Since becoming elected as a Member of Parliament I have come to better understand some of the great diversity of our amazing country which we are proud to call home. Diversity in geography, culture, industry, opinion, faith, and ethnicity are just some of the unique attributes that we collectively embrace as Canadians. Yet for all that is unique that may set us apart, we are unified in the love of our country. From this common love comes a desire to protect those who would be harmed by the actions of aggressors who seek to oppress freedom or carry out threats of violence against the vulnerable.
It is for these reasons that we must never forget the immense sacrifice of the many brave Canadians who so willingly left loved ones behind and fought to defeat tyranny and oppression. We must also be mindful of the immense price that has been paid by the sacrifices of these brave Canadians. As I had an opportunity to share in the House of Commons recently in the Dieppe raid alone, of the nearly 5,000 Canadians who participated, only 2,210 returned to England, many of them wounded. Tragically, 916 young Canadians perished in this battle .
In fact there were more than one million Canadians who served during the Second World War. Their efforts helped ensure victory was achieved. During the Second World War, approximately 55,000 Canadians were wounded and more than 45,000 gave their lives in the fight for freedom. This was a remarkable sacrifice for a young nation with a population of only 11 million people.
It is our duty to preserve the legacy these courageous men and women granted us and ensure their selfless dedication is never forgotten. We must pass the torch of remembrance on to future generations so they, too, can understand and appreciate the importance of commemoration. Fortunately I have received multiple reports from area veterans who were invited to attend or participate in local school Remembrance Day assemblies. These solemn gatherings demonstrate to our veterans that the next generation wishes to continue to honour these sacrifices. Our young people will take the torch and hold it high.
As the House of Commons will be adjourned this week, I will be back in Okanagan Coquihalla with visits planned to Merritt and area, West Kelowna, Peachland, Penticton, Summerland and Okanagan Falls. If there is a question, concern or a suggestion that you have I would very much appreciate hearing from you. Recently Summerland resident Don Gemmell shared with me a concern along with a constructive suggestion pertaining to excess charges on prepaid credit cards. In turn I was able to pass this suggestion and concern directly to our Finance Minister who was also interested in taking action on the issue. Recently I received word from the Finance Minister that new regulations have been announced that increase disclosure requirements and also eliminate some unfair existing charges and fees. From speaking to Mr. Gemmell, he not only welcomed these changes to protect consumers, but shared with me that this was a good example of how our federal system of democratic representation is supposed to work- a concern raised by a constituent to a member and from there, representations made to a minister of parliament.
Much like Mr. Gemmell, I also have another citizens in Penticton who have gone above and beyond to provide some helpful information in another matter that we are currently working on. I have found that many residents of Okanagan-Coquihalla have interesting ideas and constructive comments to pass on. This week I can be reached at 1-800-665-8711. I welcome your input.
Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla and can be reached at [email protected]