PRINCE GEORGE - Cariboo-Prince George Conservative MP Todd Doherty is wrapping up his first term in Ottawa and saw success early. But he hopes for a speedy return after the next federal election.
The successful passing of Bill C-211, calling on the federal government to create a framework to address post-traumatic stress disorder was Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty's crowning glory.
"To have my name on a piece of bill that is the first of its kind in the world, it'll save lives. Yeah, it's a very proud moment."
Though, it is a bittersweet achievement.
"I wish we would have been able to get our bill passed early. Every day, every minute it was delayed we know that there was lives lost during that period of time. We need to make sure that that framework is getting done and although it's law, we need to get it done, we need to get working on saving those lives."
The bill would have the federal government work with the medical community too. But there are some other roadblocks in the year to come, including the lack of a softwood lumber deal.
"We still have tariffs and duties that are being applied on our forestry companies and we don't have projects that are being approved. So I think we are in for some economic hard times and I'm hopeful that we are able to kind of push those aside as we move forward and turn those challenges into opportunities as we move forward."
And Doherty has serious concerns over the future of forestry in his riding and the province in general.
"Fibre supply is dwindling, whether it's through the pine beetle infestation or now the spruce beetle infestation or forest fires, we've had two incredible seasons of wildfires. Whether it's here in our area or adjacent in the Skeena-Bulkley which is the fibre basket for West Fraser. Compound that with the fact that we can't get a rail service to get our product to market."
But, likely the biggest focus moving forward is obvious.
"It's an election year! My overarching goal, hopefully, I am re-elected in 2019. We've got a lot of groundwork to do before we get to October but my overarching goal is to continue doing what we're doing, fighting for our region, being the voice in Ottawa, delivering the voice of those that are in Cariboo-Prince George, being that champion."
Doherty says his role in Ottawa is not to be necessarily confrontational but to make the decision-makers understand the consequences of their decisions.
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