Tracey Ramsey

NDP hold community Christmas party, look forward to the new year



By Christian Bouchard


Children were the spotlight of a community Christmas party.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey, MP and Essex MPP Taras Natyshak hosted a children’s community Christmas party on Saturday at the Knights of Columbus in Amherstburg.

With over 100 people in attendance, the three-hour event welcomed guests to face painting, balloon animals, pizza and even a meet and greet with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.

According to Ramsey, the NDP office in Essex do a Christmas open house every year for adults only. After noticing, she decided to host an event in Amherstburg for the children.

“It was really just an opportunity for families to come together and have a fun event before the holidays,” said Ramsey. “It was nice to see the kids enjoying themselves. Any time we can give back to the communities we serve we are always thrilled to do that.”

Both Ramsey and Natyshak were in attendance and to answer any political questions by the guests on hand.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey (centre), Essex MPP Taras Natyshak (not pictured) and their teams held a Christmas party at the Columbus Community Hall recently.

Ramsey listed off her goals for the upcoming year but said her biggest was to have the government help people who feel they’re in a vulnerable position.

“There are families and seniors across our county who are struggling and workers at Canada Post who are forced back to work,” said Ramsey.

According to Ramsey, the Trudeau liberal government is good at rewarding corporations and making sure big businesses get taken cared of. However, she would like to see the see the same for everyone in the Essex-County communities.

The local MP claims she is always looking for a way to improve peoples lives and listed other areas of focus for the new year.

“In our county, we are suffering under the opioid crisis,” said Ramsey. “I’d like to see the Federal government declare a national public health emergency to address the issues.”

Ramsey also said advocating for farm families, addressing affordable housing and removing the steel and aluminum tariffs is all part of her 2019 goals of looking for the federal government to find a solution to protect jobs in Southwestern Ontario.






Ramsey maintains Christmas tradition at the mission


By Ron Giofu

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey maintained the tradition of the local Member of Parliament coming to serve meals at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

Ramsey was at the mission again on Christmas Day were she volunteered to help serve Christmas dinner to those who attended. She was joined this year by her son Max.

“I got to know (mission president) Tim (McAllister) and got to know what they are doing,” the Essex MP said.

After initially being invited early in her first year as an MP to serve Thanksgiving dinner, Ramsey started doing Christmas that year as well and has been doing it the three years since she was elected. She indicated that it is a partnership she enjoys.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey helped serve Christmas dinner at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission. From left: Ramsey, Aisha Barry, mission president Tim McAllister, Ted Laporte and Wanda Lawhead.

“It’s a wonderful group of people who come to celebrate Christmas,” she said. “It’s a family here. Everyone knows each other.”

Ramsey added that she was happy to see the volunteers come together and help out that day as well.

“I think it’s a wonderful sense of community that Tim has built,” said Ramsey.

The objective is not just serving people food, she added, but also the ability to allow people to get together and enjoy Christmas with others.

“It’s about fellowship and having people get together and be a part of something,” she said.

“I believe in people helping people,” said McAllister. “I am not doing this alone as I have the support of the community and the volunteers.”

McAllister said the mission “lights up” every Christmas.

“You see that glow on people’s faces, both young and old, as they smile and interact with each other,” he said. “They are not alone on this day. Seeing this gives me the strength to do what I’m doing.”

Ramsey helps out food banks in riding, including Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission



By Christian Bouchard


The downtown Amherstburg Food and Fellowship mission is stocking up for the holiday seasons thanks to a donation from the local NDP Member of Parliament.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey and her team collected canned good for 20 days to help keep the shelves of the local food banks full this holiday season. Ramsey asked for people to set up a box in their home and every day place one canned good or non-perishable item in the box. In the end, the boxes would be dropped off at her office and be picked up by one of the eight local missions in the riding of Essex. The cans were distributed evenly amongst all food banks in Essex County.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister stands with a van full of canned goods and other non-perishable items that were distributed by Essex MP Tracey Ramsey’s office.

“The generosity of people is incredible,” said Ramsey. “Unfortunately the need is growing across all five food banks in our municipalities. We know people are living with food insecurities. It really shows the vulnerability of rural communities.”

According to Tim McAllister, the president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, the cans will help with those going through difficult times and to stock up as the number of donations starts to fall off after Christmas.

“When I see these cans, I see joy,” said McAllister. “People are going through difficult times and these cans will come to help us help them. We’re thankful to be part of this great festive occasion.”

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey chats with Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister.

McAllister also noted the mission puts on a Christmas dinner every year. He estimates he cooked 100 pounds of turkey last year.

“We don’t want people to spend Christmas alone,” added McAllister. “Anyone is welcome to come in and enjoy the day at the mission.”

Although McAllister, along with four other food banks left with a van full of canned goods, he added there are always people in need and the mission is always accepting donations.

“People can come in anytime and drop off donations and we are always grateful for what we get,” said McAllister.

Essex MP looking for answers regarding former Boblo dock



By Ron Giofu


The condition of the former Boblo dock along Front Road South remains a concern to many, with Essex MP Tracey Ramsey being one of those people looking for answers.

Ramsey said she has been hearing from the town and many of its residents about the dock since she was elected in 2015 and has fired off a letter to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Jonathan Wilkinson looking for immediate action. In her letter, Ramsey stated she is appreciative of the government’s efforts to date but many residents are still concerned about the dock’s safety “and believe that the actions the Government of Canada have taken thus far are only temporary measures.”

The issue of the Boblo dock and its decaying condition has been going on for “far too long and this is simply unacceptable.”

Ramsey noted in her letter that at the end of 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard completed an above water line inspection/survey of the Boblo Wharf and came back with a report over five months later.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey is pressing for answers from the federal government relating to the former Boblo dock. She has sent a letter to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Jonathan Wilkinson.

“My office requested a briefing on this issue, only to learn that after almost two years, no decision has been made about the dock. And as of October 15, 2018, your department officials advised my staff that ‘a final decision on ownership is not anticipated before spring of 2020, as the potential use of Boblo dock for operations is part of an ongoing, multi-year, strategic infrastructure assessment being undertaken by the Canadian Coast Guard.”

Ramsey told the River Town Times last Thursday afternoon said that there is concerns that youths or others may go onto the dock and concerns are still present despite the federal government stating the dock is safe.

“I don’t know what that assessment is based on,” said Ramsey. “I’ve heard from people quite clearly out there it is not safe and they want this acted on.”

Stating that there are those interested in possibly repurposing the former dock and that area of the Detroit River shoreline, Ramsey said nothing can happen until concrete action is taken by the federal government.

The letter to Wilkinson was sent in late November and Ramsey stated she had not heard back from him as of last Thursday afternoon. She is hopeful for some sort of action early in the new year.

“We really want this issue resolved,” said Ramsey. “It’s very distressing (the federal government) expects us to wait another -year-and-a-half, almost two years. Residents are getting tired of being told they have to wait.”

The Town of Amherstburg “is doing their best” and she is working with town officials to try and get solutions to the problem.

“It’s not for lack of trying,” said Ramsey.

Amherstburg is not alone in having to deal with these types of issues, Ramsey suggested, as she called it “a systemic problem in Canada.” She said the federal government has an obligation to deal with matters such as the Boblo dock and vowed to press the government on the matter until they provide answers.

Federal Conservative candidate holds meet and greet with local supporters



By Ron Giofu


The federal Conservative candidate is a familiar face for those who followed the provincial election earlier this year but he took the opportunity to meet some of his supporters again recently.

Chris Lewis, who finished 2,711 votes behind NDP incumbent Taras Natyshak in June’s provincial election, has now secured the federal nomination in the Essex riding and will challenge another NDP incumbent – Tracey Ramsey – in next year’s national election. Lewis held a meet and greet at Sanson Estate Winery in McGregor where he met with supporters and sought donations for the upcoming election campaign.

“It’s going fantastic, full of energy,” Lewis said of his campaign thus far. “There are so many people saying now is the time for change.”

Essex Conservative candidate Chris Lewis met with local supporters recently at Sanson Estate Winery in McGregor.

Lewis said it is now “all about jobs,” particularly since General Motors will be pulling 2,500 jobs out of Oshawa. He stated diversification has to be looked at and Canada has to “open the market for new business.”

“Getting rid of the carbon tax is important to us,” he said.

Working together and building bridges is key to moving forward in the future, Lewis added.

Believing that the Conservatives are “worth another look,” Lewis said that local members of the party call former Essex MP Jeff Watson the “$2 billion dollar man” for investments he brought to this area.

“Unless you have a voice in government, you won’t really have a say,” he said, optimistic about Andrew Scheer’s chances of forming a government after the 2019 federal election.

The name recognition Lewis gained during the provincial campaign is something he believes gives him a head start in his federal campaign. He plans on knocking on as many doors as possible to promote Scheer’s vision, which is to put Canada “back on the map” globally.

Lewis added that while he wants to engage seniors and today’s adults, he also wants to engage youth.

“I’m doing this for our future,” he said.

Telling supporters he is “so proud of our team,” Lewis added “I wouldn’t want to be the NDP, I wouldn’t want to be Tracey,” though added he doesn’t plan to run a smear campaign.

“It’s not the way God made us,” he explained.

Calling Scheer “a very fantastic man” and a “dynamite leader,” Lewis said he was proud to carry the banner for him in Essex.

“We can win this,” he told his supporters. “We can make Essex blue again. We can make the Watson family proud again.”