• John Jantak

Schiefke holds first of several planned morning commuter meetings


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Newly elected federal Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Peter Schiefke shakes hands with commuter Ara Pehlivanian (left) during an impromptu meet-and-greet at the Vaudreuil-Dorion train station October 22 to thank constituents for their support throughout the recent election campaign.

Vaudreuil-Dorion rail commuters got an unexpected surprise at the Vaudreuil train station last Friday morning October 23 when newly elected Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Peter Schiefke held an impromptu meet-and-greet and handed out free beverages to thank Vaudreuil-Soulanges constituents for voting in the federal election.

Schiefke, who began handing out hot coffee at 5:30 a.m., picked up on Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s spontaneity when the new elected and soon-to-be-sworn-in Prime Minister visited the Jarry metro station in Montreal three days earlier for his own informal meet-and-greet to introduce himself and thank commuters for voting.

“I just wanted thank all the citizens of Vaudreuil-Soulanges for coming out to vote regardless of who they voted for,” Schiefke told Your Local Journal. “We broke records with 73 per cent of people in the riding coming out to vote which was six per cent higher than the national average and that’s fantastic.

“I also want people to know that I plan on doing this frequently, hopefully once a month – to come and give out free coffee, tea and hot chocolate – and answer any questions they have.” Schiefke added. “I want to keep them up-to-date on what we’re doing in the House of Commons and keep them informed on why we’re doing it.”

Schiefke said that his strategy of meeting with commuters during the election campaign also gave him the impetus to continue the practice because it gave him better insight into people’s concerns and it also reassures people that their MP is available.

“It’s something we did during the election campaign that people really appreciated,” said Schiefke. “So I said I think this would be really great to do this, to thank everybody and also continue to do it. People really want to have contact with their MP and it’s something I want to continue to do over the next four years.”

Schiefke said he was overwhelmed with the positive response from the people he met. “It’s a fantastic reception,” he said. “It’s been great. People are appreciative of the fact that I’m here and I didn’t just disappear after the election. But also I’m not just thanking them for voting for me. I’m thanking them for voting, and that’s important.

“The fact we came out and voted and had our voices heard is really important. And now I represent all the people of Vaudreuil-Soulanges,” he said. It’s not about party affiliation. It’s about me working in the best interests of every single person regardless of who they voted for.”

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