John Williamson M.P.

John Williamson M.P.

John was elected to the House of Commons in May 2011 and represents New Brunswick Southwest. He is currently a member of the National Defence Committee as well as the Official Languages Committee.

John Williamson is getting results for New Brunswick Southwest!

Gagetown soldiers serving with DART in Nepal will be returning home soon

Engineers from Base Gagetown working with the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in earthquake-ravaged Nepal will be coming home soon.

Lt.-Cmdr. Kelly Williamson, senior public affairs officer with DART, said 200 Canadian soldiers are serving with DART, including 18 from the Gagetown-based 4 Engineer Support Regiment (4ESR) from Gagetown.

Williamson said for her and a lot of her colleagues, DART has been a fantastic experience. “It’s an opportunity to use our soldier skills and our technical expertise for something really, really good. We’re all proud to be wearing the maple leaf on our shoulder and the warm reception we have gotten from the people has just been phenomenal.”

Industry leaders will hear about opportunities in Europe at the sixth annual Bay of Fundy Seafood Forum next week in Saint Andrews.

The program lists Julie Ferguson-Ceniti, Canadian trade commissioner for fish and seafood in Brussels, as part of the opening panel on Thursday afternoon at the Algonquin Resort. She will speak on what Canada-European Trade Agreement (CETA) could mean for New Brunswick fish processors, Tara Devlin-Huys with CBDC Charlotte Kings explained in an interview on Wednesday.

The CETA “will open up Atlantic Canada’s seafood to the rich European market and its 500-plus million consumers,” New Brunswick Southwest MP John Williamson said in a news release.

“The Seafood Forum is an excellent venue for businesses in the industry to make new connections with international buyers, opening up the potential to increase international market sales, which is a key element to long-term prosperity for our region.”

$2.8 million earmarked to rebuild St. Stephen thoroughfare

Ottawa and Fredericton will help St. Stephen rebuild the entire length of Prince William Street, elected officials announced on Friday.
   
The federal and provincial governments will each pay up to a third of total eligible project costs to a maximum of $2,788,312, up to $929,437 each, to replace water and sewer pipes under the street, New Brunswick Southwest MP John Williamson, Charlotte-Campobello John Ames and Mayor John Quartermain explained from the microphone in the St. Stephen town council chamber. The municipality will be responsible for remaining costs.

The money for these projects comes through the New Building Canada Fund, Williamson and Ames explained. The federal and provincial governments will each pay a third of the cost of 38 projects across New Brunswick, with the federal and provincial governments each contributing up to $26,430,266 and the communities covering the rest.

“Our government has done this in the context of balancing the books this year, lowering taxes on consumers and businesses,” Williamson said.

Ottawa funds three seniors programs

Keeping senior citizens active and recognizing their contribution to the country as a whole is the impetus behind a program which saw three federal government grants awarded recently to the Little Ridge Community Club, the Town of St. Stephen and the McAdam Railway Station.

New Brunswick Southwest MP John Williamson, on behalf of Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors, made the announcement of more than $59,000 in funding from the New Horizons For Seniors program Wednesday afternoon at the newly renovated Little Ridge Community Hall on Route 725.

“I encourage people to access these kinds of programs because they are there to help halls just like this,” said Williamson.

Williamson said he was glad to have been able to make the announcement in Little Ridge instead of in a larger centre which is the norm.

“It’s not just urban centres that contribute to Canada and the well being of its seniors. But it’s halls just like this right across the country, right across the county, right across the province.” Williamson said he appreciates being able to see firsthand how the funding has benefited seniors in a rural community.

MP announces three New Horizons grants in Little Ridge

New Brunswick Southwest MP John Williamson chose the Little Ridge Community Hall on Wednesday to announce three grants under the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

The grants include $21,070 for the Little Ridge Community Club to improve the hall where Williamson made the announcement. The town of St. Stephen will got $12,954 for seniors programs at the Garcelon Civic Center. The historic McAdam Railway Station got $25,000 to train seniors to become more active promoting this major tourist attraction.

Williamson encouraged people to apply for grants under New Horizons for Seniors which provides modest amounts of money for community projects.

New Horizons for Seniors has funded almost 15,000 projects across Canada, Williamson said. “It’s halls like this right across the country.”

A ‘solid future’ for Beaverbrook as gallery nears $25M goal

A major expansion of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery is happening thanks to the generosity of many philanthropists and patrons of the arts in the province.

After six years of planning, the national $25-million Beaverbrook Campaign is close to reaching its financial goal, said the gallery’s curator emeritus Bernard Riordon.

“As of today we are at $23.4 million so we can ensure a solid future for the art gallery of New Brunswick,” Riordon said.

Fredericton MP Keith Ashfield said the federal government is contributing more than $1.5 million to the facility’s upgrade. The 14,000-square foot expansion includes the addition of a multipurpose theatre, a new gallery and studio spaces, an exterior terrace and a permanent collection storage upgrade, he noted.

“This project builds on the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s existing assets such as its world class art collection,” Ashfield said.

The Senate is being urged to approve a bill that would strip misspending parliamentarians of their pensions – just as several member of the upper chamber are about to learn whether they personally misused taxpayers’ money.

The Conservative MP behind the bill, John Williamson, says he is concerned the legislation is moving “a little too slowly through the Senate.”

Once parliamentarians return from this week’s break, there are about five weeks left before Parliament goes on summer hiatus. Any bills not passed then will die once the election is formally called.

“The clock is ticking. I think it is time for senators to vote on the bill, move it to committee where it would be studied and get it back quickly for a final vote,” Williamson said. “The challenge is senators could filibuster this bill. I hope they wouldn’t do that. I hope they wouldn’t circle the wagon.”

Under the terms of the bill, any parliamentarian convicted of fraud, breach of trust, or another crime related to their expenses, that carries a term of no less than two years, would lose their parliamentary pension. They would receive the amount of money they paid into the pension plan, and nothing else; for retired parliamentarians already in receipt of a pension, they would see a stop to future taxpayer-funded pension payments.

Nepal earthquake: 'The ground under our feet was rolling'

A Canadian military officer says thoughts of home and family are giving her strength during some tense moments in Nepal.

Royal Canadian Navy Lieutenant-Commander Kelly Williamson is the spokesperson for DART - Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team. The team is in Nepal following the devastating earthquake of April 25. 

Williamson, who's married to New Brunswick Southwest MP John Williamson, is far from the serenity of St. Andrew's-by-the-Sea. She spoke with Information Morning Fredericton Wednesday about enduring aftershocks and another earthquake since arriving in Kathmandu last month. The most recent quake struck Tuesday.

Lieutenant Commander Kelly Williamson was working on her laptop computer shortly after lunchtime Tuesday with some colleagues in their headquarters at Kathmandu, Nepal.

Williamson, the wife of New Brunswick Southwest MP John Williamson, was sent to Nepal as a member of Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which ravaged the country April 25 and killed more than 8,000 people.

Does she miss her husband? “Yes, I miss John” she said, adding with a laugh, “and Teddy too,” referring to the couple’s young Cairn Terrier, purchased from a breeder in Harvey.

“I miss Kelly very much but I am extremely proud of the work she and all the members of the Canadian Armed Forces are doing in Nepal,” said John Williamson in an email to the Courier Weekend. “I’m experiencing firsthand what many CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) family members at CFB Gagetown and elsewhere face when a loved one is sent overseas, literally on a moment’s notice, by the Government of Canada. But it helps that we have the support and prayers from neighbours and friends at home.”

Maritime Tick & Tick Vectored Disease Research Conference

Since first being elected in 2011, I’ve had many meetings with families in my district struggling to receive treatment and diagnosis for Lyme disease. I’m quite concerned by the level of accessibility and quality of medical treatment available to them. Equally unsatisfactory is that a number of them have to travel to other provinces, and to the United States, for medical treatment. On May 8 a number of my constituents attended the Maritime Tick & Tick Vectored Disease Research Conference in Moncton, bringing together doctors, researchers and people living with Lyme disease.