Listening to constituents' concerns

MP's listening tour

Since I was first elected I have used the summer months generally passing on speaking opportunities and embarking on a listening tour throughout the riding to hear the concerns of (constituents)

One of the greatest things about my riding is the diversity of the people who live in our various communities—some within more densely populated urban areas and others in smaller towns and unincorporated rural areas.
In turn, each fall when the House of Commons resumes sitting, I share the concerns raised in Ottawa.

This year, unlike any other, there is a different tone to what I am hearing. Affordability, given record high inflation and the direction of our governments at all levels has been a concern in many communities. Healthcare, such as the inability to get a doctor or having to travel significant distances for a health care-related services, are also ongoing challenges.

Many (constituents) have talked about the sheer frustration of trying to drive in and out of Kelowna, either via Highway 97 or the Okanagan Connector (Highway 97C) and the ensuing traffic gridlock adds stress and anxiety that some have said left them unwilling to make the trek.

Overall, there is a sense that various governments are failing to provide basic core services and are more focused on other areas that many view as non-essential. There is also a concern of increased government secrecy and in inability to get simple, clear answers why services are delayed and when they will be restored and/or available locally.

From my perspective there is no question that, even as an elected official, it has become more challenging to obtain information from the federal government departments and agencies that I often deal with. Likewise, I have heard of similar challenges from constituents attempting to obtain information from Interior Health.

From a traffic standpoint, aside from the flood-related damage to the Coquihalla Highway that is currently under repair, the last major federal/provincial partnership projects to decrease traffic congestion within this region were the widening (of Highway 97) between Summerland and Peachland, as well as significant widening of portions of Highway 3 between Princeton and Hope. Both projects were completed prior to 2015 and there has been significant growth since.

The intent of this week’s report is not to pick on any one level of government or agency/department but rather to ask a simple question:

How satisfied are you with the current state of government service delivery in your community?

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

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola and the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

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.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 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.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

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

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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