Members of the Rotary Club of Chesterville and their guests are shown with MP Eric Duncan following lunch. Thompson Goddard Photo

CHESTERVILLE – Members of the Rotary Club of Chesterville and their guests visited the House of Commons and the Canadian Senate on Thurs., Nov. 17. The trip was facilitated by Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan.

After learning many people in SDSG had never visited Parliament Hill, MP Duncan has begun a pilot project to enable constituents to visit parliament and their representatives, explained Duncan’s chief of staff Adrian Bugelli. The Rotary Club of Chesterville was the first group to visit Parliament, with other Rotary Clubs visiting Parliament soon.

Currently, the Parliament Buildings are being renovated and refurbished, so the temporary Senate Chambers are in the former Ottawa Train Station. Duncan’s office is in the Wellington Building and Parliament sits in the West Block.

The group travelled by bus to Ottawa and were met by Bugelli and walked to the temporary Senate Chambers to meet Senator Bernadette Clement from Cornwall. She provided the visitors with a lot of information and the opportunity to see the chambers. The group then proceeded to the Wellington Building where MP Eric Duncan has his office. After visiting the temporary Library of Parliament, the group continued to his office, where the visitors were able to view and learn about the numerous artifacts and painting from the riding. Following a lunch with the MP, it was time to walk to the West Block where Parliament was sitting. During Question Period, Duncan made a Member’s Statement regarding the local Platinum Jubilee recipients. The group boarded the bus and returned to Chesterville following the end of Question Period.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the opportunity to learn about the workings of Parliament and the Senate, both of which are an integral part of our democracy.