Sunday, December 21st6.4°C
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Dan Albas

Showcasing success

In late 2012 the community of Attawapiskat became a household name in large part due to a housing related crisis and again more recently on news that the former band co-manager has been charged with fraud. Frequently when there is a crisis situation or other unfortunate event or tragedy occurring within a first nation’s community, it becomes a large media event with multiple news stories. Unfortunately the majority of first nations' success stories are often less known and I believe most would agree that is unfortunate.

In the Okanagan, many citizens are familiar with the success of both the Osoyoos and Westbank first nations. I have written previously that some have raised the Penticton Indian band to date has not yet achieved similar progress. Fortunately this is changing - and at a rapid pace.

Over the past five years the Penticton Indian Band has established a daycare program, changed the direction of its economic development, built a beautiful new school with increasing enrollment and attendance levels. It has also begun construction on a new residential community on band owned lands. Furthermore it is very close to begin construction on a new commercial development project.

Unfortunately all of these events combined have generated less provincial media attention than the Boonstock concert that will be held on locatee lands this upcoming long weekend. I make a point of mentioning that Boonstock is occurring on locatee lands as many mistakenly believe that a band chief & council directly control events that can occur on locatee lands. For further information on this topic please reference my March 25th, 2014 MP report: http://www.danalbas.com/mp-reports/mp-report-for-okanagan-coquihalla-building-abridge-between-communities

From my perspective it is important to recognize the progress of our first nations communities locally who have all taken different paths to increase economic initiatives but also being mindful of incorporating traditional first nations' culture.

It is for these reasons I invited Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt to Okanagan-Coquihalla to meet with some local area chiefs and see firsthand the recent progress of the Penticton Indian Band and also of the considerable success of Osoyoos Indian Band. It was an honour to have the Minister accept the invitation and it was a productive visit. It provided some very beneficial learning opportunities, such as a youth roundtable where the Minister heard directly from young participants of a federal skills training pilot project, which was greatly appreciated. Also while Minister Valcourt was here he announced a federal contribution of support towards a proposed bridge crossing near Green Avenue. Some might remember the channelization process that occurred in the late 1950's. While it was seen at the time as a necessary improvement to help mitigate flood risk on both sides of the channel, this new bridge will offer new opportunities by providing better access to the lands that were severed.

As August will soon arrive, I am reminded that there is one month remaining for my summer listening tour. If you or your business or group would like to schedule a meeting please do not hesitate to contact me via email at [email protected] or by phone at 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, Dan 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.

Dan 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, Dan 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 Okanagan-Coquihalla as their Member of Parliament. He has made good on his commitment to establish a personal blog with his www.DaninOttawa.com site, where he chronicles his activities as the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla.

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

Okanagan- Coquihalla’s MP office
Suite 202-301 Main Street
Penticton, BC V2A 5B7
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 250-770-4480
Fax: 250-770-4484
Toll Free: 1-800-665-8711




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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