This being possibly the last week of the spring sitting (technically the House is supposed to rise on the 23rd, but it looks like it will probably rise on Friday, though that may be because of an election call), I'm starting a series of quick interviews with our gay and lesbian Parliamentarians on the sitting that is just ending, and what they're looking forward to in the summer – assuming, of course, that we won't be in an election. Today I caught up with gay Liberal MP Mario Silva after Question Period.
Q: What was your high point for the spring sitting?
A: It was so short, I must say – the time had gone by, but the big issues of course facing us is still the economy and the job losses. I don’t see it so much as a high point as a low point in talking about the issue because there economic indicators have been very depressing and a lot of people have been unemployed. I would say that this has been a major preoccupation and it’s been on everyone’s mind, and I think that’s been the issue that has predominated the time of most MPs and certainly of this House.
Q: Did you have any particular issues or committee work that that you got resolved that you’re proud of?
A: I’m on the trade committee, so we did get through the Peru [free trade] agreement and we’re still looking at the Colombia [agreement] and going through it, so those are the issues that we’re dealing with in Trade.
Q: Low points for the sitting?
A: I think it’s what I said – it was more low points than high points. I can’t think of too many high points other than the fact that the indicators have all been very negative.
Q: Assuming that we don’t go into an election this week, what are your plans for the summer?
A: Well for starters, I’ll be down for the Pride Day parade in Toronto, and we already have a series of things going for the Friday night and Saturday and Sunday, so we’ll be participating in those events. I have a summer barbecue as well with people in my riding, and there’s a lot activities happening in the parks for Canada Day, so it’ll be a series of things. It’s very busy in the summer – there’s a lot of activities. One thing people try to profit from the warm weather and take advantage to do a lot of volunteer activities. There will be a few walks that I’ll be participating in as well.
Q: I heard there’s a Parliamentary trip coming up for the Trade Committee? Brazil?
A: We had one – it took place last week.
Q: How did that go?
A: It was really good. It’s amazing what’s developing in Brazil in terms of economic growth. We keep on thinking of Brazil as a developing country but it’s really a developed country with an incredible GDP of almost $2 trillion, it has 195 million people, 155 million people have cell phone usage for example. Very strong production of automobiles and agricultural products, steel – it’s an amazing country. I was very fascinated to learn about all of the wonderful things that have transformed the country over the last few years and the need for growth.