My end-of-session roundup of queer MPs continues. I spoke to NDP MP Randall Garrison yesterday after question period – before the filibuster began in earnest.
Q: Tell me about your first three weeks.
A: It’s been very exciting to take a place in the House of Commons, and I’ve been really pleased to raise issues that are important in my constituency and also to the [queer] community. I’ve had opportunities to do both, and that’s what I came here to do.
Q: Which committees are you on?
A: I sit as the vice-chair of the public safety and national security committee, where the Conservatives have already brought in the RCMP commissioner and tried to convince the public that a one-hour session was enough to decide how we avoid the kind of problems we had with the last selection process for the commissioner. We put forward that we have additional sessions and hear from some witnesses in the community about what we need to see in the RCMP commissioner. When that was rejected, we put forward some very specific suggestions of things that could be added to the criteria, but those were also rejected.
Q: Any particular projects or studies that you’d like to see the committee undertake?
A: I think the committee will be quite stacked up with Conservative legislation, so I’m not sure we’ll get to do much more than consider whatever bills they decide to send. Some of them will be split, some will go to justice [committee], and some of them will come to us. There’s some question right now as to whether the abolition of the gun registry will come to our committee or not or whether it’ll be included in the omnibus bill. If it does come to our committee, we’ll be doing our best to try and put up opposition to abolishing the gun registry, which police believe is important to public safety and I personally believe in.
Q: What are your plans for the summer?
A: My main plan for the summer is to get home, get my constituency office open and do a round of meetings with both ordinary individuals who’ve asked to see me and important constituency groups in my riding. It’ll be a very busy summer, but it’ll be lots of fun.