November 08, 2008

I am pleased to be writing my first In Touch article.  I am honoured that you have elected me as your MP and I intend to keep the lines of communication open between us.  I want to let you know on a weekly basis what I am doing and what is going on in Ottawa.

My first day in the office was October 16 and my first task as MP was to set up the Red Deer Constituency office and the Ottawa office.  I have hired Bob’s staff and they have been invaluable in helping me with the transition.  Since then, I have received packages from the Clerk’s office at the House of Commons, books on Parliamentary procedure, guides, forms to sign and just the other day, a “blackberry”.  My days are filled with studying reports, attending events and taking appointments with constituents.  I am certainly experiencing a steep learning curve.

I travelled to Ottawa on October 26 where I spent an intense few days as I attending orientation seminars, meeting with House of Commons staff and introducing myself to numerous Government department personnel.   

When I booked the trip to Ottawa I did not even know if I would be sworn in as the election results had not yet been certified but I was pleased to learn late Monday afternoon that I would be sworn in at 10:30 on Tuesday morning.  The swearing in ceremony was a short but moving experience.  When I was signed my name it was not just for me myself and my family but also my for my community, my province and my country.  I felt both pride and humility at that moment.

The coming few weeks will just be as intense for me as the last few.  On Remembrance Day I will be attending as many ceremonies and events as I can.  I travel to Winnipeg on November 13 for my first caucus meeting and to attend the Conservative Party’s policy convention.  I then travel to Ottawa and will attend more orientation seminars on Monday.  Parliament starts on Tuesday, November 18 and we will elect a new Speaker for the House of Commons.  The next day, Wednesday, November 19, will be the Speech from the Throne.  I will write more next week.

Until next time. . .

Earl Dreeshen, MP
Red Deer