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Essex MP Lewis hosts New Year’s Levee and says people are scared

 A large turnout in Essex attended Essex MP Chris Lewis’ New Year’s levee.

Held at his constituency office Sunday afternoon, it was a chance to meet the federal representative and ask questions.

“I’m blown away,” said Lewis of the number of people who came out. “It’s all about thank you’s but it’s a big turnout because people have concerns.”

Elected in 2019 and again in 2021, the former Kingsville councillor admitted that people not only in Essex County but across the country, are scared of the future.

When asked by the River Town Times what he considers to be the biggest issue facing the region, Lewis replied, “Number one is the frustration of the cost of living and the inability to get ahead.”

After a meet-and-greet, the Essex MP addressed the large crowd and cited his own adult children who continue to live with him, and while they have good paying jobs, cannot afford to purchase their own houses.

“I understand it, but it’s not the Canadian way,” said Lewis.

He said that those who do own their own homes could be facing high increases when they go to renew their mortgages.

“Banks are going to have more keys to front doors and that’s scary,” said Lewis.

Among those who came to meet Lewis was Liwes Sun, who is a high school teacher and liked the opportunity to come to the levee and hear what Lewis had to say.

“We have our concerns over rising inflation and our government’s policy on green energy,” she said.

Coming to Canada from China in 2000, Sun also said her and her husband have never been to an event like the levee.

“This is our first time coming to an event like this. On a personal level, we wanted to see if our government was approachable,” said Sun.

Working the room, Lewis heard a lot of questions from immigration to inflation and said that in 2024 he will listen to the many great ideas Essex County residents put forward and hopes to get past what he described as hurdles and struggles.

“You can’t take care of the world unless you take care of your own home,” he said, later adding, “this country is still worth fighting for. Future generations are worth fighting for.”

While Lewis mentioned his children and grandson who live with him, he made special mention of his mother Helen who passed away in October. He said she was well known in Ottawa for delivering her famous chocolate chip cookies.

“I knew driving here today would be difficult. So many of us have lost loved ones.”

Looking ahead, Essex’s MP said that the local federal riding will add to its 138,000 plus constituents in April when the boundaries change and about 8,000 residents who live in the Tilbury area will be shifted to the Essex riding.

As far as an upcoming election, Lewis said it will probably come in the fall of 2025.

“In the event they call one tomorrow, our party (Conservatives) are ready.”

Lewis also went on to encourage the next generation to become farmers, welders and skilled trades persons.

His Private Members Bill, Bill C-241, was put forth last year in attempts to amend the Federal Income Tax Act to allow trades people the right to claim travel expenses.

By Fred Groves

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