Event­ful week for new MLA

Megan Mit­ton re­sponds to Throne Speech, says she will vote based on what is best for her rid­ing

Sackville Tribune - - EXTRAS - BY KATIE TOWER STAFF RE­PORTER

Megan Mit­ton cer­tainly didn’t sit idle last week as she got her first in­sider’s look at the pro­vin­cial Leg­is­la­ture.

The new MLA for Mem­ram­cook-tantra­mar said her first week in Fred­er­ic­ton was an in­cred­i­bly busy, pro­duc­tive one – and full of firsts.

“I lis­tened to the Throne Speech, asked my first ques­tions in Ques­tion Pe­riod, gave no­tice for my first mo­tion, made my first mem­ber’s state­ment, and gave my re­sponse to the Throne Speech,” Mit­ton said over the week­end.

She said she’s ex­cited to fi­nally have the op­por­tu­nity to speak in the Leg­is­la­ture about things that mat­ter to her and the peo­ple of her rid­ing.

Be­cause the Green Party cau­cus is so small, there is a lot of work to share between three MLAS but Mit­ton said she will con­tinue to work hard to rep­re­sent Mem­ram­cook-tantra­mar.

Mit­ton said her first week was a huge learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, as she gained a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the process and how things work in the Leg­is­la­ture. She believes there may be plenty of oth­ers who are learn­ing right along with her.

“Since we have a unique mi­nor­ity- gov­ern­ment sit­u­a­tion, I think many New Brunswick­ers are pay­ing at­ten­tion and are get­ting to know more about how our gov­ern­ment works,” she said. “It has also been an op­por­tu­nity for the tra­di­tional par­ties and MLAS who have been elected be­fore to learn about how things can work dif­fer­ently in the House and how we can work to­gether.”

Her re­sponse to the Throne Speech gave Mit­ton the op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress many top­ics, from ru­ral economies to health care to cli­mate change.

She said as she an­a­lyzed the Speech from the Throne and sat down to write her re­sponse, she tried to an­swer the ques­tion: “Does this Throne Speech chart a path for­ward for my com­mu­nity?”

“I looked at it from sev­eral dif­fer­ent an­gles, in­clud­ing health care, en­vi­ron­ment, poverty, econ­omy, First Na­tions and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties,” she said. “We have a lot of things to work on and need to rec­og­nize that these things are all con­nected.”

Mit­ton said she was dis­ap­pointed the Speech didn’t clearly lay out a more solid plan for adapt­ing to cli­mate change and find­ing ways to mit­i­gate the im­pacts of se­vere storm events and ris­ing tides. She said she was hop­ing for strong lead­er­ship on this is­sue.

“We need to be bold, we need to put all peo­ple and the planet we rely on for sur­vival above eco­nomic fears and il­lu­sions,” she said in her re­sponse. “We need to keep sure we keep ask­ing, who ben­e­fits form this, who is be­ing harmed from this, as we make de­ci­sions and chart our path for­ward and out of this mess.”

She said al­though the Throne speech ref­er­enced plans re­lated to en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and re­new­able en­ergy, it’s sim­ply not enough.

“This is an im­por­tant first step. But we need to con­tinue down this path and we need to pick up the pace. We need sys­temic change,” said Mit­ton. “There is a heavy re­spon­si­bil­ity on us to take ac­tion, to be bold, to be lead­ers. We need to build re­silient com­mu­ni­ties.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Green Party mem­bers, from left, David Coon, Kevin Arse­neau and Megan Mit­ton are swarmed by me­dia fol­low­ing the Throne Speech last Tues­day af­ter­noon.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Megan Mit­ton was in Fred­er­ic­ton on Oct. 19, along with her mother Gail and hus­band Steve, for her swear­ing-in cer­e­mony.

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