Getting back to work on his third term as Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP next month in Parliament is sure to be a labour of love for Alistair MacGregor.
The NDP holds an important position in Ottawa amid a Liberal minority government.
MacGregor has quickly become a veteran of election campaigns, with this being his third in only six years.
“The noticeable differences from previous campaigns are the requirements to physically distance, wear a mask and ensure we have contact tracing in place in the campaign office,” he noted prior to the Sept. 20 election. “I’m still out there able to do door-knocking, but only in single-family dwellings (no apartment blocks) so that we are outside and have the ability to give residents a lot of space.”
Personal growth from his position has been phenomenal for MacGregor.
“I think the added experience of having served in the House of Commons, representing our communities and making sure we have a strong voice in Ottawa has all been very beneficial in helping me understand this riding and its diverse needs,” he indicated. “I’ve progressed to the point where I’m now someone who can hit the ground running and get straight to work without having to learn the ropes of this job. There is a lot of on-the-job learning in this profession and that’s why I’m always keen on trying to be a good listener to my constituents’ concerns.”
MacGregor’s popularity across party lines made it difficult for any of the other candidates to win the riding.
“I think it comes from a position of respect and a willingness to listen,” he reasoned. “While I’m a proud New Democrat and truly believe in what we’re fighting for, I’m not an over-the-top partisan. We must remember that Canada is a place of many different perspectives. Despite those differences, I think there are some common threads we can all believe in, such as fighting for more fairness and equality in our communities. My experience with MPs from other parties is that they are there for the same reasons I am: namely, to make their communities and this country better.”
MacGregor has also been very active in parliament in his two previous terms, bringing bills before the House and getting them passed.
“I’ve served in two parliaments; one was a majority government, and the other was a minority,” he indicated. “Serving in a minority parliament gives opposition MPs more power to be included in the negotiations and have a real influence on the drafting of, and amendments to, government legislation. The opposition also has a combined majority of the seats at committees, so it also allows for more negotiation and influence on what studies to pursue.”
There are some specific things MacGregor has been proud to implement during his six years as MP.
“Raising the weir in Lake Cowichan so that we can ensure healthier and more sustainable flow rates in the Cowichan River during the hot and dry late summer months has been a priority for me since first being elected in 2015. I brought this to the attention of the federal government on multiple occasions over the years and I was overjoyed to finally see millions of dollars committed to the completion of the project last fall.
“In terms of unfinished business, I really want to help our local farmers by pursuing the implementation of a National Soil Conservation Strategy. There is also a very desperate need for affordable housing in our riding, which will require strong federal leadership. I want to work with local organizations and municipal governments to make sure our riding is receiving the funding it needs.”