“Obviously serving the constituents remains my main focus,” Drouin said during January 4 interview. “I will look at what went well last year and what went wrong.”
One thing the Liberal MP is happy about is that he is further up on the waiting list of MPs who get to present a Private Member’s Bill to Parliament for consideration. Last year Drouin’s name was in the 200s section of the Private Member’s Bill lottery list. This year, he noted, he is 59th on the list.
He noted that the chance is slight that he may be able to present his own legislation in the House of Commons this year, though it could happen before the end of 2020. But Drouin expects the odds will better favour him in 2021, which would mean more time to prepare his Private Member’s Bill.
“I do have to research what I want to present,” he said, adding that there are a number of issues of concern to him and he has to decide which would take priority.
The needs of seniors are important to Drouin, given the aging population in his riding. He would also like to see changes in how federal staff administrate pensions, supplements and other support funds for people on fixed incomes, to avoid “overpayment problems” for seniors, those receiving UIC, and others who depend on federal cheques.
Drouin noted that overpayments on federal pension and other cheques can create problems for people on fixed incomes. The surprise “bonus” may be welcome but then the individual’s personal budget plans suffer later when the overpayment is detected and the government “claws back” the extra money through reductions in future cheques.
Such situations have come up often enough during past Liberal and Conservative administrations that the MP thinks a Private Member’s Bill could help spotlight the problem and spur action to correct it.
“The principle is to force the government to pay people properly,” he said, “and improve its services.”