Delta MP and Minister of Public Services and Procurement Carla Qualtrough. (Lisa VanderVelde photo)

LETTER: Your member of Parliament is here to help

Delta MP Carla Qualtrough encourages her constituents to visit her office when they need help

Happy New Year, Delta! I would like to share some insight I gained at my recent New Year’s open house.

I enjoyed all the conversations I had, but there were some that stood out for me. A number of constituents expressed their appreciation for work my team and I had done on their behalf, but several added that they wished that they had come to see us sooner. One senior from Tsawwassen said she had been spinning her wheels on a Canada Pension Plan issue for months before coming to my office. With our help, she was able to resolve the matter within a week. Listening to stories like these I was reminded that, for many people, approaching their Member of Parliament for assistance is considered a bit of a last resort.

So, I want to extend an offer to all of you: please come see us sooner! Give us a call, send us an email or make an in-person appointment, and we can point you in the right direction. If you have a question when you are filling out a federal government form, contact us. If a deadline or process for a federal program is unclear, let us do the legwork and get the answers you need.

Government processes are complex. They can often seem counter-intuitive or cumbersome. A simple oversight in a form or an error in calculation can cause significant delays. Many federal departments — including my own — are working hard to change this, but it takes time. In the meantime, let us help you navigate the system. It’s one of the things that my team does best.

Members of Parliament cannot skip the line or go around established processes in dealing with government programs, but my staff and I do know who to direct your concerns to, how to expedite your requests and how to avoid common errors or issues.

Seniors will be interested to know that we regularly provide assistance with old age security, Canada Pension Plan and guaranteed income supplement issues. We also offer tax clinics.

New Canadians or constituents with family abroad will be interested to know that we provide assistance with new and pending immigration applications, as well as obtaining visitors’ visas. We also help with renewing or obtaining new passports.

We help individuals experiencing issues with employment insurance or with their social insurance number. We arrange personal messages of congratulations for milestone birthdays and anniversaries. We supply Canada pins to trade when travelling abroad. We also arrange behind the scenes tours of Parliament and passes for question period when Deltans come to Ottawa.

We assist not-for-profit organizations in finding federal government funding opportunities, and we help small businesses access federal government support to grow their businesses.

We are in tune with the opportunities coming out of Ottawa, and we consider it our job to make sure Delta gets its fair share.

While my job requires that I spend significant time representing you in Ottawa, I am very fortunate to have an excellent staff both here and in Ottawa. I’d especially like to welcome Bernadette Kudzin, who recently joined my team as constituency manager. Together, my staff and I are always available to provide the support you need.

So please let us help you, and help you earlier. We would love to save you the frustration of spinning your wheels. While we might not always be able to get you the results you want, my commitment is that you will be listened to, respected and supported.

Hon. Carla Qualtrough

Member of Parliament for Delta

Minister of Public Services and Procurement

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