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Briefly: September 9, 2011

Weston move Conservative member of Parliament John Weston says he has enjoyed his summer with family and friends, but is looking forward to getting back to Ottawa and back to work.

Weston move

Conservative member of Parliament John Weston says he has enjoyed his summer with family and friends, but is looking forward to getting back to Ottawa and back to work.

The MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country visited Squamish recently as part of his “Ride the Riding” initiative, in which he was riding his circa-1974 bicycle from his home in West Vancouver up the Sea to Sky to Whistler, visiting constituents along the way. He has also committed to riding the Sunshine Coast and Powell River portions of the riding, possibly in October.

Weston said he plans to work hard to stay engaged with communities in the riding now that the Conservatives have a four-year mandate to govern. That, in spite of the fact that he and his wife Donna have decided to move themselves and their three children to Ottawa.

“They don’t want to leave,” Weston said of Donna, his sons Shane, 13, and Jake, 12, and Meimei, 10. “They love what is the most beautiful place on earth, but they need their dad and I need my family. When I travel that five hours on an airplane, we’ve planned what I’m going to be doing on that flight.

“It takes a toll,” he said of the hectic schedule he maintained while shuttling between home and Ottawa since he was first elected in 2008, “but I’m going to continue my pattern of travelling regularly in the last few years. Many people know that I’ve probably logged more miles than almost any other MP, but this should prove to be better for our family life.”

-David Burke, Squamish Chief

Tech awards

A non-profit organization that promotes technology in the region is seeking nominations for its annual awards.

MISTIC (Mid-Island Science Technology and Innovation Council) is looking for nominations for its Innovation Awards, which recognize the achievements of businesses and individuals engaged in technology. It welcomes nominations for established businesses, start-ups or entrepreneurial students from across Vancouver Island (Malahat north to the tip of the island), Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands.

The award categories are: advanced manufacturing; agri foods; digital media; emerging product; environmental excellence; excellence in innovation; excellence in technology; information technology; innovative start-up of the year; technology leadership; value-added product; and young innovator.

Nominations are due by Friday, September 16. They can be made online.

The short list of nominees for each category will be announced in October and winners will be announced on November 2 in Nanaimo during an event at Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Politics 101

A national organization is offering a two-day workshop aimed at helping women overcome the obstacles they face in running for municipal office.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is holding the workshop on September 24 and 25 in Squamish. With funding from Status of Women Canada, the workshop provides instruction, networking and mentorship opportunities.

While women make up over 52 per cent of the Canadian population, only 25 per cent of the country’s elected municipal representatives are female. Canada ranks 46th out of 189 countries for the number of women in politics.

“FCM’s program will make a meaningful contribution to help us reach the United Nations’ target of having a minimum of 30 per cent female participation in government,” said Pam McConnell, a Toronto councillor and chair of FCM’s committee on increasing women’s participation in municipal government.

For more information and to register, interested readers can visit FCM’s website.