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Dan-in-Ottawa

Citizens deserve to be heard

I

was asked recently why I write a weekly MP report given that some other members of Parliament don’t.

The first reason is due to the fact the federal government is so vast, there is no shortage of policies, bills and legislation to inform citizens about.

The second reason is my favourite: my weekly reports provide an opportunity for citizens to share comments, questions and concerns on specific topics that are raised.

This is valuable because often topics that are of great concern to local citizens may not be the same topics that dominate media headlines.

Having a weekly MP report creates a good opportunity to take the pulse of how citizens in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola feel about a wide variety of subjects.

In last week’s report, I asked for input on the idea of a federal government imposed national carbon tax. The response was not only overwhelming, but almost all the feedback was strongly opposed.

There were also a significant number of citizens who took the time to share the reasons why they opposed a national carbon tax.

Although many reasons varied, the most common was that many citizens are paying more attention to the relationship between their gross income and their net take home pay after income taxes.

At the same time. their net take home pay is increasingly being subject to a growing number of consumption based taxes and fees that further reduce the household buying power.

Many expressed a point of view that they cannot afford more taxation and as a result oppose another tax on something like gasoline that as many pointed out, is already heavily taxed.

Another point made by many was that government services and government could not function without burning carbon.

Flights by politicians to Ottawa or Victoria being one example, emergency service vehicles, transportation trucks that carry essential supplies and services were more examples and that a national carbon tax would increase the cost of government.

Another point made by some citizens was that while income taxes can be variable in a way to help those with lower incomes, often consumption based taxes apply equally regardless of income and some felt there was an element of unfairness in that.

Often various governments use rebate programs and/or direct payment subsidies such as the recently changed direct child care subsidy to help offset these increased costs.

But as another citizens pointed out these programs often only help certain families and not those who are low income who have adult children with severe challenges who cannot work, no children or are single.

There was no lack of different reasons why a national carbon tax was overwhelmingly opposed to the extent that only a handful of citizens voiced any support for the idea.

This feedback was helpful. If the Liberal government continues to try to force a national carbon tax, I will share many of the reasons that were provided to me over this past week opposing a national carbon tax.

Citizens deserve to be heard and the feedback from my weekly reports is part of what I will be sharing in September once the House of Commons is back in session.

In my view this is an important part of our democratic process in Canada.

Want to have a say in my upcoming MP reports? Is there a particular subject you would like to see covered in a future MP report?

Let me know an area of federal concern and while I may not be able to accommodate every request the most common topics that are raised will be mentioned in upcoming MP reports from now until September.

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

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla and writes this weekly report for his constituents. His website is danalbas.com.

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About the Author

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.

MP Dan’s parliamentary record includes being recognized by the Ottawa Citizen in 2015 as one of five members of Parliament with a 100 per cent 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 constituent.

MP Dan Albas 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.

In October 2015, MP Dan Albas was re-elected to Parliament representing the new riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. Dan is currently the shadow minister for small business and sits on the Standing Committee on Finance.

MP 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.



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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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