Marc Miller: the first hundred days in Parliament
One hundred days into his stint as a parliamentarian, Marc Miller has already decided that this might be the best job in the world; certainly, he sees it as his dream job.
Before winning the riding of Ville Marie-South West-Nun’s Island in the last election, Miller was one of those perceived high-flying corporate lawyers plying his trade in New York and Europe. But these days as a rookie parliamentarian he is driven by what he sees as an amazing opportunity “to be a spokesperson for fairness and quality of life.”
Campaigning in a riding that includes a chunk of St. Henri and other marginalized districts, he has seen the face of poverty and spoken to those whom he describes as victims of “economic racism.”
And he is confident that he’s part of a government that can impact on the quality of life of some of those families.
“I know for sure that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to be a spokesperson for what is right and he also wants to be part of the ongoing battle against (the forces of) poverty and inequality among Canadians,” he says.
Miller, who was urged into politics by Trudeau, is a childhood friend of the prime minister. They hooked up as students at College Jean Brébeuf and remained tight since then.
Less than four months in government, he says the Liberals have already moved to lighten the load on the backs of many Canadians by making changes to the income tax bracket of those making $40,000 to $90,000 a year.
And many families will benefit when the government promised $20 billion in social housing spending over 10 years kicks off.
Miller says while the political will is there, it’s up to individuals and groups to keep their members of Parliament appraised on what’s important to their communities.
“Personally, I see my role as a direct link to the prime minister, so if there is need, I want to be able to ask,” Miller says. “People know best what’s needed in their communities, so they have to keep pushing us.”
In extending a Black History Month greeting, he encourages the community to stay engaged in the political process.
And he points to the five Blacks who are currently members of Parliament, three of whom are currently serving as parliamentary secretaries in key portfolios, as accomplishments that can be built upon.
Miller is slowly making inroads in Ottawa as he prepares to bring the best help to his constituency; currently he is a member of the Standing Committee on Immigration and Foreign Affairs and has the distinction of being the head of the Quebec caucus of the governing Liberal Party.