BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
I have always maintained that we live in the most beautiful region in Canada and I have always loved showing it off to people who are not able to come out to northeastern B.C. very often.
Recently, I had the privilege of hosting my friend and colleague, MP Peter Kent, during his visit to the Peace Region. This was a homecoming of sorts for Peter, who had worked in the Peace area as a young man selling drilling mud before he began his broadcasting career in Vancouver.
I have always admired Peter for the work that he has done not only as a member of parliament, shadow minister and former cabinet minister, but also for the incredible stories he was able to cover and tell during his time as a journalist.
I have been able to get to know Peter on a more personal level in recent years with us both sitting on the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics and I have always enjoyed listening to him recount having a front row seat to many turning points in history like the Vietnam War, the Ethiopian famine, and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
While he was in our region, we travelled to the North Peace Secondary School in Fort St. John where we spoke with a group of Grade 12 students about our committee’s work on social media, privacy and data security. It was also nice to be able to show him my old classroom from when I taught at the school.
We also attended a luncheon with the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce and again spoke about a variety of topics including the work we are doing at committee and the need to support our energy sector and balance the budget.
Later that day we met with seniors at the North Peace Seniors Housing Society for an engaging discussion on our committee’s report on the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica privacy breach and the threats social media can have on our privacy and our electoral process.
We ended the day with a dinner discussion with MLAs Dan Davies and Mike Bernier, Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman and Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead, as well as other city councillors and some of our local businesses leaders.
It was a whirlwind visit for Peter and I want to thank him for taking the time to travel to our region, for meeting with such a wide variety of residents, and for these kind words following his visit:
“It was wonderful to be back in the Peace, remembering decades past when I often visited as a journalist – and even back to the early 60s when I worked for Travis Mud and Chemicals. My time on this visit with Bob, discussing issues of today with high school students, seniors, the Fort St. John Chamber and business folk was informative and stimulating. It’s clear that Canadians of the Peace are firmly focused on a return to fiscal prudence, ethical practice and competent government. You can be rest assured that Andrew Scheer, Bob and the rest of the Conservative Caucus will continue to follow the words of the former publisher of the Alaska Highway News Ma Murray and give more than a tinkers dam about the Peace.”