Liberal MP Rob Oliphant has changed up his duties just a bit in the current sitting of Parliament – giving up some committee duties to focus on other ones for the party, as well as his critic portfolio. I caught up with him after Question Period today.
Q: How are you shaping up for committees this sitting? You said you were getting off the Public Safety committee?
A: I’m off Public Safety, and I’m on Veteran’s Affairs as Vice-Chair.
Q: As Vice-Chair, does this mean a whole new set of responsibilities for you?
A: No, I was Vice-Chair before. So we’re pushing the agenda a little bit further. The committee has had a very flexible, non-partisan sort of approach, and I’m not saying I’m making it more partisan – what I am doing is pushing the veterans’ agenda a little more strongly, and if that means I have to get a little more partisan, I’ll get a little more partisan. It’s become a little bit more aggressive an approach on veterans’ issues.
Q: Any other projects you’ve got coming up this sitting that you’re looking forward to?
A: Yes – I have taken on a new role, which is essentially multicultural engagement, and I’m coordinating that for the caucus. It’s a fairly major amount of work, looking at the various cultural communities in Canada, and setting some priorities with respect to time, the leader’s time, resources, effort, and trying to coordinate our work there a bit better.
Q: You’re hosting an event on Friday. Tell me a little bit about that.
A: I was asked to sponsor – the reality is the [LGBT] Chambers of Commerce for Quebec and Ontario are having an event here, and because they want to have it on the Hill, they’ve asked to have an MP sponsor it and I agreed readily. Frankly, I believe they’re here for a couple of days and they’re doing a lot of business networking and attempting to establish relationships. My hosting that event on Friday is to bring people together, and it’s good – it’s fun, and they chose a gay MP to host it, but Denis Schryburt is a great organiser and he asked me to host it, so I’m doing it.