critiquing soap?
My Kitchen Spa has prepared a good product that is well-packaged. It is environmentally friendly, with a small paper strip that is big on branding. The playful soap name, business name, location and ingredients are clearly listed. As the business develops it may wish to list a website and email for questions, comments or to re-order.
When considering a product, I look so see if it is locally made! I crave these items for myself and gifts for friends and family members. The Dark Tickle Company’s products have been delivered as far as Ireland, Switzerland and Edmonton to date. Those visiting our region will also be looking to see if an item is locally made and most likely will factor in their decision-making process.
The gift shop at Norstead – A Viking Port of Trade, is ideal for finding local products. This stems from jewellery, painting, Norse games, Dark Tickle products, pottery and of course, My Kitchen Spa. One can purchase a small bar for $4 and a large bar for $7!
Find your niche in business! There is lots of opportunity to grow our rural economies…
Live Rural NL|
Christopher C. Mitchelmore