By MPP Bobbi Ann Brady
It’s been a year since Haldimand-Norfolk elected me as its Member of Provincial Parliament. It’s been a year I will never forget.
Last June 2nd the people of Haldimand-Norfolk did something truly courageous by going to the ballot box and choosing an independent. Since that time, it’s been my mission to be courageous in return for those who voted for me. It’s a mission I take seriously because we all want to see the best for our families, our businesses and farm families.
I spent 23 years working for former MPP Toby Barrett and knew what the role of MPP entailed. Reporters still ask me whether there have been any surprises about the job – the answer is no. The difference is now I am the person heading out to the events, instead of lining them up — I admit I prefer being the person meeting all of you.
I’ve been a broken record since last June reiterating that Haldimand-Norfolk has the best drink, the best food and, hands down, the very best people. I sincerely believe this. Recently, I was at the recognition evening for Community Living Haldimand where participants, volunteers, employees were celebrated. This organization has a proud history of providing community-based supports for adults with developmental disabilities.
During the evening, it struck me what an amazing group of people filled that room – community members quietly working together to ensure those with developmental disabilities are offered opportunities and possibilities to ensure meaningful inclusion. A handful of participants were presented with a Jennie Deagle Dream Fund award – Jennie’s Dreamers.
For more than fifty years, Jennie was instrumental in creating a firm foundation for growth and continued success for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Participant David will be heading to Toronto to see Kiss soon; another will fulfill his dream of seeing Shania Twain perform – it was exciting to witness the joy the Jennie Deagle Dream Fund provides.
While few may be aware of the good work of Community Living Haldimand, the point I am trying to make is that these good people stretch across our riding. Anyone who says there’s nothing to do in Haldimand-Norfolk is simply living under a rock. One Saturday, there were 22 events happening in Haldimand County alone. Those events are put together by volunteers, by our friends and neighbours who give up time with their families to enrich the lives of others without asking for anything in return.
Our small businesses and farmers also give back in ways that may be taken for granted or left unnoticed. I see them. I also see all of you who are working so hard and struggling to get ahead.
I want you all to know I have your back. We may not always agree politically, but I want the very best for our area. When the government does something good for you I applaud them; similarly when they bring forward an idea that may be detrimental to Haldimand-Norfolk, I speak out.
I have friends in all corners of the Ontario Legislature, and they know my number one priority is you – not a party. Some are envious, and they tell me so. I am proud of the people of Haldimand-Norfolk and it’s that pride I have in you all that makes my role as your MPP easy to execute.
You have my word that in year two of my mandate, I will continue to match the hard work of all of you. Thank you for giving me the gift to represent and serve you. Thank you for the best year of my life.