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Mayes speaks his mind in Parliament

Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap MP - file photo
Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap MP
— image credit: file photo

Love was central to the theme of Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes’ most recent speech in the House of Commons.

Fifteen members of Parliament get a chance to give a one-minute speech each day before Question Period in the House of Commons.

Mayes has spoken on two issues so far this year – a national prayer breakfast and the forest industry.

Some MPs have their speeches pre-written for them, but Mayes says he prefers to write his own. And while some MPs make political statements, “I think it’s an opportunity for me to say some things about my constituency,” he says. “People or events that have happened in the constituency – good news for the House and my colleagues to hear.”

He notes that he has spoken about such topics as Neskonlith elder Mary Thomas, the Salmon Arm Secondary brass band which performed in Ottawa, Dorothy Askew and the Askew family, and sit-skier Josh Dueck.

On Feb. 15, his speech centered around the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC he attended that was hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama.

He said more than 3,500 delegates representing government, business and clergy leaders from the U.S. and 123 other countries attended the breakfast. Keynote speaker was author Eric Metaxas.

“The theme of the event was the great commandment contained in the Good Book: ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself,’ and ‘serve one another in love,’” Mayes told the House.

“Public policy, military strength or redistribution of wealth is not the recipe for peace in the world,” he continued. “Only the divine spirit of love will overcome oppression, hate and aggression. This message is so simple to see. Why is it so hard to attain?

It was encouraging to attend this event with so many world leaders who understood solutions for world peace lay in the hearts of mankind and not in the might of mankind. Love is a little word. Only people can make it big.”

To receive notifications or to view what Mayes says in the House, go to http://openparliament.ca/politicians/colin-mayes/. The site points out that Mayes’ favourite word in his speeches is “economic.”

Regarding the forest industry, he told the House on Feb. 9:

“Canada’s forest sector was hit hard during the recession. Our government acted to create jobs and economic growth in our forestry communities across Canada. However, we did not just hand out money randomly, like the opposition would have us do, but targeted it to put the industry on a more sustainable path through investment and market diversification.”

In 2011, he spoke six times. He spoke on international trade, noting that Canadian exporters are hurting, and asked what the minister is doing to open doors to trade. He spoke about Carol Williams, a resident of Coldstream who had passed away. He spoke about a film that he and another MP were hosting called Unashamed: Journey to Hope.

“The documentary tells of her journey out of darkness and back to dignity and hope as she experiences God’s unconditional love and builds a new life for herself and her young daughter.”

He spoke about the 100th anniversary of St. John’s Lutheran church in Vernon.

“I thank St John’s Lutheran Church in Vernon and all churches in Canada that have contributed to the important work of tending to the spiritual well-being of Canadians and moulding those values that are the foundation of Canadian life.”

He spoke about how the government has benefited the lumber industry in Canada, noting that he has the fifth-largest lumber company in the world in his constituency. “I constantly speak with the CEO of that company and he tells me about what our government has done to benefit his corporation to be competitive and also all that we have done to help it find new markets for its products.”

And in November, 2011, he spoke about the Canadian Wheat Board in respect to comments from the opposition.

“I appreciate the fact that debating policy in this place is very important, but I believe that equally important is the debate that happens during a general election. Our party was quite clear in the policies we wanted to bring forward for Canadians. Canadians were quite clear that they supported the policies that our party is now bringing forward in the House, such as issues around freedom for farmers in the Wheat Board. Just think about the number of seats that affects. There are about 50 seats, one in British Columbia, and we won 90 per cent of those seats. My assumption is that 90 per cent of the people support our policy on the Wheat Board. I would ask the member, does she not value the debate that took place with the public and the policies that we presented? If she wants to respect democracy, she should respect what the citizens of Canada said on May 2.”

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