Political geography
1 min

Rob Oliphant talks Parliamentary travel

Rob Oliphant was out of the House all last week, so I managed to catch up with him today after Question Period to hear about his adventures, and what he's got planned befor the summer recess begins.

Q: What do you have left to tackle before the summer starts?
A: We’re doing some travelling on the public safety and national security committee, looking and mental health and addictions in Canadian prisons. That’s my major thing in the next three weeks – the study starts tomorrow in Committee, and we’ll be hearing from corrections officials including the Correctional Investigator, talking about mental health and addiction issues, which are huge in Canadian jails, so that will be my main agenda item between now and the end of the session. We’re doing a week of travelling from that.

Q: You just got back from a week of travelling in Europe?
A: In Greenland and Denmark.

Q: What can you tell me about that trip?
A: Fantastic. Working with Parliamentarians from the Arctic countries, from Denmark and Greenland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Canada – I might have missed one. It was terrific – it was in the high Arctic. I met a wonderful lesbian new member of Parliament from Iceland.

Q: Have you met their lesbian Prime Minister yet?
A: No, [this was] another one. It must be awash with pink and purple in Iceland! It was a great trip. The main issue there for me is the apparent better health of the Greenlandic people compared to Canadian Inuit, so I want to know a little more about how Greenland does that, why their Inuit seem better off than Canadian ones. It was a great trip, though. Copenhagen was wonderful, and Greenland was great.