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Dan-in-Ottawa

Sharing, and saving money

I was once told it is important to recognize 100,000 scheduled flights take off and land each day without drawing any media attention.

The flights that do not successfully take off and land become the focus of media stories, and often speculation, very quickly.

The context of this analogy was that in public office it is the scandals and failures that receive far more media attention than projects or policy that work as intended.

I mention this because this week it was particularly rewarding to participate in a media event profiling some of the more positive local initiates for public engagement.

CPAC, which many believe is the taxpayer-funded Canadian Parliamentary Access Channel, is a privately owned Canadian Public Access Channel that is owned and funded by Canada’s private broadcasters.

CPAC was in our riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola earlier this week to profile, among other events, the Summerland pilot project that involves my shared constituency office with MLA Dan Ashton.

Aside from considerable cost savings, this shared office also better serves local residents who are often unaware of what services are provincial or federal and as such are not bounced between two different offices that may be located in different communities.

As much as it makes sense for an MLA and an MP to share an office, this pilot project is the only identified shared office of this kind in Canada, hence the interest from CPAC in profiling this unique arrangement. 

I hope this idea of a shared office will catch on in other regions, and the added exposure of our beautiful region on CPAC will also draw visitors to our riding.

I would also like to publicly thank the mayors and councils in Princeton, Merritt and Keremeos for also making space available so that citizens in these communities can have access to their member of Parliament on a monthly basis to assist in matters of concern. 

Operating budgets do not allow for an MP or an MLA to open an office in every community in a geographically large riding, but when different levels of government work together to find efficiencies, services can become available on a more economical basis.

Citizens deserve to be heard and the ability to meet face to face with elected representatives is critically important.

I would like to thank the many citizens who have taken the time to stop in and attend the mobile constituency offices as well as my regular office to provide input and ask questions. This information is very valuable to take back to Ottawa in late September when the house resumes. 

Just a reminder that the mobile constituency office schedule is as follows — Merritt City Hall on the first Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon, Princeton Town Hall on the second Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon and Keremeos Village Hall on the secnd Wednesday of each month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

To schedule an appointment or share your comments or concerns with me I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

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.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

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



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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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