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Dan in Ottawa  

Energy a contentious issue

Feb 4, 2016 / 3:58 pm
Energy/labour debates dominate In last week’s MP report I wrote, “On Wednesday, the Liberal Government announced a new pipeline review process, and on Thursday, the Official Opposition Conservatives will table a motion calling on the Liberal Government to express support for the...

A national unity crisis?

Jan 28, 2016 / 12:25 pm
The buzz coming out of Ottawa this week is talk of a national unity crisis. This comes after Montreal Mayor Dennis Coderre announced strong opposition to the proposed Energy East pipeline project, a project that is supported by the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New...

Canada and terrorism

Jan 21, 2016 / 8:51 pm
This past week, the world was horrified to learn of yet another terror attack, this time in Burkina Faso, where roughly 30 citizens, including six Canadians from Quebec, were murdered in a senseless act of violence. Particularly disturbing is that these Canadians were all serving in the region...

Talking trade

Jan 14, 2016 / 6:00 am
For a variety of reasons, the subject of international trade has been prominent in federal politics over this past week. One issue frequently raised of late is a deal between General Dynamics Land Systems, located in Ontario, to sell light armoured vehicles (LAV’s) to Saudi Arabia....

Preparing for Parliament

Jan 7, 2016 / 8:44 pm
In roughly two week’s time the House of Commons will resume sitting, and Canada’s 42nd Parliament will get down to work. At this point, the legislative agenda remains largely unknown. In addition to Government bills, the Private Member’s Lottery has now been held, which...

The political landscape

Dec 31, 2015 / 6:00 am
Surveying the political landscape From a Canadian political perspective, 2015 has been a big year as we now has a new 42nd Parliament with a change in Government, a change in the Official Opposition, and a change in the third party. Aside from these obvious changes come new Ministers, a new...

Open government, for some

Dec 24, 2015 / 6:00 am
Open government for some, but not all I have always been a strong believer in accountability and transparency. For this reason, I have published an annual accountability report that discloses my total public spending, sponsored travel, and other details not always easy to locate online so...

GST going up?

Dec 17, 2015 / 6:00 am
This week began with several media headlines from Ottawa suggesting that the Liberal Government was not ruling out a tax increase to the GST to help pay for the rising Liberal deficit spending. Not long after, I heard from many upset citizens on this subject, as a GST increase was not in the...

The government's priorities

Dec 10, 2015 / 6:00 am
Since my report from last week, the new Liberal Government has presented its throne speech, and has revealed its priorities for the upcoming legislative session of Parliament. As you may have heard, this throne speech was a short one, and focussed on five general topics. The first topic related...

Ottawa abuzz

Dec 3, 2015 / 6:00 am
This will be the first full week in which all Members of Parliament will be back in Ottawa, and already a heavy partisan overtone is descending upon Parliament Hill. At the moment, the issue buzzing around Ottawa is news from the CBC that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is billing taxpayers for...

New timeline on refugees

Nov 26, 2015 / 6:00 am
In last week’s MP report I committed to providing further updates as they become available with respect to the Liberal Government’s plan to relocate 25,000 refugees to Canada prior to the end of 2015. This week more information has been provided on this topic that continues to be raised...

A better future

Nov 19, 2015 / 6:00 am
Since I was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2011, I have submitted an MP report each week in an effort to better communicate with citizens. When the House of Commons is sitting, it can often be a challenge to try and summarize a week of events in roughly 550 words. This week, because...

The Reform Act (in practice)

Nov 12, 2015 / 1:37 pm
Since my report from last week, all major parties have now had their first full caucus meetings in Ottawa. These first caucus meetings are important for a variety of reasons, but one that will be material to this report is the provisions related to The Reform Act. For those of you unfamiliar...

Update in Ottawa

Nov 5, 2015 / 6:00 am
Ottawa is once again a hub of activity as Members of Parliament arrived to our capital, and for a few days many departing and retiring MP’s will also be in attendance as the changeover occurs. The 42nd Parliament is, so far, a very demanding one on House administration, as there are over 200...

Contacting your MP

Oct 29, 2015 / 6:00 am
The interior of BC now has four new, and two returning, Members of Parliament, one with the incoming government, three with the official opposition, and the two remaining with the third party (as it is frequently referred to within the House of Commons). In some situations, the electoral...

Final MP report

Aug 6, 2015 / 5:00 am
By now chances are you may have heard that last Sunday, August 2nd the writ was dropped in Ottawa thus dissolving the 41st Parliament and beginning the campaign to elect the 42nd Parliament. For more information on the dropping of the writ please see my report from last week. As the...

When a writ is 'dropped'

Jul 30, 2015 / 6:00 am
Even in the heat of summer the Ottawa rumour mill is still continuing to churn out reports on events that may or may not be occurring in our nation’s capital. The latest media speculation circulating is that the writ for our upcoming federal election may be dropped as early as this...

Annual accountability report

Jul 24, 2015 / 6:00 am
It is hard to believe this will be my fourth annual accountability report as time has gone by quickly since being first elected in 2011. Like my previous accountability reports this is a summary of my expenditures over the past fiscal year as the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla. As...

Federal transfers

Jul 17, 2015 / 5:00 am
One subject that sometimes arises that I have not covered in detail previously is transfers from the federal government to provincial governments and territories. The Federal Government has different transfer programs such as the CHT “the Canada Health Transfer”, CST “the...

Medical marijuana ruling

Jul 9, 2015 / 6:00 am
In early June the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a judgement with respect to how medical marijuana may be consumed. A brief summary of this ruling is that the Supreme Court decided that medical marijuana, including extracts and derivatives, could be consumed in a variety of different methods...

Abolish the Senate?

Jul 3, 2015 / 6:00 am
One of my favourite days of the year is Canada Day. For an elected official it provides a unique opportunity to engage with many citizens from many corners of Okanagan-Coquihalla and hear about the many things most loved about our country and also to receive questions and concerns. One question...

41st Parliament is dissolved

Jun 25, 2015 / 6:00 am
Although it has been reported that the 41st Parliament is now dissolved, technically the House stands adjourned and is set to reconvene in September, however as the election writ is expected to be dropped prior it is widely expected that this 41st Parliament will not sit again. The end of any...

Aquatic invasive species

Jun 18, 2015 / 5:00 am
Now retired Speaker of the BC Legislature and local MLA Bill Barisoff once commented that the wheels of government often turn slowly but they do continue to turn. It was over a year ago in one of my April 2014 MP reports that I first referenced the serious concern of aquatic invasive species here...

Senate audit tabled

Jun 11, 2015 / 5:00 am
Although there are a number of events occurring in Ottawa this week, the issue that is dominating most of the media spotlight is the recently released audit of the Senate from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). This audit of the Senate covered the fiscal periods of 2011-2012 and 2012-2013,...

Truth and reconciliation

Jun 4, 2015 / 6:00 am
A number of events are occurring in Ottawa on and around Parliament Hill this week. One event that I believe is of interest to all Canadians are ceremonies related to the release of the summary report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. For those who may be unfamiliar, this was...

Program supports veterans

May 28, 2015 / 6:00 am
I can now provide more information on the program that I referenced in last week's MP report. Last Friday I joined the Minister of Employment and Social Development, the Hon. Pierre Poilievre in announcing the new National Advanced Placement Prior Learning Program (N-APPL) for military...

Listening is important

May 21, 2015 / 6:00 am
This week is the final constituency week before the House of Commons adjourns in late June for what is expected to be the final sitting of the 41st Parliament. Constituency weeks are important for Members of Parliament as they provide an opportunity to meet with groups and citizens in our home...

Dissolution and Order Paper

May 14, 2015 / 6:00 am
This has been an interesting week on Parliament Hill given a few well publicized verbal gaffes from two opposition party leaders. While I am frequently asked to comment when such episodes occur (usually from partisans of various stripes) in my view I believe ultimately how an elected official...

Citizen communications

May 7, 2015 / 6:00 am
Recently I was contacted by a media organization to do an interview on the subject of Government advertising. While I was not available at the requested time, I did offer an alternative day that my schedule in Ottawa could accommodate a live interview. Although the media organization in question...

King of Jordan visit

Apr 30, 2015 / 6:00 am
One thing that can be said about events on Parliament Hill is that no two weeks are ever the same. All Parliamentarians were sad to learn this week of the passing of Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, Speaker of the Senate and a member of the Red Chamber for over two decades. Like other Canadians,...

A balanced budget...

Apr 23, 2015 / 6:00 am
This week our Government introduced the 2015 budget. One of the most significant aspects of this budget is that it is balanced with a $1.4 Billion surplus that is forecast to eventually increase up to a $4.9 Billion surplus in 2019. A balanced budget means that Canada has the lowest debt to GDP...

International relationships

Apr 16, 2015 / 6:00 am
This week Canada hosted Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India for an official visit. For many Canadians this was a rare and exciting opportunity to see a world leader visit several parts of Canada where large crowds turned out with greetings. Prime Minister Modi’s visit is also a reminder on...

Canada's Student Grants

Apr 9, 2015 / 6:00 am
For this week and next the House of Commons will not be sitting as MPs have two weeks to spend back in home ridings prior to the final stretch that save for one week, will see the House of Commons sitting until late June. It is more than simply the weather that serves as a stark contrast to...

Update from Parliament Hill

Apr 2, 2015 / 6:00 am
While the overnight temperature in Ottawa continues to be well below zero, the temperature inside the house has been steadily rising with vigorous debate on a number of bills and on Monday the vote to extend Canada`s mission against the ISIL terrorist organization. As was the case previously with...

The mission against ISIL

Mar 26, 2015 / 5:00 am
The topic of my October 8th MP report from last year was outlining the Government of Canada's intention (subject to a vote in Parliament) to implement a six month deployment in Iraq to join many of our allies engaged in an aerial combat mission against the terrorist organization ISIL. As the...

More than one perspective on taxation

Mar 19, 2015 / 6:00 am
One of the more commonly used terms in Canadian federal political discussions is the “Ottawa bubble” that can have a variety of different meanings, but typically is used to describe the culture on Parliament Hill that is often very different from what exists in many Canadian...

Forgotten victims

Mar 12, 2015 / 6:00 am
As I have stated previously, there is no formal requirement for Members of Parliament to submit reports to citizens nor are there guidelines as to what format or frequency reports to local residents should have. From my perspective, the primary reason why I submit weekly reports is to pass on as...

Individuals and political parties

Feb 19, 2015 / 6:00 am
As I have commented in the past, many of the major issues on Parliament Hill are often very different from the concerns heard back at home. MPs who are suspended from their caucus, satellite office expenses and costs of inappropriate partisan mailings, and most recently an MP floor crossing are...

Seeking input on Supreme Court ruling

Feb 12, 2015 / 5:00 am
I am often surprised at the number of different events occurring each week that can pose a challenge to provide a summary given the limited space available in my weekly columns. One topic that I believe is of interest and concern to all Canadians is last week’s Supreme Court Ruling...

A closer look at MP pensions

Jan 29, 2015 / 5:00 am
Before I begin this week’s report I would like to thank the many citizens who respond each week and in particular for the overwhelming response I received from last week’s report on changes to the MP pension plan. One question that a number of citizens raised is what does the MP pension...
About the Author

Dan Albas has been a Penticton resident since 1981. After attending Okanagan University College, he choose 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 2006-7 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 5656 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/dan-in-ottawa-blog 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
10-2483 Main Street
West Kelowna, BC V4T 2Y8
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.