Each summer, while the House of Commons is in recess, I look forward to the opportunity to tour our beautiful riding. This year?s midsummer tour was particularly enjoyable. In addition to my normal activities of meeting constituents and representatives of local government, it also gave me the occasion to thank many of my supporters for their help in the recent election campaign.
Also this year, two long-time members of my Ottawa staff accompanied me to learn more about the riding and its people. This will help them to provide even better support to my constituency staff who work very hard to assist local residents on a daily basis.
We began our travels by heading up the Alaska Highway from Fort St. John en route to Fort Nelson. We stopped along the way to enjoy the delicious homemade fare at Mae?s Kitchen in Pink Mountain, when in walked North Peace MLA Richard Neufeld and his wife Montana.
This was the first of at least a half a dozen places where our paths would cross throughout the next couple of days, as the Neufelds and our group stopped to chat with many of the same constituents and local business people.
We left Fort Nelson the next day, passing the stunning view of Steamboat Mountain, and called on Cliff and Lori Andrews, owners of Tetsa River Outfitters. We sampled one of Lori?s colossal cinnamon buns, billed as the ?most amazing in the galactic cluster?. Next we stopped at Stone Mountain Safaris, and though Dave and Ellie Wiens were busy preparing for the start of the hunting season the next day, they and their daughter Audrey treated us to some fantastic northern hospitality.
We packed a lot in that day, including the wonder of the Liard Hot Springs and enjoyed the ?little piece of heaven? at Muncho Lake?s Northern Rockies Lodge in the enjoyable company of hosts Urs and Marianne Schildknecht.
We had morning coffee at J&H Wilderness, with owners Denny and Joey Froese, and lunch at Toad River. More spectacular scenery followed and we arrived back to Fort Nelson where Mayor Chris Morey took time out of her holiday Monday to meet with us so that we could update each other, identifying issues of common concern and how we could collaborate in the coming months.
It was the kind of productive meeting that was repeated the next day when we met with Mayor Steve Thorlakson and Fort St. John councillors to discuss local, provincial and federal issues impacting residents in my hometown.
We?ll have similar meetings throughout the next few days in Tumbler Ridge, Chetwynd, Mackenzie and Prince George. Along the way, I?ll continue to be awed by the natural beauty and magnificence of Prince George-Peace River as I see it anew through the eyes of my Ottawa staff, who tell me they?ve been captivated by the mountain vistas, crystal lakes, rivers and wildlife.
Most of all, they have been impressed by the generosity and kindness of the engaging people they have met along the way. I am so proud to call this place home!