For years, Anita Vandenbeld says her birthday wish was to become a member of Parliament.
How appropriate, then, that the rookie Liberal MP for Ottawa West—Nepean would be celebrating her birthday on the same day Canada's 42nd Parliament officially kicked off.
"It's a little bit surreal, but we worked so hard, for so many years to get here," said Vandenbeld, one of a large cadre of newly-elected MPs, thanks to the Liberals' big sweep to victory in the October election.
Vandenbeld, an international expert on development and human rights who won the riding on her second try, says she's ready to get down to business — but not before blowing out a few birthday candles in her new office first.
"Amongst my colleagues, there's a real sense of urgency. We want to get started. We want to make change," Vandenbeld said.
"There is so much that we can do, being here."