By MP David Sweet
I hope that you and your family had a good Christmas and celebrated the joy, peace and love that Christmas time brings to our lives.
We don’t often get a chance to unplug from our smartphones and devices and truly enjoy the gift of time with family and good friends. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but I do hope you were able to enjoy some uninterrupted, and not overly-scheduled, time with your loved ones.
I was happy this season to see and hear more and more people of all faiths reverting back to saying, “Merry Christmas.” Yes, other traditions are observed and respected. For example, a month ago, we all wished our Jewish friends, “Happy Hanukkah.” I believe that in 2013-14 Canada, it does not matter what your faith or creed, each holiday should be recognized – whether politically correct to say so or not.
Each year Almut and I volunteer at the Good Shepherd annual Christmas dinner and we did so again in mid-December. The centre does an excellent job of helping thousands each year. While this is important at Christmas time, the need is year-round and local organizations also need your help. Please give what you can. It was a blessing for us to see first-hand how much it is appreciated.
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With 2014 upon us, please join us this Sunday, Jan. 5 for our annual New Year’s Levée at the Copetown Community Centre on Governors Road, just east of Highway 52. Almut and I look forward to hosting you from 12:30-3:30 p.m. All are welcome, light refreshments will be served and a non-perishable food item for the food bank is encouraged.
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As we close off 2013, I’d like to highlight two local federal announcements in December.
First, it was announced that the CanmetMATERIALS facility at the McMaster Innovation Park received the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification. This is the first federal laboratory in Canada to hold this distinction and I’m very proud it’s in our backyard.
Second, on Dec. 18, I announced a federal investment of up to $22.91 million, through the P3 Canada Fund, to the city’s biosolids management project. This project is an innovative approach, developed by the City of Hamilton to handle leftover waste from Hamilton’s wastewater treatment system. The new facility will treat the biosolids and transform them into a safer and more stable product that can be used to generate energy, or sold as fertilizer.
This is vital infrastructure for Greater Hamilton and I’m proud that the federal and municipal governments, as well as the private sector, can accomplish this by working together.