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Dan-in-Ottawa

Liberals' action prudent

One frustration I experienced in the last Parliament as a member of government was how certain bills and legislation were at times intentionally misrepresented by some groups solely to incite opposition. 

As an example, it was often implied that Bill C-51 — The Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 — would allow for peaceful, law-abiding protestors to be arrested without cause at a protest or demonstration.

These claims were erroneously made despite the fact the Bill contained language that clearly stated Bill C-51 specifically excluded “lawful advocacy or protest” from its application in defining legal and illegal protests with respect to “interference with critical infrastructure."

When I became a member of the Official Opposition, one of the commitments I made was to not use similar tactics that only serve to mislead Canadians.

I offer these comments as recently I have noted that a Bill introduced by the Liberal Government, specifically Bill C-23 — The Preclearance Act — is being targeted with many similar misleading and inaccurate claims much as was targeted at Bill C-51.

Bill C-23, in the words of the Liberal Government, will expand the limited number of U.S. Customs staffed pre-clearance locations in Canada (such as Vancouver and Calgary airports for U.S. bound passengers) to a greater number of locations in Canada (that because of Bill C-23) will expand to include passage by land, water and train.

Some are claiming that Bill C-23 allows U.S. customs agents to engage in activities that are against Canadian law while on Canadian soil.

While these allegations have are stirring up concern and opposition to the Preclearance Bill, the actual legislative summary is clear on this point and I quote accordingly:

“establishes that the exercise of any power and performance of any duty or function by a United States preclearance officer is subject to Canadian law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Canadian Human Rights Act."

From another perspective, it has been suggested that entering the United States may be more difficult for some Canadian citizens as a result of the new administration.

While I have not heard from any constituents to verify these claims, I will observe that if a Canadian citizen is going to be refused entry into the United States for whatever reason it is far more convenient for that refusal to occur in Canada at a pre-clearance location rather than in the United States where a deportation and related unplanned air travel costs can present a far more serious inconvenience.

For that reason alone, I believe the Liberal Government is taking a prudent course in expanding the pre-clearance program that by most accounts has proven to be a simpler, more accessible way to travel across the border.

I welcome your views on this subject:

  • are you supportive of expanding U.S. pre-clearance as described above in Canada?

I can be reached at [email protected] or toll free 1-800-665-8711.



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About the Author

Dan Albas has been a Penticton resident since 1981. After attending Okanagan University College, he chose to move into small business where his company Kick City Martial Arts has flourished, training hundreds of men, women and children to bring out their best. For his work on child safety and awareness, Dan was the recipient Penticton’s 2005 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Dan and his wife, Tara, reside in West Kelowna, where they raise their four daughters.

He has served as campaign chair for the United Way of the South Okanagan-Similkameen in 2006-07 and 2010-11, both times surpassing their fundraising goals.

As a community leader, he was elected to Penticton City Council in the 2008 municipal elections, where, as a first time candidate, he won with 5,656 votes, topping the polls. Through his work as a city councillor, Dan has proven himself to be a strong constituency worker delivering results and standing up for what he believes in. Dan took a leading role on public safety by proposing aggressive panhandling and dog control bylaws; he proposed a review that greatly helped his community to balance the books and to focus on core services by eliminating wasteful or unnecessary spending. His Penticton Politics website blog has offered new ways for constituents to communicate on important issues.

On June 28 of 2012 Dan became one of the first MP’s in recent history to have a Private Members Bill (Bill 311) C-311 become law with the unanimous all party support of both the House of Commons and the Canadian Senate.  Bill C-311 “An Act to amend the importation of intoxicating liquors Act” amended a prohibition era law to prevented the free trade of wine over provincial boarders.

Dan is honoured to serve the residents of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola as their Member of Parliament. He has made good on his commitment to establish a personal blog with his http://www.danalbas.com/mp-report site, where he chronicles his activities as the Member of Parliament for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

Dan welcomes your input, so please contact him by e-mail, phone or mail. He can be reached at:

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola's MP office

2562-B Main Street
West Kelowna, B.C. V4T 2N5
Email: [email protected]
Phone toll free: 1.800.665.8711
Fax: 250.707.2153



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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