In the Chamber -- Grant Mitchell's Blog

A Day in the Life of a Senator

Posted 5/29/2008 by Grant Mitchell

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Contrary to popular belief, Senators work hard. Today, Thursday, May 29, 2008, started for me at 7:00 in a café on the way to the Hill where I often get coffee and a muffin as I read the newspaper. I read the Globe; the National Post makes me mad.

At 8:00, I attended the Internal Revenue Committee meeting where budgets for the Defense Committee were being discussed. Then, I moved onto the Environment Committee meeting where we reviewed the report we have been writing on the government’s failure to have each department produce sustainable development plans every three years. After finishing that, we then discussed our trip to the North next week to study the effects of climate change there. We are leaving Sunday and returning Friday night. We will travel as far north as Tuktoyuktuk and visit the North West Territories and the Yukon. It will be interesting, challenging and important work.

At 10:30 I met with a group concerned with immigrant wives to Canada who arrive only to find that their new husbands have defrauded them of their family’s dowry and want nothing to do with them. This is a very important gender issue and needs to be fixed.

At 11:30, I went to the language training offices to be tested for progress with my efforts to learn French. I was rated a solid “B”. This is not good enough - I have to get to “C” to be functional - but it is progress.

Back to the office to review some mail. Then to the Senate sitting at 1:30. Up and down talking to other Senators about several issues and listening to the debates. At 3:00, a meeting with several Senators to discuss strategy on an issue. Then to a meeting at 4:00 to discuss issues with Senator Offices’ staff members.

Back to the office to pack work for the trip back to Edmonton; walk home; pack; get a cab to the airport. Talk again with the women who visited me earlier in the day on the immigrant wives issue; talk to a Métis Group leader who I bumped into. Quick chat with one of our MPs. Board the plane at 8:00 PM – get home at about 1:00 AM Ontario time. Functions Friday and Saturday nights. I hope to get in a workout – hopefully a hard ride on my bicycle on the weekend. I’ve got to stay fit.

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