MP report, Scott Armstrong
Last week I was honoured to be selected as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development by Prime Minister Harper.
Last summer I was promoted to the position of Atlantic Caucus chairman, which allowed me the opportunity to work with our Conservative Caucus and promote regional issues to the government leadership. This new position will allow me to work on a national basis and I am looking forward to working with the Honourable Jason Kenney as we continue to focus on the economy as the number one priority of this government.
One of the challenges Canada faces as we experience increased growth and employment is the deficit of qualified skilled trade’s people to meet current and future job vacancies. Today, literally thousands of jobs are going unfilled in Canada. Meanwhile we still have far too many people who are unemployed. This skills gap is only going to grow if we do not negotiate with the provinces and industry to make changes in the training and education of the next generation of skilled tradesmen.
With hydro development in Labrador, shipbuilding in Halifax and the recently announced Energy East Pipeline, this skills gap will soon be felt full force in Atlantic Canada if changes are not implemented to ensure we have the workforce training in place to meet the job demand these projects will create in Atlantic Canada. A large responsibility of my new position will be to work with the department to develop policies and programs that help match training with the jobs that Canada will need to fill.
Next month will mark my fourth anniversary as your Member of Parliament. We continue to be humbled by the support we received in both the by-election and general election in May of 2011. Since being elected I have strived to be accessible to the constituents of the riding. Although I will now have to spend some more time in Ottawa and around the country I will be keeping regular office hours in both Amherst and Truro, host town hall meetings throughout the riding and continue to attend as many community events around Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodobit Valley as possible.
This is the part of the job I truly enjoy as we are blessed with a terrific place to live, work and raise our families in northern Nova Scotia. As a member of Parliament my first priority is and will continue to be the people of this riding. Supporting local businesses and individuals when they struggle to access government programs or face issues with government departments is my focus and the top priority of our staff.
As we are currently in the midst of a provincial election, I wish to acknowledge all candidates for all three parties for their efforts in this election. Literally hundreds of volunteers are also donating their time to various campaigns in support of the democratic system we often take for granted. I would like to thank them all for their participation in trying to make our province a better place to live and raise our families.
This is the first election where you can vote every day of the campaign so I encourage everyone to participate by casting a ballot between now and Oct. 8.
Scott Armstrong is the Conservative MP for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.