2012: A busy year for Federal Gov't

As 2012 comes to a close I would like to highlight some of the political milestones that occurred during the past year. While some of these events may not have received much media attention, they are in my view important to take note of and are presented in no particular order.

The House of Commons held debate in 10 out of 12 months in 2012. As much as there is often media and opposition claims about the lack of debate on Parliament Hill in reality here in Canada your elected Members of Parliament were in the House of Commons debating bills and participating in committee review for the vast majority of the year. At a time when some countries are engaged in unrest or deeply divided conflict the wheels of Government here in Canada continue to turn as MP’s collectively from all sides of the House work hard to keep Canada strong. With some Provincial legislatures across Canada currently shut down now is the time to continue to keep Canada moving forward in order to ensure that we can attract investment that keeps Canadians employed and support our regional economies. At the same time we must also protect Canadians from those who would do us harm and ensure that we create a regulatory environment that is firm but fair and promotes innovation and prosperity. In my view it would be difficult to achieve these things if the House of Commons were not in session and it is an honour to work collectively in the House with such a diverse group of Canadians who represent the great diversity of our nation.

While MP’s continue to work hard, I am also proud of the fact that we have shown leadership and finally unanimously voted in favor of changes to the MP pension plan that are more respectful to taxpayers. I know that many Canadians work hard and struggle at times to pay bills and provide for the family. The MP pension plan was not something that taxpayers in Okanagan-Coquihalla considered fair or equitable and that is why I was one of the first on Parliament Hill to publicly call for changes that I was pleased to vote in favor of late in the fall. As Members of Parliament we cannot expect Canadians to make sacrifices that we would not also be willing to share in.

Another highlight of this past year for me was my second annual summer listening tour. Travelling throughout Okanagan-Coquihalla and meeting with people first hand and hearing comments, questions and concerns is something I view as critically important in the work that I do as an MP. The bills we pass in Ottawa must help keep people working and at the same time we must continue to help fund and provide services that citizens depend upon and partner with local and provincial governments to build infrastructure. Having my own private members bill passed was also a great honor but we cannot overlook other challenges in other industries that also need attention. This is something that I am continuing to work on daily. As an example in one local community within Okanagan-Coquihalla is a large scale private employer who provides hundreds of very well paying jobs. These jobs are currently threatened in large part as a result of industry specific regulation. As much as some oppose foreign investment the reality is that there are situations and circumstances when there is no Canadian based investment ready or willing to invest within certain sectors of our economy. In this case, without foreign investment there are up to 600 workers who could be unemployed. I believe that we must not overlook the importance of well paying jobs in our communities and I will continue to fight for these jobs and if necessary will introduce another private members bill to propose regulatory changes in this sector. As the year comes to a close and this is my final report for 2102 I would like to wish all citizens a prosperous and healthy 2013 New Year.

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla and can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola which include the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton and Merritt.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth 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 served as campaign chair for the United Way of the South Okanagan-Similkameen in 2006-7 and 2010-11, both times surpassing their fundraising goals.

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 borders.

Dan’s parliamentary record includes being recognized by the Ottawa Citizen in 2015 as one of only five Members of Parliament in Canada with a 100% voting attendance record.  Locally in British Columbia,  MP Dan Albas has been consistently one of the lowest spending Members of Parliament on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

 MP Dan Albas is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top ten most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

In October of 2015 MP Dan Albas was re-elected to Parliament representing the new riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola.  Dan is currently the Deputy Finance Critic, serving with Finance Critic, MP Gerard Deltell and sits on the Standing Committee on Finance.

Dan is honoured to serve the residents of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola as their Member of Parliament.

MP Dan Albas 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

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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