Wallace takes to the streets of Burlington – asking to be re-elected the House of Commons – for a third time.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON April 8, 2011 – Burlington MP, Mike Wallace is casually dressed and ready to do his door-to-door thing to get himself re-elected to the House of Commons. It’s an election Wallace didn’t think the country needed but he is cheerfully out there campaigning and always ready to tell you, should you ask, what he has done for Burlington.

Mike Wallace looking over the piles of literature that will get dropped off at every door in the riding.

Mike Wallace looking over the piles of literature that will get dropped off at every door in the riding.

Wallace isn’t the kind of guy who will tell you he hopes some day to become a member of the Cabinet. He’d be quite happy to sit on the Treasury Board but given that he doesn’t expect that to happen soon Mike talks about what he does do well and, in his words, gets things done for Burlington.

“I listen to people” explains Wallace and where I think I can help I build a case and take it to whoever makes the decision. Getting the then Minister of the Environment John Baird to Burlington and out on a boat to tour the Randall Reef area of Hamilton Harbour resulted in a cheque for $30 million to cover part of the cost of covering the contaminated site in Hamilton Harbour where tides and the water flow patterns have dumped years of toxic waste into a portion of the harbour that is now the second worst toxic waste site on the northern side of the Great Lakes. The only place worse is the Sydney, NS tar ponds.

The tar and toxic metals that gathered in Randall’s Reef were the result of run off from Shepherd’s creek in Hamilton and run off from the steel plants. Paying to put a cap over the waste and seal it for centuries is going to involve municipalities, the province, the federal government and the steel companies in Hamilton.

Wallace brings several perspectives to each request that comes across his desk. “Is it something I can actually do something about”, he explains. “Can I add some value to the request” he adds. “Sometimes there is an issue, like agriculture, that I don’t know much about so I direct people with agricultural issues to the appropriate person and will set up an appointment for them and then follow through on that appointment to make sure it takes place.”

Thirdly, the request has to fit within the “party perspective” adds Wallace. So if you want a stack of get out of jail free cards – Mike Wallace is not the man to approach.

Wallace sees his job as “bugging and begging” for funds that pay for projects in the community. “If there is a project that I can believe in and can make a case for it – I will become that projects champion.”

Mike Wallace loves maps that are covered with blue boxes.  He has seen maps that were covered with red boxes.

Mike Wallace loves maps that are covered with blue boxes. He has seen maps that were covered with red boxes.

“We have a bit of a reputation on Parliament Hill” says Wallace. When Bev Oda, a member of the Conservative Cabinet sees us coming she will duck away and say “here come the boys from Burlington” and on that level Wallace is relentless and knows no shame.

Wallace, who seems to enjoy canvassing door to door, says he hasn’t been hit with a purse yet or chased away from the door with a broom either. Could that be because he doesn’t mention the word “prorogation” or try to explain what “contempt of the House means”?

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