Media Room
Walking in Memory of Lynne

May 2013 -- As the weather finally starts to feel like spring, I look forward to a special walk on Monday, May 20th (Victoria Day) to honour the memory of a very special and courageous woman.

On May 20th, the 3rdannual Lynne’s Legacy Run/Walk will take place locally, raising funds in memory of Lynne McTaggart for Reach Forth Sports and the Juravinski Cancer Centre. 

Many in Dundas, Ancaster and Hamilton knew Lynne and are touched by her legacy -- particularly the Reach Forth Sports activities of which she was such a strong proponent. 

I had the honour of knowing Lynne and walking with Lynne in the walk last year. We also appeared together on local cable television in the weeks leading up to the walk. 

Lynne’s Legacy run/walk takes place at Churchill Park in Westdale (you can park your car at nearby G.R. Allan School). There is a 1-kilometre fun run for the kids and a 5-kilometre timed run or 2.5-kilometre walk for everyone. Same day registration opens at 8:00 a.m. until 9:15 a.m. The kids run will start at 9:30 a.m. followed by the adult run and walk at 10:00 a.m. Lunch and awards will be at 11:00 a.m. 

I encourage everyone to participate this year. The McTaggart family and all of Lynne’s friends need your support this year, in the year of her passing, more than ever. It’s a fitting tribute to a generous lady who battled her cancer with dignity and courage right she passed last November. 

One of the two causes Lynne’s run/walk will support is the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. It is a full-service hospital offering excellence in cancer care and orthopedics. The combination of inpatient and outpatient programs make Juravinski one of the busiest and largest comprehensive cancer centres in Canada.  

The other cause is one that was very close to Lynne’s heart and one that she was very involved with until her passing. It is Reach Forth Sports. This organization has done great work in our community since 1978. It is a non-denominational Christian sports organization that offers ice hockey, ball hockey, indoor soccer, outdoor soccer, slo-pitch and flag football to youth and young adults, as well as gym nights for downtown Hamilton youth. Reach Forth includes and invites participants from all cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and religions, with a special interest in helping inner city and refugee youth. 

Visit www.lynneslegacyrun.ca for more information and to register.

 

 

 

 
National Volunteer Week

April 24, 2013 -- On the occasion of the 71st annual National Volunteer Week (April 21-27), MP David Sweet congratulates the millions of Canadians who volunteer to help their communities across the country every year. 

“During National Volunteer Week, I would like to thank the volunteers who give their time and effort to help build stronger communities,” said MP Sweet. “They each play a vital role in building a stronger Canada.” 

Volunteerism is important in improving the quality of life of many Canadians, building social networks and improving intergenerational relations. According to the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, each year, more than 13 million Canadians volunteer over 2 billion hours of their time to charitable and not-for-profit organizations. 

To further recognize the outstanding voluntary contributions made in Canada, the Government introduced the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards. Canadians can show appreciation for exceptional volunteers in their communities by nominating them for one of the 17 awards. The second call for nominations closed on April 15, 2013. More information about the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards, including the first award recipients, can be found at www.pm.gc.ca/awards or www.facebook.com/PrixduPMAwards.

National Volunteer Week is the largest celebration of citizen participation in Canada. The Government of Canada thanks the many Canadians who dedicate their skills and time to make this country a better place to live.

For more information on how you can participate in National Volunteer Week, please visit volunteer.ca.

 
New Recreation Centre

January 23, 2012 – Hamilton residents are celebrating the completion of the new Westmount Recreation Centre, the biggest facility of its kind in the city. 

At 50,000-square feet, the state-of-the-art building is a multi-purpose, fully accessible complex that offers a lap pool, gymnasium, youth zone, seniors’ space, three multi-purpose rooms, a meeting room and fitness and dance studio. 

“The Westmount Recreation Centre offers residents of all ages the chance to enjoy their favourite pastimes in a great new facility,” said David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale. “Our Government is proud to invest in infrastructure projects that create local jobs, help the economy grow and encourage Canadians to stay healthy and active.” 

“I would like to thank the federal and provincial governments for their ongoing support and investment in Hamilton's recreation infrastructure,” said Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina. “We want to make sure our children and their families have the best recreational facilities possible, but we couldn't do it without the help of our Government partners.” 

The new facility will deliver numerous benefits for residents. The new pool, as well as program areas, fitness facilities and youth and seniors’ spaces will ensure that users have access to exceptional recreational programs close to home, and will encourage residents to maintain healthy and active lives. The meeting and multi-purpose spaces will also enable local groups to host cultural and community events. 

The Government of Canada contributed a total of $3.85 million to the project. The Province of Ontario and the City of Hamilton contributed the balance of the total project cost of $21 million. 

Canada’s Economic Action Plan promotes new opportunities for growth, job creation and long-term prosperity. Strengthening infrastructure across the country is an important part of this plan. Thanks to the Government of Canada’s leadership and our strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has recovered from the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. Canada has been a leader among G-7 countries throughout the recovery with more than 922,000 net new jobs created since July 2009. 

This project supports Building Together, the Government of Ontario’s long-term infrastructure plan to repair, rebuild and renew the province’s roads and highways, bridges, public transit, schools and postsecondary institutions, hospitals and courthouses. Since 2003, Ontario has invested approximately $75 billion in infrastructure. Building modern, efficient infrastructure has created or preserved close to 100,000 jobs each year, on average, making Ontario’s economy more productive and improving quality of life, now and in the future.

 
Fairness for Victims of Violent Offenders

April 2013 -- On February 27th, two years after I first introduced my Private Member’s Bill, The Fairness for Victims of Violent Offenders Act, I rose to table a strengthened version of the Bill for first reading in the House of Commons.

Why introduce it again? To make a long story short, the first time I introduced this Bill, it died in the legislative process when the Opposition parties voted down the 2011 Federal Budget, triggering the last Federal Election. And since only a handful of MPs are eligible to present a Private Member’s Bill during each session of Parliament, I had to wait my turn to present the Bill once more. 

Having said all that, I’m pleased to reintroduce this legislation for the very same reasons that prompted me to do so two years ago. Having observed the parole process first-hand at the invitation of a constituent, it was heart-breaking and emotional to watch what victims and their loved ones go through year after year. 

That’s why, over the years, victims of violent crimes, their families and the federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime have called for changes to the process. 

Officially tabled as C-479, this Bill proposes nine changes to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. In a nutshell, my Bill modernizes this Act to give victims more voice and a greater choice in the parole process. It closes a loophole by enshrining in law that the victim impact statement must be considered by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) as part of its deliberations. 

It also gives the PBC more discretion in dealing with cases of violent offenders. Specifically, my Bill lengthens the time the PBC has for mandatory review of sentences for offences involving violence. This will help ensure victims are not re-victimized every two years a change that victims, families and advocates have been recommending for a long time.

I look forward to speaking to this Bill at second reading in mid-April and to reporting to you on its progress in the months ahead. I hope that members of all parties will join with me in making these necessary changes. 

If the Bill passes second reading, it will be sent to a parliamentary committee for review before third and final reading. Once a Bill passes both the House of Commons and the Senate, it receives Royal Assent to become law.

 
Remembering a Great Canadian – Charlie Cetinski

March 2013 -- Like so many in Flamborough and Waterdown, I was saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Cetinski. He was a great Canadian.

He cared so passionately about Flamborough and gave so selflessly of himself in his work to raise funds for spinal cord research.

My wife Almut and I extend our deepest sympathies to his children Susan and Andy, as well as their partners, extended family and friends. 

Simply put, Charlie was an inspiration. Anyone who spent more than a few minutes speaking with him saw this instantly. His positive attitude was infectious. Despite the adversity of being left paralyzed by an unfortunate plane crash in 1997, it was Charlie’s way to turn adversity into triumph. And that he did. 

Charlie founded the Golden Horseshoe Marathon and Wheel to Walk Canada to help others with disabilities and support spinal cord research. It was during his Wheel to Walk marathon that I wrote about Charlie on these pages back in the summer of 2008. At that time, he was mid-way through his cross-country wheelchair marathon to raise funds for spinal cord research at McMaster University. It was an excellent example of Charlie’s determination and spirit. 

Along with three other wheelchair athletes, Charlie completed the marathon across Canada leaving Victoria, B.C. in June and rolling into St. John’s, Newfoundland three months later. While the marathon fell short of its fundraising goal, the group was undeterred. They were planning another ride across the country to raise more funds for spinal cord research. The reason the organization is called wheel to walk is that the research being done at McMaster University Hospital was on spinal cord rehabilitation and it showed much promise. 

Charlie received many medals and honours, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Flamborough Chamber of Commerce awards and the Paul Harris Fellowship the highest honour bestowed by the Rotary Club. Although perhaps no honour was more meaningful than being named a Rick Hansen Medal Bearer in 2011. In November of that year, the anniversary Rick Hansen Man in Motion relay came to Hamilton on its own cross-country journey. Charlie proudly participated and was recognized at the day’s celebration at Mohawk College

Charlie was also a long-time member and catalyst behind the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce through his company, Flamborough Springs. 

I’m grateful for all the support and advice Charlie gave me over the years. He will be dearly missed.

 
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